CM . . . . Volume XVIII Number 28 . . . . March 23, 2012
Rainbows contains great bold photos that show how rainbows look in different places – in the sky, on soap bubbles and on water droplets. The book explains how rainbows are formed and provides extra detail about the content in the last two pages titled “Rainbow Facts.”
However, the text, itself, is inconsistent in terms of complexity. Some pages have two lines of simple print: “We can see rainbows in the sky when it rains” (p.5). Other pages have more text and more difficult print: “Sometimes, rainbows appear when it has not rained. They can be seen in fountains and in the spray from a garden hose” (p.18). The words on this page contain more complex vowel patterns in addition to content that requires further questioning. For example, why do rainbows appear in fountains?
This text will be best used as a mentor text for a teacher to demonstrate decoding and comprehension strategies as well as how to use text features (table of contents) to locate information. A teacher can use the gradual release of responsibility model to demonstrate think alouds and direct instruction in what sources of information a reader uses to make meaning from text.
In terms of the online content, younger students will need support as the web site is text heavy and assumes a learner can read and follow the directions provided. I was disappointed that many of the activities had to be printed out to be used.
Although the publisher’s catalogue information states that this text is at a K reading level, many kindergarten students enter grade 1 with all letter names known (not necessarily both upper case and lower case), some letter sounds and few (3-5) sight words. This text is more suited for a mid grade 1 student.
Carrie Subtelny is a Winnipeg, MB, based tutor, consultant, and advocate for literacy.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.