MORE PERFECT THAN THE MOON

Cassie, an almost-third-grader, has taken up the journal passed on by her much older brother Caleb. She is fascinated by words and uses the journal not only to record what is happening in her family, but in her vivid imagination as well. MacLachlan reintroduces the family of Sarah, Plain and Tall, Skylark, and Caleb’s Story. Cassie is the much-loved daughter of Sarah and Jacob, and now there is to be a new addition to the family. Cassie writes about that “terrible baby” and vows never to like it. Of course, when her baby brother is born she accepts him as a gift “more perfect than the moon.” The tale is charming and Cassie is a delightful narrator. Readers who have not encountered the characters in the previous works might not fully understand the family’s dynamics, but they can certainly identify with her feelings about the new baby. If the power and deeply felt emotions of the original are missing, it remains a pleasant visit with old friends. (Fiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2004

ISBN: 0-06-027558-8

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Joanna Cotler/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2004

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THE LEMONADE WAR

From the Lemonade War series , Vol. 1

Told from the point of view of two warring siblings, this could have been an engaging first chapter book. Unfortunately, the length makes it less likely to appeal to the intended audience. Jessie and Evan are usually good friends as well as sister and brother. But the news that bright Jessie will be skipping a grade to join Evan’s fourth-grade class creates tension. Evan believes himself to be less than clever; Jessie’s emotional maturity doesn’t quite measure up to her intelligence. Rivalry and misunderstandings grow as the two compete to earn the most money in the waning days of summer. The plot rolls along smoothly and readers will be able to both follow the action and feel superior to both main characters as their motivations and misconceptions are clearly displayed. Indeed, a bit more subtlety in characterization might have strengthened the book’s appeal. The final resolution is not entirely believable, but the emphasis on cooperation and understanding is clear. Earnest and potentially successful, but just misses the mark. (Fiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: April 23, 2007

ISBN: 0-618-75043-6

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2007

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DAVID GOES TO SCHOOL

The poster boy for relentless mischief-makers everywhere, first encountered in No, David! (1998), gives his weary mother a rest by going to school. Naturally, he’s tardy, and that’s but the first in a long string of offenses—“Sit down, David! Keep your hands to yourself! PAY ATTENTION!”—that culminates in an afterschool stint. Children will, of course, recognize every line of the text and every one of David’s moves, and although he doesn’t exhibit the larger- than-life quality that made him a tall-tale anti-hero in his first appearance, his round-headed, gap-toothed enthusiasm is still endearing. For all his disruptive behavior, he shows not a trace of malice, and it’ll be easy for readers to want to encourage his further exploits. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-590-48087-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1999

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