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The average kindergarten student has seen more than 5,000 hours of television, having spent more time in front of the ... More
Summary: Every day, Trudy looks out the window and sees the world go by. She is itching for an adventure and wants to see the world. When Mrs. Gardini leaves for the market, Trudy sneaks out behind her. Determined just to LOOK at the fish, Trudy can't help herself and steals one. The angry fishmonger chases her to the pier, leaving Trudy at the water's edge. It is there she meets Albi, a seafaring cat who tells Trudy of her own adventures. This is a picture book that doubles as a folk tale or ghost story.
Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, read aloud book, learning to read
Recommended Age: read together: 4 to 8; read yourself: 8 to 10
Interest Level: 4 to 8
Reading Level: 3.3
Age of Child: Read with 4½-year-old child. Also read by student at Menchville High School as part of the Use Your ABCs Program.
Young Reader Reaction: Our preschooler/Kindergartner listened intently as we read this tale. After the first reading, s/he just wanted to sit and look at the pictures some more. Menchville student: I picked this book because the cover was interesting and I was intrigued by the title. liked this book because at the end it gave us a shocking twist.
Adult Reader Reaction: This is a fun story to read. Just when you think it's predictable, it has an illusory twist leaving you with a question about Albi, even when you're done reading. The black and white illustrations are a great change to the technicolor offerings you see most of the time.
Pros: The story moves quickly and will engage pre-readers quickly, as it has things they love: adventure, animals, boats/ocean, etc.Menchville student: This book is a great example of a story that is a little spooky but not excessively scary. Many children would not be frightened by it.
Cons: For pre-readers, in particular, you will want to make sure they can see the pictures. There are lots of words and it is the pictures that help "fill the space" while you're reading.
Borrow or Buy: Buy! This has all the elements of a classic story that kids will want to read with their children. Menchville Student: Borrow. This is a great book to read with your chidlrne. It will gain both your interest and that of your child.
Educational Themes: Trudy's adventure could be parlayed into a consequences for stealing theme, although it might be a stretch. Still, it hits on the grass-is-always-greener theme, as well as offers opportunities to talk about storytelling, tall/folk tales, and ghost stories (i.e., they don't have to be gruesome).