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Best & Brightest Beginning Readers of 2020

Description

This Best & Brightest list was created by Denver Public Library staff to celebrate our favorite recently published beginning readers. Enjoy!

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Mister Shivers: Shadow In The Woods And Other Scary Stories
Brallier, Max, author.
2nd-4th grade. “What is making that strange sound in the woods? Who wrote that dark message on the wall? These five spine-chilling stories will have beginning readers everywhere begging to stay up late to read (with the light on!)” --From the publisher. This third book in the horror series for beginning readers delivers another round of deliciously scary stories. Each story stands alone, and leaves room for the reader’s imagination to add a final ending. Magnificently spooky illustrations and diverse characters will inspire scary story lovers to delve in and engage.
You Can Do It, Yasmin!
Faruqi, Saadia, author.
2nd-4th grade. “A collection of four more stories featuring Yasmin! Whether she's braving the goalie net for the first time on the soccer field, trouble-shooting a plant problem in the garden with her family, tackling a tricky writing assignment, or managing a disagreement with her friends, Yasmin is always thinking outside the box to come up with creative solutions. Yasmin can do it!” --From the publisher. This #ownvoices book with a spunky and smart Pakistani heroine is another excellent installment in the popular transitional reader series. It features a warmly accessible writing style, inviting full-color artwork and cozy, familiar settings and themes. Helpful elements like short, episodic chapters and a large controlled vocabulary support newly independent readers.
A Pig, A Fox, And A Fox
Fenske, Jonathan, author, illustrator.
1st-3rd grade. “As in the precursors to this tale, A Pig, a Fox, and a Box and A Pig, a Fox, and Stinky Socks, Jonathan Fenske tells a humorous three-part story of two friends, Pig and Fox. In this book, Fox has a doll that looks like him, and he uses it to prank Pig into thinking it’s the real Fox. As always, the mischief winds up backfiring, and Fox becomes his own victim.” --From the publisher. Pig and Fox continue to captivate fans with their slapstick humor — readers may see the rhythmic, repetitive and rhyming story as a modern day Dr. Seuss adventure. Appealing digital illustrations support the text, and new readers are aided by characters’ color and shape-coded speech bubbles and the book’s 130 word controlled vocabulary.
I Can Build It!
Greenawalt, Kelly, author.
Kindergarten-2nd grade. “Princess Truly is a great inventor! With her magic, sparkling curls, she can build anything from a Brushy-Brush machine to a super-cool, turbo-boosted racing bike for her little brother. But when Truly and her sidekick pug Sir Noodles discover that the animal shelter is all out of treats, it's time for their biggest invention yet...the Super Snack Machine!” --From the publisher. Appealing, softly sparkly watercolor illustrations and charmingly straightforward, repetitive text support developing readers in this STEM-powered story featuring a brown-skinned girl protagonist. This is the third book in the Princess Truly series, a truly welcome addition to the beginning reader genre.
Who Ate My Book?
Kügler, Tina, author.
Kindergarten-1st grade. “Someone is taking bites out of this book! And we have a feeling a certain mischievous goat has something to do with it … A goat is on the loose and is taking bites out of everything, even pages of this book!” --From the publisher. This very early beginning reader expertly builds reading confidence and proficiency with short chapters, supportive illustrations and careful word introduction and repetition. The sly humor and hilariously expressive artwork propel readers through to a surprise twist ending that will have them roaring with laughter and beaming with their reading accomplishments.
Fox Tails: The Biggest Roller Coaster
Kügler, Tina, author, illustrator.
