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.

Introduction for “The Strange Stick”

This script is to be used to help you introduce the story to your child.  When children begin to read a story for the first time, it is very helpful for them to take a “picture walk” through the text.  By looking at the pictures from the whole story, children make predictions about the setting, the characters, and the events. During this picture walk, you can take the opportunity to draw attention to certain events, introduce characters, present new vocabulary terms, and help your child locate unfamiliar words in the text.  This will allow your child to be much more successful when reading the story for the first time.

As you use this introduction:

  • Follow the instructions in italics.
  • Say or ask the text that is in bold
  • Answers to questions are in plain text.

This book is Tugg and Teeny written by J. Patrick Lewis and illustrated by Christopher Denise.  Let’s read the first story, which is called “The Strange Stick.”

Open the book to page 1.  Allow your child to hold the book while you look at the pictures together.  As you look at the pictures, encourage your child to predict what he/she thinks will happen and what the story is about.  On specific pages, stop to introduce a character or an unfamiliar word.

Page 1:  Which character in the picture do you think is Tugg?  The gorilla.  Which is Teeny?  The monkey.

Page 3:  What kind of animal is by the tree?  A baboon.  In this story, his name is BooBoo.

Page 4: What is in the gorilla’s hand?  It is a wooden whistle which is an instrument played similarly to a flute.

Page 6: What kind of animal is that?  A warthog.

Page 7: Point out the words “Squeak, squawk, screech,” and read them aloud.  What do you think these words are telling us?  Teeny was not good at playing the whistle.

Page 8: Sometimes Teeny calls Tugg “Tuggboat.”  Can you find that word on this page?  Help your child find that word.  Now when you get to that word, you’ll know to say, “Tuggboat.”

Page 9: Look at the sign on the door.  What do you think is happening here?  A music studio is where people take lessons and practice playing instruments.

Page 11: On this page, Teeny and Tugg are “awakened” by something.  Can you find the word “awakened?” Help your child locate the word.  Now when you get to this page, you’ll know that word!

Now that you have looked at all of the pictures, discussed story elements, and introduced unknown characters and words, go back to the beginning and allow your child to read to you.  Check the “Strategies for Beginning Readers” section of this Web site for ways to assist your child when reading.

Joy Towner, Professor of Education