Monday, February 20, 2012


Pearson, Susan. How to Teach a Slug to Read. Illustrated by David Slonim. Tarrytown, NY: Marshall Cavendish Corporation, 2011. ISBN 978-0-7614-5805-0. $16.99. Ages 5-8.

How to Teach a Slug to Read is a playful instructional ten-step guide addressed seemingly from a little boy to a mama slug on teaching her child slug to read. Some of instructions parallel what any parent or teacher would do to teach a child to read, such as putting labels on objects around the house, or helping the child sound out words, while other instructions are more slug related, such as having the mother slug tell the little slug to climb a rock so that he can see the pages of the book better.

My favorite parts of the book are within the side story found through the illustrations. The side story features parodies on other popular picturebooks. For example the little slug chooses to learn how to read from the book, “Rhymes from Mother Slug” rather than Mother Goose, and features clever spoof rhymes including:

Mary has a little slug,
His skin was smooth as silk,
She dressed him in a satin shirt,
And fed him bread and milk.

These parodies exist throughout the illustrations. Children and parents alike will enjoy finding and seeing these spins on other classic beloved picturebooks.

Joyce Myers

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