Learning to read can be tricky, but a good teacher can make all the difference!
When your feathered friends start begging for books, you want to be ready with all the right tools. First, find a cozy place to rest their chicken cheeks and help them peck the right story. Make sure to avoid the scary ones (and any books with fowl language). Help your chickens practice letter sounds, point out common words, and encourage every chicken scratch. Don't forget to celebrate with a dance party! Before long, words will be flying off the pages . . . unless that fox gets in the way.
With warm colors, adorable characters, humor and hints of forthcoming mischief, How to Hatch a Reader
is the perfect addition to any home, library or classroom, helping kids build confidence in their own skills while encouraging a love for books and reading with others.
In this sunny, instructional story intended to highlight the importance of early reading practices, a young girl acts as a friendly teacher for a coop full of chickens on a farm, all of whom excitedly flock to learn how to read. A bright if brisk second-person narrator advises fluent readers to lead literacy activities stylized for at-home practice with young "chickens" in the early stages of their literacy development, including letter tracing, building vocabulary, and discovering books to enjoy. Gold, orange, and green textures playfully form the chickens' flapping wings, animated clucking, and the young farmer's amiable presence as the patient teacher with her group of wide-eyed chickens. The light tone and structure of the book introduces how learning to read is a rewarding process, showing vignettes of chickens engaged in different skills to illustrate literacy development as a process, from learning letter sounds to finding "common" words to acting out stories. However, discerning the most appreciative audience of this story may prove debatable; the aesthetic presentation appeals to emerging readers, while the directions seek to advise older readers about engaging teaching steps. The end page summarizes the book's suggestions for how parents may support readers' skills and offers three websites of digital resources that encourage early reading habits at home. VERDICT While the story is suited to a read-aloud and young children will enjoy the bright animated farmyard full of chickens learning to read, parents and guardians may find the most delight and support from the practical guidance this book offers about teaching emerging readers.
-Rachel Mulligan, School Library Journal