Sophie's Big Bed

Sophie’s Big Bed by Tina Burke.

This book in the Toddler Tales series is a warm look at a toddler moving into her own large bed.  Sophie loves her crib.  It has her banana blankie and stuffed star.  But now it is time for her to move to her big bed where she doesn’t feel cozy at all.  Sophie tries night after night but finds herself only able to sleep back in her crib.  It isn’t until all of her favorite items move to the big bed with her that she can fall asleep there.

This book is a winner with its bright illustrations that show Sophie’s worry and joy so clearly.  The text is perfect for toddlers.  It is clear and brief.  I enjoyed the fact that Sophie does not burst into tears about it and there are no parents forcing her to stay in a bed she doesn’t want to sleep in.  Instead it is a gentle tale of patient but unseen parents who work with Sophie so that she can be happy at night.  Lovely.

This is a lap book, which should be read curled together in either a big or small bed.

Lawn Boy

Lawn Boy by Gary Paulsen

Prepare yourself for a wild lawnmower ride!  Our 12-year-old protagonist is flat broke, until his grandmother gives him his grandfather’s old rider lawnmower.  He uses it to start a very small lawnmowing business, but demand is high and the business grows faster than anyone can understand.  Soon he finds himself with employees, a financial manager, and his summer has become far more busy and profitable than he could ever imagine. 

Paulsen does a wonderful job of fusing humor, great eccentric characters and finance into a perfectly short story.  The writing is tight, funny and a joy to read. 

This book is a quick and short 88 pages.  It is ideal for reluctant readers who will enjoy the pacing, the topic and the length.  Also recommended for willing readers who will enjoy it as well.