Jamie and Angus Stories

The Jamie and Angus Stories by Anne Fine (0-7636-1862-4) is a great bedtime chapter book for a tricky age where kids are looking to move away from picture books but may not be ready for the intensity of some of the classics like Charlotte’s Web. It is perfect for even very young children who are ready to make that change. Jamie is a little boy who finds Angus, a stuffed bull, in the first story in the book and they become inseparable. The go through a series of gentle adventures that children will recognize and identify with. The stories have humor and emote security and love, just the perfect combination for right before bedtime.

Old Cricket

Old Cricket by Lisa Wheeler (0-689-84510-3) is a great picture book for reading aloud. Old Cricket, who is attempting to avoid work lies about the many aches and pains he has. Of course in the end it all comes back around, and he gets caught in his own lies. The illustrations by Ponder Goembel are large, vibrant and clever. The pictures combined with the rhythm and repetition in the story make this book worth sharing.
I plan to use this book when reading this fall with the kindergarteners and 4-year-olds at the school. It is a little wordy and involved for the toddlers I tend to get for my story times.

The Treekeepers

The Treekeepers by Susan McGee Britton (0-525-46944-3) is a fantasy novel for older elementary children. The story features a feisty girl named Bird in search of her father in a world torn apart by an evil ruler who destroyed the Tree That Talks. On her quest, Bird meets other orphan children, a lovely but sad woman and a gentle, heroic man who are all fighting the evil in the land and trying to restore the Tree . There is violence in the latter part of the book consistent with most fantasy novels where good fights evil.
I will be recommending this title to kids who enjoy quest stories, sword fighting, and strong female characters. It was a great read. Very gripping and intense toward the end.