Skip to main content

Chick and Chickie: A Toon Book by Claude Ponti, RL 1

TOON Books has done it again, maybe even giving Elephant and Piggie a bit of (much needed) competition. I mean, there is room for two more slightly subversive buddies in the world of emerging reader books, right? Chick & Chickie: Play All Day introduces us to the French author and illustrator of over sixty children's books Claude Ponti. As much as I love Mo Willems and what he has done for the world of picture books and beginning readers, especially, Elephant and Piggie, I think it is possible to create a book at an even simpler reading level that is still smart and entertaining to kids and adults, and that is exactly what Ponti has done with Chick & Chickie: Play All Day.
The story begins on the cover where Chick and Chickie are deciding what to play. Chick says, "Let's make masks," and Chickie agrees. After making the masks, they proceed to scare each other and have a laugh about it. Observant eyes will notice Chick and Chickie's masks trembling and sweating as they face each other while Chick and Chickie swap compliment on their mask making skills.

 Next the two decide to play school and haul out an enormous, squishy looking, inflatable letter A. The two torment the letter, just a bit, tickling it, throwing it, scaring it with a giant pin, all the while the A exclaimimg, "AAAAH!" and "HAHAHAHA" and "AAAAAAAaaaaaaaa." However, Chick and Chickie are nice to the A as well. As they end their play time (and the A runs away) the two decide they had fun and will look for B to play with tomorrow...

The language in Chick & Chickie: Play All Day is genuinely simple, somewhere between the über-basic BOB Books and the kind of frustrating Biscuit beginning reader books. If you want to give an emerging reader a treat - a book they might actually be able to read and enjoy - definitely put Chick & Chickie: Play All Day at the top of your list.


Popular posts from this blog

Made by Dad: 67 Blueprints for Making Cool Stuff - Projects You Can Build For (and With) Kids! by Scott Bedford

On his personal website, Scott Bedforddescribes himself as an "Award Winning Online Creative Professional" working within the advertising and design industry. What is more interesting (and applicable here) is how hisWhat I Made website came to be. While sitting in a Starbucks with his restless young sons, trying to enjoy his latte, Bedford created something out of coffee stir sticks that ended up keeping his boys entertained, finishing his coffee in peace and sparking (re-sparking, really) his creative drive and reminding him of the "enormous joy gained from making things, even simple things, and that this joy is not the complexity or quality of the finished project but in the process of making itself. On Bedford'sWhat I Made website, he even shares Six Cool Coffee Shop Crafts for Kidsthat you can try out next time you want to enjoy your coffee and your kids are making that difficult. I've shared two below - be sure to check out the website and see the rest!


How to Choose Age Appropriate Books for Advanced Readers

How to Choose Age Appropriate Books for Advanced Readers remains the most read post on my blog since I wrote it in 2012. Because of this, I have cleaned up this post, tightened the writing and added in any pertinent information that has come about since it originally ran. When I first started in August of 2008, I was scrambling for content, finding my purpose and my voice and not always doing my best writing. How to Choose Age Appropriate Books for Advanced Readers was one of the first articles I wrote and, as a bookseller and a book reviewer, and now as an elementary school librarian where I have gone from working with kids reading well beyond their grade level to kids reading well below, this philosophy remains my organizing principle and central focus when reading and recommending books to parents and children. 

In the interest of my mission and the attention this article continues to receive, I have updated and expanded this article and included a guide to using …

POP-UP: Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book, paper engineering by Ruth Wickings, illustrations by Frances Castle RL: All ages

POP-UP:  Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book with paper engineering by Ruth Wickings and illustrations by Frances Castle is THE COOLEST BOOK EVER!!!  I know that I haven't dedicated much time to pop-up books here, but they have always held a special place in my heart, and the phrase "paper engineering" is a favorite of mine. Although I didn't know what it was at the time, I did go through a paper engineering phase when I was ten or so. I would sneak off to the back of the classroom during independent work periods and go to town on the construction paper and glue and make these little free-standing dioramas. A huge fan of The Muppet Show (the original), I reconstructed the all-baby orchestra from an episode, drawing and coloring each baby and his/her instrument then gluing them onto a 3D orchestra section I had crafted out of brown construction paper.  I also made a 3D version of Snidely Whiplash throwing Nell off a cliff with Dudley Do-Right wa…