Cover image for Jeremiah learns to read
Jeremiah learns to read
Bogart, Jo Ellen.
Personal Author:
First American edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Orchard Books, 1999.

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 27 cm
Elderly Jeremiah decides that it's finally time to learn to read.
Reading Level:
AD 420 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.1 0.5 35771.

Reading Counts RC K-2 2.6 2 Quiz: 29280 Guided reading level: K.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Ages 5^-8. Jeremiah, a vital, elderly farmer, is featured in this idealized book about illiteracy. Jeremiah knows how to build a split-rail fence and make buttermilk pancakes, but he doesn't know how to read. A teacher in a one-room schoolhouse and her students help him, and in gratitude Jeremiah teaches the children "how to chirp like a chickadee and honk like a goose." In some ways, the strengths of the book are also its weaknesses. The lyrical text is beautifully written, but its economy sometimes leads to confusion. For instance, it's initially unclear why Jeremiah's wife and brother don't teach him how to read (they are also illiterate). The spacious, realistically rendered oil paintings emphasize the heroism of the protagonist. But the choice of an earlier era for the setting incorrectly suggests that illiteracy is a problem of the past (the publisher's note, however, does state that this is not the case). Most important, perhaps, neither the art nor the text shows the struggle involved in learning to read. Despite its shortcomings, this upbeat presentation has myriad uses for ESL and adult-literacy classes as well as elementary-grade discussion groups. --Julie Corsaro

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 2-Jeremiah knows how to build fences, cook pancakes, make syrup, and grow delicious vegetables, but he doesn't know how to read. Determined to do just that, this snowy-bearded grandfather joins some local children on their way to school. Welcomed by the teacher, Jeremiah studies hard and the students help him practice. In appreciation, he teaches them birdcalls, whittling, whistling, and more. Soon, he's writing stories of his own. At bedtime one night, he shares a book of poetry with his wife and, captured by the beauty of the words, she, too, decides she must learn to read. The final page is wordless and portrays school children and two elderly adults heading down a bucolic lane to school. This heartwarming story makes good use of simple language and repetition without sacrificing its lyricism and pacing. Young listeners and beginning readers will be captivated by Jeremiah's determination and tickled by his genial presence in the schoolroom. While his triumphant bedtime poetry reading may endear him more to adults, youngsters will rejoice in his wife's resolve to learn to read, too. The oil paintings are as strong and determined as Jeremiah and reflect a respect for this farming couple and their lifestyle. A publisher's note provides a brief description of the problem of illiteracy and the address of Literacy Volunteers of America. The bland and workmanlike cover is the only disappointment in an otherwise touching and inspiring tale.-Carol Ann Wilson, Westfield Memorial Library, NJ (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.