Keeker and the Sneaky Pony

Keeker and the Sneak Pony

By Hadley Higginson, Ill. Maja Andersen

9780811852173

Summary

Keeker has always dreamed of owning a pony; she’s read every book and took riding lessons every summer but it seemed like it would never happen. Then one day Plum cantered into her life, thanks to her mom and dad. But it wasn’t as easy as she imagined. Plum didn’t want to ride with her right away, and she wasn’t easy to pet or play with. Finally, when riding day comes, Plum pushes her luck and winds up throwing Keeker off in the woods. It takes coming to understand how to interact with the pony for Keeker to be able to gain the trust of Plum and ride her back home safely.

Quantitative Summary:

Lexile: 730L

ATOS Book Level:             4.0

Interest Level:   Lower Grades (LG K-3)

Qualitative Summary:

An easy reader book with some illustrations on most pages and large font to instill confidence in beginners. This book focuses on the thoughts of two characters, Keeker and Plum the pony, as they learn to understand each other. The language is simple and the chronology is straight forward, broken up in to small chapters. The message taken from the book is one of navigating a new friendship and learning to be patient with animals.

Curriculum Ties

Good book for girls interested in horses, especially as the book features a “Pony Facts” section at the end. It also imparts good messages about friendship and family.

Standards

MD CCSS

State Curriculum

English Gr. 3

Standard 3.0 Comprehension of Literary Text

TOPIC

A.

INDICATOR

  • 1. Develop comprehension skills by reading a variety of self-selected and assigned literary texts including print and non-print

OBJECTIVES

  1. Listen to critically, read, and discuss a variety of literary texts representing diverse cultures, perspectives, ethnicities, and time periods
  2. Listen to critically, read, and discuss a variety of different types of fiction and nonfiction texts

INDICATOR

  • 2. Use text features to facilitate understanding of literary texts

OBJECTIVES

  1. Identify and explain how organizational aids such as the title of the book, story, poem, or play contribute to meaning

Assessment limits:

  • In the text or a portion of the text
  1. Identify and explain how graphic aids such as pictures and illustrations, punctuation, print features contribute to meaning

Assessment limits:

  • In the text or a portion of the text
  1. Identify and explain how informational aids such as introductions and overviews, materials lists, timelines, captions,glossed words, labels, numbered steps, bulleted lists, footnoted words, pronunciation keys, transition words, end notes, works cited, other information aids encountered in informational texts contribute to meaning

Assessment limits:

  • In the text or a portion of the text
  1. Identify and explain how print features such as large bold print, font size/type, italics, colored print, quotation marks, underlining, other print features encountered in informational texts contribute to meaning

Assessment limits:

  • In the text or a portion of the text

INDICATOR

  • 3. Use elements of narrative texts to facilitate understanding

OBJECTIVES

  1. Identify and distinguish among types of narrative texts such as characteristics of the general categories of fiction versus nonfiction, realistic fiction, tall tales, legends, fables, fairy tales, biographies

Assessment limits:

  • Grade-appropriate narrative texts
  1. Identify and explain the elements of a story

Assessment limits:

  • Main problem, sequence or chronology of events, and solution to the problem
  1. Identify and describe the setting and the mood

Assessment limits:

  • Details that create the setting
  • Details that create the mood
  1. Identify and analyze the characters

Assessment limits:

  • Character’s traits based on what character says, does, and thinks and what other characters or the narrator says
  • Character’s motivations
  • Character’s personal growth and development
  1. Identify and explain relationships between and among characters, setting, and events

Assessment limits:

  • In the text or a portion of the text or across multiple texts
  1. Identify and describe the narrator

Assessment limits:

  • Conclusions about the narrator based on his or her thoughts and/or observations
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Footprints in the Snow

Footprints in the Snow

By Mei Matsuoka

9780805087925

Matsuoka, M. 2007. Footprints in the snow. NY: Henry Holt and Company.

 

Summary

Wolf was curled up in his house on this cold winter night looking through his shelves for a nice book on wolves. All the wolves in his books were nasty, scary, greedy and mean, so Wolf decided he would write a book about a nice wolf. He wrote about a wolf one winter morning who left his house for a nice walk. When he spotted footprints, he decided to follow them to find out who left them. None of the woodland creatures he encountered, however, would tell him who left the footprints; they all thought he wanted to eat the source of the prints. Finally the wolf found the source, a duck who was swimming in the pond. Despite his best intentions, wolf began to imagine how tasty that duck might be. Suddenly, Wolf awoke, and he was no longer writing a book; he was taking a bath! Thankfully his story didn’t end like all of those other stories with mean wolves. But when there was a knocking at the door, he was surprised to find a set of prints, leading into the woods, and he wondered whose they were.

