Monday, July 10, 2023

Today's read... Doggy Days! by Owen Nelson Parker

1st Grade Sight Word Reader
 by Owen Parker, Ph. D.
Sounding Post, LLC
Chapter Book / First Reader
179 pages
ages 4 to 7

Doggy Days is a FUN but evidence-based sight reader that uses 31 puppy-filled stories (and lots of cute pictures!) to help first-graders practice 197 essential sight words (from the Fry , Dolch , & Developmental Reader lists, among othes). KIDS will love getting to know Joey and Finnie, two REAL DOGS who go on lots of silly adventures and learn valuable lessons about life. 

My daughter is nearing the end of first grade as I write these words. I wrote this book over the course of several months, but I wanted my child (and yours) to get better at reading while enjoying the process. It worked very well for my daughter. At the start of her first grade year, I looked for a way to teach her the vocabulary she needed in a way she would enjoy. After many months of flash cards and other kids' books I was unsatisfied with, I decided to write my own book to target this specific focus on critical vocabulary . 

I happen to be a college professor who uses statistical models and "big data" on a regular basis, and I have a deep interest in educational tools that outperform what is already on the market. So, I created 31 stories with MY puppies as the main characters, but based on child development research, statistics, and the science of language. Then, I hired a team of child development experts, artists, and illustrators from across the United States to make this book as fun and effective as it can be. I explain all these details and more in the appendix of the book, and I also provide the list of 197 words, their sources, and how frequently they appear in which story in the book. 

But what is MOST important is I know your child will benefit from reading these stories (one story per night for a month!), and pronouncing the words out loud as an adult listens. Ask them to use different voices for different characters. Let them talk about the ideas they have as they read. Have fun with it. Let them enjoy the 15 minutes one story will take. The first grade year is a critical time in a child's reading journey . We have a chance to make an immensely powerful investment in our kids' reading confidence during this time, and this book helps do just that. I sincerely hope your child benefits as much from this book as mine and others have!

GOODREADS     /      AMAZON      /     B&N


Centering around two puppies, this book helps beginning readers learn the first needed words in a fun way.

There are thirty-one stories in this book, each only a few pages long and each about a cute, little adventure surrounding two dogs. The purpose of this book is to help first graders learn and practice those words they need to have mastered by the end of the year. The author has used several official word lists to ensure that it fits a broad range of curriculum expectations. There are detailed rubrics at the end of the book, which list the words along with how often they are found in each of the stories. The words are also placed in bold font throughout the stories, making sure they aren't overseen while reading. So, educators as well as interested parents/guardians will have no trouble sorting and using this material. 

The stories themselves are entertaining as they head through playful adventures, silly moments, and more. The two puppies are adorable and carry plenty of personality. There are photos/illustrations in each tale, letting readers get to know this duo well. It is enjoyable to follow the pair through each story and will have readers curious as to what the two will encounter next.

It is a great way to exercise words and does help parents know what their children should be learning. (I am a huge supporter of parents being involved in their children's education, since a lot of life happens at home.) Plus, it allows kids and parents to share a few moments together. I did find the bold words a little distracting, especially when it continues all the way through each tale. Also, the pages full of printed text are a little daunting to new readers, at first, but as the stories go on and they grow accustom to it, this isn't a problem anymore. It is a great way to help readers learn the words, while enjoying a fun pair of characters and a little parent time along the way. 

And here he is...

Dr. Owen Parker, a tenured professor of strategic management, is a passionate educator and writer who is dedicated to mentoring, teaching, and creative problem-solving. Outside of academia, he enjoys recording music and spending moments with his wife, Carina, and their daughter (Lily) and doggy children (Joey and Finnie).

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