No two persons ever read the same book.
I recently saw this quote on Twitter and had to retweet because it’s so true. Readers bring a bit of themselves to each book and take in the story or information in a different way too. Many non-fiction books capitalize on this truth by offering levels of reading within a book. Since we read a non-fiction books on a variety of topics at my house I’ve seen many book that offer in-depth captions next to short large font paragraphs or sidebars offering more details. Many young ‘readers’ experience books without the words. At our house we’ve been encouraging 3 yr old Lil Guy to tell us the story using the pictures as a guide. It’s an important step in becoming an independent reader.
One book that epitomizes levels of reading within a book is An Edible Alphabet, 26 Reasons to Love the Farm by Carol Watterson. This picture book illustrated by Michela Sorrentino is a traditional alphabet book offering many levels of text within the page. Readers at the letter recognition stage will easily find the bright letters, but older readers can find alliteration, information, and even folktales and trivia. All of this pushed into one books is a bit much but we still enjoyed the book. For the quick before bed read, we only looked at pictures and read the header phrase, “Uu - Udders Under Umbrellas”. Yes, this illustration did show a farmer and cow walking in the rain. For a longer on the lap cuddly read, I added in a few details, “Wild Salmon live in both fresh and saltwater.” I don’t think I would read the book from beginning to end, but farm enthusiast might do so. Recommended for preschoolers to grade 4, non-fiction readers, and readers who love the farm.