MARVIN ONE TOO MANY

Paterson and Brown (Marvin’s Best Christmas Present Ever, 1997, etc.) continue their easy-reader series about a sensitive boy named Marvin with this latest addition to the “I Can Read” line. This time Marvin is starting first grade—scared, lost, and ready to cry. He feels like the odd man out in many ways, or “one too many,” as his teacher inadvertently comments. The other children in first grade are sounding out words and moving on quickly (perhaps a little too quickly) to reading books, while Marvin has yet to make the connection between groups of letters and sound blends. He starts to dread school, and after a fight on the playground and some tears at home, he gets extra help with his reading at home when his big sister makes flash cards, and his father reads humorous poetry to him and recounts his own difficulties in learning to read. After practicing reading at home every night, Marvin learns to read in his own good time, blooming just like Leo. Brown’s color-pencil illustrations add a soft, old-fashioned flavor to the story, with warm details in her depiction of Marvin’s close-knit farm family. The story functions well as an intermediate-level easy reader, but first-grade teachers and reading specialists will also find this a useful read-aloud to reassure all the Marvins who need a little extra time and help. (Easy reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-06-028769-1

Page Count: 48

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2001

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

IGGY PECK, ARCHITECT

A repressive teacher almost ruins second grade for a prodigy in this amusing, if overwritten, tale. Having shown a fascination with great buildings since constructing a model of the Leaning Tower of Pisa from used diapers at age two, Iggy sinks into boredom after Miss Greer announces, throwing an armload of histories and craft projects into the trash, that architecture will be a taboo subject in her class. Happily, she changes her views when the collapse of a footbridge leaves the picnicking class stranded on an island, whereupon Iggy enlists his mates to build a suspension bridge from string, rulers and fruit roll-ups. Familiar buildings and other structures, made with unusual materials or, on the closing pages, drawn on graph paper, decorate Roberts’s faintly retro cartoon illustrations. They add an audience-broadening element of sophistication—as would Beaty’s decision to cast the text into verse, if it did not result in such lines as “After twelve long days / that passed in a haze / of reading, writing and arithmetic, / Miss Greer took the class / to Blue River Pass / for a hike and an old-fashioned picnic.” Another John Lithgow she is not, nor is Iggy another Remarkable Farkle McBride (2000), but it’s always salutary to see young talent vindicated. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2007

ISBN: 978-0-8109-1106-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2007

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

THE BEST CHEF IN SECOND GRADE

An impending school visit by a celebrity chef sends budding cook Ollie into a tailspin. He and his classmates are supposed to bring a favorite family food for show and tell, but his family doesn’t have a clear choice—besides, his little sister Rosy doesn’t like much of anything. What to do? As in their previous two visits to Room 75, Kenah builds suspense while keeping the tone light, and Carter adds both bright notes of color and familiar home and school settings in her cartoon illustrations. Eventually, Ollie winkles favorite ingredients out of his clan, which he combines into a mac-and-cheese casserole with a face on top that draws delighted praise from the class’s renowned guest. As Ollie seems to do his kitchen work without parental assistance, a cautionary tip or two (and maybe a recipe) might not have gone amiss here, but the episode’s mouthwatering climax and resolution will guarantee smiles of contentment all around. (Easy reader. 6-7)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2007

ISBN: 978-0-06-053561-2

Page Count: 48

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2007

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more