Easy Reader Reviews

Kiwi Cannot Reach (Ready to Read Level One) by Jason Tharp. Simon Spotlight, 2019. 9781534425125.

Kiwi can’t reach a rope above its head, so it enlists the help of the reader to shake the book and push buttons and do other stuff to help it. The best thing about this early reader is that it’s a very short and simple (and wonderfully drawn) comic book in disguise. (In fact most of the books in this review are.)


Barry’s Best Buddy (Easy-To-Read Comics Level One) by Renée French. TOON Books, 2012. 9781935179214.

This is about a small bird named Barry. His friend Polarhog wakes him up because he has a surprise. He buys Barry a hat (but Barry doesn’t like hats). He buys Barry an ice cream (Barry doesn’t like ice cream, either). (The ants at the bottom of the pages offer a clue to Polarhog’s final surprise, which Barry does like.)

My family loved French’s Tinka, about a tiny sheep. They’ll love Barry, too.

Mr. Monkey Bakes a Cake by Jeff Mack. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2018. 9781534404311.

Mr. Monkey puts a lot of bananas into his cake and his stomach. Since he’s not hungry for the cake, he decides to enter it in a show. Now he’s got to get it there. A lot of things make that difficult, including weird vehicles, ravenous birds, and a hungry but ultimately friendly gorilla. My favorite two-page spread has a lot of those birds on it. Have a look at it, it’s spectacular.



Knight Owls (Ready to Read Level One) by Eric Seltzer, illustrated by Tom Disbury. Simon Spotlight, 2019. 9781534448810.

My favorite of the Ready to Read books by Seltzer and Disbury in my to-review pile, this features medieval owls in armor, a pizza-making dragon, and a fair bit of reading. It’s friendly, funny, and well drawn, but not as slapstick as Mr. Monkey.


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