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The latest battle, whole language duking it out against phonics, is only one in a history of tensions between those who see reading as the mastery of a series of discrete steps and those who talk more in terms of meaning, voice, and narrative. As reading texts swing back and forth, trade publishers periodically come up with the sensible idea of engaging real writers and real illustrators to create real books in the reader format.
Until recently Canadian children have had to rely largely on imports to fill this need. This season sees some welcome additions to the genre. In seven short chapters we trace the story of a friendship.
Emma is shy. Sally is new.
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The style seems to be contagious. Together they triumph over their difficulties with the aid of their magic boots. This kind of writing is harder than it looks: I speak as one who has tried and failed.
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Little has a gift for it. Illustrations by Jennifer Plecas capture the mood of the text and have an off-centre quality reminiscent of New Yorker cartoons, especially in her portrayal of squiggly objects.
Fishes in the Ocean by Maggee Spicer and Richard Thompson is an energetic and rhythmical counting book with a text that rollicks right along and illustrations by Barbara Hartmann that portray a world as warm and safe as Pleasant Street. With level two we encounter Jingle Bells by Maryann Kovalski, a reader-format variation on her picture book of the same name.
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The jokes play out between words and pictures. For example, in one scene, Jenny, Joanna, and Grandma are travelling to the airport.
They got juice. They got up and down.
Room by Emma Donoghue
Find a six-year-old and enjoy. Again, it seems just the ticket for the intended audience. The series loses its energy a bit with level four. She once took a year off from acting to read more really! She even allows everyone to keep tabs on her growing reading list. Here, we round up some of her favorites:. In August Emma suggested this book which, she writes, helps readers "learn that the key to enabling change and economic growth is in unleashing women's potential. This fantasy trilogy's main character Lyra Belacqua is one of Emma's favorite female fictional characters, as she Tweeted in October While interviewing Malala Yousafzai in November , the two agreed on enjoying this book.
Emma tweeted about the book in February , "I had to tell you about this book. If you've already read it tell me what your favourite bits were. When a follower on Twitter asked for a book recommendation in March , she shared this one.
It would be fair to say I became obsessed with the role and the book. Now I am executive producing it. I'm not going to take it too far, but I did enjoy it. Also obviously, considering she starred in the movie. She's said the book was the only one to get her excited to do a different role after Hermione. Back in she elaborated , "The book was so honest and brave.
I loved the way she sees the world.