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The group of children who were read to on a daily basis were 1.6 times as likely to be rated by their teachers as bein... More


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BENNY AND PENNY IN THE TOY BREAKER (Toon Books)

Author: Geoffrey Hayes

Illustrator: Geoffrey Hayes

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Publisher: Little Lit Library, a Division of RAW Junior, LLC,

Material: hard cover

Summary: Uh oh, Cousin Bo is coming. He breaks E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G. Penny and Benny try to hide their most precious toys, but it's no use. Bo is here. And he wants in on their treasure hunt, too. When Bo rips Monkey (Penny's lovey), the cousins have had enough of Bo. He goes off to find new friends, only to get stuck in the fence. So will they help him? This easy reader uses a graphic novel format to offer lessons in cooperation, bullying, and friendship.

Type of Reading: playtime reading, independent reading, read aloud book, learning to read

Recommended Age: read together: 3 to 7; read yourself: 6 to 9

Interest Level: 3 to 8

Reading Level: 1

Age of Child: Read by a nine-year-old girl.

Young Reader Reaction: My third grader said this was "too easy" for her, but she got into the story all the same. She could empathize with the cousins and was quick to call Bo a bully.

Adult Reader Reaction: Although this is a book for developing readers, it offers a scenario that will resonate with early preschoolers. The "action" panels will engage kids in the story and events in ways that traditional picture books might not.

Pros: This graphic novel is a versatile book for audiences of various ages. It is exceptional as an easy reader and enjoyable as a book to share with preschoolers, too.

Cons: None, really. Given the way the bullying issue is presented, it might be helpful to have a few "what would you do" questions for kids in the background. They can be designed to test comprehension, too.

Borrow or Buy: Buy, particularly if you are reading with preschoolers. There are layers to the story that will resonate at different times with readers from 4 to 8 or 9.

If You Liked This Book, Try: THE ADVENTURES OF BENNY   STINKY (TOON BOOKS)   MO AND JO FIGHTING TOGETHER FOREVER (TOON Books)

Educational Themes: This is a a book that covers a lot of ground: bullying, friendship/relationships, problem solving, jealousy, choices (hiding what's valuable, protecting others), and apologizing.

Notes: This publisher sent a copy of this book as part of the 2010 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, easy reader series, friendship, emotions

Date(s) Reviewed: November 2010

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