By Jessie Haas, published 2013
“Maggie said, “Let’s go for a ride, Bramble!” Bramble knew about rides. The rider sat in the saddle. The horse did all the hard work.”
From the opening line of this little “first chapter book,” I loved it. I’ve been on the lookout for early reader children’s books since I began this website, hoping to help the younger struggling readers. Most first chapter books are somewhat stilted and not really literature, or have a very lame story. I love Bramble and Maggie. Yes, the language is slightly awkward, as one would expect when writing a children’s book at a first or second grade vocabulary level. However, the book has it’s own charm, and interest. So I’m quite happy to recommend it. I also look forward to bringing it to school and trying it with the students I work with.
It certainly could be a read-aloud book. However I think the great appeal of this book is to have young children read it with the adults. As soon as the children have sufficient sight words and decoding skills, a children’s book like this, with the support of an adult, lets them try out their skills. The small illustrations at the bottom of each page also keep them interested and engaged.
This is the second Bramble and Maggie children’s book. The first, subtitled Horse Meets Girl will probably be equally engaging. The theme is not urban, so it may not work for kids who can’t relate to horses or chickens, but it’s worth a try. Happy early reading.