Thursday, July 28, 2011

Rena and Rio Build a Rhyme

Rena and Rio Build a Rhyme
written by Pamela Hall; illustrated by Cary Pillo
2011 (Norwood House Press)
Source: Mebane Public Library

Rena and Rio are two young friends who are riding their bikes to Manny's Candy Shop. As they ride on a path, Rena gives Rio information about the rhymes and patterns that he's creating on the spot. Rena also shares her latest ABAB patterned poem:
             Cats are squeaky
             And cats are sly
             But I love Squeaky
             I don't know why
When they arrive at the candy store, owner Manny has more surprises for them. He talks about end rhymes, near rhymes, and inner rhymes while they peruse the swath of sweets available. Rena also mentions to Rio that a rhyming dictionary is a big help when trying to write rhymes.

Rena and Rio Build a Rhyme certainly puts a spotlight on building rhymes, but there is also a lot of good modeling for young writers. Rena keeps a journal with her and we read examples of her poetry which deals with topics familiar to young readers. Discussion of revising is also included in the narrative. Another positive is the discussion of patterns which fits nicely with kindergarten and first grade math. This early reader will be of interest to motivated young writers in your classroom.

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