Kindergarten-2nd grade. Fox siblings Fritz and Franny--and their adorable dog, Fred, get up to all kinds of shenanigans, adventures and fun. In The Great Bunk Bed Battle, an imaginative bedtime routine leads the trio through a castle, a volcano and even the center of the Earth as they debate whose bunk is best. In The Biggest Roller Coaster, after sizing up the tallest, fastest and loudest rides they can find, these foxes come together on the perfect coaster. --Summary by DPL Staff. This wonderful new series for early readers is chock-full of uproarious episodic escapades and lively visual appeal. The clear illustrations and clever use of repetition and opposite themes reinforce new vocabulary words and concepts, while color-coded speech balloons for each character support comprehension and visual literacy.
Fox Tails: The Great Bunk Bed Battle
Kügler, Tina, author, illustrator.
Kindergarten-2nd grade. Fox siblings Fritz and Franny--and their adorable dog, Fred, get up to all kinds of shenanigans, adventures and fun. In The Great Bunk Bed Battle, an imaginative bedtime routine leads the trio through a castle, a volcano and even the center of the Earth as they debate whose bunk is best. In The Biggest Roller Coaster, after sizing up the tallest, fastest and loudest rides they can find, these foxes come together on the perfect coaster. --Summary by DPL Staff. This wonderful new series for early readers is chock-full of uproarious episodic escapades and lively visual appeal. The clear illustrations and clever use of repetition and opposite themes reinforce new vocabulary words and concepts, while color-coded speech balloons for each character support comprehension and visual literacy.
Ty's Travel: All Aboard!
Lyons, Kelly Starling, author.
Kindergarten-2nd grade. Family time and the power of imagination and play are highlighted in this fun new series by acclaimed author and illustrator team Kelly Starling Lyons and Nina Mata. In All Aboard, Ty’s family is busy before dinner, so Ty finds new and creative ways to play. In Zip, Zoom!, Ty gets some scooter help from a new friend at the park. --Summary by DPL Staff Joyful and full of lively play, this welcome new #ownvoices beginning reader series features the warm, everyday adventures of a loving Black family. Brisk, engaging plots and bright, enticing, digitally-rendered illustrations absorb and encourage new readers. Supportive elements like repeated words and phrases build confidence and reading comprehension.
Ty's Travels: Zip, Zoom!
Lyons, Kelly Starling, author.
Kindergarten-2nd grade. Family time and the power of imagination and play are highlighted in this fun new series by acclaimed author and illustrator team Kelly Starling Lyons and Nina Mata. In All Aboard, Ty’s family is busy before dinner, so Ty finds new and creative ways to play. In Zip, Zoom!, Ty gets some scooter help from a new friend at the park. --Summary by DPL Staff Joyful and full of lively play, this welcome new #ownvoices beginning reader series features the warm, everyday adventures of a loving Black family. Brisk, engaging plots and bright, enticing, digitally-rendered illustrations absorb and encourage new readers. Supportive elements like repeated words and phrases build confidence and reading comprehension.
All The Dear Little Animals
Nilsson, Ulf, 1948- author.
2nd-4th grade. “Esther was very brave. I was little and scared. One summer’s day we started a business called Funerals Ltd, to help all the poor dead animals in the world. Esther did the digging, I wrote the poems, and Esther’s little brother, Puttie, cried.” --From the publisher. Death — a topic of much fascination to children — is addressed in this quirky story with a straightforward, darkly humorous tone and relatable, realistic characters. The brisk pace, entertaining dialogue, charming bits of poetry and clear illustrations support budding chapter book readers as they encounter unfamiliar vocabulary and concepts.
Fairylight Friends: A Magic Spark
Young, Jessica (Jessica E.), author.
1st-3rd grade. “Ruby, Iris and Pip go to fairy school together and they are best friends. Ruby loves to make art, Iris loves to fly fast and Pip loves to grow things. Now, each of them must discover their special fairy power. Fly along with these fairy friends on their magical adventures, as they bake a snazzy cake, zoom across the night sky and plan a big surprise party.” --From the publisher. This delightful new beginning reader series features enjoyably episodic stories and a diverse cast of Black, Asian and white fairies portrayed in crisply defined digital artwork. Carefully composed elements bolster developing readers’ comprehension and independence, including repeated words and phrases, simple font, short sentences, simple punctuation and color-coded speech balloons.

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