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Here’s a dilemma. Your third/fourth/fifth graders are going to read to the kindergartners, but you have a low skill level child who’s not a confident reader. Worry not. Kevin Sherry’s I’m the Biggest Thing in the Ocean (Dial, $16.99) is the perfect book for brilliant three-year-olds or late lovers to reading aloud. The premise is a classic one. It’s about bragging. Everyone knows a braggadocio, but this squid—excuse me, this GIANT squid—takes the proverbial cake. He’s bigger than the shrimp (of course). He’s also bigger than the turtles, the jellyfish, the shark, the crab and other assorted fish. When he gets swallowed by a whale, well, after a slight pause he has an answer for that one, too. Sherry, who wrote and illustrated the book, has great design instincts, a simple splashy presentation and a wonderful sense of humor. The lovely thing about the book is that pretty much every page begins with “I’m bigger than…” and readers, even nervous ones, can use the pictures to prod their memory if the words seem too hard. If you need a writing prompt, ask kids in what areas they excel. Then, after reading the book, have them write their own ‘brag book.’
If you have another suggestion for a book that doesn’t seem like a ‘baby’ book, but is easy and fun to read aloud, please add your comments here!