Ranger Rick Jr. always has lots of interesting information about animals within its pages. It’s a great resource for introducing non-fiction text to your child. The magazine also has a fictional story in each issue—“Ricky and Pals”—featuring animals that talk and act like children. Discuss with your child the differences between non-fiction text based on facts and fictional text, which are made-up stories.
Turn to pages 12 to read the “Ricky and Pals” adventure. Bizzie, Flora, Mitzi, and Ricky are going to have a picnic at their favorite tree. Show your child what they saw on their way—a bird’s nest, spring flowers, a chipmunk, and other things in nature.
Talk with your child about how the tree they call Old Green provides shelter and food for the animals. After reading the story, ask your child why the friends renamed the tree Old Gray.
Do you and your child have a favorite tree? April is a wonderful time to walk in the park, take a hike together, or just relax in the backyard with the family. After reading about Ricky and his pals, plan a picnic to enjoy the outdoors.
The article on page 16–21 features photos of real animals, but it is also a fictional story that encourages children to use their imagination. It looks like these animals are playing familiar children’s games, but they really aren’t. Have fun with your child guessing what game matches each animal photo. Then suggest that your child go outside and play some of these games with his or her friends.
When the weather is nice, take your child outside to read Ranger Rick Jr.
Mike Wilson, Founder
Prekindergarten Reading Encouragement Project
PREP – Helping childhood literacy one family at a time.