Monday, January 23, 2012

How to Teach a Slug to Read

Kirkus Review (January 15, 2011)

Pearson is a slug intimate, having previously charted the course of two Slugs in Love (illustrated by Kevin O'Malley, 2006), so who better to explain, exactly, the best way to teach a slug to read? It is really quite elementary, starting with opening the book (make sure it has slug characters), read it to the slug, point out repeating words, help sound them out, get a vocabulary list going, underline favorite words and, you bet, "[r]ead your slug's favorite poems to him as many times as he wants. Read him other books too!" This slug's favorite is Mother Slug's book of poetry, with such old gems as "Mary had a little slug, / His skin was smooth as silk" and "Whatever can the matter be? / Sally Slug has climbed a tree" and "Sweet Sammy Slug / Slides through the town." Slonim's upbeat illustrations give readers a sense that they are there with the slugs, flipping the pages, while the interjections from the slugs-"Sl-uh-uh-g! Hey, I can read SLUG!"-convey, with a light hand, the joys of reading. And though it isn't cricket to diminish a slug's capabilities, readers can't help but feel that if a slug is up to the task, well then, maybe someone else in the room is, too. (Picture book. 4-8)

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