Written by Sarah Weeks
Illustrated by David Small
Age Level: 4 - 6
Grade Level: PS – 1
Meet Glamourpuss! She’s one spoiled kitty. She even has millionaire owners, Mr. and Mrs. Highhorsen. (Love those names!) Life is good until Mr. H’s sister visits, AND brings her dog. The drama goes into overdrive when that dog dares to appear in finer, more dazzling clothing than Glamourpuss is wearing. She even starts to doubt her own fashion sense until she makes an important discovery. Sorry, I can’t give it away. It would ruin the ending. But, I can tell you the pictures are out-of-this-world. David Small even used glitter!
Just Grace and the Super Sleepover
Written by Charise Mericle Harper
Illustrated by Rachel Clowes
Age Level: 6 - 9
Grade Level: 1 – 4
I loved this story! Grace is such a great character! She’s invited to a camp-out sleepover, but she’s terrified. Grace ties herself into knots, forgets to buy a card for the birthday girl, and then blames a ghost for taking it. Grace reminds me of Junie B. She’s very kid-like, makes lots of mistakes, but has a great heart. Kids will love the cartoonish/graphic novel illustrations. No wonder this is book 11 from a 12 book series!
Written by Cece Meng
Illustrated by Jago
Age Level: 3 - 7
Grade Level: PS – 2
This picture book is as beautiful as the cover. The story inside shows kids how to deal with death, through kindness and friendship. When Old Turtle dies, one by one, his friends step forward to share their favorite memories. People and animals die, but friendships and good memories can last forever.
Ratscalibur (Chronicles of the Low Realm)
Written by Josh Lieb
Age Level: 8 – 12
Grade Level: 3 – 7
I read this story a few years ago. It was #22 out of the 111 chapter books/middle grade novels I’ve read and recorded in my Picture Book Journal. I still remember this book, even though it was 89 books ago.
Why? It’s a great story, and it’s unusual. A boy moves to the city, and an uncle gives him a rat (not my kind of gift), but the Rat is a ragician (rat magician. He bites the boy and turns him into a rat too. Our hero is sent to deliver a message to King Uther, the King of Avalon. The rat kingdom is in danger, and it needs a hero. Our hero sees a spork stuck in a hard biscuit. He pulls it out, and becomes a hero. Then the real adventure begins! Can our hero rescue the rat kingdom from the evil crows? Can he change back into a boy again? I can’t answer, but I can tell you there’s a happy ending.
I can also tell you this book was reviewed and loved by Jimmy Fallon (from TV), Daniel Pinkwater (one of my favorite authors), and Richard Peck (2001 Newberry winner). Wow! It’s like the triple crown of reviews!
After the Rain
Written by Rebecca Koehn
Illustrated by Simone Krüger
Age Level: 3 - 6
Grade Level: 1 – 2
Gorgeous illustrations + Rich language = A beautiful book. It may be sparse on words, but each one counts to make this one cute story!
It starts after the rain when Levi grabs his rain gear and runs straight into the water, ready for an adventure. He finds it tracking his boat through the run-off. But after a daring drain rescue, he runs into Polly who claims the river, then outlaws boats. How can this end? I’ll give you a clue – “Building together is much more fun.” (It’s the last line of this book.)
Written & Illustrated by Lindsay Ward
Age Level: 3 - 7
Grade Level: PS – 1
Oh my gosh! I loved this book! I remember reading it a year or two ago. Imagine, Iggy has taken over Otto’s territory, and he’s had enough. Otto waits for the perfect moment and takes Iggy’s bottle. The Brobarians come to blows, fighting through dirt and mud until powerful magic stops them. (You’ll have to read to find out what that magic was, but don’t worry! Both brothers will live to fight another day.)
The Story of Diva & Flea
Written by Mo Willems
Illustrated by Tony DiTerlizzi
Age Level: 6 - 8
Grade Level: 1 – 3
Say hello to Diva, the dog who’s afraid to leave her home in Paris. Then shout bon jour to Flea, the homeless alley cat who must flaneur/wander the streets. What happens when they meet – Diva and Flea become friends who explore Paris together, but have a place to return to when the fun is all done.
Where did Mo get this story idea – from a trip to Paris! Before he could start his own adventures, he found a guard dog, a cat explorer, and the seed to this story.
Whenever I read or write, I find a comfy chair with a great view. I get my favorite drink, stretch out, and let the words take me away.