"Fun Early Readers Collection" by Danielle Bruckert is a collection of four books all in one: Bugs by Numbers, Writing on the Wall, Gecko on the Wall, andThe Adventures of Supercow.
Before getting into the review itself, I have to say that the author of the book, Danielle Bruckert, is also responsible for perhaps one of the best resources online for finding books and everything book related: www.FreeKidsBooks.org. Many, many children's books are available in a downloadable PDF for free. And if you look at the blogroll under the "blog" section you will find resources for literacy resources, activity links, and book reviews (yes, Beautiful Books for Children is listed - thank you Danielle for including us). And, if you want to print them off, the books in the Collection are available for free too.
Gecko on the Wall
The first story in the collection, this one was also my favorite. The funny rhymes are all about a silly gecko who keeps showing up in the stragest of places with the strangest of outfits. "There's a gecko in the pool, he really does look cool."
I love the imagination that is used in this short story - a fun way to start imagining with your child other scenarios involving a pet or bug climbing on the wall, or anything you like.
Bugs By Numbers
"Down in the garden, under a tree, there's a whole lot of creatures, living with me."
Beginning with the above, this book went through the garden counting butterflies, geckos, and more. The very simple illustration style that is throughout the collection felt a little less planned and polished in this book, and the choice of numbers and animals was competely random. While the kids had fun counting the various things, it was a little boring to me as mom by the end.
Writing On the Wall
So few children's books look at the inner thoughts of a child as they struggle through making a good choice or a bad choice. In this story, a little girl thinks in her head about all the places and ways the wants to write, mostly on the wall. But her mom told her to write only on the paper. In the end, she decides that she loves her mom, and a good way to show that love is to listen and write only on the paper.
What a sweet story to read with your children and discuss the hard lessons like temptation, listening, and loving each other. Now, unlike most moms, I do let me kids color on the walls (certain ones anyway), but still was able to teach the underlying lesson and talk with my kids about the rules that we have in our house.
The Adventures of Supercow
This was my least favorite tale in the collection. The story is not very well developed, though the concept has promise. And definitely not a fan of the cow punching the bad guy in the face. I know it is the bad guy, but with three boys we don't need any encouragement to beat up even the bad guys. Would love to see a little more time spent on this character, as it is a fun idea of a superhero cow.