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Hooray for Reading Day!

Simon and Schuster
Ill. by Arthur Howard

Hooray for Reading Day!

(Hardcover ISBN 9780689861888)

First-grader Jessica, a big worrier, is especially afraid that she will make a mistake when she is reading in front of her class and parents on Reading Theater day, but after lots of practice reading to her dog Wiggles, she performs perfectly.


In this volume from the Jessica Worries series, Jessica tackles the difficult task of learning to read. Even more difficult is reading aloud in class, where other children sometimes laugh at her mistakes. But most difficult of all is the prospect of Reading Day, when each child will don a costume and read a short line aloud in front of her classmates and their families. Cuyler acknowledges Jessica’s insecurity and shows a practical solution while offering bits of humor along the way. Amusing cartoon-style ink drawings with colorful washes help create the right tone for this encouraging picture book. – Booklist


Worrier Jessica reappears in an anxiety-filled story about learning to read. As in Stop, Drop, and Roll (2001) and 100th Day Worries (2000, both S & S), the first grader is filled with dread because of an upcoming Reading Theater day at school. She elicits the help of her busy family members in practicing and is even more alarmed when she finds out that parental attendance and costume wearing are part of the event. This third title in the series does a serviceable job of portraying a young student struggling with the trials of being a beginning reader. The message of “practice makes perfect” and the encouragement of her teacher and family can serve to motivate children. Howard’s cartoon illustrations add to the humor and exaggerate Jessica’s expressions of angst, anguish, and ultimate achievement.  – School Library Journal


Jessica worries about everything, especially reading aloud in her first-grade reading group. She makes everyone laugh when, while reading her lines of Hot Pot, Jessica says "The p-p-pot was snot." Worst of all, Friday is "Reading Theater" day, with costumes and an audience of parents. Her parents listen to her dismay, and Mom admits that she was the slowest reader in first grade till "one day everything clicked." Jessica decides her costume will be a blanket and practices-faultlessly-with her dog Wiggles, who gives her doggy kisses. On Friday, Jessica is amazed at how poorly some of her classmates read under pressure, so she pretends that she is reading to faithful Wiggles, and no one claps louder than Mom and Dad when she succeeds. Howard's watercolors show a great variety of expressions and humor in the details. This reassuring tale takes its cue from the growing popularity of the use of therapy dogs with slow readers, providing a model for low-pressure help in the home. Linus and Snoopy would give Jessica a high five. – Kirkus Reviews

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