September 8, 2014
Ice Cream Soup by Ann Ingalls
Ice Cream Soup
by Ann Ingalls
Penguin Young Readers
What do you get when you combine various kinds of ice cream, sprinkles, candies and syrup in one big pan? The character in this early reader is trying to make an ice cream cake but by the time he’s done scooping, sprinkling, patting into place and pouring, he has a gloopy mess. Fortunately, this can do kid makes it work, renaming his dessert creation.
With controlled vocabularies and short sentences, early readers are tough to write. How do you include syrup, sprinkles and all kinds of additions? Those words, syrup in particular, aren’t easy to read. The author solves it by having the character add “this and that.” This keeps the reading level low enough for a new reader and the specifics come through in the illustrations.
Any parent or grandparent whose ever watched a messy ice cream concoction come together knows just how realistic this story is. Young readers will enjoy the punchy text and the sense of accomplishment that they get when they read the book cover to cover with only minimal help.
This reader is level 1. This means that:
- the vocabulary is simple
- words repeat
- there are clues in the pictures
- sentence structure is simple and predictable
- ideas explored in the story are familiar
In spite of this simplicty, Ingalls upbeat language makes the story fun including rhyme and a quick rhythm. Richard Watson’s cartoony illustrations add to the fun, increasing the sillyness factor tenfold as the mess grows and the kittens come check things out.
Pick this one up for your new reader and help him gain confidence in his new skills.