“Could they escape that fetcher, Mr. Natcher? Did he see them jump into the wagon?” Irene Dolnick’s book, Kurt, Gert, Jasmine, and Bagel and Their Train Station Adventure.
~ What ~
This thirty-eight-page paperback targets children ages five to eight years old or those learning to read. With no scary scenes, it is a story about a band of dogs that go on a train adventure. Written to promote correct pronunciation and reading skills, there are red letter italicized words, brackets for pronunciation, and sections that describes words. With black wording against pink backgrounds on the left side of the pages, detailed and expressive illustrations are usually on the right side, following the storyline.
In this short story, the four beagles, Kurt, Gert, Jasmine, and Bagel, are ready to get on a train to Phoenix, Arizona, when Jasmine trips and her luggage spills open. Bagel stops to help her, and they both see Mr. Natcher, the dog catcher, who starts to follow them. Hiding in a wagon, they escape the fetcher, and they get on a red train where they drift off to sleep, only to realize later they are on the same train as Kurt and Gert.
~ Why ~
This is a cute, innocuous tale about friendship among a group of canines. It shows how working and helping each other are important. The added pronunciation and reading tools emphasis letter combinations such as tch, ag, ang, ank, and ed. I think young advanced readers will understand the reading concepts in the book and learn new words.
~ Why Not ~
Although the story is fun, it may be too complicated for very young readers such as preschool age and below to follow the wording. However, it would be a good teaching tool to point out particular letter combinations.
~ Who ~
Author Dolnick has written one other book in her dog series that is based on the four canines she owns. As a substitute teacher, she lives in Texas with her husband, daughter, and cherished pets. She also has designed all inside illustrations.
~ Wish ~
It would be helpful to have the dictionary words in a list at the back of the book instead of at the bottom of the pages, so the story is the focus.
~ Want ~
If you wish to engage a child in a book about friendly dogs taking a trip, this one has additional resources of learning about pronunciation and letter groups to notice that will improve his or her reading skills.
Thanks to the author for offering this book to review for my honest opinion.
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GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.