Review Blog

May 04 2012

The new friend by Sally Rippin

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Hey Jack! (Series). Hardie Grant Egmont, 2012. ISBN 978 1742961 39 1
The worry monsters by Sally Rippin
Hey Jack! (Series). Hardie Grant Egmont, 2012. ISBN 978 174297140 7
(Ages: 6+) Warmly recommended. In The new friend, Jack mooches around home trying to play by himself, but is finding it hard going. His friend Billie is away, so he and his Dad go and play soccer on the field nearby for a while. Returning home, Jack finds a small friendly dog following him. He takes it home, his father telling him that it will only be staying one night as they must find its owner. They put down blankets for the dog in the laundry and feed him, Jack finding a name for him which suits the little animal.
The next day they set out in their attempts to find the rightful home of the little dog, and in doing so resolve the problem of the little dog, Jack's loneliness and the problem of the shop owner down the street.
The second, The worry monsters, concerns Jack forgetting his spelling homework and worrying about what will happen at school when the spelling test occurs. Again, a subtle story promoting positive skills, good family communication and common sense, the story line is easily recognisable by the readers, and its resolution one they will also comprehend.
Neatly resolved stories, these will make a great read for younger readers who have newly arrived at chapter books. They will be a good addition to the library and being a series, a box of these will be well used. They will also serve well as readers in the reader box in the classroom, a far better proposition than many of the watered down, uninteresting sets of readers promoted by publishers to busy teachers. These little books are well written, have a neatly resolved storyline, sound characters and a wonderful style and range of vocabulary to further extend younger readers.
Fran Knight

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