Robbie Learns To Read

Children - Picture Book
26 Pages
Reviewed on 06/05/2019
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

Robbie Learns To Read is a children’s picture book written by Debra Ison and illustrated by Anni Scotti. Growing up in the Great Forest with his parents and his big brother Ted, Robbie was quickly learning all the bear skills he would need as he grew up, especially hunting for honey. He was adept at playing bear games, but Robbie had one really special skill -- he could read. Ted was dying to know how Robbie learned to read, but he never seemed to be able to locate his little brother during the day. No matter where he looked in the Great Forest, Robbie was nowhere to be found. Then, one day, Ted decided to follow Robbie when he left the family’s home. Ted was astonished to discover that Robbie was going to school with boys and girls. First, they were playing games outside the school, which looked like loads of fun, and then they went into the classrooms where they would read from books. Ted confronted Robbie after school that day. He thought going to school was for sissies, and he threatened to tell their parents about Robbie’s attendance at human kids’ classes. Would Robbie be able to continue going to school?

The first day of class, whether it’s kindergarten or the elementary-school grades, can seem frightening to young kids. Like Ted, many kids would rather be out playing ball or having adventures outdoors than going to school. In contrast, Robbie Learns To Read is an imaginative and inspiring tale about a young bear cub who actually likes going to school and knows that being able to read can come in handy -- often when you least expect it, as Ted ruefully finds out. I love the gentle way Ison introduces a scary new phase in life to young readers and gives it a positive and reassuring spin. Anni Scotti’s illustrations work quite well with the story, and I soon felt as though I knew Robbie and the rest of his bear family. Each picture is bright and cheerful, and the facial expressions of the bears are eloquent and fun. Adults should turn to the end of the tale to see the Reading Comprehension questions the author provides. Each is a good starting point for after-story discussions. Robbie Learns To Read is most highly recommended.