Saturday, November 5, 2011

Review: Fall 2011 Toon Books

Every Saturday, I host a feature called Kid Konnection -- a regular weekend feature about anything related to children's books. This week, I'm going to share with you two new easy to read comic books from one of my favorite series -- Toon Books. Toon Books are designed for ages four and up and they encourage children to read independently. I can only vouch for Booking Son, but he devours these books. He reads them the minute we receive them, which certainly says something, but he also keeps reading them over and over again.

Summary: What makes Nina mad? Lots of things—lots of little, everyday things, frustrations that all children will recognize. But Nina knows how to speak her mind and that makes her feel much better.

In a series of humorous vignettes, Hilary Knight, the artist who brought the enormously successful Eloise to life, applies his magic to a text by veteran children's book writer Steven Kroll, and brings to life a spunky character who will show young readers how to articulate their feelings. -- Toon Books

NINA IN THAT MAKES ME MAD! by Steven Kroll and Hilary Knight is a very cute early reader book. It has a memorable main character in Nina and some funny vignettes of what makes her mad. The pictures are absolutely adorable and created by none other than Hilary Knight of Eloise fame!

THAT MAKES ME MAD is actually a Level 2 book geared for first and second graders. For those of you who are interested, it has a Lexile Level of GN 170 and a Guided Reading Level of J. Booking Son had no problems with reading or comprehending the story, and I could hear him giggling while he read it. He most definitely enjoyed it.

As a mom, I really liked THAT MAKES ME MAD too. First of all, I adore the entire concept of comic books for early readers. Even the most reluctant readers will be drawn into reading a book with so many fun pictures -- it's just not as intimidating as a book with lots of words. In addition, THAT MAKES ME MAD teaches a lesson or two about getting mad and how a child should react. Because it uses humor to teach, it doesn't come across as preachy at all (you know today's kids are too savvy for that!)

Definitely a fun way to get kids reading and opening up about anger!

Summary: BENJAMIN BEAR DOES EVERYTHING IN HIS OWN FUNNY WAY, whether it's drying dishes on a rabbit’s back or sharing his sweater without taking it off.

In this series of gags starring a very loopy bear, Philippe Coudray creates a zany world that makes kids think and solve puzzles, drawing all readers into the game. -- Toon Books

BENJAMIN BEAR IN FUZZY THINKING by Philippe Coudray is another Level 2 comic book with a Lexile Level of GN 20 and a Guided Reading Level of J. I really, really liked this book, and Booking Son said he loved it! It was very easy to read with few words, but because each little scene with Benjamin Bear was so creative, it actually causes the reader to think. Benjamin Bear certainly has some "fuzzy thinking." For each situation he faces, Benjamin Bear comes up with some pretty unconventional (and unexpected) solutions to his problems. This book is smart and funny and sure to be a hit with youngsters!

I really can't rave enough about Toon Books. They really seem to "get" kids and offer a wide range of comic books for all levels of early readers. However, it's with their teacher/parent support materials that they've really won over me. They have a terrific website with some fantastic classroom resources including leveled lesson plans for each book, free online Toon readers, a free cartoon maker, and reading lists from classrooms around the country.

If you are looking for a very fun way to get your child to read, I highly recommend the entire Toon Books library!

Thanks to the publisher for sending copies of these books.

If you'd like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children's books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week, please leave a comment as well as a link below with your name/blog name and the title of the book! Feel free to grab the little button too!


Beth F said...

I can certainly see why you love the Toon Books. I'll keep them in mind for gifts.

bermudaonion said...

They look adorable to me! The fact that Booking Son loves them says a lot - I'll have to look into these for our great nephew.

Dawn @ sheIsTooFondOfBooks said...

These would be a hit here, that's for sure. And illustrations by Hilary Knight - that has my attention as much as the kid's!

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I like the idea of cartoon books about something other than superheroes!

Laura at Library of Clean Reads said...

My son too loves comics and I think I need to get him more books like these because although he loves books, especially non-fiction, he is not a big reader.

Serena said...

I know someone that loves comics....Diary of a Wimpy Kid and such. Thanks for the tips.

Katie said...

My review Nina in That Makes Me Mad is up today as well, and I loved it. I agree that comics for early readers are a great idea. They fly off the shelves at my library, and they attract kids who would normally shun more "traditional" easy readers. I wasn't as crazy about Benjamin Bear, but kids love that one as well, especially because of the child-friendly humor.