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“Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.”
Summary: Princess Bea lives in the hollow of a tree When the big rain came, her home was destroyed and she was tossed into the raging waters. With the help of her butterfly friends and Tom the squirrel she survives the ordeal and discovers that as her fear changed to courage, she grew bigger and stronger. This is a backyard adventure where our hero has to be very creative to get home safely.
Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, anytime reading, read aloud book, illustrated chapter
Recommended Age: read together: 5 to 9; read yourself: 8 to 10
Interest Level: 7 to 10
Reading Level: 2.7
Age of Child: Read with 9 year-old girl.
Young Reader Reaction: We were continually interrupted as we read while our daughter tried to figure out all the details. By the middle of the book she decided she knew how it would end and was done reading. We never did finish it with her. My daughter noticed the disparity between the story (Bea covered in mud) and the illustrations (she's clean as a whistle).
Adult Reader Reaction: The author creates a very vivid picture with all of the descriptive words. Unfortunately, that can make for tedious reading with young readers. I liked how Bea's courage grew and she did, too. Even re-reading the story, I'm not sure of the relevance of "princess" and how / why Bea is a princess.
Pros: This is a fast-paced, imaginative story with vivid details for kids to follow along.
Cons: There are too many words on a page. Even as a chapter book for transitional readers, the margins are razor thin and the type is too small.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow. The story is clever and action-packed.
Educational Themes: This is a story for pleasure reading. You could use scenes from the book to let the kids draw their own versions of what they hear.
Notes: The author donated two copies 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.