“'There's cold chicken inside it,' replied the Rat briefly; 'coldtonguecoldhamcoldbeefpickledgherkinssaladfrench
rollscresssandwichespottedmeatgingerbeerlemonadesodawater----'

'O stop, stop,' cried the Mole in ecstacies: 'This is too much!'”
-- from
The Wind in the Willows


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Brand New Readers: Three Little Bears Play All Day • Early Readers

Brand New Readers: Three Little Bears Play All Day
By David Martin • Illustrated by Akemi Gutierrez
Available now! Published February 2010 • Candlewick Press • Early Readers, Ages 4-8
EVERY child can read Brand New Readers! Baby Bear’s antics lead to unexpected results as he returns with Brother Bear and Sister Bear in four simple, funny stories.
Story: Whether jumping, juggling, munching, or building with blocks, Baby Bear finds a new way to make mischief while playing with his ever-patient big brother and sister. This Brand New Reader includes the four stories, Three Little Bears Build, Three Little Bears Eat, Three Little Bears Juggle, and Three Little Bears Jump.

Brand New Readers are short, funny stories written by award-winning authors, full of bright, colorful artworkby illustrators kids know and love.  Each Brand New Reader has:

- funny stories
- pictures that make words easy to guess
- eight-page stories that can be finished in one sitting, ensuring a satisfying reading experience
- notes for parents and teachers to help them guide beginning readers
 
 
Story behind the story: “For me, all my Brand New Reader collections are about mischief,” said author David Martin.  “Crashing, kidding, making messes and having fun.   Just the kind of stuff my five-year-old self likes.  My grown-up self wants to help children become good readers.  Fortunately the two selves joined, and that’s the story behind the story, behind these stories.”

Asked which of the three bears he readily identifies with, David replies without hesitation, “Baby Bear, of course.  And what do I do?  Spin ‘til I’m dizzy.  Knock down the blocks.  Refuse green food except for mint ice cream, and juggle Boston cream pies – or at least try.  Full disclosure:  I really like broccoli a lot, and spinning nowadays makes me queasy.  But I can juggle.  As for block towers, to build them high or knock them down, that is the question.  Okay, both.  And thanks to three grandkids, I have good models to keep the mischief fresh.” 

DAVID MARTIN was a teacher for eighteen years. He began in special education and then went from fourth grade to seventh-grade language arts. But it was his work as a first-grade Reading Recovery teacher that helped him understand the needs of “brand-new readers.”

PS:  I worked at Candlewick Press when the Brand New Readers series launched and used them with my son, then 5 1/2.  The series works so well to inspire confidence and get kids reading.  He was so proud of himself -- and I'm proud to see that the series has continued 10 years later!  

PRAISE FOR THE BRAND NEW READERS SERIES:

The Brand New Readers series is one of the best out there to motivate new readers.  We think they’re so good that we give a set to every primary grade teacher attending our Summer Institutes on the Teaching of Reading.” Lucy Calkins, Professor of Curriculum and Teaching, Teacher’s College, Columbia University, and author of The Art of Reading

“The Brand New Readers series was designed especially for children who are learning to read for the very first time.  The brevity of the eight-page books offers new readers a sense of accomplishment and success.  I find this series consistently cheerful and frankly funny.” – Esme Raji Codell, author of Educating Esme: Diary of a Teacher’s First Year

Visit WWW.BRANDNEWREADERS.COM for a complete listing of Brand New Readers, an online sample, a downloadable certificate, and reading levels and early intervention levels.

FYI: all the review copies for this title have been sent; please check back on the "comments" link to read what your colleagues have to say.

18 comments:

Lisa Kennedy said...

I just received my copy of Brand New Readers: Three Little Bears Play All Day. Assuming our budget isn't cut completely this will be a definite addition to our media center next school year. For kindergarteners just learning to read, the stories are not wordy and overwhelming. Because there are four different stories a struggling reader can be happy that he is reading a "chapter book". I found myself actually chuckling at Baby Bear's antics. Imagine the thrill of a young child learning to read a story or a book and perhaps having his/her own chuckle. The illustrations are colorful and fun. I can't wait to share this with our students!

Kim Watson said...

This book will be a great addition to any kindergarten or first grade teacher's classroom library. The repetition of letter sounds and words will help young readers identify text. This book may also be used with older students who are struggling readers. The illustrations are very cute and follow the story very well. Since I teach 2nd grade, I plan to add it to my library to aid my struggling readers. It will also be a nice addition to introduce my 2nd graders to chapter books.
Rating 4/5

wordwarrior said...

Delightful is the word for the Brand New Readers: Three Little Bears Play All Day. The copy I received was colorful and entertaining with amusing pictures and easy to follow text. I enjoyed the introduction on the first page of the story to preview the text with the beginning reader. The pictures help the reader predict what the new word in the story is and aids in fluency. Baby bear was charming, he would make reading fun for a new reader. I would recommend this series to not only elementary schools but also special education centers and learning resource centers.
Laura Miller
Paraprofessional
Reno County Education Coop

Carrie Blagg said...

