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NATHANIEL WILLY, SCARED SILLY

Author: Judith Matthews and Fay Robinson

Illustrator: Alexi Natchev

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Publisher: Bradbury Press, Macmillan Publishing Company,

Material: hard cover

Summary: Gramma kisses Nathaniel Willy good night, but then she turns out the light and closes the door. That's when Nathaniel Willy gets scared. To help him get to sleep (and so she can get some sleep), Gramma brings him some company. But each idea ends in disaster ... until the bed eventually breaks. Now what can she do? This is a humorous story about noises in the night that uses a House-that-Jack-Built style.

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

Recommended Age: read together: 3 to 8; read yourself: 7 to 9

Interest Level: 3 to 8

Reading Level: 2.8

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

Young Reader Reaction: Our daughter loved this story, and had it quickly memorized. After just a few readings, she would correct any words we might leave out! She enjoyed making the various sounds, like a squeaking door and the animal noises.

Adult Reader Reaction: This is fun to read, even a couple of times. The illustrations are clever, cute, and make you laugh out loud. Gramma carrying the cow is quite funny. The ending fit the story, but it didn't have the "bang" we expected.

Pros: Everyone can participate in reading this story about a boy and his grandmother on a very cold night.

Cons: None, really. The story does have rhyming text, but it's not sing-songy, or even predictable.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow. Preschoolers will love this story.

If You Liked This Book, Try: NOISES AT NIGHT   HOPALONG JACK AND THE BLUE BUNNIES   PACO AND THE GIANT CHILE PLANT / PACO Y PLANTA DE CHILE GIGANTE

Educational Themes: You could use this story as a memory game, asking the child to remember each of the animals in turn. But it is really just meant to share a fun tale and a laugh.

Notes: Flesch Kincaid reading level 2.8

Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, humor

Date(s) Reviewed: October 2008

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