You know what a HUGE fan I am of Shelley Harwayne and her work. So many of us in literacy have learned so much from her about classroom instruction and creating great schools that focus on literacy. Now that Shelly is a grandma, she is spending lots of time with her grandchildren and has been writing on early literacy. (We reviewed her book, LOOK WHO'S LEARNING TO READ and interviewed Shelley about it here a few months ago.
Shelley's newest publication is a series of Scholastic books that are written for beginning readers called "I'm Reading Now". They are small books and reasonably priced. And they are perfect for K-1 classrooms. These books center around 2 characters--Ruby and Ben. It is clear from the text that Shelley understands the kinds of support beginning readers need. The texts are all very predictable--on most pages, there is one line of text. The pictures support the reader in lots of ways. And the stories all have a clever ending which shows Shelley clearly understands the things that 5-7 year olds find amusing:-) I love that these books focus around 2 characters. I think it is so important for new readers to fall in love with characters and to want to read more about them. In this series, kids will come to know and love Ben and Ruby and be able to use that to help them make predictions in their reading.
From what I understand, there are more books in this series but the first set was in the September Scholastic Book Order.
The illustrator, Jannie Ho, posted about them on her blog a while back. The illustrations are perfect for the books!