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MAGIC LETTERS: THE KEYS TO THE WORLD OF WORDS

Author: Julie Rebboah

Illustrator: Loryn Brantz

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Publisher: Lightning Bug Learning Press,

Material: hard cover

Summary: We go through the alphabet and see pictures with object starting with each letter. There are 5-6 pages for each letter, and they are usually themed: the “B”s are objects at the beach, the “C”s are all objects to eat. For beginning readers, there are simple short sentences (4-8 words) at the bottom of each page. This book is for preschoolers and Kindergartners learning to read.

Type of Reading: playtime reading, learning to read, read aloud book, easy reader

Recommended Age: read together: 3 to 6; read yourself: 5 to 7

Interest Level: 3 to 6

Reading Level: 1.5

Age of Child: Read with a 5-year-old boy.

Young Reader Reaction: My son liked to try to read the sentences, and enjoyed the help from seeing the picture.

Adult Reader Reaction: I liked that the sentences were patterned: for each letter, the sentences on each page had the same beginning words, and just the object changed. For example, “I like the ball.” “I like the bucket.” This repetition helped reinforce my son’s confidence. Each letter had a slightly different pattern: “I see the …” “I like the…” “I like to eat the…” “Where is the…”, etc. The pictures were effective but nothing to write home about. And the book was LONG. Imagine 26 letters with 5-6 pages per letter, all for a beginning reader. Even if the child does not read it, it’s still a LOT to get through. I had to read it in chunks, because it was so long.

Pros: This is cute and makes learning to read fun. The child does need to have some reading/phonics experience, first. There is a lot of good repetition, and pictures support the sentences so they can figure out the words themselves.

Cons: This is a L-O-N-G book.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow. This is a good book for the school or classroom library, but not one that you'll use a lot at home.

If You Liked This Book, Try: ABADABA ALPHABET; LEARNING LETTER SOUNDS   SUE McDONALD HAD A BOOK   WHAT'S YOUR SOUND HOUND THE HOUND? (Cat the Cat series)

Educational Themes: This is a book for introducing young children to letters and words. With toddlers you can use it for letter sounds and object identification. For preschoolers and Kindergarteners, use the word repetition and objects to reinforce sight words and practice reading.

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: Nonfiction - picture book, easy reader, literacy

Date(s) Reviewed: September 2010

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