Newt by Matt Novak I don't particularly care for amphibians in clothes myself, but whatever. He read it, all three chapters (good for 2 days worth). There were "lessons" for those who like books to teach on multiple levels; the one I liked best was "don't dig up flowers growing wild and take them home." There were good vocabulary words (and how frustrating it is when your child rattles off polysyllabic words and then stumbles over "it").
Small Pig by Arnold Lobel. It only recently occurred to me that, although there were no other Frog and Toad books to find, Lobel presumable wrote other things that might be good. Small Pig is no Frog and Toad, but it is a brisk little story. When a small pig's mud puddle is cleaned up by the zealous Farmer's Wife, off he goes in a huff in search of mud. The illustrations are somewhat muted, which I think is a perfectly reasonable thing for an early reader. When the illustrations are too engaging, the Reading Advisor has to repeatedly draw the child's attention back to the words. I just learned from Sherry at semicolon that today is Lobel's birthday...
The Sun Shone on the Elephant by Gywneth Mamlok (1967) This is a book I loved as a child (how lucky I am that my parents didn't throw out our children's books, although they were no so kind to the paperback books of our middle childhood). This one was a bit of a challenge, but we made it through. It is the story of an elephant who thinks he is ugly. He sees the parrot, and imagines himself with feathers, sees the monkey and dreams of doing tricks, sees the tiger, and wishes for stripes. At last he meets a cat, who happens to know the unhappiest princess in the world--unhappy because she is so tiny. The elephant becomes the princess's Royal Elephant, and bedecked with gems he now thinks he is beautiful. This is, admittedly, an awful message that would probably never sell today. But the pictures are lovely. The elephant does look magnificent...and after the book is finished, one can start yammering on about Asian vs African elephants, what country the book might be set in, etc etc.
Our fifth evening was a Scooby Doo early reader of no literary or artist merit.