In the 1960s, Dorothy Z. Seymour was teaching first grade when she started writing easy readers to use as part of her reading curriculum.
"I didn't realize that they would also become classics, beloved by children who cherished them, carried them around constantly, hugged them in bed, and reread them until their families could recite them by heart." - Dorothy Z. Seymour
I was over at a friend's house when I saw her copy of one of her favorite books from childhood, Ann Likes Red, on the book shelf. It caught my eye not only because the cover is just adorable but also because it looked so familiar to me. I realized one of my favorite books as a child is by the same author, Dorothy Z. Seymour. Like my friend, first-grade-me carried one of Seymour's books around everywhere, read it over and over again, and loved to look at the simple yet perfect illustrations. Seymour's books have been so beloved by the first generation of readers that her work is now being published again for a new generation! The simple stories are time-tested and true winners. They encourage literacy confidence in a way that is fun.
Ann Likes Red is the story of a little girl who loves the color red! (I can relate!) Ann goes shopping with her mother. Does Ann want a blue dress? Green shoes? Purple socks? Nope. I mean, didn't you read the title? Ann wants a red dress, red shoes, red everything!
My favorite as a little girl was Ballerina Bess. With a story as simple and sweet as Ann Likes Red and pictures that engage little readers, this is still one of my favorites. Bess wants to learn to dance, so her parents take her to a ballet school.
Seymour said that The Sandwich was one of her favorite stories to write. In it, two kids are building one crazy sandwich with layer after layer of every ingredient imaginable!
I am pretty sure that five years ago Seymour's books would have been hard to locate for purchase, and I haven't seen Ballerina Bess on a store or library shelf for quite some time. I had no problem finding these titles online, and I highly recommend them for your beginner readers!