A Duck in a Sock (Meg and Greg #1)

Elspeth Rae and Rowena Rae, illus. by Elisa Gutiérrez. Orca, $14.95 paper (168p) ISBN 978-1-4598-2490-4
First in the Orca Two-Read line of books, dedicated to instructing emerging, dyslexic, and English-language learner readers, this primer should appeal to phonics stalwarts and phonics learners. Sisters Elspeth, a literary specialist, and Rowena, a former biologist, make their debut with a set of four elementary tales for kids to encounter with a more experienced reader. Each story, written in several short chapters, introduces the concept for advanced readers (“ck... comes immediately after a short vowel”), notes phonograms at play (“A Duck in a Sock: A Story Featuring ck”), and bolds words employing the sound for easy recognition (jacket, stick). Between tales, word games (“ck match-up”) emphasize the previous story’s takeaways. In the titular tale, Meg and Greg rescue an injured duckling from a stray dog, and “tuck the duck up in a sock” to visit the vet; the others imperil a slew of characters, each delivering tense moments before Meg and Greg save the day. Gutiérrez (Letter Lunch) creates orderly double spreads with illustrated prose on the verso and comics-style panels on the recto; her art, drawn in a heavy ink line, helps readers focus on labeled objects and voice-balloon content. Ages 6–9. (Apr.)
Reviewed on : 03/05/2020
Release date: 04/01/2020
Genre: Children's
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