Brownie and Pearl, by Cynthia Rylant, is series perfect for early and new readers. The main characters are Brownie (a little girl) and Pearl (her orange and black cat). The adorable duo experience everyday life together, showing emerging independence. The two-page spreads are usually limited to one scene in the experience of the book with 1-4 sentences, primarily made up of sight and foundational words for reading. Here is an example:
Brownie likes the party.
She plays games.
She eats cake.
She eats ice cream.
One of my favorite parts of this series is the illustrations by Brian Biggs. The characters are depicted in a sweet and lovable manner. Brownie is always smiling and Pearl looks content and curious. The colors are bright and colorful with lots of yellows, pinks, teals, and purples—colors most little girls love.
Young girls, in particular, will be drawn to Brownie and Pearl’s adventures. The sentence structure allows for early reading success. The values of independence, optimism, curiosity, friendship, and kindness are shown throughout. Here are a couple of the books I read:
Together they go through a typical bedtime routine: bathing, dressing, and snacking. Then, Brownie reads Pearl a book. When it is time to “hit the hay,” they go up to bed with no fussing or delaying. They curl up as a “happy little bed ball” and go to sleep.
Brownie and Pearl are invited to a birthday party. Brownie feels nervous and shy as she walks to the birthday child’s door. Pearl isn’t though. She goes right in the kitty door, urging Brownie to knock. When she overcomes her fear, she realizes everyone is excited she has arrived. Brownie and Pearl have a fun time at the party.
It is a hot, summer day. Brownie and Pearl decide to cool off in the pool. Brownie puts on her swimsuit while Pearl finds the beach ball. Outside, they fill up a small kiddie pool. They both splash around in the pool until they are nice and cool. They finish off their fun laying out in the sun to dry off.