FICTION

I Think I Can

Schiffer. Mar. 2019. 32p. Tr $14.99. ISBN 9780764356919.
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PreS-Gr 1–An aardvark and a mouse share a silly conversation that begins with a simple and positive pronouncement: “I think I can.” In this easy reader designed for a shared reading experience, the aardvark’s dialogue consists mainly of single sentence declarations. Mouse’s responses are a bit longer and serve to further the story line, “You think you can what?” The book’s layout and Brunson’s illustrations make it easy to focus on reading. Aardvark’s words are in a large, blue font, and Mouse’s words are black. Aardvark always appears on the left page against a plain white background, and Mouse always appears on the right. Both are simple cartoon characters in soft, pleasing colors with expressive, happy faces. The story culminates in a song set to the tune of “Row, Row, Row Your Boat.” The rhythm of the song is a bit forced, but the joy of singing and reading a song will overcome any shortcomings in meter. Unlike other, wordier, “you read—I read” stories, this one is sweet and super short, leaving no excuse to forgo a quick, shared story.
VERDICT Librarians can hand-sell this book to busy parents, grandparents, and caregivers. Teachers can use it to pair confident and emerging readers for a shared experience

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