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You Read to Me, I'll Read to You: Very Short Stories to Read Together    by Mary Ann Hoberman & Michael Emberley order for
You Read to Me, I'll Read to You
by Mary Ann Hoberman
Order:  USA  Can
Little, Brown & Co., 2001 (2001)
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Mary Ann Hoberman wrote this picture book to promote literacy, by reading aloud together. Her very short stories (in verse) are each 'like a little play for two voices', and all end in the refrain 'You read to me! / I'll read to you!' Note that this is an ALA Notable book. Michael Emberley's illustrations add quirky humor to each tale.

There are two cats reading with a captive audience of mice, followed by two tough looking dogs rescuing the mice from a cat, 'Now pussycat, / That isn't nice. / You shouldn't scare / The little mice.' I love the raccoon. She moans 'I hate my hat!' to a friend, whose response is 'I like your hat. / It's "hate" I hate.' And there's a bunny hopping with a skipping child up and down hill all the way to the library.

Kids build a snowman together, then read inside in the warmth. 'I Like' is a delightful take on likes and dislikes, with reading as a like that children have in common. 'My Snake' is a pet who likes to hang around its owner's neck and check out books. There's a readalong by telephone, a poem on the futility of bathing a puppy, and an imaginary (or is he?) bear. Finally 'The End' reminds us 'there are other books to read. / Hundreds / Thousands / All we need.'

There are indeed, but don't miss this one! Share it with a beginning reader - taking turns reading is a wonderful way to get started, and You Read to Me, I'll Read to You makes it great fun.

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