Sunday, April 15, 2012

Review: Spring 2012 Toon Books & Giveaway

Summary: When alien pals Zig and Wikki lose their spaceship on Earth, their friendship is definitely in trouble.

In order to get home, they must travel through a farm and into a cow, picking up fun facts about ecology (and picking fights) along the way. Nadja Spiegelman and Trade Loeffler's funny, science-based early-reader is packed with fast-paced adventure and facts about poop: what more could a young reader want? -- Toon Books

I have reviewed many Toon Books over the years, and Booking Son counts these early reader graphic novels among his favorites. As his mom, I was excited to see the two latest releases because they are aimed at a little higher reading level. The first one that he read (and thought was hilarious) was ZIG AND WIKKI in THE COW by Nadja Spiegelman and Trade Loeffler. This short chapter book follows up with Zig and Wikki's new adventure -- riding their spaceship to Earth and discovering a cow on a farm.

Not only were the words a little more challenging in this book, but the actual subject matter was as well. The book has a Lexile Level of GN 270 and a Guided Reading Level of P. I really enjoyed THE COW because, in addition to being cute, it also introduced some science concepts. When Zig and Wikki find themselves on a farm with lots of cows, they also learn about all things relating to cow poop. There are definitions for ruminants, energy, ecosystem, farm, soil. decomposers, and microorganisms.

ZIG & WIKKI in THE COW is a fun way to learn about ecology and a perfect book to read in honor of Earth Day! Because of the poopy humor, I think kids (and especially boys!) will love it.

Summary: From the islands of Hawaii comes the electrifying tale of Nanaue, who has to balance his yearning for Dad's guidance with his desire for Mom's nurture.

Award-winning cartoonist R. Kikuo Johnson transports young readers to the lush, tropical shores of his native Hawaii. Emerging readers, fluent or not, will be thrilled when they experience the transformative powers of this stirring literary work. -- Toon Books

THE SHARK KING by R. Kikuo Johnson is another fun early reader graphic novel. This book actually read more like a comic book to me with the Shark King as a larger-than-life hero. Again, the book is aimed at a slightly higher reading level - the Lexile Level is GN 150 and the Guided Reading Level in N.

THE SHARK KING is a short chapter book that tells the myth of the Shark King. This comic takes place in Hawaii and tells the story of Nanaue, a young boy who is trying to be himself while balancing his mom's protectiveness and his father's guidance. It's a wonderful introduction to this story and I am pretty sure that kids will enjoy the Shark King's adventures.

THE SHARK KING has some terrific illustrations that are a perfect complement to the story. There is a lot of action on each page of this book and kids will have fun reading the story as well as interpreting the graphics. Highly recommended for boys and girls alike --  and especially those reluctant readers!

Giveaway alert: In celebration of Earth Day, I have one copy of THE COW to share with one lucky reader. To enter, just fill out the form below before April 21st at 11:59 p.m. ET. I will randomly select and notify the winner the following day. This contest is open to those of you with U.S. and Canada mailing addresses only. Good luck!


Serena said...

These sounds great. Thanks for the giveaway

bermudaonion said...

Have things changed that much since Vance was that age or was I just unaware? I have no idea what a Lexile Level or a Guided Reading Level is. The books sound adorable!