I was recently made aware of a newish series of books: Ranger Anne by Anita Sebastian and illustrated by Eliz Ong. These eight books were of particular interest to me as I have written and edited leveled reading materials for children. The Let Me Read series is a guided approach to helping children read on their own. As the reader turns each page he/she becomes confident with new vocabulary and comprehension. The series’ Level 3 books are challenging for my emergent reader, but she appreciates the longer, high-interest stories as she becomes a more fluent and independent reader. Set 1 includes Active Leopard, Proud Flamingos, Curious Snake, Flying Stingray (above); Set 2 includes Noisy Elephant, Magical Fireflies, Graceful Giraffe, Smiling Slow Loris (released last month).
Sebastian is a skilled storyteller, and the writing in the The Ranger Anne series is much stronger than in Armour Publishing’s other, more popular, Let Me Read series, Timmy and Tammy (review of the latest set TK soon). Sebastian, a writer, editor, zoologist, and former Singapore Night Safari employee, weaves strong, character-driven narratives with interesting facts about each of the animals in the series (or at least about facts about animals in captivity).
The Ranger Anne series of books are, no doubt, educationally sound; they encourage young children to read on their own with predictable story patterns, memorable rhymes, and comforting repetition. Ong’s bright, whimsical illustrations are inviting. A note at the end of book, by Dr. Myra Garces-Bacsal, Assistant Professor, National Institute of Education, and friend, offers tips for caregivers and teachers of emergent readers. (Read this informative interview with Sebastian on Garces-Bascal’s blog, Gathering Books.)
(N.B.: I purchased these eight books from Books Kinokuniya yesterday; they were not sent to me as review copies as the books I write about here often are.)