Try these books for newly independent readers

It’s a thrill to watch when a child marks that momentous achievement.

There is something absolutely exquisite the moment a child learns to read.

I don’t remember that, and it’s likely you don’t either. But observing a child when that happens is pure bliss.

From learning that the bizarre squiggles are letters in the mysterious alphabet, and being able to put letters together to make words, a light bulb switches on, the fog lifts, and this momentous achievement makes a child feel very grown up and recognizes that a whole world is now open to them.

The books reviewed today focus on stories that are accessible for beginning readers. Check with your library for gobs more. What a thrill, what a delight, to be able to read independently.

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Oh, and P.S., just because a child has learned to read doesn’t mean you stop reading aloud. That child can’t read more difficult books, so keep reading aloud until the child begs you to stop.

Books to borrow

The following book is available at many public libraries.

“Minnie and Moo: The Night of the Living Bed” written and illustrated by Denys Cazet, HarperCollins, 48 pages.

Read aloud: age 4 and older.

Read yourself: age 6 – 7 and older.

Another in the HarperCollins “An I Can Read Book” series, this hilarious, action-packed story of Minnie and Moo is bound to keep kids in stitches.

Minnie and Moo are cows, best friends, and Minnie loves chocolate more than anything. One night the two friends are fast asleep in their bed under a tree on a hill when Minnie has a bad dream: a giant mouse eats the last piece bit of chocolate in the whole world.

Minnie is so terrified, she wakes up yelling, shaking Moo, and they both tumble out of bed. Their tumbling causes the bed to roll down the hill, and the two cows dash after it in hot pursuit.

Catching up to the runaway bed, Minnie and Moo hop on as the bed zooms through a barn and scoops up more animals and proceeds straight into town. One bizarre event leads to another, coupled with the fact that it’s Halloween and trick-or-treaters are all over the place. Maybe they could join the fun and get some chocolate after all

Get ready for a wild ride in more ways than one; this adventure of Minnie and Moo is pure delight.

Librarian’s choice

Library: Southeast Branch Library, 1426 Perkiomen Ave.

Branch manager: Emily McNulty.

Choices this week: “Hippos are Huge!” by Jonathan London; “Max’s Dragon Shirt” by Rosemary Wells; “Spoon” by Amy Rosenthal.

Books to Buy

The following books are available at favorite bookstores.

“Baby Monkey, Private Eye” by Brian Selznick and David Serlin, illustrated by Brian Selznick, Scholastic, 2018, 192 pages, $16.99 hardcover.

Read aloud: age 4 – 7.

Read yourself: age 6 – 7.

Baby Monkey is many things: a baby, a monkey and a super-sleuth known as Baby Monkey Private Eye. Solving case after case, Baby Monkey is a real pro at looking for clues to solve the crime, making careful notes, eating healthy snacks for strength and tracking down the culprit.

The one thing Baby Monkey has trouble with, though, is putting on his pants before he leaves his office to finally solve the crime.

From solving the case of missing jewels, then a pizza, a missing nose and a missing spaceship, Baby Monkey is victorious but a bit tired. Fortunately, his last case doesn’t require clues, notes or his pants (but you’ll have to read the book to find out what that is all about).

A brilliant, funny story that incorporates simple, brief and often repetitive text that is perfectly complemented with expressive, detailed pencil illustrations, “Baby Mouse, Private Eye” is everything a beginning reader could hope for: suspense, humor, an irresistible hero and a page-count that will leave newly independent readers feeling very accomplished and grown-up.

“Ranger Rick: I Wish I Was a Gorilla” by Jennifer Bovรฉ, photo credits by Getty Images, Harper, 2018, 32 pages, $16.99 hardcover.

Read aloud: age 4 – 8.

Read yourself: age 6/7 – 8.

For over 60 years, Harper has been publishing its “I Can Read!” series, and this new Ranger Rick Nature installment is once again certain to please.

“I Wish I Were a Gorilla” takes readers on a fascinating informational and stunning photographic tour of how gorillas live by asking: if you were a gorilla, what would you eat, where would you sleep, could you live in a gorilla family and more.

Find answers to these questions and other cool facts about what it is to live like a gorilla. And don’t forget to read the sections at the back of the book: “Did You Know?”; “Fun Zone”; and Wild Words.

As interesting to read as it is to look at, this choice will intrigue beginning readers and have them thirsty to read more.

Nationally syndicated, Kendal Rautzhan writes and lectures on children’s literature. She can be reached at kendal@sunlink.net.

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