Beginning readers need access to books that are easy and interesting. Such books instill confidence. Reading confidence leads to enjoyment, and enjoyment leads not only to an interest in reading but a willingness to tackle more difficult reading materials.

Just like toddlers who want to read the same book over and over again, beginning readers often gravitate to the same book for independent reading. There's nothing wrong with this, even if the book is below their reading ability. Don't pressure the child into reading books that they will struggle and stumble over. Advancing to more difficult reading materials will come as the child is ready.

Independent reading outside of the classroom should be for fun. That's what you'll find in today's reviewed books - an engaging story line, illustrations, and easy, accessible writing. Check out these titles and ask your librarian and bookseller for more suggestions. With your help, every child can experience reading success, and that spells success across the board.

Books to Buy

The following book is available at many public libraries.

"Minnie and Moo: The Night of the Living Bed" written and illustrated in by Denys Cazet, HarperCollins, 48 pages

Read aloud: age 4 and older.

Read yourself: age 7 and older.

Another in HarperCollins' "An I Can Read Book" series, this hilarious and crazy story of Minnie and Moo is bound to keep kids in stitches.

Minnie and Moo are cows, best friends, and Minnie loves chocolate more than anything. One night the two friends are fast asleep in their bed under a tree on a hill when Minnie has a bad dream - a giant mouse eats the last piece bit of chocolate in the whole world. Minnie is so terrified, she wakes up yelling, shaking Moo, and they both tumble out of bed. Their tumbling causes the bed to roll down the hill, and the two cows dash after it in hot pursuit.

Catching up to the runaway bed, Minnie and Moo hop on as the bed zooms through a barn and scoops up more animals and proceeds straight into town. One bizarre event leads to another, coupled with the fact that it's Halloween and trick-or-treaters are all over the place. Maybe they could join the fun and get some chocolate after all...

Get ready for a wild ride in more ways than one - this adventure of Minnie and Moo is pure delight!

Librarian's Choice

Library: Carroll County Public Library, 136 Court St., Carrollton KY

Library Director: Hillary Arney

Youth Services Librarian: Leslie Sutherland

Choices this week: "Splat the Cat" by Rob Scotton; "Ant, Ant, an Insect Chant" by April Pulley Sayre; "Doggone Dogs!" by Karen Beaumont

Books to Buy

The following books are available at favorite bookstores.

"Pete the Cat: Pete's Big Lunch" written and illustrated by James dean, HarperCollins, 2013, 32 pages, $16.99 hardcover

Read aloud: age 3 - 4.

Read yourself: age 5/6 - 8.

"Pete the Cat" is a hugely successful series, and this new title is certain to as popular as the others.

It's lunchtime, and Pete is hungry. He decides a sandwich would taste good. Pete opens the fridge to see what he can put on his sandwich. He takes out one item, then another and another and another until his sandwich is too big for Pete to eat. What to do? Invite his friends over to share his sandwich, of course! After all, in Pete's words, "Sharing is cool."

"Boris on the Move" written and illustrated by Andrew Joyner, Branches/Scholastic, 2013, 76 pages, $15.99 hardcover; $4.99 paperback

Read aloud: age 4 - 5.

Read yourself: age 6 - 8.

"Branches" is Scholastic's new illustrated early chapter book line that is specifically designed for children who are ready to branch out from beginning reader books. With several books already on the market and many more to come, this new lie has already been praised by many professionals.

In this book, Boris the warthog lives with his parents in a van in Hogg Bay. Before Boris was born his parents travelled all over the world in their van. Boris longs to travel, too, but their van hasn't left the yard since he arrived in the family. Boris expresses his desire to travel to wild, faraway places, and soon thereafter, Boris feels the van in motion. Where are the three of them off to? Will this be the trip Boris has been hoping for?

Seven fully illustrated chapters, short, engaging text, and plenty of humor combine to make this early chapter book a genuine winner.



Nationally syndicated, Kendal Rautzhan writes and lectures on children's literature. She can be reached at her website: www.greatestbooksforkids.com.