Whale and the Mystery ­Mango: Ready-to-Read Level 2

S. & S./Simon Spotlight. (Whale, Quail, Snail). Aug. 2024. 32p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781665956741; pap. $4.99. ISBN 9781665956734.
PreS-Gr 2–In this third series installment, the three friends wait, with varying levels of composure, for a mango to ripen on its tree. Whale’s growing eagerness turns to disappointment and impatience as Quail patiently shows that the mango is “still green,” and that even once it begins to turn orange, it is “still hard.” Their back-and-forth argument provides ample repetition to aid emerging readers, and Whale’s increasing frustration adds an element of humor. The disagreement escalates until Snail steps in and teaches them a dance to distract them. The distraction is successful, but the dance leads to unintended consequences: a bonk on the head and even a few tears. Children will relate to the struggle of waiting for a treat, and the mismatched friends’ slapstick antics will appeal to fans of “Elephant and Piggie” and “Frog and Toad.” The story is short enough to engage younger children as a read-aloud, and Snail’s dance would be a fun interactive element for story time with preschoolers.
VERDICT Perfect for “Elephant and Piggie” fans who are ready to expand their horizons.

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