Tuesday, October 7, 2014

7 Easy Reader Series by Cynthia Rylant (with Printable Reading Checklists)

 Cynthia Rylant is one of the most prolific authors of books for beginning readers. Today's post highlights seven of her popular series and provides links to printable checklists to help young readers keep track of which titles they have read and which they still need to find.

Brownie & Pearl

Illustrated by Brian Biggs (See some sample pages from the books on his website.)
Book 1: Brownie & Pearl Step Out
Download printable Brownie & Pearl Reading Checklist.

Brownie (a preschooler girl) and Pearl (her cat) experience many daily adventures together, including playing dress-up, attending a birthday party, and going to bed. Brownie is a bit of a girly girl, with her fashionable outfits and purses, and her cat has a sparkling personality all her own. The series was originally published in picture book format but many have now been repackaged as Pre-Level One Ready-to-Read books, making them ideal for kids who are just beginning to decode words, and for pre-reading preschoolers.

Puppy Mudge

Illustrated by Isidre Mones in the style of Sucie Stevenson
Book 1: Puppy Mudge Takes a Bath
Download printable Puppy Mudge Reading Checklist.

The Puppy Mudge books are another set of very easy Pre-Level One books. They show Mudge behaving like a puppy and Henry reacting accordingly, with humorous results.

High Rise Private Eyes

Illustrated by G. Brian Karas
Book 1: The Case of the Missing Monkey
Download printable High Rise Private Eyes Reading Checklist.

A team of animal investigators solve crimes in the city in these humorous early reader mysteries. The crimes are always animal-themed and dialogue plays a major role in piecing the clues together. The I Can Read series designates these books as Level 2, for kids who are reading with help.

Henry and Mudge

Illustrated by Sucie Stevenson / Carolyn Bracken in the style of Sucie Stevenson
Book 1: Henry and Mudge
Download printable Henry and Mudge Reading Checklist.

Henry and Mudge is Rylant's longest and best known series. It stars a boy named Henry and his big mastiff dog, Mudge, who have many adventures together both inside and outside, on their own, and with friends and family.  The Henry and Mudge books are designated as Ready-to-Read Level 2, which is for "Superstar" readers who are reading independently.  Henry and Mudge and the Great Grandpas was awarded the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award in 2007 for being "the most distinguished American book for beginning readers published in English in the United States during the preceding year."

Annie and Snowball

Illustrated by Sucie Stevenson
Book 1: Annie and Snowball and the Dress-Up Birthday
Download printable Annie and Snowball Reading Checklist.

Annie and Snowball is a series spun off from the Henry and Mudge books. Annie is the cousin who comes to visit in Henry and Mudge and the Careful Cousin, and she has a rabbit named Snowball with whom she shares her own adventures. Annie likes to dress up, have tea parties, and also spend time with Henry, and she is a character who appeals to girls who like Fancy Nancy and Pinkalicious. The Annie and Snowball books are also on Ready-to-Read Level 2.

Mr. Putter & Tabby

Illustrated by Arthur Howard
Book 1: Mr. Putter & Tabby Pour the Tea
Download printable Mr. Putter & Tabby Reading Checklist.

Mr. Putter is an elderly gentleman who has a cat named Tabby and a good friend named Mrs. Teaberry who has a dog named Zeke. The fun-loving Mrs. Teaberry is forever trying to draw the reserved Mr. Putter out of his shell. The publisher has not labeled this series with a specific level, but they are of comparable difficulty to the Henry and Mudge and Annie and Snowball books. 


Illustrated by Mark Teague
Book 1: Poppleton
Download printable Poppleton Reading Checklist.

Poppleton is a well-dressed anthropomorphic pig who moves from the city to a small town populated by colorful animal characters such as Cherry Sue the llama and Zacko the ferret. Each of the books in this series is a small collection of stories from Poppleton's life, which are told with a great sense of humor that is really enhanced by Mark Teague's amusing pictures. The Poppleton books are designated by Scholastic as Level 3, for Growing Readers who read for "inspiration and information."

Are you a Cynthia Rylant fan? Which is your favorite series?
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