Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Frank and Beans and the Scary Campout

Frank and Beans and the Scary Campout is an excellent offering in Zondervan's "I Can Read" series. Designed for children who are just developing independent reading skills, Kathy-jo Wargin's funny, heartfelt storytelling and Anthony Lewis' colorful, realistic illustrations are sure to engage young readers.

Frank, and his dog, Beans, are excited to have a campout in the backyard, but once Frank's dad goes inside, strange noises keep Frank awake. He gets more and more worried, until finally Beans runs to the house. Frank's dad returns and explains crickets, owls and raccoons are behind all the alarming sounds.

Frank's dad spends the rest of the night camping with him, and reminds him "God is always with you. . . Even in a tent by yourself."

This title is a "Level Two" book, which is described as "Reading with help." The publisher also notes Level Two books are "High-interest for developing readers."

What I Like: This was a great book for my son, who likes stories he can read by himself. He likes camping and has a dog, and related to Frank's feelings of being scared. We both appreciated the message of the book. I don't think you can ever have too many reminders about God's constant care for us.

The illustrations are cute, and support the text. Early readers can use the pictures to give them clues about new vocabulary words. (For example, the first time the word "raccoon" is used, there is a picture of a raccoon on the page.)

There are several books in the Frank and Beans series. I can't wait to read more of them!

What I Dislike: Nothing

Overall Rating: Excellent

Age Appeal: Early Reader--4-7

Publisher Info: Zonderkidz, 2010; ISBN: 978-0-310-71850-5; Paperback, 32 pages, $3.99

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