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PICK A PUMPKIN, MRS. MILLIE!

Author: Judy Cox

Illustrator: Joe Mathieu

Reserve at the Library

Publisher: Marshall Cavendish Corporation,

Material: hard cover

Summary: Mrs. Millie is a silly, silly teacher! She is taking her class to the pumpkin patch, but she gets all her words mixed up! In stead of saying "It's NICE to see you!" she says, "It's MICE to see you!" Each page has one mixed up word, with an illustration to match! So, you see the kids putting JACKALS around their necks (not JACKETS) and they see BEE animals (bees flying around in the shapes of rabbits, goats, horses and pigs!) (they were supposed to SEE the animals). Each time, the children in the class say "We know what you mean! You mean SEE the animals!). This is a funny picture book that sneaks in learning about words with humor.

Type of Reading: playtime reading, read aloud book

Recommended Age: read together: 3 to 6; read yourself: 7 to 10

Interest Level: 3 to 8

Reading Level: 2

Age of Child: Read with two boys, ages 2 and 4.

Young Reader Reaction: My kids LOVED LOVED LOVED this book. It is super silly, and filled with fun. The kids in the story laugh on each page, and my kids laughed at the plays on the words that Mrs. Millie mixes up. The illustrations are fun and colorful. Our favorite is the BILLY BOATS -- goats with chests like the hull of a boat and sails sticking up out of their backs.

Adult Reader Reaction: I liked this book. It was fun to read with my kids, and very interactive. Instead of reading the text as-is on the page, I would read what Mrs. Millie said and then have my boys try to correct it with the correct word. It was not always easy, because sometimes the word rhymed with the correct word (same at the end), and sometimes the word started the same as the correct word, and once the word started with the same 2 letters but sounded different (puma vs. pumpkin). But, even my 2 year old (who has been in preschool and been to the pumpkin patch) correctly guessed some of the words, particularly after several readings.

Pros: This fun story will have everyone laughing out loud. With its rhymes and mis-rhymes, it is a great tool to help kids to learn phonics. The fall themed story will be great in the spring in conjunction with planting a pumpkin patch, or in the fall, when visiting one.

Cons: None, really. This book is probably better for pre-K and Kindergarten programs, where the kids have had an introduction to rhyming and basic phonics.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow. This would be a great school library resource, for a preschool or an elementary school. For at-home use, some of the value is depleted as the kids memorize the story and the word substitutions -- added to the seasonality of the "autumn" theme, this would be a great candidate for a library checkout, with maybe one renewal.

If You Liked This Book, Try: MYSTERY VINE; A PUMPKIN SURPRISE   ARTHUR JUMPS INTO FALL   APPLES AND PUMPKINS

Educational Themes: In addition to working on rhyming and phonics, you can also talk about autumn activities (raking leaves, animals on a farm, pumpkin patch fun). If you don't read it exactly as the text appears on the page, sometimes there is more than one word that fits the story and also rhymes, and it's fun to see what the kids come up with on their own.

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: Fiction - picture book, seasons, humor, rhyme, school

Date(s) Reviewed: May 2012

Other Reviews: See Critics' Reviews and reader feedback at amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com.




                 

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