Monday, March 21, 2011

Aesop's Fables


You may (or may not) remember having heard in the past stories such as "The Turtle and the Rabbit," a fable about a rabbit who was confident he would win a race with the turtle and lost because he lazed about partway through while the turtle pressed forward.  Well, now Brill Kids provides a set of books that allow you to bring this story down to the level of a new reader.


Aesop's Fables, volume 1 from Brill kids includes a set of five short storybooks containing rewritings of The Lion and the Mouse, The Turtle and the Rabbit, The Boy Who Cried Wolf, The Fox and the Grapes, and The Fox and the Crow.  These are written in rhyming lines, with one line per page.  So The Boy Who Cried Wolf begins with

A young shepherd decides to play a bad trick

and then on the next page has

"Help!  A wolf is here!  Come quick, come quick!"

I really like these retellings, because they help Thing 1 to get into a more rhythmic type of reading.  Another thing I really like about them, which will come in handy as Thing 2 (and then Voom) learns to read is a flap that is the in back of the book that is used to cover the pictures on the pages on the right side, leaving JUST the words in view.  It's a shame to cover up the beautiful illustrations, buuuuuuuuut when your child is learning to read, pictures are not always the best tool for helping.



My boys really like these books (in fact, three of them have disappeared to the bookshelf upstairs even after I said they were supposed to stay down here).  Thing 1 enjoys reading them, and has read them not only to his brother but also to my parents and sister on a video call (first time he's ever done that), and Thing 2 loves to look at the pictures.  When Thing 1 is reading them, the covering flap is put all the way in the back of the book since he doesn't need it, so it's not something that is a nuisance for the stronger readers who just happen to enjoy the books.

One thing to keep in mind is that these are NOT the simple readers that are used toward the beginning of phonics curricula.  The age group is listed as 3 months and up, but I would not expect a child who has had no reading experience to be able to read these.  I think these would work great for a child who is learning to read, and would like something that is not only a challenge, but also ore interesting than some of the "learning to read" books I have seen.

At the moment, you can purchase a set of these books for $37.50 (if you look, there's $50 crossed off over to the side).  As much as I like these and the boys enjoy them, due to the cost, we likely will not be getting the second set :(  BUT, if this is something that looks like it would be a great fit for your home, and it is within your budget, I would definitely recommend getting them.

Not sure based on just my opinion?  Go take a look at what my fellow Crew mates think of these books!

Disclaimer: These books were provided free to me by Brill Kids for the purpose of this honest review.  I received no compensation for my review.

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