One of my challenging tasks as a primary teacher was to encourage reluctant readers to find an author or series of books to spark their interest. Quite often the reluctant readers were those busy, active little people who really wanted to read, but just didn’t seem to be able to find the time to sit down with a book that they could relate to. The Little Critter books by Mercer Mayer were often just the perfect place to begin and I liked using his stories to introduce ideas and start discussions. For example, Just Grandpa and Me and Just Me and My Dad were perfect to introduce Father’s Day projects. I Was So Mad and I’m Sorry were good to start discussions about feelings. But more importantly, they were often the books that became the first ‘real’ books that the struggling readers tackled.
Mercer Mayer is an American author and illustrator who writes about charming Little Critter and his family. Simple stories about family, friends, school, shopping and other day to day activities are the settings he chose to tell the stories about Little Critter who always tries hard but frequently runs into trouble as he shares his daily adventures with his family. The story settings and problems Little Critter encounters are familiar to young readers and the fun illustrations and clear simple text make the stories easy for young readers to understand and make connections as the story is read aloud or if they are reading on their own.
I found that many of my grade 1 students and reluctant grade 2 readers loved Little Critter and often chose those stories from the class library, so if you are looking for something to help a young reader to appreciate a fun story, check out Mercer Mayer and his Little Critter stories.