Sleeping Bear Press proudly introduces

I Am A Reader!

three beginning reader series featuring Tugg and Teeny by J. Patrick Lewis, illustrated by Christopher Denise, Frog and Friends written by Eve Bunting and illustrated by Josée Masse, and Digger and Daisy written by Judy Young and illustrated by Dana Sullivan.

Although these books are beginning chapter books for newly independent readers, any child can enjoy the stories with the proper support. This website includes helpful information about beginning reading strategies, story introductions, activities, and tips to help children learn to read.


Introducing Tugg and Teeny


Here are some ideas to help readers at any level to enjoy Tugg and Teeny.

Nonreaders: These children are able to look at pictures, listen to stories, and may be able to control turning pages; however, they are not able to read text. If your child is at this stage, sit close together and read the story to your child. Talk about the pictures, the characters, and the plot of the story. Enjoy reading together!

Emergent Readers: These children are beginning to read short, predictable books alone. They control the books by themselves and can use pictures and visual cues to read many of the words and comprehend very simple texts. However, they are not yet ready to tackle the length and depth of Tugg and Teeny alone. If your child is at this stage, read these stories to your child. As you read, ask your child to predict what will happen next. Point to the words as you read, and have your child help by reading some of the words he/she knows. Discuss the plot, characters, and pictures, and talk about what your child likes about the story. Enjoy reading together!

Newly Independent Readers: These children are very excited to be reading their “first chapter book!” These children have progressed through very simple texts and now can read and comprehend books that contain several characters, a story with a plot, and many words on each page. If your child is at this stage, begin by introducing the characters and concepts in the stories. (Specific book introductions can be found on a different page on this Web site.) Following your introduction, listen to your child read the book aloud, and offer assistance when needed. Allow your child to look at the pictures to enhance the story and aid in comprehension. Although this book is considered to be a beginning chapter book, it is really a collection of stories. If your child does not have the endurance to read the entire book, just one of the three stories can be read in a sitting. Enjoy reading and discussing a book together!

Independent Readers: These children can pick up a Tugg and Teeny book and read, comprehend, and get pleasure from it independently. They are able to read for a length of time and can use strategies to decode unknown words. They understand that we read in order to comprehend, and they make sense of the story as they read. If your child is at this stage, allow your child to read the book alone. After you have also read the book, discuss the story together. Discover which parts your child liked the best, and share what you enjoyed. Compare the story to another book or to a real-life occurrence. Enjoy discussing a book together!

Joy L. Towner
Professor of Education
Judson University, Elgin, IL