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"Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them."
Summary: The Autobots have come to planet Earth. Optimus Prime Bulkhead, Bumblebee, Prowl, and Ratchet are here, trying to blend in as best they can. But they aren't the only bots here. The decepticons Starscream, Blackarachnia, Lockdown, and Lugnut have invaded Earth, too. They want to help their leader Megatron capture the source of all energy: the Allspark. This is a learning-to-read story based on the television show.
Type of Reading: family reading, anytime reading, learning to read, read aloud book, remedial reader
Recommended Age: read together: 4 to 8; read yourself: 5 to 9
Interest Level: 4 to 9
Reading Level: 4.6
Age of Child: Shared with 7-year-old boy.
Young Reader Reaction: He saw through this one: this is a book for him to practice reading. He liked looking at the pages, naming the characters as though they were a collection of trading cards.
Adult Reader Reaction: As someone who knows little about Transformers (and doesn't watch the TV show), I found this helpful. There were hints of a story, but essentially, every page is a character biography. Ultimately, though, it is pretty stale reading. The Flesch Kincaid reading level is higher than the interest level for this book. That is likely due, in part, to the use of cliche and passive voice.
Pros: Kids, particularly boys, can enjoy this baseball-card-like book with biographies of the various good and evil Transformers Animated characters.
Cons: There are other picture books based on individual episodes of the Transformers Animated show. Why can't we have this same level of story for a learning-to-read book?
Borrow or Buy: Skip it. If you have to have Transformer books, find one with a story.
Educational Themes: This is a book for young readers to practice. The biography format works well for helping to expand vocabulary. You could also practice comprehension by using the character illustrations as a "flash card" and asking about specific character traits.
Notes: Flesch Kincaid reading level 4.6
Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, adventure, fantasy, TV and movies
Date(s) Reviewed: May 2008
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