“The Little Old Man Who Could Not Read” by Irma Simonton Black is a wonderful story from years ago. The little old man “made beautiful toys out of wood.” While he makes the toys for children, letters from the children pile up in HUGE stacks since the little old man cannot read them.
One day, the little old man finds himself in a sticky situation when his wife goes on a visit, leaving him home alone and with the task of shopping for food. When the little old man goes to the grocery store he must guess what is inside the cans and boxes on the shelves because he cannot read the labels.
“He bought a long box that looked like a spaghetti box and a big can that looked like a spaghetti sauce can.”
The old man soon comes to realize the importance of reading. So, he asks his wife for help.
Not only does learning to read allow him to buy the types of foods he wants, but he is then able to enjoy the letters children write to him about his toys!
The use of black and white as well as color pictures grabs the reader’s eye with each flip of the page. Each of the beautiful and funny pictures carries readers along with the little old man as he struggles to find something to eat from the store. Irma Simonton Black uses simple and repetitive language to keep young children engaged. Young readers everywhere will love the little old man’s journey.
The little old man shows how learning to read opens up new and exciting opportunities!