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Book Review: The Red Cap by Matt Sims

You may have heard about decodable books, but in case you haven't, you should know that they are the best option for beginning readers to read independently. A decodable book is one that contains only (or mostly) the spelling patterns that a reader has already learned, so not every book will be decodable for every reader.

The book I want to mention today is part of a collection that is published by High Noon Books as part of their Sound Out Phonics-Based Chapter Books. These are a great option for students who don't want to seem like they're reading "baby" books when all their friends are reading chapter books.

The Red Cap is labeled as a Level 1 book, meaning it consists of mostly words with short vowels. There is a list of high frequency words in the back of the book, so you can discuss those with your reader ahead of time or just look out for them while reading.

The story is about a man named Ted who works at a vet's office. The vet's dog needs to be fed, so Ted takes the dog to a store to buy some food. A bad man tries to rob Ted and the dog protects him.

It's a very simple story, but there are a lot of opportunities for discussion about jobs, taking care of animals, shopping, right & wrong actions, etc. And, if your reader has mastered short vowels, they will be able to read most of it all by themself!

If you're looking for some decodable books, I highly recommend the High Noon collections - they have both fiction and non-fiction decodable books for all skill levels. Of course, reading with your child is a great idea, but sometimes they will want to do some solo reading, so make sure you have something available that they can read successfully.

Please let me know what books you and your child have enjoyed reading, together or apart, and I'll try to share them in a later Book Club post.

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