Want a book that every kid in your class can read with expression and enjoyment? Try Ed Vere’s nearly wordless picture book, Banana! I love using wordless and nearly wordless books with young readers. (If you want the myriad of reasons why wordless books are great for building narrative skills, fluency, top-down processing, etc., check out this article by the Center for the Improvement of Early Reading Achievement or this one from Education Week.) The facial expressions on the two monkeys are so engaging, and the text is limited to two words: banana and please with either question marks or exclamation points. Read it aloud once to your little ones, and they’ll be begging to read it on their own.  Use it as a lesson on punctuation and how it changes the way we read words on the page. Take two monkey puppets or make monkey masks and let the kids act out the story – even better if you bring in real bananas!

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