by Jamie Michalak, illustrated by Jill Newton. Candlewick Press, 2008. A Brand New Reader level 1. Cybils nominee for Easy Readers.
The minute my kindergartner saw this book he remarked that it reminded him of Here Comes Tabby Cat, by Phyllis Root, another Candlewick Brand New Reader that we very much enjoyed.
Larry and Rita, a porcupine and a chipmunk, are friends who like to blow bubbles, dance, go to the fair and find treasures on the beach. They are cute and funny and clever. The text is simple, in large print, and the illustrations are dynamic elements of the story. Beginning readers need that as well as a storyline that engages their curiosity and intelligence. Humor, surprise, predictable results, order and chaos - these are the things young readers delight in and Michalak hits the nail on the head. Highly recommended for beginning readers.