By: Bruce Lansky
Illustrated by: Bill Bolton
Publisher: Meadowbroook Press
Publication Date: May 2014
Reviewed by: Ellen Feld
Review Date: April 30, 2014
Baby Birdy is having one rough day! After waking up from a nap, he looks down from the nest to see his mother getting a worm. Hmmmm...he thinks... “I can do that!” and down he goes!
It doesn’t seem like it should be hard to catch a worm, but Baby Birdy soon learns that, well, yes, it can be hard. Particularly when so many other things can look like a worm – the tail of a kite, a mouse’s tail, and, oh, yes, don’t forget that the other end of the worm may be sticking up into another hole, and, gosh darn it, somebody is pulling the worm from that end! Jeepers it’s hard!
Early Birdy Gets the Worm is a very cute story with a neat twist; there are NO words in this book. That’s right, not one word. According to the dust jacket flap, a “PictureReading” book is “...meant to be read to, with and by children…” and that the goal is to “...turn over to the child the role of figuring out the plot points and connecting them with a narrative thread as soon as possible...” The jacket flap text goes on to suggest several questions to guide the adult through the process and gives a publisher’s website link for further information. On that site there are story summaries, brief videos and a detailed user’s guide that includes (for every page): the story summary, suggested vocabulary words, background-knowledge question, and PictureReading prompts.
While there are no words in this book, the illustrations are fantastic and bring each page to life. It should be easy, and loads of fun, for a child to make up a story that matches the pictures. Building confident, enthusiastic readers are what we all want and this book helps give those early readers a great boost of encouragement.
Quill says: If you have a youngster who isn’t quite ready to tackle the “big kids” books, try one of these PictureReading books. You’ll be amazed at the neat stories your little one will tell you.