PreS-Gr 1-Each of these small-format titles features a colorful cover and an opening page that is likely to prompt a question or prediction. Unfortunately, the cartoon art in Monkey, while depicting some energetic and mischievous animals, also features an awkwardly drawn boy. The illustrations in the other books are also somewhat amateurish and/or static. All three books have minimal text, none particularly inspired, and certain words in Pumpkin-"rectangle," "half-circle," "square," "scary," "triangle"-may challenge new readers. With so many wonderful beginning readers available, these titles don't rise to the top.-Colleen D. Bocka, Nathaniel Rochester Community School, Rochester, NY Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
- Betty Key and Marilyn Courtot
Erin's family goes to the pumpkin field and chooses two round pumpkins. Dad and Erin carve one pumpkin while Mom uses her pumpkin in a different way. Most of the double-page pictures have less than ten words of text. The simple, colorful illustrations tell a large part of the story. This "Rookie Reader" deals with counting, numbers, and shapes. Beginning readers will get practice reading the math and shape words one, two, circle, rectangle, round, square, and triangle. The best use for this book might be as a read-aloud book to introduce these math concepts to young children. The blurb at the end of the story introduces the author and illustrator and this is followed by several activities to reinforce the lesson in counting and recognizing shapes—a rebus poem, maze, counting and grouping, as well as matching shapes. There is list of the fifty-nine words that make up the story. It will make a nice, not scary, Halloween story. Part of the "Rookie Ready to Learn-Seasons and Weather" series. Reviewer: Betty Key and Marilyn Courtot