Reading/Interest Level: Preschool
Author: Kevin Bolger
Illustrator: Ben Hodson
Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books
Fred and Ed are under the complete control of the reader. This works out great for Ed, who gets a bike and a cowboy hat. Fred, on the other hand, walks into a tree and gets a chicken suit. Then Fred decides to stop playing along, and he and the reader struggle for control. When Fred won't jump as he's told to, he is transported into a jungle with hungry tigers (still in his chicken suit). Fred leaves the book until the reader promises no more tigers or chickens suits. So he comes back...and gets to wear funny underpants instead.
This is a wonderful beginner reader book! It has all the things that you want in one: engaging, funny, few words per page, lots of sight words. The author, Kevin Bolger, is actually a reading specialist and wrote the book specifically to help kids master sight words. In his introduction to the book, he points out that learning sight words are the first step that readers need to master. There is quite a bit of text in unorthodox parts of the page, like inside the illustrations, that are crucial to the story. That may be confusing or frustrating for early readers. The illustrations for the book are bright and bold. They are fun, but not so detailed the readers will get too distracted. Overall, this is a great choice for kids just learning how to read!