Spunky girl had a hard time with reading this year. Her kindergarten class offered her a tutor and we worked hard every day on reading, but it was a challenge. One of the things that makes it the most challening is that children know they can't seem to get something that their classmates are succeeding at. They know they are in the last reading group. They know some of their classmates are reading chapter books. And that knowledge makes them feel bad about it and makes trying harder.
We got through the entire collection of Bob learning-to-read books (which are great) during the school year, but then found the jump into books available at the library a bit of a challenge. There are definitely books there for "beginning readers" but they still seemed a bit above her abilities. Often there was a lot of words on each page. Spunky girl would look at the 20 words on the page and not even want to try, much less read the whole book. Enter Mo Williams.
Mo Williams writes the Elephant and Piggie books and they are AWESOME. They are always about two friends, an elephant and a pig, and a conversation they have. Because the book is just a conversation, there is often only a handful of words on each page. The author tells the story not only with the conversation, but with the expressions on the faces and the different type faces he uses. Spunky girl can tell from the type-face if the character is yelling or giggling or sad. I Love That. She really enjoys being able to express what the character is feeling. And the characters are funny little buggers...just like her.
Spunky Girl has read 3 of the 7 books so far and she gains confidence every time she does. She'll tell people "I read this book and I read two other ones too". She is willing to read the book to other people and enjoys telling them the story. It makes my heart happy to see her delight in reading.
So, thank you Mo Williams, wherever you are. This grateful mom's got a kiss on the cheek waiting for ya...