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A word of encouragement during a failure is worth more than an hour of praise after success. More

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Author: David Cava

Illustrator: Paul Cava

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Publisher: Trafford Publishing, 2005

Material: hard cover

Summary: Little Carl Clark awoke from bed ready for adventure. His PJs had morphed into hiking clothes, and he had a pouch filled with treasure. As he traveled along, everything he passed asked one request: do not come this way again, fly back to bed. This rhyming picture book is about friendship and dreams.

Type of Reading: bedtime story, playtime reading, easy reader, read aloud book

Recommended Age: read together: 4 to 8; read yourself: 7 to 9

Interest Level: 4 to 7

Reading Level: 1.6

Age of Child: Read with 6-year-old child.

Young Reader Reaction: Our listener sat quietly while we read, but was not interested in reading it again.

Adult Reader Reaction: This picture book is well designed, balancing illustration and content well. The story has great potential as a fantasy picture book adventure. The repetitive vocabulary and familiar sight words are excellent for encouraging kids to practice their reading. That said, the sentences are long (up to 20 words) and the rhymes do not always work. Like Carl, our "head hurt," by the time we were half-way through.

Pros: Lots of action and silly characters will encourage kids to keep reading. They'll want to know whether or not Carl flew home!

Cons: Everything about the story has been "all boy," so it seemed out-of-place to see a cup of coffee on the last page. Effective rhyming stories are very difficult to do. This is a story worth telling, but the amount of rhyme needs to be reduced. Maybe just the characters Carl meets would talk in rhyme.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow. The book has potential for encouraging kids to use and stretch their imaginations.


Educational Themes: The story is filled with activities that spur kids' imaginations. This audience loves pretend play, and you can make up your own adventures. Who would you meet along the way?

Notes: Flesch Kincaid reading level 1.6

Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, rhyme, friendship

Date(s) Reviewed: December 2008

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