My World (Now I’m Reading! Pre-Reader), by Nora Gaydos, illustrated by BB Sams
Some books aimed at pre-readers seek to provide the reader with a set of characters to identify with as one develops the skill of reading. Other books, like this one, present a consistent approach but do so through a variety of scenarios with different kid-friendly characters and patterns with humorous endings and reversals to encourage in early readers the patterns of understanding to gain insight from books. As a reader who has always enjoyed understanding the patterns that writers were using (not least as someone who long enjoyed writing based on patterns of my own), this is an approach I can approve of, as it is a lot easier to read when one has at least a strong guess of where the author is going to go. And that seems to be a common thread or pattern among books aimed at pre-readers, with somewhat repetitive and simple patterns that are easy to recognize and play with. That is by no means a bad thing, as it is worthwhile to provide easy entrees into a world as complex as reading is by giving an early reader a good deal of help in understanding reading and material that is interesting and fun to encourage reading as an enjoyable habit, to make it easier for such people, when properly encouraged, to read for a great many other reasons later on.
This particular book is made up of eleven small books that provide the reader with a variety of scenarios. First comes a book about polar opposites that provides patterns of opposite qualities, with appropriate illustrations (1). After this comes a humorous and lighthearted tale of animals climbing on a seesaw with a dramatic closing (2). The third book gives a child-friendly view of a city that does not include ghettoes or abandoned areas of urban blight or red-light districts but does include a park, a library, and a hospital, among other buildings (3). The fourth book encourages the reader to look at various characters go in a variety of means of transportation (4). After this comes a book that uses simple rhymes to tell a humorous tale about shopping (5). This is followed by a book on sleeping animals in their natural habitats (6), and then a book about a cute kitten who likes to move in various ways (7). This is followed by a book about a noisy farm (8) as well as a book about the various rooms in a mouse house (9). Finally, the series ends with a book about the babies of various animals (10), as well as a parent guide that helps provide the desired approach of teaching the book to the pre-reader and using it in various ways to encourage literacy from reading the book to the child to encouraging the development of actual literacy.