About Me

My photo

Penelope Anne Cole enjoys writing children’s stories to be read aloud. “Reading to children is the best way to help them love literature.” Ms. Cole has taught and tutored at every grade level, K to 12, and community college. She also reviews children's books. When not writing or reviewing children’s books, Ms. Cole enjoys dog walking, reading, gardening, church, and choir activities. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, a member of the California Writers Club:  Fremont Area Writers, SF Peninsula Writers, and South Bay Writers, and is a Reading Therapist with Read America. Ms. Cole reviews books at


See reviews of Ms. Cole's books at


Her website is www.penelopeannecole.com

Contact Ms. Cole for School Author Visits, locally in-person, or by SKYPE.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Chances Are by Susan Bangert-Wood, and Illustrated by Jack Foster

Chances Are, by Susan Bangert-Wood, with illustrations by Jack Foster, is a fun rhyming alphabet book.  It’s a new take on the traditional “A is for Apple” alphabet book.  Chances Are gives children colorful and comical critters to expand their alphabet study in a creative, “nonsensical” way.

The book is entertaining and enjoyable.  It practically dances with silliness.  Children will appreciate this rhyming read as much as teachers and parents will.  Crazy questions will delight and amuse.  Here’s my favorite paired example:

Can an Iguana
chew on gum
then blow a
Bubble?  POP!

Would a Jaguar
write a ticket
if he dressed up
like a cop?

The wild word rhymes are illustrated in a whimsical way by Jack Foster.  He has the right amount of goofiness in these illustrations to appeal to young readers.  They will hang on every humorous page and be wiggling and giggling before they finish the book.

Chances Are gives teachers and parents plenty to talk about for children learning the alphabet and beginning readers, too.  Susan Bangert-Wood has thoughtfully provided supplementary resource materials:  An Alphabetizing Activity, Scrambled Words, Word Bingo, A Crossword Puzzle, A Hidden Word Puzzle, and more.  These should keep kids busily engaged in lively learning activities.



  1. Jack, you have done it again, mate. Your goofy rhymes and illustrations are SO kid friendly. Huge congratulations.

    Books for Kids - Manuscripot Critiques

    1. Hi Margot, yes, Jack's goofing illustrations and Sue's silly rhymes make for a fun book.

  2. Hi Penelope, great review! The book sounds like lots of fun for kids. I wish you many book sales Sue. Happy writing all.

    1. Thanks, Susan, always appreciate your comments and support.

  3. Hi Penelope,
    Thanks for giving us a taste of Susan's silly rhymes.

    1. Hi Barbara, thanks for stopping by and commenting. The rhymes are silly-fun.

  4. Replies
    1. HI Jack, thanks for visiting and your nice comments. Good and fun cartoons!

  5. Love the stanzas you shared. It does look really cute!

    1. Thanks Margo, I chose the ones I liked best! I hope the book is a success in helping kids to learn and enjoy the process.

  6. Thanks for sharing the great review, Penelope. Kids (and me too) enjoy fun rhymes and I know Jack's illustrations are great!

    1. Hi Connie, Thanks for your kind comments and support. I'm sure the kids will enjoy this book.