Quantitative Summary:

ATOS Book Level:             2.8

Interest Level:   Lower Grades (LG K-3)

Qualitative Summary:

Beautifully illustrated, this picture book illustrates how sometimes you can’t escape your own nature. Wolf certainly can’t – even when he tries to write a book about a nice wolf, he comes to find that nice wolf still wants to eat ducks. The chronology in this book can be a little complex, as the wolf goes from writing a story, to suddenly being in the bathtub, to being presented with the same scenario that began the book ending it as well. The language is simple and the font is big, often curving with  the action on the page. The narrative follows just the wolf, although it is a little bit unclear whether the wolf in the actual book and the wolf in his story are one in the same.

Curriculum Ties

Learning about animal nature, how the wolf is not necessarily “bad” for following his nature. Can also be used in conjunction with other books that feature wolves to talk about tropes of good and evil, how wolves are often featured as evil/conniving characters.

 

Standards

MD CCSS

State Curriculum

English/Language Arts

1.0   General Reading Processes: Comprehension: Students will use a variety of strategies to understand what they read (construct meaning).

Comprehension

1. Develop comprehension skills through exposure to a variety of print and nonprint texts, including traditional print and electronic texts

a. Listen to critically, read, and discuss texts representing diversity in content, culture, authorship, and perspective, including areas such as race, gender, disability, religion, and socioeconomic background

b. *Read a minimum of 25 self-selected and/or assigned books or book equivalents representing various genres

c. Discuss reactions to and ideas/information gained from reading experiences with adults and peers in

both formal and informal situations

 

3.0 Comprehension of Literary Text: Students will read, comprehend, interpret, analyze, and evaluate literary text.

Arthur and the Scare-Your-Pants-Off Club

Arthur and the Scare-Your-Pants-Off Club

Stephen Krensky, based on the teleplay by Terrence Taylor

9780316115483

Krensky, S. 1998. Arthur and the scare-your-pants-off club. NY: Hachett Book Group.

Summary

This Saturday is a special one for Arthur Read. The new Scare Your Pants Off Club Book is due in at the local library and he’s ready to check it out. But when he arrives at the library, he’s greeted with a long line of kids who have the same idea. Even worse, it turns out a local parents group has protested the book, and had it removed from the shelves. Arthur and his friends are on a mission to get their favorite book series back in the library, even if it means challenging the parents of one of their good friends Muffy, who think that the book is too scary for the children.

Quantitative Summary:

ATOS Book Level:             3.1

Interest Level:   Lower Grades (LG K-3)

Qualitative Summary:

This book is in chapter format to appeal to children ready to read on their own. It follows closely to the story of the television show. It’s written in third person and follows the main character, Arthur, who is easily recognizable from the television series. The book has minimal illustrations, and large font. The language is simple to appeal to lower grades.

Curriculum Ties

The plot of this book is a familiar look at censorship in libraries, and can be used to reinforce the importance of the library and reading, as well as the negatives of censorship.

Standards

English/Language Arts

1.0   General Reading Processes: Comprehension: Students will use a variety of strategies to understand what they read (construct meaning).

Comprehension

1. Develop comprehension skills through exposure to a variety of print and nonprint texts, including traditional print and electronic texts

a. Listen to critically, read, and discuss texts representing diversity in content, culture, authorship, and perspective, including areas such as race, gender, disability, religion, and socioeconomic background

b. *Read a minimum of 25 self-selected and/or assigned books or book equivalents representing various genres

c. Discuss reactions to and ideas/information gained from reading experiences with adults and peers in both formal and informal situations

3.0 Comprehension of Literary Text: Students will read, comprehend, interpret, analyze, and evaluate literary text.

Series website: http://marcbrownstudios.com/

Innerstar University: A Winning Goal

Innerstar University: A Winning Goal

An American Girl Book

By Laurie Calkhoven, ill. Arcana Studios

97815936983362

Calkhoven, L. 2011. A winning goal. NY: American Girl Publishing.

