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2009 Award
The Mercy Watson Collection: Volume 3
( Listening Library $14.95 Score: )

Kate DiCamillo’s Mercy Watson books about an amusing pig who happens to love toast (among other treats) are delightful early chapter books for beginners. Do beginners really need a recording of a book they can read? Well, maybe sometimes. Reading and listening are not unconnected. For some kids hearing a book first may actually provide a welcome way into the solo reading experience. Remember, young children like to hear and re-hear their storybooks and the same often holds true of beginning readers. Ron McLarty’s narration allows them to preview the story and enjoy it before tackling the printed page on their own. Listening without the book helps kids comprehension. They need to supply the pictures in their heads…the pictures that are made from the words alone. This is what we must do when we read alone, so listening is the first step in using the mind’s eye. There is also benefit from following along with the book itself. Following as the narrator reads can help kids develop eye sweep and provides a model for reading with expression. The Mercy Watson Collection is a solid choice since the pages are not dense with words, but the text goes beyond a picture book to the next level up while being entertaining. 

Age: Early School Years. Review Published: Click here to purchase the product on

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