Top positive review
Very good book
Reviewed in the United States on January 19, 2020
My daughter is below grade level in reading, she's 6 and in 1st grade. The Step Into Reading level books take the guesswork out of buying books for her. As she's really taken off reading and grown a interest in it in the last few months with the last adjustment to her medication, we're in a position where we need to upgrade most of her books as she's quickly mastering the library we've had since she was much younger. We discovered the Step Into Reading books a few weeks ago.
The 2nd step is right at her level and she can read them almost completely independently, only needing the occasional assistance with words she's unfamiliar with. Our local store didn't have much in the way of step 3 books however. I was excited to find so very many more options online for her. We're looking forward to expanding both her collection of step 2 books and gathering a collection of step 3 books for her to grow into in the next few months.
Now, for this book specifically-
I grew up in Anchorage, Alaska so the story of Balto is close to my heart. I was taught it young and every year I'd go to the ceremonial start of the Iditarod. Now I have a daughter of my own but we've moved out of Alaska. This is one of the very few memories of my childhood I cherish and I'd honestly not realized how much it bothered me to not have the ability to pass that experience on to my daughter.
Then I saw this book. Level 3, just a bit too advanced for her on her own but maybe in a few months she'll be there. And until then, we can read it together. The art is beautiful and I was excited to see some of the people illustrated with features commonly seen in Native Alaskans. It tells the story of Balto historically, with dates but doesn't make the story dry. I love that they name the illness that struck None, it named the city of Anchorage and gave trail distances, had a map showing the trail and names of the rest points.
I would have liked if the ending showed instead of the Central Park statue of Balto it showed the one in Anchorage, Alaska but that's always been a annoyance for me regardless of the retelling of the story. Every summer people visit Anchorage and are surprised to see a Balto Statue.