Fire Fighter! (DK Readers)

Fire Fighter! by Angela Royston (Canada) - (US)
Dorling Kindersley Readers, Level 2

Pages: 32
Ages: 5+
Finished: Jan. 20, 2011
First Published: 1998
Publisher: Dorling Kindersley
Genre: easy reader, non-fiction
Rating: 4/5

First sentence:

It is busy at the fire house even when there is no fire.

Acquired: Bought used at a thrift store or book/garage sale.

Reason for Reading: son read aloud to me as his reader.

Not too much to say here. Everything you could want in an easy reader. Engaging text and DK's usual exciting photography to compliment. We see inside the fire station and what fire fighters do there; then we are taken on the road with them to a real fire. The pictures of a house on fire are stunning, though could be frightening for younger children. As well as the plot which involves the fire fighters thinking a child may be in the house, exciting but possibly scary for younger readers. Every now and then there is a fact box of information. These use a smaller print and are an aside. My son refused to try and read them saying they were my part. I think the text size change threw him. Other than that no complaints at all. Entertaining and very realistic.

Reading Update: I want to stop here for my own benefit and report on ds's reading skills. He's now 10yo and I'm confident picking any Level 2 reader for him. Some are harder than others but generally they are all in the same vicinity when it comes to reading level. Though "I Can Read Books" are the true gauge of his reading level. If it's one of the older ICR books at a Level 2 I know he will be able to read without me checking it first. He reads in an expressionless voice but his comprehension of what he reads is near perfection. He is actually reading and we both enjoy his reading and are satisfied when he completes a book. Problem is that he is not consistent. He still has problems with words of more than two syllables, refuses to track words himself making me use my finger as a pointer. Though when he is having a good reading day I will refuse and tell him if he doesn't want to track the words then I'm not going to do it for him. This brings us to bad reading days which happen out of the blue and frequently enough that I can't say for sure he is ready to move up a level. On these days I have to use my finger for tracking, have to cover up suffixes like "ing" so he can read the root word, words like "then" he will just start rambling "the, there, three, than, this" and get frustrated. So I say take it slowly, sound it out, and he finally gets it. But on these days this can happen with every 4th word so to avoid frustration I tell him words that he can read but aren't easily sounded out just to keep the flow of reading going. While these days are frequent, the "good" days do outnumber the "bad" days.

All that said, I have a small stack of level 2 readers left here at home. I'm going to have him finish those, then we are going to move up to level 3s and I'll try introducing a chapter book at a low reading level to see if he can handle reading without the colourful pictures. I'm thinking a Magic Tree House, Marvin Redpost or Clyde Robert Bulla since most of those are RL 2 point something. Then I have to figure out how to get him to read on his own, without reading aloud to me (or someone else). At school, (he goes half days) during silent reading time he just pretends to read if his E.A. isn't there to read to, and he readily admits this.


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