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Babe To Teens, Past
A Youth Column
By Beverly J. Rowe

Guest Columnist, Brenda Weeaks

The Between the Lions Book for Parents, Between the Lion book series

The Between the Lions Book for Parents
By Linda K. Rath, Ed.D., and Lousie Kennedy

256 pages
January 6, 2004
ISBN: 0060510277
Nonfiction / How to / Education
Buy it at Amazon
Read an Excerpt

Reviewed by Brenda Weeaks,

   There are three classic educational children's shows on PBS: Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood teaches social behavior and self acceptance; Sesame Street teaches ABCs, how to count, and life's differences; and now, the new kid on the block, Between the Lions, teaches reading. Like the first two, Between The Lions is entertaining as well as informative.

     In fact, it’s such a hit, that the creators of BTL have created a companion book for parents. It has everything one needs to help a child discover, learn, and enjoy reading, beginning with preschool and ending with third grade.

      Be sure to read the Foreward by Christopher Cerf, who explains how BTL was created and what the creators went through to get the show approved. Acknowledgements are also important. They give credit to all who had a helping hand bringing BTL to life and getting it on the air, WGBH being at the top of the list. Another important section to read is “How to Use the Book.” At first glance, this may seem almost too technical, but don’t worry, the reasons will eventually become clear.

     The authors’ believe “children learn to read when they receive both instructions in reading skills and introduction to the value of understanding what they read.” Their approach, in both the show and the book, is “practical, comprehensive, and fun.”

    In the series, the writers use wonderful, lively characters to keep the young ones' attention. In the book, the writers use various methods to keep the parents reading. The chapters are marked by grades and throughout the book are patterned pages with vital information and explanations about reading, writing, and sounding out words. The patterned pages make for quick access.

      The book gives explanations of the five key areas of reading: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. There are grade-by-grade guides for preschool through third grade, as well as information on reading and learning disabilities; also lists of resources, including books and web sites and a glossary. It's the most comprehensive companion book I have ever seen.

    Should you come across The Between the Lions Book for Parents in the bookstore, just glance through it and you will see why the show and the book have received rave reviews. Parents, be sure to do your child's preschool or elementary teacher a favor and bring this book to their attention.

Brenda Weeaks

Inside information:

The Lion Family
Theo the Dad
and Cleo the mom
Lionel,age seven
Leona, age four

Others in the library are:
Click the Mouse.
Barnaby B. Busterfield III.
Walter the Clay Pigeon.
Heath the Thesaurus.
Information Hen.
Dr. Nigwhite.
Dr. Word Heimer.
Martha Reader and the Vowelles.
Gawain's word (two knights).
Arty Smarty Pants and Smarmy Marmy.
Chicken Jane.
Cliff Hanger.
Long Rearranger


What is Reading?

  1. Emergent Literacy: Reading and Writing for Preschoolers
    • Activities for Preschoolers
    • Thirty Really Good Books for Preschoolers
  2. Experimental Literacy: Reading and Writing for  Kindergartners
    • Activities for Kindergartners
    • Thirty Really Good Books for Kindergartners
  3. Independent Literacy: Reading and Writing for First-graders
    • Activities for First-graders
    • Thirty Really Good Books for First-graders
  4. Skillful Literacy: Reading and Writing for Second-Graders
    • Activities for Second-Graders
    • Thirty Really Good Books for Second-Graders
  5. Fluent Literacy: Reading and Writing for Third-Graders
    • Activities for Third-Graders
    • Thirty Really Good Books for Third-Graders
  6. If Your Child is Struggling

Part III
Activities for All Ages

Printable bookmarks

Between the Lion book series
click on the title to see it at Amazon

The Lion and the Mouse Activity Storybook: Activities and Stories Starring the Letter "i" by Lauri Posner, Peter Hirsch, Phil Wilson
The Rub and Read Book by Golden Books
Rug Bug by Tennant Redbank
Red Hat! Green Hat! by Louise Gikow
Between The Lions: Pandora's Box by Phil Wilson (Illustrator), Louise Gikow
Lionel's Word Magic by Golden Books
Pick 'em and Stick 'em Book by Golden Books (Author)
Meet Excellent "E" by Golden Books (Author)
Hopping Hens Here! by Louise Gikow (Author)

2004 Past Columns

Between the lions

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