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One of the biggest challenges that parents and teachers face in the elementary years is getting reluctant readers to pick up a book. As teachers try to encourage independent reading skills by helping their students find books that are just right for them, it’s important that we encourage a love of reading by letting our kids read whatever captures their interest. I say all of this as a former teacher and a parent of a reluctant reader and voracious reader.
8 year old Captain Computer is completely different from his almost 11 year old sister, Emily, when it comes to reading. While his sister has been picking up books and reading them on her own since the age of four, Captain Computer was much slower to pick up a book and read it on his own. Emily has always been confident in her reading skills while her brother’s confidence only started to show this summer.
We know that lack of confidence in reading ability contributes to kids being book avoidant but what can you do when you know your child should be reading but doesn’t want to?
Sure, you can take them to the library and let them browse, ask for teacher recommendations, and query your friends on Facebook for suggestions but in the end, a child must choose what to read in order to maintain interest. And honestly, sometimes they might not choose something you think they should be reading but I’ve learned that it’s important to put my preconceived notions aside and just let them read. Otherwise they’re frustrated at home and at school and aren’t working toward building reading confidence they need.
As a kid who suffered from ADHD, reading challenges, and behavioral problems, author Dav Pilkey was so disruptive in class that his teachers made him sit out in the hallway every day. Dav loved to draw and make up stories, so he spent this time creating his own original comic books. In second grade, Dav created a comic book about a superhero named Captain Underpants. His teacher ripped it up and told him he couldn’t spend the rest of his life making silly books. Fortunately, Dav was not a very good listener and went on to create series such as Super Diaper Baby, Ook and Gluk, Dumb Bunnies, and Ricky Ricotta’s Mighty Robot.
When our reluctant reader found the Captain Underpants series, a whole new world of books opened up to him. Sure, the book’s characters are inspired by teachers and administrators from Dav Pilkey’s own elementary school experience and include potty humor but I will be forever grateful that Captain Underpants introduced my child to a world of graphic novels that led into a love of Super Diaper Baby and ultimately, reading.
These days Captain Computer will read absolutely anything by Dav Pilkey. He’s a hero to my son and a hero to me for motivating my reluctant reader to read.
When I was approached about taking a look at Dav Pilkey’s Ricky Ricotta’s Mighty Robot series and asked my son if he’d like to help, he jumped at the chance. Together we wondered how we hadn’t heard of Mighty Robot before and then realized that the books are always checked out at our local and school libraries!
When the books arrived, Captain Computer squirreled them away in his Reading Lair and sat on his bean bag chair reading them. It was a proud mom moment! When he emerged, this is what he wanted to share about the Mighty Robot!
Summary of Ricky Ricotta’s Mighty Robot:
Ricky Ricotta is a little mouse with BIG problems! Every day he is picked on by the neighborhood bullies. He lives in Squeakyville with his mother and father, and being an only mouse, he is often lonely. That is until SOMETHING BIG HAPPENS! A giant flying robot enters Ricky’s life and an unlikely friendship is born! Together, Ricky and his Robot must save the planet from a galaxy bursting with bad guys!
Originally in black and white, Ricky Ricotta’s Mighty Robot series has been redone in color for a fresh look for new readers and those who loved the originals. Fans of Dav Pilkey’s other series will love the full color Flip-o-Ramas that are popular in the Captain Underpants series. There are currently six books in the series with books 7-9 coming to motivate more readers soon!
For more information and resources to motivate readers who love Ricky Ricotta’s Mighty Robot, you can:
- Visit the Ricky Ricotta Official Site
- Learn more about author Dav Pilkey
- Follow Scholastic and ScholasticTeach on Twitter
- Like Scholastic Parents and Scholastic Teachers on Facebook
- Check out the Classroom Guide
- View the Book Trailer
- Play the Make Your Own Robot Game
- Read Chapter Excerpts & a Mini-Comic Excerpt
- Download the Character Cards
- Check out Ricky Ricotta Printables
We received a set of Ricky Ricotta’s Mighty Robot books as part of this compensated review but all opinions are those of my highly motivated 8 year old reader who truly loves anything by Dav Pilkey. And Dav, if you’re reading this- we can’t wait for more Dumb Bunnies books! Amazon affiliate links are included in this post.