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“A word of encouragement during a failure is worth more than an hour of praise after success.”
Summary: Math, superstitions, a really big pumpkin, and a playful, orphaned kitten all combine to land Roscoe back in time out. Roscoe tells us that after Mr. Page the librarian reads a book about pumpkins, he told them about the Hilltop Bookstore contest: guess the weight of the pumpkin in the window and you can win books for your school library ... and candy for yourself. Roscoe even listens to Miss Diz' lessons about estimation to help him. Will it work? Or will that black cat ruin everything? This illustrated chapter book is about the life of first-grader Roscoe Riley.
Type of Reading: bedtime story, anytime reading, family reading, independent reading, read aloud book, reluctant reader
Recommended Age: read together: 6 to 10; read yourself: 8 to 12
Interest Level: 6 to 12
Reading Level: 3
Age of Child: Read with and by a nearly 8-year-old girl.
Young Reader Reaction: Our daughter loves Roscoe. She couldn't stand the suspense and stayed up late to read the last two chapters by herself one night! Then she came out of her room and asked if we had (or could get) the other books we hadn't read yet.
Adult Reader Reaction: We love Roscoe, too. The books are clever and funny. The author does a wonderful job layering lots of information - from numbers and math, to facts about pumpkins, to life as a first grader! She did a great job explaining superstitions.
Pros: Kids can see themselves in Roscoe, his adventures, and his mishaps. Plenty of action keep the book moving ... and kids reading.
Borrow or Buy: Buy. These are great books to share with an early reader and perfect for them to read on their own as they move toward independent reading.
Educational Themes: This is largely a story for engaging and encouraging transitional readers. That said, you can draw out the typical-day-of-school elements to help kids preparing for first grade. The author also introduces great details about numbers (buzillions, katrillions, etc), estimation, and pumpkins (fruit v. vegetable).
Notes: The publisher donated a copy of this book knowing that we would consider it for review and provide an independent, unbiased profile. This book will be given to a nonprofit to help readers in need.
Literary Categories: Fiction - adventure, humor, series book
Date(s) Reviewed: September 2009, October 2014
Other Reviews: No Critics' Reviews or reader feedback found at the time of this review.