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Author: Diane Thompson

Illustrator: Jim Johnson, cover art

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Publisher: Mystic Toad Press, LLC,

Material: paperback

Summary: Animals take center stage in this set of four short stories about friendship, honesty, and learning from your mistakes. This is a collection of short stories for kids learning to read.

Type of Reading: family reading, read aloud book, remedial reader, easy reader, transitional reader, developing reader

Recommended Age: read together: 5 to 9; read yourself: 9 to 12

Interest Level: 6 to 10

Reading Level: 4.4

Age of Child: Teen STAR Review Team, Be the Star You Are!™

Young Reader Reaction: All the stories were a nice, satisfying length for beginning readers to enjoy and practice their reading. Each of the four stories taught lessons everyone should carry throughout their entire lives. The lessons apply to readers of all ages from a child beginning to read or a parent or teacher aiding in their reading. Perhaps if there were a couple more stories included in the book, the overall package would provide more capturing. When I finished reading, I wanted more more of these cute tales. Otherwise, I found everything about this book to be wonderful. This book was a great read and would buy it for kindergartners to read.

Adult Reader Reaction: Although the main characters are cats and dogs; a frog and a fly; and an aardvark family, the stories are universal. The material is great for a remedial reader, who likes "short." Still, the page is full of text, with little white space.

Pros: Kids will instantly relate to the characters in these stories.

Cons: These stories naturally lend themselves to illustration. Adding pictures would allow the author to engage younger readers in the stories.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow. This is a nice set of stories, but there are other books that offer the same themes and will keep the attention of younger audiences (who need the lessons) with illustrations.


Educational Themes: Each of the stories offers a variation on the themes of responsibility and friendship. "Andy's Christmas Lesson" is one that will resonate with kids who deal with temptation regularly.

Notes: The author donated this book for review. It will be donated to a reader in need.

Literary Categories: Fiction - animal characters, adventure, short stories, easy reader

Date(s) Reviewed: August 2008

Other Reviews:


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