Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Review: Brownie & Pearl books by Cynthia Rylant


Brownie & Pearl book series
by Cynthia Rylant
pictures by Brian Biggs
Beach Lane Books

Shy, sweet Brownie and her playful cat, Pearl are new favorite friends in our house.  We’ve been enjoying the six books pictured above (there are a total of 8 books in the series) – my two-year-old in particular brings them to me to read over and over again.  The stories are short, the text is simple, and the illustrations are bold, which makes these books perfect for toddlers.  I appreciate the realistic nature of Brownie and Pearl’s adventures.  For the most part, they engage in activities with which toddlers are familiar.  Also, there is something to be said for Rylant’s ability to create a non-anthropomorphic pet with personality. 


Vocabulary:  The Brownie & Pearl books provide a great introduction to the idea of idioms.  With titles like Hit the Hay and Go for a Spin, grown ups have the opportunity to discuss the meanings of such phrases within the context of the book.  After reading the book, point out the title again and ask the child what she thinks it might mean.  Look for clues together in the story.

Narrative Skills: Toddlers and preschoolers can relate to the activities in each Brownie & Pearl book.  Make some text-to-life connections by asking the child about a time when he had a similar experience (got a snack for himself, went shopping, etc.).  Recall the sequence of events in a particular story and then compare it to a similar routine the child follows (Brownie & Pearl Hit the Hay is a great one for this: notice their bedtime routine, then have the child tell you about how he gets ready for bed).

Print Motivation:  Brownie & Pearl are great friends to have and chances are once your child has read one of their books, he’ll be interested in the rest.  Check them all out at once and have a Brownie & Pearl reading party, or pick up a new one each time you visit the library.

This post contains Amazon Affiliate links.  All books were borrowed from my local public library.

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