It’s Jani’s first day at school and she’s nervous. Will the other monkeys be friendly? Will they all stare at her? Jani is in a wheelchair, and this makes her different. But, thanks to her sense of cheekiness, she makes friends and has a very nice first day at school indeed. This book stars a monkey with a sense of fun.
A ‘Green Banana’ in the ‘Bananas’ series of easy readers, this slim volume is for beginning readers. The book contains 3 stories centered around a young monkey named Jani, who is new to the Jungle School. We first meet Jani, who is in a wheelchair, on her first day of school. We follow her through her introduction to her classmates on the first day to her performance in physical education class and creative costume making during dress-up time. Jani and her friends are very appealing characters. Sim’s brightly colored and dynamic illustrations are perfect for these stories. The vocabulary is slightly above the level expected for a beginning reader and the frequent appearance of contractions may present difficulties for some young readers. The book does have the advantage of a second purpose; it is a nice story about accepting people with differences and disabilities that children can easily understand. If you are in need of emergent readers, there are better ones out there, but if you’re looking for short, easy stories to add to your collection, this is a nice choice.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-These beginning readers, each with three short chapters, highlight familiar situations: the first day in a new school, bedtime fears, and conflicts with a friend. School features a monkey in a wheelchair and her classmates, while Bed and Diggers have children and their family members as characters. Teachers will appreciate the multisyllabic word choices in these books, but at times the language may be above the level of the intended audience. The books also contain dialogue bubbles. Each title includes some descriptive words that may help young readers develop a larger vocabulary when the books are read aloud. The colorful illustrations, which differ in style, add humor. Additional fare.-Kathleen Pavin, Purdy Elementary School Library, Fort Atkinson, WI Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
These are the easiest books in the Banana series and would suit children reading at NC level 1. Senior Infants, ages 5 to 6
Reading challenges and support offered by the books:
These books are for children who are beginning to read longer stories. To support them in this, each book is divided into three simple stories which are linked by character, setting and often by theme. Parents can support children by encouraging them to read each story separately and to sustain the reading over a number of sessions. This helps children to begin to learn about re-capping what happened previously and using this to support their reading and understanding. They will begin to learn the satisfaction of sustaining reading over a longer period.
These books have a small amount of text on each page. The stories are written in simple sentences. This means that there is only one clause in each sentence, which makes reading easier for the beginning reader, who can use full stops to support reading for meaning and can work on small units of meaning at a time.
There is quite a lot of dialogue in most of the stories, which will encourage children to read aloud with expression, thinking about the personalities and feelings of different characters.
The stories may have unfamiliar characters but the situations within the stories will be familiar to the children. It is important to talk about the experiences of the characters within the story and to help children to begin to relate them to their own experiences.
The brightly coloured illustrations support the children’s understanding of the text but also allow some opportunity for children to go beyond the text. Previous experience of