The Vowel Family

A Tale of Lost Letters

  • Interest Level: Kindergarten - Grade 3
  • Reading Level: Grade 2

Meet an unusual family with some very special children: Alan, Ellen, Iris, Otto, and Ursula. Sometimes they’re visited by their very special aunt, Cyndy. As each child is born, the family becomes more complete—and each additional Vowel also makes the text easier to read! Because if you can imagine life without the Vowels, tlkng wld b vr hrd. Rdng wld b pzzlng. Are you ready to play the Vowel game?

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Interest Level Kindergarten - Grade 3
Reading Level Grade 2
Genre Picture Books
Copyright 2008
Publisher Lerner Publishing Group
Imprint Carolrhoda Books ®
Language English
Number of Pages 32
Publication Date 2008-01-01
Reading Counts! Level 2.2
Reading Counts! Points 1.0
Text Type Fiction
BISACS JUV009010, JUV019000, JUV013000
Dewey [Fic]
Graphics Full-color illustrations
Dimensions 10.25 x 8.25
Features Awards, Original artwork, and Reviewed

Author: Sally M. Walker

Sally M. Walker has been a children's book writer for over 20 years. Most of her books are nonfiction and present various science topics to young readers. Fossil Fish Found Alive is the story of the hunt for the elusive fish called the coelacanth. Sally also enjoys combining science investigation with historical topics. Her book Secrets of a Civil War Submarine, which won the 2006 Robert F. Sibert Medal, tells about the history, loss, and re-discovery of the first submarine to sink an enemy ship in battle. Written in Bone: Buried Lives of Jamestown and Colonial Maryland takes readers on archaeological expeditions, where the forensic analysis of colonial settlers' bones helps us to understand their lives. Sally especially enjoys writing narrative nonfiction that captures the reader's attention with a true story. She is also the author of 2019 Orbis Pictus Honor Book Champion: The Comeback Tale of the American Chestnut.

Illustrator: Kevin Luthardt


  • Book Links Lasting Connection, Winner, 2008


Book Links

“[A] fast, fun, and rhythmical [series].”
Booklist Online

Book Links

“Perfect for group decoding, this goofy story adds vowels to its text only as members are added to the Vowel family. As the family grows, offspring Alan, Ellen, Iris, Otto, and Ursula – and sometimes Aunt Cyndy – complete the story’s missing text, making this a clever introduction to vowels.”
Book Links


“Children are sure to enjoy the goofy story, which lends itself to group decoding as vowels are gradually introduced. Kevin Luthardt’s bright illustrations, featuring people with cartoonish balloon heads, ably echo the story’s silliness. This clever approach to learning vowels will prove far more fun than just the basic recitation that’s commonly taught.”

School Library Journal

“Secure readers will enjoy guessing the masked words that Walker uses to tell the tale. . . Luthardt’s colorful images have an appealing, Gumby-like quality and amusing detail.”
School Library Journal