Book Reviews: #CYBILS2023 Easy Reader Finalists

Today for your reading enjoyment we’ve got …


WinnerWorm and Caterpillar Are Friends: Ready-to-Read Graphics Level 1
Kaz Windness, illustrated by Kaz Windness
Simon Spotlight
Nominated by: Kate Talbot

Kirsten @ Goodreads – This is a wonderful story with colorful illustrations and panels that are sometimes put in the middle of another large panel, straying from the classic graphic novel format. I would highly recommend this title!

Sandy @ Goodreads – What a terrific offering this is for early readers to launch themselves into lifetime love of books. The two characters are irresistible, their similarities and differences are openly discussed, and the underlying truth is shared directly- do we really need to be the same to be friends? The ability of this text/images to elicit emotional concern and connection while providing controlled vocabulary, sentence length, and story elements is as awww-inducing as the storyline and relationships themselves.
A new and strong favorite for young readers!


Bear and Bird: The Picnic and Other Stories
Candlewick Press
Nominated by: Linda Baie

Sarah @ Goodreads – A modern update to Frog and Toad or of Winnie the Pooh. The story is sweet and caring. My kids love snuggling up and hearing this one over and over.

Ellen at On the Shelf 4 Kids – Dare I say it. This is a perfect book. It is beautifully illustrated and visually captivating, the stories have humor and keep the reader turning the page to see what comes next. Without giving too much away, I really *really* enjoyed reading Bear and Bird.

Bug Catchers (Dirt and Bugsy)
Megan Litwin, illustrated by Shauna Lynn Panczyszyn
Penguin Young Readers
Nominated by: Claire Annette Noland

Kirsten @ Goodreads – This book reads really well, the illustrations are fun and help give context clues to the text, and the text is repetitive for early readers. Kids who are afraid of bugs and kids who love bugs will benefit from reading about Dirt and Bugsy. This is an amazing early reader and I will be recommending it to my patrons.

Ellen @ On the Shelf 4 Kids – The illustration style by Shauna Lynn Panczyszyn is really cool with the mix of cartoonish like characters mixed with the more realistic looking insects. The contrast between the imagined bug barn and what Dirt and Bugsy constructed also leant to the lived experience of kids constructing their world and exploring in nature. 

Doggo and Pupper Search for Cozy (Doggo and Pupper, 3)
Katherine Applegate, illustrated by Charlie Alder
Feiwel & Friends
Nominated by: Beth Mitcham

Sarah @ Instagram – Need to snuggle up on these winter days we have in front of us? Check out @kaaauthor’s newest series Doggo and Pupper. This is a cute story of friendship. My kids loved it and I was entertained too.

Sandy @ Goodreads – This early chapter book has everything going for it that I love in books for these audiences.

Fergus and Zeke for President
Kate Messner, illustrated by Heather Ross
Candlewick Press
Nominated by: Ashe

Kirsten @ Goodreads -I love love love this series. This is one of my favorite early chapter book series because I think it is such a fun way for early readers to learn things. The chapters are short, the words are simple and not overwhelming, and the illustrations give great context clues to what is happening in the text. This series is a must-read!

Sarah @ Goodreads – Fergus and Zeke sure are quirky and cute. Their antics of joining in the classroom project intrigue the reader. I appreciated the author’s quick quip about why there are no female presidents yet. There’s lot great name dropping of presidential names. The fun facts are weaved expertly into the story. This book has graduated out of early readers but isn’t quite a chapter book. Check it out in February for it to fit right in.

Nat the Cat Takes a Nap: Ready-to-Read Pre-Level 1
Jarrett Lerner
Simon Spotlight
Nominated by: aquafortis

Sarah @ Goodreads – My kids cracked up laughing. Its a nap gone bad. Great for kids practicing the -at ending.

Kirsten @ Goodreads – Children who are just learning to read will love this book as it resembles a phonics book and is simple to read aloud. The narrator breaking the Fourth Wall is very entertaining and would make a good storytime book and a great addition to any library.

Vivi Loves Science: Wind and Water (I Can Read Level 3)
Kimberly Derting and Shelli R. Johannes, illustrated by Joelle Murray
Greenwillow Books
Nominated by: Kirsten

Sarah @ Goodreads – This book is an excellent book showing what happens to a beach after a storm. My kids love the character Vivi. She is fun and vibrant. The main character is inquisitive which helps make learning this STEM subject fun! The dialogue between the characters felt realistic. We have read this multiple times and I have not grown tire of it. There’s a science experiment in the back which is a cherry on top.