Gary Lizard has a new ball, but no one to play with. Dad is busy washing the car. Mom is busy planting flowers. Gary sits on his doorstep. He is sad until Frog pedals up on his bicycle. Frog gets off his bike and offers to play with Gary. He just happens to have his baseball mitt with him. Gary has a new friend and so does Frog. The colorful illustrations are clear and uncluttered. Gary, Mom, and Dad are dressed in the same clothing throughout the series, perhaps for character recognition. This Level 1 reader tells its story in exactly 93 words, most of which are frequent repetitions of the same words, apparently to build sight vocabulary. 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. Part of the "Stone Arch Readers" series. 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.