The Little Bill Books for Beginning Readers Series.
Bill Cosby. Illustrated by Varnette P. Hollywood.
Grades 2 - 4 / Ages 7 - 9.
My treasure hunt was over. I learned what was special to me - telling stories and making people laugh. And I have a wonderful great-grandma, who is very wise and who loves me very much. You can't polish or dust my special things. You can only enjoy them. (The Treasure Hunt)Teaching children to deal with issues that face them is something that parents and teachers deal with every day. The approach must be current and appealing to make them relevant to children. Bill Cosby has succeeded in writing three books that will make young children appreciate important life lessons.
The Treasure Hunt is about appreciating what you have; The Meanest Thing to Say talks about how to deal with bullies and avoid conflict; and, The Best Way to Play reminds kids that their imaginations are the best source of fun.
The paperback editions are brightly coloured, with children drawn in an abstract but appealing way. The writing and illustrations reflect the American mileu for which they are written, but it's one with which Canadian children exposed to American cartoons and television sitcoms are familiar.
In each book, Little Bill learns his lessons with the help of his humourous father, his gentle mother and wise great grandmother. He learns the lessons during the course of events in which he is involved, and, by applying the solution, he realizes the truth in what he has learned.
The lessons are aimed at primary age children. The writing is in bold primary type, but the reading level is advanced for young children. A strong young reader will be able to tackle the text, and it is an excellent read-aloud for classroom use, for a guidance teacher in an elementary setting, or for a parent. The chapter divisions make the books very suitable for developing discussions; the conversational style makes the stories appealing and pleasant for children.
Harriet Zaidman is a teacher-librarian in Winnipeg.
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Copyright © 1998 the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
The Manitoba Library Association
TABLE OF CONTENTS FOR THIS ISSUE - JANUARY 16, 1998.
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