My Lil Guy at age 3 is ready to sit and listen to longer read alouds. We have been reading longer picture books and I am resisting breaking into chapter books! I can’t wait until we are ready to read Ramona Quimby together! For now, I have started looking at ‘Easy Reader’ books and short easy chapter books. At the library this week we found Grin and Bear It by Leo Laundry. The cover drew me in, so did the title. You see: my husband and I are very fond of puns, word play, and coincidentally funny names. We are always noticing funny signs, one upping each other with funny retorts, and sharing puns we hear throughout the day. AND Grinn and Barrett just happened to be the name of an intersection near my husband’s childhood home. I guess for those reasons, I couldn’t pass up this book.
Bear is a closet comedian who wants to impress his friends, but can’t seem to get past his insecurities. He practices and practices, he is more than prepared. He has puns, jokes, and some very cute lines. My personal favorite was the introduction on the Woodland Stage, “Bucks and does, pups and kits, put your hooves, paws, and claws together for our first performer.” I have to admit, it made me laugh.
Reading this aloud to Lil Guy was funny especially since he is really coming into his own sense of humor. The illustrations were nice too. There are simply drawn animals with sometimes humanlike clothing or expressions. While the story maintained pace, the part about Bear going for a root beer, falling asleep and dreaming about his friends was a bit off. Overall though, we liked it at our house and the story was requested at the very next bedtime at our house. The book is childish enough for even the youngest readers, but also might have appeal for struggling older readers because of the chapters and MG novel look to the book. The book is 48 pages, 7 Chapters, Very Readable.
Recommended to Early Readers and Struggling elementary school aged Readers.