What better than a book that makes you laugh while fostering reading skills? In Up! Tall! And High!, Ethan Long provides wonderful content for beginning readers. Three short stories tell of the plights of birds as they show each other their traits and talents of being tall, small, flying, and building nests. The ingenuity of the birds and hilarious situations make the book all the more enjoyable for preschoolers through second graders learning to read.
Long provides entertaining stories that help new readers develop their abilities. The rhyme scheme, illustrative and cohesive pictures, and short sentences with familiar words make this book very applicable to beginning readers. The story differentiates between the meanings of up, tall, and high and by repeating these words, fosters the growth of vocabulary. Additionally, the interactive foldouts make this book all the more fun and appealing for youngsters. His adorable and brightly colored illustrations allow the reader to connect the text to the action in the story in a comprehensible manner.
For a classroom activity, young writers and readers can draw their own silly stories and then dictate the story to a teacher to write the accompanying words or write the words themselves. This activity would foster phonological awareness and elicit narratives. Ethan Long certainly deserved the Geisel Award for Beginning Readers for Up! Tall! And High!, a story that proves both fun and educational!
By Rebecca Feronti