Brand New Readers: Three Little Bears Play All Day is a book with easy to follow text for beginning readers. I had several teachers look at the book as well and we were not intrigued by the faded looking colored illustrations.

4 out of 5.

Carrie Blagg, Librarian Assistant
Paradise Valley, AZ

Monica said...

These are cute, engaging stories about the Bear family. I liked the brief introduction that led the reader into each story. The stories have illustrations that are great to use for picture walks and repetitive text that works well with beginning readers. This will be a great addition to my first grade classroom. My basket rating is 5/5.

Monica said...

These are cute, engaging stories about the Bear family. I liked the brief introduction that led the reader into each story. The stories have illustrations that are great to use for picture walks and repetitive text that works well with beginning readers. This will be a great addition to my first grade classroom. My basket rating is 5/5.

Anonymous said...

Rating 5/5

This Early Reader title is great! The repetitious text and actions will encourage and entertain young readers. Baby Bear is a character children will relate to. I also like how the text is consistently at the bottom of the page, with the accompanying illustrations above. This consistency helps encourage new readers and make them more comfortable when reading.

Heather Hart
Branch Librarian
Newport Beach Public Library

ahslibrarian said...

Three Little Bears Play All Day is disappointing in almost every imaginable way. First and foremost, it is about the story. In all three attempts the book fails. Just because the target audience is at the youngest level doesn’t relieve the creative team of their responsibility. However, this is often the case when using a controlled vocabulary in early basal readers. And this is what this book feels like. It is a book, not literature for small children. I would expect to find better at the grocery store.

The book even comes with instructions for adults (as soon as the cover is opened!) so that they can facilitate the reading event with children. The intention as well as the instructions are appropriate, but I’m not so sure I would actually make them part of the book. I might slip them inside so that they could be easily removed.

And then there is the preview page for each story. It tells what each story is about, and it is also unnecessary. I am not clear if this is for the adult or the child. If it is for the benefit of the adult, then put it with the rest of the “instructions.” If it is designed to stimulate the child’s interaction with the text, then it too is artificial. Why would children not want to read the entire book? Why make a combination teacher/student book for early readers? I understand predictability, but this?

One thing that is age appropriate is the size of the book. The book and the font is just right for little hands and eyes, and it is very well made.

Unfortunately, I cannot recommend this book for any use or audience. I don’t like the feel of the instructions. They immediately draw attention away from any story. Lose the instructions and this book becomes something I might pick up in the grocery store. It is not literature and the stories are anything but clever. Children need multi-faceted stories even at this level. Yes, they must be simple, but it can be accomplished. Adults might appreciate strategies, but not smeared all over the book. Many school reading programs offer these same strategies to parents in short instructional sessions, and then feed a constant supply of books. It is unfortunate that this book will not be included in that number.

1 of 5

John Parker
Media Coordinator
Andrews High School
50 HS Drive
Andrews, NC 28901

Martine Battista said...

Cute and simple yes, but...I really dislike the "introductions" to each story. They summarize the entire text and are completely unnecessary. I dislike them so much that I can only rate it a 3.

Denair Elementary School Library
Denair, CA

Carol said...

I have a handful of Brand New readers at home and I love the graphics. I will also add that I am fond of Candlewick Press as well. Something I really appreciate about this book is how it is user friendly to parents who do not have the knowledge of reading instruction that those of us who teach reading, take for granted. It is always a good thing when we can involve parents in the teaching of reading and give them tools that scaffold their role, as well as validate that- lots of what they already do, is perfect! For me, the introductions serve that purpose. The introduction provides a summary, and that is very helpful for new readers so they can activate any prior knowledge they might have before reading. I think perhaps even some questions at the end might help guide parents also. for example, "Have you ever spun around and felt dizzy before?" or "Do you think Baby Bear likes to do what his older siblings do?" I like how the illustrations show movement and dizziness and shadows. Those are features of the illustrations that children can copy when they draw their own pictures. The 2nd story's introduction lends itself to making predictions and inferences also. Again, important reading skills. The same for the third and fourth story too. I think it is neat how this reading book is like a little anthology for the kindergarten student. I still can say I have likes what I have seen from Candlewick Press publishing.

Lemon the Duck said...

