January 13, 2009

Houndsley and Catina series by James Howe, illustrated by Marie-Louise Gay

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , at 11:02 pm by suebe2

houndsleyHoundsley and Catina  (AR 2.9 )

Houndsley and Catina and the Birthday Surprise (AR 2.8 )

Houndsley and Catina and the Quiet Time  (AR 3.3)

by James Howe

Illustrated by Marie-Louise Gay

Candlewick Press

Finding good beginning readers is tough, especially if the reader you are trying to please is a boy.  If this is your situation, try out the Houndsley and Catina series. 

I wasn’t sure my son would like them.   They’re quiet, sweet little stories.  Granted, my son loves cats and Catina is a cat, but she’s a cat in a dress. 

Fortunately, my worries were misplaced.  He loves these books every bit as much as I do.  Each book contains three chapters.  Unlike some beginning readers, each of these chapters is a stand-alone story.  Your young reader can finish one chapter, approximately 10 pages, put the book down, and not be lost later on.  While each chapter is a separate story, all three are tied up nicely in the last chapter. 

For those of you who recognize Howes’ name, he is the author of Bunnicula. 

Collage sparks Marie-Louise Gay’s watercolors, illustrations that are every bit as sweet as the story. 

I normally don’t use the word sweet twice in one day, unless I accidentally my husband’s over sugared coffee cup.  But I can’t really come up with a better description of these books.  The characters are kind.  The stories are such that a younger child reading above age level wouldn’t find anything inappropriate in them.  And a finicky reader, my son, loved them.  What more can I say?

If your newly independent reader is intimidated by long books, give these a try.  They vary in length from approximately 1100 words to 1200 words but are broken up in a way that makes them easy to conquer. 

Happy Reading!

–SueBE

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