Australian author, Sally Rippin, has created two incredible valuable collections of books for emergent readers. Jack and Billie are best friends, and each have their own set of books detailing their adventures. I haven’t read every single book in each of these collections, but I’ve read a decent amount of them!
Rating: 5 out of 5 for the audience they are intended. (As an adult, not so much, but I find it hard to rate books this short!) Age Suggestion: 5+. Earlier if you’re reading them to a child. Ability Range: 5+. Confident Grade 1 readers will enjoy the challenge of being able to read these ‘chapter books’. Both sets of books are the perfect level for Grade 2 and 3 students, and they are still popular with struggling readers all the way up to Grade 4, however. They’re short enough to help instill confidence, and simple enough to help improve fluency and accuracy for readers who need assistance. Content Notes: I didn’t have high expectations for these stories, however I’ve really enjoyed the way they portray both Jack and Billie. They aren’t spoiled, and there are themes of acceptance, persistence and resilience – which are not overly common in young children’s literature! I’m sure that the idea is that Hey Jack is meant to appeal to boys, and Billie B Brown to girls, however I’ve noticed plenty of reading crossover between the two.
Many of you will already be well aware of Rippin's work, but if you’ve got children in lower primary school, make sure these are on your reading list!