Early Reader Success: Billy and Blaze

Billy and BlazeBilly And BlazeBilly And Blaze by C. W. Anderson by C. W. Anderson

A classic early reader, and for good reason – it’s a great choice for that stage (especially if your early reader likes animals). Every two-page spread has an illustration on one side, and limited text on the other, so it’s helpful for kids like mine who need lots of white space or else they’re discouraged.

The book is about 50 pages (it’s wandered off or I’d double-check it) but all the illustrations make it very readable in two sessions. A more motivated reader could easily tackle it all in one reading session, but my reader did it in two. He’s not as motivated as some of his friends and relatives. 🙂

He was able to sound out every word, and the only one he had trouble with was “bridle” – pronouncing it “briddle” If he were at all familiar with equine equipment I think he’d have recognized his mistake and corrected it himself, but I’m kind of glad he didn’t know it as it led to a discussion on homonyms with him when I told him the correct pronunciation. He was then confused, because wasn’t “bridal” something to do with weddings? We’d just been to his second cousin’s wedding the weekend before and apparently he’d heard the term, or that’s my guess anyway.

Which makes me wonder if initially he remembered the “pickle” syllable word rule, but intentionally didn’t follow it thinking “this is a story about horses, there is nothing about a wedding here!” No matter if he was thinking that or not, I liked the opening it gave for that extra discussion on the weirdness that is English at times.

On a plotting note, he enjoyed the story, and saw the pictures for additional Billy & Blaze titles that are available. He’s requested two of them – and I got him one of those requests (Blaze and ThunderboltBlaze and Thunderbolt by C. W. Anderson) so he clearly liked the story enough to want more of it. Yay!

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