Summary

In this choose-your-own adventure book, you are a star soccer player on the Innerstar University soccer team, along with your friends. Your friend Shelby is new to soccer but she wants to join the team, and she’d like you to help her with learning the ropes. Your team is on a winning streak right now and it’s a complicated time for you to start helping your friend, who is not very good at soccer yet. Many tough decisions are in your hands right now, do you sacrifice your winning streak to give Shelby time to get better, or do you sacrifice your friendship for the sake of winning the game? Only you can make these decisions in this book, and there are many different ways the story ends.

Quantitative Summary:

Lexile: 710L

Interest level: 8+, Middle Grades

Qualitative Summary:

The narrative structure of this book is a bit complex, requiring readers to navigate through multiple page changes depending on which outcomes they choose. It uses illustrations sparingly.  The knowledge requirements are not complex, with no real allusions to other texts, and themes that are relevant to middle-school aged girls (friendships, teamwork). The language is low, with little to no figurative language.

Curriculum Ties

This book reinforces elements of positive female friendships and teamwork. It can also be used to illustrate cause-and-effect relationships, showing how different choices influence outcomes.Students could write their own choose-your-own adventure stories with more than one outcome.

Standards

MD CCSS

Gr. 8 English

INDICATOR

  • 8. Read critically to evaluate literary texts

OBJECTIVES

  1. Analyze and evaluate the plausibility of the plot and the credibility of the characters
    Assessment limits:
    • In the text or a portion of the text
  1. Analyze and evaluate the extent to which the text contains ambiguities, subtleties, or contradictions
    Assessment limits:
    • Questions and predictions about events, situations, and conflicts that might occur if the text were extended
  1. Analyze and evaluate the relationship between a literary text and its historical, social, and/or political context
    Assessment limits:
    • Implications of the historical or social context on a literary text
  1. Analyze the relationship between the structure and the purpose of the text
    Assessment limits:
    • In the text or a portion of the text

Series website: http://innerstaru.com

Pinkalicious: The Pinkerrific Playdate

Pinkalicious: The Pinkerrific Playdate
By Victoria Kann

978006192840

Kann, V. 2011. Pinkalicious: The pinkerrific playdate. NY: HarperCollins.

Summary
There’s a new girl in school named Rose. Pinkalicious and her friend Alison invite her to play jump-rope with them, and then they eat lunch together. Pinkalicious invites Rose over for a fun playdate that she has all planned out. They do some of the things that they planned, but spend a lot of time talking too, so much so that before she knows it, its time for Rose to go home. This just might have been the best playdate ever.
Quantitative Summary:
Lexile: 210L
ATOS Book Level: 1.8
Interest Level: Lower Grades (LG K-3)

Qualitative Summary:
This is a beginning reader book which bridges the gap between picture books and chapter books. Pinkalicious is a series that focuses on the main character, Pinkalicious. This is a level-1, so it consists of simple sentences and concepts along with illustrations. The complexity of this book is low, with a simple narrative storyline, very few characters, one single narrator, relatable experiences (new friends, playdates), and straightforward chronology. The language was simple and easy to understand, and there was no allusion to other texts.

Curriculum Ties
This book reinforces positive elements of female friendships, and positive relationships with siblings. It could be used in units on family or friends, and especially when navigating new children to the class. The level-one readers are great for kids who are just beginning to learn to read on their own, especially those excited at more “grown up” looking kids books.

Standards

MD CCSS

English/Language Arts

1.0   General Reading Processes: Comprehension: Students will use a variety of strategies to understand what they read (construct meaning).

Comprehension

1. Develop comprehension skills through exposure to a variety of print and nonprint texts, including traditional print and electronic texts

a. Listen to critically, read, and discuss texts representing diversity in content, culture, authorship, and perspective, including areas such as race, gender, disability, religion, and socioeconomic background

b. *Read a minimum of 25 self-selected and/or assigned books or book equivalents representing various genres

c. Discuss reactions to and ideas/information gained from reading experiences with adults and peers in both formal and informal situations

3.0 Comprehension of Literary Text: Students will read, comprehend, interpret, analyze, and evaluate literary text.

Author website: http://www.thinkpinkalicious.com/victoria

Tea Party Rules

Tea Party Rules
By Ame Dyckman, ill. K.G. Campbell
9780670785018
Dyckman, A. 2013. Tea party rules. NY: Penguin.

