Jake Learns to Share by prolific children's book author Crystal Bowman combines "I Can Read!" simplicity with a great message.
A level 2 book ("reading with help"), this volume tells the tale of a rabbit named Jake. It's his birthday, and he's thrilled: As soon as Grandma arrives, he asks her what she brought him; when asked what he wished for when he blew out his candles, he replies, "I wished for lots of presents;" he eats all of his cake by himself, as his family looks on; and after he opens his gifts, he plays with them all by himself. That's when he begins to realize his birthday isn't all that fun. When he shares this thought with Grandma, she replies: "God wants you to share. Sharing birthdays is much more fun."
Jake asks his grandma and father to play with him. Then he asks everyone to sit down and eat some cake.(He's still full, so he just keeps them company.) Finally, Jake thanks his family for his presents and concludes: "God wants us to share...That's why birthdays are fun."
What I Like: This is a simple but engaging tale for young children. The illustrations by Karen Maizel are cute and appealing. The story has a moral, but Bowman isn't too heavy-handed with it.
What I Dislike: Nothing.
Overall Rating: Excellent.
Age Appeal: According to the publisher, 4 to 8, but it makes a good "read to me" story for toddlers and early preschoolers, too.
Publisher Info: Zonderkidz, 2008; ISBN: 0310716799; paperback; $3.99