Beginning Reader Adaptions

Books for beginning readers feature a wide range of topics, themes, and subjects. To entice kids to read, find something they love, and usually we can find a reader for them. Like superheroes, Barbie, Disney, horses, farm machines, legos, television shows, Star Wars? We got you covered. I emphasize over and over to parents that if they find a topic their kids enjoy, the kid is more likely to stick with reading, and be willing to challenge themselves to read more!

This year, I ordered the readers for my system, so I can tell you that there are a lot of adaptions of things in popular culture for the beginning reader. One thing I’ve noticed lately is the adaption of picture book characters to the reader format. These have been around for years, like with Arthur books and the Berenstain Bears books. Some are more successful than others. Here are four examples of some recent adaptions:

Ducks in a Row Ducks in a Row, adapted from characters written by Jackie Urbanovic. This is a silly story about a duck who wants to help, but isn’t sure where to pitch in, until his relatives come by and make him do everything for them, so he is happy to take a break once they leave. A nice adaption, but this is a more challenging level 1, and features longer sentences. It is really aimed at the child who is reading, maybe 1st grade.

Splat the Cat: Splat the Cat Sings Flat (I Can Read Book 1) Splat the Cat: Splat Sings Flat adapted from the books written by Rob Scotton. This book reveals some of the potential problems of adapting books–many of the names are WAY hard to read for a level 1. The book isn’t particularly funny, and is not leveled correctly. I’m also not sure how many Splat fans we have out there.

Pinkalicious: School Rules! Pinkalicious: School Rules, based on the characters created by Victoria Kann. I liked the first Pinkalicious book, but it was all downhill from there. That said, this book does appeal to girls who aren’t as jaded with the books. This is another mis-leveled book, more a level 2.

Fancy Nancy: My Family History (I Can Read Book 1) The Fancy Nancy readers are super popular and probably one of the better adaptions, but still more difficult for emerging readers to master.

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4 responses to “Beginning Reader Adaptions

  1. I just noticed this too as I am ordering lots of new easy readers – there’s also easy reader adaptations of Daisy Meadow’s Rainbow Magic series. I can’t keep them on the shelf, it’s insane! and then there’s Pony Mysteries by Jeanne Betancourt, who does the Pony Pals series.
    And then there’s the older ones that have been around for a while, Cam Jansen easy readers, Benny and Watch, and what about the easy reader adaptations of easy readers, like Puppy and Mudge?
    I kinda like the easy reader stories based on popular series books – kids who are desperate to read what their older siblings or more advanced friends are reading can share in the experience. And easy reader adaptations of picture books get kids started on reading their favorite stories by themselves. Overall, I am in favor!

  2. I had no idea that Splat had “moved up.” We do love him in our house!! Thank you for this wonderful “visual” about transitioning kids and meeting them where THEY are but assuaging a parent’s interest in finding something they need to read on their own.

    PS – I’ve now added you to my reader!

  3. I love this post! Easy reader adaptations are so popular in my library right now. Toddlers and preschoolers who aren’t quite ready to read are always asking their parents to read Fancy Nancy or Pinkalicious easy readers to them. Interestingly, I don’t see many beginning readers actually checking them out. We just got the Splat book you mentioned – I’ll have to take a look at it. Sometimes the levels seem really arbitrary.

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