Gary Lizard is excited about the expected addition to his family. He fills the bassinette with toys and lists activities that he will teach his new brother, such as how to run, how to jump, how to ride a bike, and how to swim. When Mom and Dad bring the baby home, Gary discovers he has a new sister rather than a brother. This Level 1 reader tells its story in exactly 100 words, most of which are frequent repetitions of the same words, apparently to build sight vocabulary. The illustrations are clear and uncluttered. Children who have gone through the experience of having a baby come into the family may wonder why Mom looks exactly the same in all the pictures—there is no visible evidence of the pregnancy—and she is wearing the same outfit throughout, including after the birth of the baby. The first page of the book contains a note to parents and caregivers with suggestions for reading with young children and a reminder that reading together should be fun. This book could be useful for instruction as a beginning reader, but it is doubtful that children will return to it on their own due to the bland text and illustrations that look much the same from page to page and book to book. Reviewer: Phyllis Kennemer, Ph.D.
Melinda Melton Crow has been a first grade teacher for 15 years and a Reading Recovery teacher for nine years. She enjoys teaching children to read and getting to know each student and his or her family.
When she's not teaching or writing, Melinda enjoys traveling, gardening, and nice summer weather. Melinda has two wonderful boys with her husband, John. They also have two dogs, Buddy and Lucky. She currently lives with in Plymouth, Minnesota.