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“Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.”
Summary: Bursunsul and Paskualina are two very different dogs. One is big, the other is small. One is white, the other is black. Despite their differences, they are very good friends. That is, until Paskualina took something from Bursunsul, who got angry and bit her! Their friendship was ruined. Could they ever be friends again? This is a book about sharing.
Type of Reading: bedtime story, anytime reading, family reading, read aloud book, learning to read
Recommended Age: read together: 3 to 8; read yourself: 7 to 10
Interest Level: 4 to 10
Reading Level: 2.3
Age of Child: Read with 7-year-old girl.
Young Reader Reaction: When our daughter saw that this was about dogs, she picked it right away. She thought their names were funny, but she listened to the whole story.
Adult Reader Reaction: The story presents its messages of respect, friendship, and forgiveness very well. The vocabulary repetition and simple sentences make this a perfect story for first- and second-grade readers. The dogs' names, however, make for tough going.
Pros: Developing readers will enjoy reading this story about two dog friends. Simple illustrations, plenty of extra page space, and a nice size also help to make this an engaging book.
Cons: While it is easy to understand why the author wanted unique names for the dogs, it would be helpful for developing readers to have something a little more "lyrical."
Borrow or Buy: Buy. This is a book that pre-readers will enjoy listening to and new readers will take pride in reading themselves.
Educational Themes: The book is a strong candidate for helping young readers practice sight words and expand your young reader's vocabulary. This is a book where you could pause and ask "what would you do?" or "what do you think happens?" to help practice comprehension and anticipation.
Notes: This book is available in multiple languages.
Flesch Kincaid reading level 2.3
Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, animal stories, foreign language
Date(s) Reviewed: November 2008
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