This book is just right for little hands. The controlled, repetitive text within humorous stories is so necessary in a beginning reader book, since we want them to read it again and again. I liked the tips at the front of the book but did not find them to be complete or using common language. For instance the first tip explained what a picture walk was but didn't use the language "picture walk" which is something we want our parents to know so they can use the common language at home with their child. Also, the tips neglected to give enough concrete suggestions for when a child is stuck on a word. For instance: beginning sounds, get your mouth ready to say the first sound, chunk the word, etc.
The introduction to each story was unnecessary since the adult was just instructed to talk about the story and to take a "walk" through the book to get to know it better. The introduction to the first story was not in order of events like the remaining stories which may be confusing for the reader.
I was disappointed to see the "Three Little Bears Eat" story ended with a "goodies" food rather than something healthy.
The strongest parts of this book are its repetition of words, use of humor, and its size. Readers will enjoy reading and rereading the stories and feel proud of its "chapter book" like set up. For this reason, I rate this book a 3 out of 5.
Laura Backman
Hathaway School
http://lemontheduck.com

Anonymous said...

I like the book, and my 3 1/2 year old daughter seems to like it okay - it's not like a book that she jumps up and down to read whenever it's reading time. But, when I have sat down to read it with her, she doesn't seem to mind; she goes through the motions and she seems to learn something each time. She seems to know the difference between "yucky" and "yummy" and I suppose the pictures help with that, too. And she probably has learned the word "the". The last page of the last story is funny to read with her because she wants to read it that brother bear and sister bear put a block on "baby's butt", instead of baby "bear". I think she knows what it really says, but she's just funny.

One thing that is unique (or not so unique?) is that she likes to put herself in the first story and act it out; she will stand in front of me and I will say "Ayo jumps" and then she jumps, then "Ayo spins" and then she spins" and etc.

It may be useful to give ignorant parents and lay-reading-educators (like myself) more instructions on such things as letter recognition and phonics as a helpful step before children delve into more complex reading. A compilation of free resources would help, too, like Web sites, library offerings, and other known free reading resources.

5 out of 5 is my rating for Brand New Readers.

Sarah Oyerinde
Mother of 3
Aspiring secondary English language arts teacher
Marion, Indiana

Tina's Blog said...

This book is a great series of beginning readers. My kindergartener is very excited to read this tonight - and it is definitely a book that many students could see success with. I also like the four different levels of stories, allowing for readers of varied skill levels and also giving the feel of a chapter book. Many of my students will enjoy this series as they learn to read.

Julia Pitau said...

For me, there was a lot to enjoy about Brand New Readers: Three Little Bears Play All Day. So many times I've had parents with children having difficulty learning to read ask me what to do, ask if there was something special they should be doing? That's why I liked the introduction; it guides parents and readies the child for what's to come, i.e., no surprises. I look forward to using this with early readers and delayed readers. I thought the only downside to this book was that some of the vocabulary seemed a bit too advanced for first-time/first grade readers.

Picnic Rating:4

Denair Charter Academy
Denair, CA

Julia Pitau said...

For me, there was a lot to enjoy about Brand New Readers: Three Little Bears Play All Day. So many times I've had parents with children having difficulty learning to read ask me what to do, ask if there was something special they should be doing? That's why I liked the introduction; it guides parents and readies the child for what's to come, i.e., no surprises. I look forward to using this with early readers and delayed readers. I thought the only downside to this book was that some of the vocabulary seemed a bit too advanced for first-time/first grade readers.

Picnic Rating:4

Denair Charter Academy
Denair, CA

Megan B. said...

All in all, I thought Three Little Bears Play All Day is as good as the other "first reader" books out there. I liked the instructions to parents, although I question the need for the intorduction to each story.

4/5
Megan Bishop

Angela said...

I would give Three Little Bears Play All Day a 4 out of 5. As a beginning reader book, I appreciated the notes to parents in the beginning. They were simple and clear cut - very do-able to parents who are not reading teachers. It did not give too much information so as to be overwhelming, but just enough to make the experience a positive one for parent and child. I loved the color coded Contents page and the way the colors under the text changed for each story. Nice visual cue to the reader. Along those same lines I loved how the text and pictures were clearly separated and the font of the text was just right too. The stories themselves managed to actually be interesting - with that rascally Baby Bear always getting into trouble. This is tough to do with limited text. The story lines would allow a reader to easily make connections to their own lives as well. Illustrations were pleasing and supportive of the text. My only criticism is of the introductions to each story. While of course a front-loading introduction is key to a beginning reader, I didn't like how these ones came right out and told the whole story. I would have rather the intros gave the reader something to look forward to. Language like, "Read to find out what happens when Baby Bear spins and spins too much!" On the other hand, these intros were nice examples of a summary and could be used as a model with older readers who are learning to summarize.

One Acre Homestead said...

I was very disappointed with this book. The introductions before each story are unnecessary and confusing for young readers (are they meant to be read by the beginning reader or the parent?), but this was not the biggest issue for me. I am very concerned about obesity and generally poor diets of our children. One of the stories in this book frames all green foods as "YUCKY" except for mint ice cream which is "YUMMY." This is not a message I want to share with my children or the children I come into contact with as an educator. In a time when we are fighting to bring nutrition and exercise into children's lives, this book is a poor choice.

Stephanie White
Cameron University
Children's Literature Professor