Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Born To Read by Judy Sierra

Born To Read by Judy Sierra, illustrated by Marc Brown

Rating: 4.5 stars

If there has ever been a kid born to read, it's Kiefer.  Born to a book-loving Mom and two older siblings who are book-obsessed, I'm betting on him reading the soonest, just to catch up with the others.  Already when we dive into the new books in the library bag on the way home, he grunts his desires until someone hands him a book.  And then he squeaks out his own version of the book in a sing-songy way during the drive home.

Pretty adorable, though I'm completely biased.

Anyway, here's a book by the fantastic duo Judy Sierra and Marc Brown, who gave us the fantastic Wild About Books, among other titles I've not yet reviewed.  This book features not Kiefer but Sam, a boy who is confident in his readership.  Books pile up in his crib, he reads in the grocery store, he helps his sister understand notes left by their mom.  My favorite example of the helpfulness of his reading prowess:
Once when Sam was almost four,
His knees turned green, his thumbs got sore,
His cheeks were flecked with yellow spots. 
They rushed him off to Doctor Potts,
Who cried, "It's Martian Mustard-ation.
You will need an operation!" 
Sam asked, "Is that necessary?
Let me see that dictionary.
Here's a better diagnosis:
Harmless Preschool Play-dough-osis."

I love it!

There's a hiccup of sorts towards the end of the book...  I can't figure out how Sam is suddenly battling a baby giant called Grundaloon, who stomps through Sam's town doing things that mean bullies--and, apparently, baby giants--do.  Though no one else dares confront him, young Sam has the moxie to go right up to him, invite him to tea, and read a book or two with him.  This time, books soothe the savage beast, and Grundaloon stops tormenting the town.

Seems a little like two books haphazardly combined into one, but the rhymes are so good and the illustrations so wonderful I have to forgive Judy Sierra and Marc Brown and go with it.

You can't help but love this book that celebrates reading and readers, despite the odd addition of ol' Grundaloon...

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