Summary:
Cub was playing in the woods when he smelled something delicious, and he came upon a tea party. When he asked the bear seated at the tea party for a cookie, it just stared straight ahead. And when he discovered the bear couldn’t eat cookies, he decided to eat the cookies for him. Just as he was about to eat the cookies, the little girl hosting the tea party returned, so Cub pretended to be that bear. But he soon found out that there were many rules to the tea party, rules he didn’t understand, but he would put up with them for cookies. There was one rule he couldn’t put up with though and that was to eat daintily. This surprised the girl. But it also inspired her to try out a new game, one that he knew the rules to: bear!

Quantitative Summary:
Readability Formula Grade
Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level 3.4
Gunning-Fog Score 4.6
Coleman-Liau Index 11.5
SMOG Index 3.8
Automated Readability Index 3.6
Average Grade Level 5.4
(http://www.readability-score.com/)

Qualitative Summary:
This book covers the concepts of playing by the rules in order to receive rewards, and encourages sharing. It also enforces the concepts of formal vs. informal play (fancy vs. bear). There are two characters, the bear and the girl, and the narrative is straight-forward and follows a linear chronology. Readability website (with the lack of lexile/AR scores) gives it an average 5th grade rating, which could be read to younger/Pre-K classes aloud.

Curriculum Tie Ins:

Great for discussions about rules, and about different types of play (formal vs. informal.)

Standards:

English/Language Arts

1.0   General Reading Processes: Comprehension: Students will use a variety of strategies to understand what they read (construct meaning).

Comprehension

1. Develop comprehension skills through exposure to a variety of print and nonprint texts, including traditional print and electronic texts

a. Listen to critically, read, and discuss texts representing diversity in content, culture, authorship, and perspective, including areas such as race, gender, disability, religion, and socioeconomic background

b. *Read a minimum of 25 self-selected and/or assigned books or book equivalents representing various genres

c. Discuss reactions to and ideas/information gained from reading experiences with adults and peers in both formal and informal situations

3.0 Comprehension of Literary Text: Students will read, comprehend, interpret, analyze, and evaluate literary text.

Author’s website:
http://www.amedyckman.com/Ame_Dyckman/home.html

Ah ha!

Ah Ha!
Jeff Mack
9781452112657
Mack, J. 2013. Ah ha! San Francisco, CA: Chronicle Books.
Summary:
Those four letters can mean so many things. This book is about a frog who is escaping dangers, first being a little boy who wants to catch him. He thinks he’s safe on a rock, but it turns out to be a hungry turtle. What he thinks to be a log is in fact a hungry alligator. And when he escapes that, climbing what he thinks to be reeds, he’s actually found a hungry flamingo. Just when he thinks he’s escaped being eaten, he finds himself right back where he started: in the little boy’s jar. Ah ha! says the little boy, and Ha Ha! the frog says to the hungry animals, as they watch him being carted off. As the boy carries him along, the frog gets the last laugh, Ah ha! he says as the lid to the jar slips off, allowing him his freedom.
Quantitative Summary:
The only words used are Ah ha, ha ha, and aaah. There are not scores for this book, but I think it is easily a Pre-K-3 picture book.
Qualitative Summary:
A lot happens in this book with just the manipulation of those four letters: Ah ha! Ha ha! Aahh! The illustrations are what give those words context, where Aahh can be both an expression of fear and of contentment. The complexity of this book is very low: the story follows one character in a chronological order, and the language is limited to one or two straight forward words. The complexity comes in interpreting the illustrations and how they add to the context of the words.

Curriculum Tie Ins:
Could be good for basic spelling and phonetics, how letters put in different positions make different sounds, and how those words mean different things in different contexts. Also to a lesser extent teaches about animals, and that humans should leave them alone (the frog is unhappy in the jar, and contented when he is left alone in the pond).
Standards

English/Language Arts

1.0   General Reading Processes: Comprehension: Students will use a variety of strategies to understand what they read (construct meaning).

Comprehension

1. Develop comprehension skills through exposure to a variety of print and nonprint texts, including traditional print and electronic texts

a. Listen to critically, read, and discuss texts representing diversity in content, culture, authorship, and perspective, including areas such as race, gender, disability, religion, and socioeconomic background

b. *Read a minimum of 25 self-selected and/or assigned books or book equivalents representing various genres

c. Discuss reactions to and ideas/information gained from reading experiences with adults and peers in both formal and informal situations

3.0 Comprehension of Literary Text: Students will read, comprehend, interpret, analyze, and evaluate literary text.

Author’s website: http://www.jeffmack.com/