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How Not to Babysit Your Brother - Catherine Hapka

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Genre: Junior books / Author: Catherine Hapka, Ellen Titlebaum / Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers / Released: 25.01.2005

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      25.11.2011 15:26
      Very helpful



      Fun book for brothers.

      'How Not to Babysit Your Brother' is a Step Into Reading, Step 4 Book. These books are designed for children who are beginning to read on their own, but may still be put off by larger chapter books. These books are ideal for children who can confidently read simple stories with a few sentences on each page and are ready to move on to complete paragraphs. I found my son was a bit intimidated by chapter books at first, even though he was reading Project X books and Step into Reading Books at higher reading levels. These books make a perfect bridge from picture books to chapter books.

      All text is large, black, and well spaced on a white background. The illustrations are well done, clearly illustrating the text. They really add to the humour of the book, but a child could work out the whole story from the illustrations alone. This is helpful for children who may be struggling with a few words to place them into context.

      This book is intended for children in American grades 2 -3, which would put them at ages 7 -9. The story is certainly one that an older child would enjoy, and although my son is currently much more interested in the Young James Bond books, he did enjoy this. It is quite funny and he had a good a laugh, especially as he could compare this story to his brother.

      The story begins when Will's Mom goes out, leaving Will,, Steve, and their dog Buster with Grandma. But Grandma soon falls asleep - which leaves Will in charge - although it appears that Steve is the one calling all the shots. It all begins with a game of hide and seek. Except Will's idea of hide and seek is to let Steve hide and go back to his video game. This leads to Lesson number 1 in babysitting : "DON'T forget about him!" When Will finally decides all this peace and quiet is too good to be true and goes looking for his brother - he finds his first disaster. While Will is cleaning up one mess, Steve is always a few steps ahead of him making another.

      While this is intended for older children, it was my 3 year old who fell in love with this story. Like many children, he loves stories about other children misbehaving. For children who like to see other kids doing awful things, this book will be a sure fired hit. Steve gets into everything and as fast as Will cleans up one mess he makes another. I am not sure if slap stick is the correct term to describe a book - but it certainly is not far off. The mischief Steve gets into is monumental to say the least. But aside from all the humour, the book does create a good starting point to discuss common sibling issues, and help brothers to see how the other one feels.

      This book comes up trumps in all areas as far as I am concerned. It is an excellent book for developing reading skills. It will appeal to a wide age level, so would be suitable for children who have started reading a bit later as well. But it also makes a very good story book. It is a lovely book to bring down at bedtime and read over and over, with plenty of laughter each time. It is a fun lighthearted book, but it does help children to see their siblings point of view as well.

      The only downside I can see to this book is the gleam in my son's eyes as he comments "That looks like fun". As long as all this mischief remains in the book I have no complaints, but lets just hope he doesn't try any of this out!


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    • Product Details

      Will’s little brother, Steve, is big trouble. What happens when Will has to babysit? Steve’s over-the-top mishaps and Will’s attempts to get him under control are sure to keep kids reading—and laughing!—throughout this Step 4 book. Early readers with younger siblings are sure to relate.

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