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From the Boris series, volume 4

by Andrew Joyner ; illustrated by Andrew Joyner

Age Range: 4 - 7

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-545-48454-1
Publisher: Branches/Scholastic

In his fourth outing for emergent readers, Boris, a warthog, shares a camping misadventure with his two friends, Frederick and Alice.

Boris’ parents help the trio set up in the backyard for their night of camping. The first several pages all feature bits of brief text—“Dad helped them light a campfire”—that sharply and humorously contrast with the cartoon illustrations, as, for example, Dad tries and tries but can’t quite get the fire started. Eventually, Mom and Dad go off to bed, leaving the brave campers to gradually become frightened of the breezy night. One after another, they head out, the first looking for a safer spot and the other two searching for their missing friend. Reunited, hiding under a shrub, they notice a bright—and very scary—light beyond the fence. (It turns out to be a neighbor trying out his new putter while wearing a caving helmet.) In a predictable conclusion, the children finally opt to sleep indoors. Like others in this series, this brief effort has the shape of an early chapter book but the content of a very early reader, giving children a welcome sense of accomplishment as they breeze through it.

Attractive, slyly humorous illustrations, simple text and a related craft included at the end all serve to make this a welcome addition to collections for beginning readers. (Early reader. 4-7)