A Top Nonfiction Series of 2012 - Booklist
A close cousin to the publisher’s Poetry Builders set, the Writing Builders series offers gregarious, upbeat introductions to a number of tasks young writers will eventually tackle, from preparing a speech to conducting an interview. This volume introduces nine-year-old Bo, whose recent experience blogging from a family stay in England gives him the expertise to show his friend, Bridget, how it’s done. McDee’s fully colored cartoon illustrations situate the duo in a cozy, middle-class household, where Bridget’s mom pops in with snacks (radishes, anyone?) as well as some sage words of advice before—and this is key—trusting the kids to do most of the work. Bridget’s concerns are understandable: “Well, does my blog have to be as long as yours?” Bo’s answers are a little my-way-or-the-highway, but nonetheless bring up good things to consider: a design template, the intended audience, and using correct terminology such as posting. They read other blogs for inspiration, which is where they learn never to gossip or use full names or personal info. The wisecracks never intrude upon the learning, and the advice can easily extend to other kinds of writing. Kids are going to post stuff online, so why not use sets like this to help them be smarter and safer?
Booklist Starred Review, April 2012
Writing Builders is a six-book set ideal for children in grades 2-4. Each volume teaches young people about the basics of different types of writing. In the increasingly interconnected world, good writing and communication skills are more valuable than ever; these user-friendly guides supplement their simple instructions with colorful, hand-drawn pictures of fellow children undertaking writing projects. The story native of children discovering how to write interleaved with basic steps and handy tips makes the Writing Builders series easy to pick up and learn from. "Are you ready to practice your speeches?" asked Mr. Boscombe. "Practicing will make you more comfortable with your speech. You'll do a better job when you go in front of your audience. Try not to read your note cards. Just glance at them." The Writing Builders series is an absolutely invaluable addition to grade school children's libraries!
Children's Bookwatch, April 2012
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The Writing Builders series explains how to do different writing tasks using narrative stories. The stories are interesting enough to grab and hold the reader's attention and the details of the how-to are sufficient enough to add to the readers understanding of how to do the particular task. The concept of the narrative makes the tasks seem like something that students can do and keep it from appearing too abstract. The generous number of illustrations also adds a touch of reality and do-ability to the concepts, too. The Blog book is especially useful due to the lack of books on this new topic. Most importantly it includes some crucial ‘don’ts’ for student blogging that will increase student safety on the Internet. Books in this series would make a good addition to your writing craft collection. Recommended.
Arlington Independent School District, July 2012