I am always on the look out for books for emergent readers.
You know emergent readers. They are the ones who are so close to reading that they can almost taste it. The ones who can sound out cvc (consonant-vowel-consonant) words with only minimal effort. The ones who can recognize lots of sight words. The ones who can read books with repetitive text.
And the ones who especially dislike ‘baby books.’
Therefore, finding books to keep these kids engaged is particularly challenging. The beginning reader books that you can find at the bookstore or library are almost always turn offs. And often the books that kids read at school during this stage are “boring.”
So, when I stumble upon a book that is a perfect ‘read together book’ for emergent readers, I admit to doing a little happy dance.
The secret to these books is the ‘read together’ piece. There aren’t many exciting books that the emergent reader can read on his or her own but there are many books that an emergent reader can read parts of independently. The joy of reading is that it needn’t be an all or nothing pursuit. A book does not have to be only a book for independent reading or a book for a read aloud. It can (and should) be a little bit of both.
In finding “read together books”, emergent readers can be exposed to great literature while also focusing on their decoding and sight word skills. And in doing so, their reading confidence sky rockets.
Enter my latest favorite. Barney Saltzberg’s Cornelius P. Mud, Are You Ready for School?
Somehow I did not know about the Corenlius P. Mud series of books until I stumbled upon the title in 10 for 10 post. Turns out Cornelius gets ready for bed and for a new baby too and I couldn’t be happier to have met him.
So here’s the text made up of a back and forth conversation between Cornelius and his mom.
Cornelius P. Mud, do you know what it time it is?
Are you up?
Did you make your bed?
Are your clothes on?
Did you eat breakfast?
Is your backpack ready?
Did you pack lunch?
Are you ready for school?
Hmm… you got up, made your bed, put your clothes on, ate breakfast, got your backpack ready and packed your lunch. Is there something we forgot?
Cornelius P. Mud, NOW are you ready for school?
Have a great day!
So… some emergent readers will be able to tackle most of the text after a book walk or one reading. But nearly all emergent readers will be able to read all of Cornelius’ words the first time through.
What a fun and empowering read Cornelius is…and wait until you discover the surprise ending…