The Summer We Found the Baby; Amy Hest
Candlewick Press - 2020 (ages 10-13)
This story takes place during the summer while WWII is going on. A father and his (2) young daughters, Julie age 11 and Martha age 6 are spending time over the summer at Belle Beach in Long Island as the father works on his book; the mother of the girls has died.
As the story begins the sisters are looking forward to the opening and dedication of the children's library when a special invited guest, Eleanor Roosevelt, is expected shortly. Then the unexpected happens: Julie finds a basket with a baby on the steps. Bruno Ben-Eli lives nearby and spots Julie carrying the basket away and thinks she and Martha have kidnapped someones baby but, he is on a mission for his brother who is fighting in the war and needs to find out what Julie is up to first.
Of course nothing is as it appears. The story is told in alternating POV's, I liked the way the story played out. With a brother at war and the death of a mother, the concerns of the children seemed genuine and appropriate. I thought the story provided a nice balance of the concerns of children during times of war as well as the simple joys and surprises found in childhood.
Ivy Lost and Found; Cynthia Lord
Candlewick Press - 9/2021 (ages 6 - 9)
First of a new series - Ivy was once the beloved doll and companion of little Anne who received Ivy as a birthday gift. Like all children they eventually outgrow even beloved treasured play things. Sadly, Ivy was packed away and long forgotten until one day the now adult Anne, a librarian finds her long forgotten friend and she comes up with an idea. Ivy comes to life once again as she becomes one of the library "book buddies" who can be checked out by other children. One child in particular child, a girl named Fern, finds Ivy to be just the friend she needs to share her thoughts and fears with as she eases into finding her place in a new blended mixed race family.
I loved that this story is told from Ivy's POV, and, the story seemed both sweet and realistic tin the way it showed the concerns of a young child finding herself in a new situation. I was left with a warm feeling and think this series has the potential to be be a wonderful new readers series with its short chapters and charming black and white illustrations.
See the Dog: Three Stories About a Cat; David LaRochelle
Candlewick Press - 9/2021 (ages 4 - 8)
This second book in a beginners reader series following: See the Cat: Three Stories About a Dog. In this offering there are (3) short stories: See the Dog, See the Lake and See the Sheep. Max the Dog is sick so Baby Cakes the Cat is stepping up and ready to take over the dog duties. Unfortunately for Baby Cakes some of dog's daily duties like fetching sticks, digging holes and herding sheep just seem better suited to a dog. Luckily for the cat, Max gets better and is soon able to resume his daily routines.
This book and series is perfect for new readers. The illustrations by Mike Wohnoutka are fun and creative as well. These books have just enough words on each page and just enough humor to show new readers just how much fun reading can be without causing any frustration. This is a series that provides lots of smiles and giggles reminds me a lot of Mo Willem's Pigeon series books which are so popular with new readers as well.
Ducks Overboard: A True Story of Plastic in Our Oceans; Markus Motum
Candlewick Press - 9/2021 - Ages (7 - 10)
This is a story of what happened when a cargo ship container from China that was carrying 28,000 yellow plastic ducks intended to be sold and provide bath time fun for children here in the US emptied into the Pacific Ocean. Just what happened to all those plastic ducks? This is one little yellow plastic duck's story and what he encountered while traveling his ocean journey. The story shows the grave situation that garbage, fishing nets, plastics and other debris has caused to endanger marine life. The ducks lost at sea is only part of the story the journey but, the book itself with its moving illustrations and seriousness of our environmental crisis. Hopefully, our youngest generation will see the importance of doing something and encourage them to ask adults to join the campaign to become a change agent.
The book has fabulous illustrations, lots of facts about plastics and how children can help. This is definitely a good conversation starter for educators and parents alike. I loved that we also learn where some of the places other ducks from the cargo container were spotted. A great addition to libraries and personal collections.
Charlotte's Web; E.B. White
2019 - Listening Library Audio , Penguin Random House
The full cast of more than (20) audio book narrators led by Meryl Streep, January Lavoy, Kirby Heyborne and MacLeod Andrews to name a few, was incredible to listen to. I don't recall reading this book to my own children when they were young and, I had no idea it was so sad at times yet, hopeful in the end. Charlotte, Wilbur and even Templeton and Leonard will stay with me forever.
What a lovely story about loyalty and real friendship as well as the cycle of life. Just an amazing story and performance in this 2019 audio edition - highly recommended