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Author: Cynthia Rylant

Illustrator: Sucie Stevenson

Reserve at the Library

Publisher: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers,

Material: hard cover

Summary: One spring morning, Annie discovered a nest on her porch. Who was making it? Every day Annie and her cousin Henry would check on the nest. It was always bigger, but they never saw who made it. When Annie spotted fur, she thought maybe it was Snowball or Mudge.Finally, they saw her: a robin. Annie waited and waited to see if there were baby birds. Would the eggs ever hatch? This is an easy reader chapter book series for developing readers.

Type of Reading: family reading, learning to read, read aloud book, developing reader, illustrated chapter, easy reader

Recommended Age: read together: 3 to 8; read yourself: 6 to 9

Interest Level: 3 to 8

Reading Level: 2.8

Age of Child: Read with children ages 2 and 4. Also read by a 7-year-old girl.

Young Reader Reaction: Both of my young readers loved listening to this book. They requested it again and again. The four year old loved the book, and though I wasn't surprised that she liked it, but I was surprised how often she kept returning to it. The two year old wasn't as interested after the initial reading, but that wasn't a shock given his interest or lack thereof in the subject matter.

Adult Reader Reaction: Parent 1: I liked this book. The characters were relatable for my little readers and the story was gentle enough for the younger one, but interesting enough to keep them going.

Parent 2: I love Annie books. They are a little more girly than Henry and Mudge, but they are fulfilling stories, not just words strung together for new readers. The images help with the text, and there is just enough predictability in the suspense to keep kids from getting frustrated.

Pros: Annie and Snowball (and Henry and Mudge) are back in this delightful story about spring at Annie's house. It is well suited for mixed audiences or younger audiences not yet ready to read, too.

Cons: None.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow, at least. These are nice stories and if you're reading with preschoolers, well worth the investment because later they'll be able to practice reading on their own. Parent 1 recommends borrowing from the library, too, "because this is one in a series and readers will want them all."


Educational Themes: Rylant includes familiar characters with Henry and Mudge, but Annie and Snowball are a great addition to her canon. As Annie waits for the eggs and then the chicks, so do little readers. This is a story for developing readers to read aloud. The vocabulary isn’t too advanced for a beginning reader, but the sentences are long enough that reading them would feel like an accomplishment.

Stop at each chapter to ask your reader to predict what's next. When you're done, you might also ask what other animals build nests and look for books with those stories.

Notes: This publisher sent a copy of this book as part of the 2009 Children's and Young Adult Bloggers Literary Award (Cybils) process. This review is not intended to represent the opinions of the Cybils. The book will be donated to a reader in need.

Literary Categories: Fiction - animal characters, seasons, easy reader series

Date(s) Reviewed: November 2010, March 2015

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