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In spite of numerous reform efforts, higher standards, twelve years under Democrats and eighteen under Republicans, th... More

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Author: Diane Adams

Illustrator: Nancy Hayashi

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Publisher: Peachtree Publications,

Material: hard cover

Summary: Emily Pearl doesn't need help. She is a big girl. Emily can get her own food, she can tie her own shoes, feed the cat, fold her clothes, clean her room. She does it all! But what about bedtime? Is Emily still a big girl? This picture book shares a little girl's story about being independent.

Type of Reading: bedtime story, anytime reading, family reading, learning to read, read aloud book

Recommended Age: read together: 2 to 6; read yourself: 5 to 8

Interest Level: 3 to 8

Reading Level: 1.5

Age of Child: Shared reading with a 7-year-old girl.

Young Reader Reaction: "I'm just like Emily, Mom." We read this together, with our daughter reading Emily's part: "Emily says, 'I can do it myself.'" Then she went back and read it all herself.

Adult Reader Reaction: This is a refrain every parent hears almost as soon as our kids can put together a sentence. The author has very cleverly and graciously given caregivers help in encouraging and channeling your child's independence. I particularly loved that Emily folds her own clothes! The illustrations add to the story with clever representations of just how Emily accomplishes her tasks (pouring juice into a funnel anyone?)

Pros: Everyone can enjoy this picture book that celebrates a child's independence AND gives parents a tool for encouraging kids to be more active in their family. This is a perfect book to use as an easy reader.

Cons: None!

Borrow or Buy: Buy. This is a book that you'll read over and over for many years. It also has great potential as an easy reader.


Educational Themes: Parents will love the opportunity to add more things to their children's to-do lists! That said, the story also reminds us that there is more than one way to do things, with plenty of examples of creative problem solving. Some of the illustrations (like Emily standing in a dresser drawer) will also give you the chance to talk about safety.

Notes: Flesch Kincaid reading level 1.5

Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, family, growing up

Date(s) Reviewed: February 2009

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