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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Margo Pargo really wants to play the letter rumble game with her older siblings on family games night. Everyone says she’s too young, too small and she hasn’t yet learned how to read. She was one smart little girl. She was in kindergarten, after all. She was determined to show them. She took the rumble case and scattered the letters across the table. She pointed at each one, named it, and made its sound. Then, her brother Liam arranged three letters: C-A-T. Margo Pargo sounded out each letter. She was reading. It was time for a family celebration as each member helped the youngest learn to read more words, simple words that rhymed. Margo Pargo really was reading.
Melissa Walker’s picture book story, ABC Ability: How Margo Pargo learned to read (The Secret Skills of Margo Pargo Book 3), is an excellent, learning-to-read tool for beginner readers. Using a young child as the main character and her determination to join in the family fun of playing a word game, the plot develops as the family comes together to help her read simple rhyming words. Not only is this an inspirational story on the powerful tool of letters and one’s ability to put them together to read, but it is an educational story on the importance of family and how families, working together, can help each other, like Margo Pargo’s family helps her with reading skills.
The language is simple and the words Margo Pargo learns are presented in bold, so the young reader can learn to sound out each letter before putting the sounds together into a word, just as Margo Pargo does. The colorful illustrations are encouraging and help carry the story along. The end of the book includes some word games to help young readers improve and broaden their reading skills. A real gem of a learning-to-read book. Remember, reading can be fun!