Written by a former zookeeper at the Singapore Zoo, The Ranger Anne series encourages little ones to read on their own, and is a must for your Singapore children’s book library!
I was recently made aware of a newish series of books: Ranger Anne by Anita Sebastian and illustrated by Eliz Ong. These eight books were of particular interest to me as I have written and edited leveled reading materials for children.
The Let Me Read series is a guided approach to helping children read on their own. As the reader turns each page he/she becomes confident with new vocabulary and comprehension. The series’ Level 3 books are challenging for my emergent reader—she is now 4 years old—but she appreciates the longer, high-interest stories as she becomes a more fluent and independent reader.
The eponymous ranger takes care of, and plays with, the animals at the Singapore Zoo. Set 1 includes Active Leopard, Proud Flamingos, Curious Snake, Flying Stingray; Set 2 includes Noisy Elephant, Magical Fireflies, Graceful Giraffe, and Smiling Slow Loris (released in February).
Sebastian is a skilled storyteller, and the writing in the The Ranger Anne series is stronger than in some of Armour Publishing’s other Let Me Read series. Sebastian, a writer, editor, zoologist, and former Singapore Night Safari employee, weaves strong, character-driven narratives with interesting facts about each of the animals in the series (or at least facts about animals in captivity. Neither Sebastian nor her character Anne address the morality of keeping animals in captivity at all).
The Ranger Anne series of books are, no doubt, educationally sound: they encourage young children to read on their own with predictable story patterns, familiar characters, and comforting repetition. Ong’s bright, whimsical illustrations are not only inviting, but also rich with detail. I wonder how many hours she spent observing the animals she rendered! The books also include trivia about each of the animals to help “extend” the learning after the story is complete.
Lastly, a note at the end of book, by Dr. Myra Garces-Bacsal, Assistant Professor, National Institute of Education, helpfully offers tips for caregivers and teachers of emergent readers.
The Ranger Anne series books are available individually on Amazon, or can be purchased at SGD30 for a set of four books via Armour Publishing.