Scholastic Branches Book Series theresa December 9, 2015 Education, Products 24 Comments Have you tried picking out books as gifts? It’s the hardest thing! You want the book to fit with the person’s interests and be a fun read for them. This is the predicament I found myself in this year. I knew that my older daughter Samantha was rapidly growing out of her Pre-K books. Her reading skills are getting to be really impressive. I wanted to continue challenging her with books on her level, while also appealing to her interests. Scholastic’s PR representative recommended that I try the Branches books, early chapter books that have pictures. Scholastic Branches Book Series Scholastic sent me the first of several of their Branches book series: Owl Diaries, Princess Pink, Silver Pony Ranch, Missy’s, The Amazing Stardust Friends, and Olive & Beatrix. Since my daughter loves girly stories, the animal/princess theme was a great fit for her. The first book, Owl Diaries: Eva’s Treetop Festival, was a beautiful, vibrant graphic novel. Inside, each page had big illustrations. Samantha’s an artist, so the colors are really appealing for her. I loved being able to understand the story without the words, because that’s what a lot of beginning readers need to be able to do. You can use the picture clues to help read the words. I also liked that the vocabulary was pretty simple and explained clearly in the text. Another fun book with some odd humor was Princess Pink and the Land of Fake Believe. Even though this book seems pretty girly with princess in the title, it would still appeal to plenty of boys with the wacky situations the characters get into in the story. One chapter was called Three Angry Beards, and it had illustrations of living beards talking to each other! The story was hilarious. Read this book to get a good laugh. For animal lovers, Silver Pony Ranch: Sparkling Jewel is a great fit. The main character, Tori, is a tom girl who loves riding horses on her grandmother’s ranch. This book has black and white illustrations, so it’s not as colorful as some of the other stories, but the illustrations have a lot of detail. I liked that there were pictures on almost every page to help kids visualize the situation. Kids who don’t usually ride horses can get more into the story by seeing the events happen. The book Missy’s Super, Duper, Royal, Deluxe Picture Day is set up like a comic book with word bubbles for the dialogue. My daughter loves the comic section in the newspaper, so this book is a great fit for her. The main character Missy’s struggles are totally relatable to kids. From having mom pick out your outfit to getting in trouble for talking in school, what kid hasn’t had the same experiences? There are plenty of opportunities to pause and make connections to life to help with comprehension. Friendships are such a focus in school, so The Amazing Stardust Friends Step into the Spotlight was another great choice. In the story, the main character Marlo joins the circus, where she meets a great new trio of friends. This book had black and white illustrations in different sizes on each page. The pictures show the fun, magical world of the circus – tight rope walking, hula hooping, and the trapeze. My daughter loves dance and movement, so the story line was appealing for her. The last book is Olive & Beatrix: The Not-So-Itty-Bitty Spiders. I received a nice, hard cover copy. Inside, I was delighted by the pretty colors in the illustrations. When I came across The Spider Hunt chapter, I had to laugh. My daughter calls herself the spider hunter because she always seems to track down spiders outside. Luckily, spiders don’t scare her at all because the story focused a lot on giant spiders. What an adventure! What are your favorite book series for kids still learning how to read well? Share your favorites in the comments section below! Disclosure I received a free item, but it in no way influenced my opinion! 24 Responses Shakeira December 10, 2015 This is great and will be very helpful! Thanks for sharing! Reply Aletha Oglesby December 10, 2015 These books look fun and inviting. I also love giving books as gifts. Reply Alonda December 10, 2015 Owl diaries looks like such a cute series!! Reply andi December 11, 2015 i didn’t think that Scholastic was still around – i remember them from when i was a kid! Reply theresa December 11, 2015 Really? They’re such a lifesaver for teachers to earn items for the classroom! Reply Jennifer Corter December 16, 2015 How cool! Those books look like so much fun to read! Reply Alyssa from The Sparkly Life December 16, 2015 oh my gosh–so many good book ideas here! my daughter would go nuts for Princess Pink, Olive & Beatrix, and Stardust Friends! Reply theresa December 19, 2015 That’s great! I’m glad I could help you find books she might like. Reply Christine- The Choosy Mommy December 16, 2015 I’m not to the point of my child reading yet (she’s 3) but I enjoy books that I will like too. The moldylocks book looks really interesting!!! Reply theresa December 19, 2015 It’s fun to find a book that’s not so traditional! Kids seem to really get into books like that. Reply Cianna December 16, 2015 I was always a big reader when I was a kid! If I have kids, I’ll be sure to encourage them to read! Such good recommendations here! Reply theresa December 19, 2015 I was too, and I think that’s why I love figuring out the right books for my kids! Reply Susannah December 18, 2015 Books are the best!!!!! <3<3<3 Reply theresa December 19, 2015 Absolutely! I love finding a good book series. Reply Ana December 19, 2015 wow, this looks like a fun gift this holiday season. Reply theresa December 19, 2015 Absolutely! They would even fit well in a stocking. Reply Jasmine Watts December 19, 2015 Those books look like so much fun to read! Thanks for sharing!! Reply theresa December 19, 2015 They are! Thanks for checking them out. Reply Keisha December 21, 2015 I love scholastic Reply theresa December 22, 2015 Me too! It’s such a great company. Reply Sheena January 15, 2016 My daughter has the Owl Diaries books and loves them! I didn’t know there were so many others! I’ll definitely be looking for these when the next order form comes home. Thanks for sharing! Reply Bree Hogan January 15, 2016 This post caught my eye because of the owl in the feature picture. I love owls! Makes me want to be a kid again and read the Owl Diaries. Reply Rhi January 16, 2016 Cool books. love the last one. Reply Easter Basket Gift Guide for Girls - Theresa's Reviews March 13, 2016 […] Christmas, I did a review of the Scholastic Branches book series. These books continue to be Samantha’s favorite. 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