Daniel loves his new pet. But what will happen when it hatches a surprise? In this companion to Daniel’s Mystery Egg or El huevo misterioso de Daniel, Alma Flor Ada and G. Brian Karas team up for a heartwarming story about Daniel and his newest animal friend at an initial reading level.
Several other books by Alma Flor Ada can be discussed along side this book. Who’s Hatching Here? or ¿Quién nacerá aquí? offers the possibility to talk about animals born of eggs. A Rose with Wings or Rosa alada to talk about how interesting it is seeing a new animal come out of an egg. And The Kite or El papalote share the joy of having a pet.
G. Brian Karas has illustrated dozens of popular books, including Cinder-Elly and Sleepless Beauty by Frances Minters, Saving Sweetness and Raising Sweetness by Diane Stanley, and the HiRise Private Eyes beginning-reader series by Cynthia Rylant. He lives in Rhineback, New York. For this book he used photos of Alma Flor’s grandson Daniel to illustrate the protagonist which Daniel inspired.
What fun it has been to be able to make my dearest grandson Daniel a protagonist of two books.
When I wrote the series Stories the Year ‘Round or Cuentos para todo el año many of the stories were inspired in my children’s childhood. As Latino children growing up in the United States some of their experiences reflected that circumstance, many others were universal, and a few were simply unique. Now, I have the blessing of being grandmother to nine children of mixed heritage, whose heritage include that of their fathers, who are both Peruvian and Cuban, and their mothers, of European ancestry with generations in the United Sates.
I enjoy making my grandchildren the protagonists of my books.
Daniel’s Pet as well as Daniel’s Mystery Egg or El huevo misterioso de Daniel honor my kind and sensitive grandson Daniel. His sister Cristina is the protagonist of Cristina and the Frog, or Cristina y la rana, and of Celebrate Halloween and Day of the Dead with Cristina and Her Blue Bunny or Celebra Halloween y el Día de Muertos con Cristina y su conejito azul.
Those learning to read often turn to books that explore their interests. Keeping this in mind, Harcourt last year launched a carefully designed early-reader series called “Green Light Readers” with level one (ages 4 to 6) and level two (ages 5 to 7) books. Since many kids are intrigued by animals, Daniel’s Pet heads the list. The book offers the simple words, fun rhymes and rhythms and familiar situations that can provide important cues to those trying to master reading. Alma Flor Ada’s engaging story about a little boy acquiring and caring for his pet chick is well complemented by G. Brian Karas’ whimsical illustrations. At the end, an art project and five playful questions encourage young readers to further reflect on the book, enhancing understanding and enjoyment. 2003, Harcourt, and Ages 4 to 6. (Children’s Literature – Mary Quattlebaum )
“First grade students at Franklin Elementary School in Rahway were recently visited by ‘Cooper’ the hen. Students learned all about hens and how to care for a pet when they read the story, ‘Dan’s Pet’ by Alma Flor Ada…” Read more » [New Jersey today]
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