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MISS LITTLE’S GIFT by Douglas Wood


by Douglas Wood & illustrated by Jim Burke

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-7636-1686-1
Publisher: Candlewick

Second grader Douglas is not only the smallest person in his new Iowa classroom, he is the youngest. When Miss Little discovers that he does not know how to read, she has Douglas stay after school for extra help; she sees something of promise in him. Even though he would rather be outside playing, he attends daily tutoring. When Miss Little gives him The Little Island, Douglas’s interest is sparked and, by sounding out and perseverance, he learns to read. Eventually, little Douglas grows up to be a writer (Old Turtle, illustrated by Cheng-Khee Chee, 1992, etc.) and is able to thank the much older Miss Little. Burke’s oil illustrations paint many different moods and places as young Douglas imaginatively connects the book he’s reading to summers with his granddad on a Minnesota lake even when trapped in the classroom with his teacher. Never heavy handed, Wood shows that the magic of books is how much fun they are to read. An author’s note explains his ADHD and provides insight for teachers and youngsters alike. (Picture book/memoir. 4-8)