Transitioning readers, particularly girls, will enjoy seeing Daisy navigate the familiar shoals of elementary school in this...

DAISY'S DEFINING DAY

From the Daisy series , Vol. 2

What's a girl to do when her young next-door neighbor, Grant, who has just discovered the joy of rhyming, starts calling her “Lazy Daisy” every time he sees her, even at school?

For Daisy, who absolutely adores words, the perfect solution to her problem with pesky Grant is to create a new and much better name for herself—something to replace “Lazy Daisy.” Daisy has been learning about alliteration in school, so her new name ought to feature a word that starts with the letter D, and if one word is wonderful, then a whole series of words must be even better. After a lot of experimentation, which of course exposes readers new to chapter books to a little challenging vocabulary, Daisy finally settles on Dynamite Dramatic Determined Dazzling Daisy. Unfortunately, that name is too long for many people to remember, and it proves especially discouraging for her best friend. Eventually, Daisy finds a better way to make peace with Grant. As in Daisy's first outing, not much happens, but the pages look inviting, with minimal, generously leaded print and ample, charming black-and-white illustrations. Daisy is affable enough to be an appealing protagonist as she navigates some of the minor perils of grade school.

Transitioning readers, particularly girls, will enjoy seeing Daisy navigate the familiar shoals of elementary school in this better-than-average early chapter book. (Fiction. 5-8)

Pub Date: March 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-55453-780-8

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Kids Can

Review Posted Online: Jan. 28, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2013

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This story covers the few days preceding the much-anticipated Midnight Zombie Walk, when Stink and company will take to the...

STINK AND THE MIDNIGHT ZOMBIE WALK

From the Stink series

An all-zombie-all-the-time zombiefest, featuring a bunch of grade-school kids, including protagonist Stink and his happy comrades.

This story covers the few days preceding the much-anticipated Midnight Zombie Walk, when Stink and company will take to the streets in the time-honored stiff-armed, stiff-legged fashion. McDonald signals her intent on page one: “Stink and Webster were playing Attack of the Knitting Needle Zombies when Fred Zombie’s eye fell off and rolled across the floor.” The farce is as broad as the Atlantic, with enough spookiness just below the surface to provide the all-important shivers. Accompanied by Reynolds’ drawings—dozens of scene-setting gems with good, creepy living dead—McDonald shapes chapters around zombie motifs: making zombie costumes, eating zombie fare at school, reading zombie books each other to reach the one-million-minutes-of-reading challenge. When the zombie walk happens, it delivers solid zombie awfulness. McDonald’s feel-good tone is deeply encouraging for readers to get up and do this for themselves because it looks like so much darned fun, while the sub-message—that reading grows “strong hearts and minds,” as well as teeth and bones—is enough of a vital interest to the story line to be taken at face value.

Pub Date: March 13, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-7636-5692-8

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Dec. 14, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2012

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Very young gardeners will need more information, but for certain picky eaters, the suggested strategy just might work.

SYLVIA'S SPINACH

A young spinach hater becomes a spinach lover after she has to grow her own in a class garden.

Unable to trade away the seed packet she gets from her teacher for tomatoes, cukes or anything else more palatable, Sylvia reluctantly plants and nurtures a pot of the despised veggie then transplants it outside in early spring. By the end of school, only the plot’s lettuce, radishes and spinach are actually ready to eat (talk about a badly designed class project!)—and Sylvia, once she nerves herself to take a nibble, discovers that the stuff is “not bad.” She brings home an armful and enjoys it from then on in every dish: “And that was the summer Sylvia Spivens said yes to spinach.” Raff uses unlined brushwork to give her simple cartoon illustrations a pleasantly freehand, airy look, and though Pryor skips over the (literally, for spinach) gritty details in both the story and an afterword, she does cover gardening basics in a simple and encouraging way.

Very young gardeners will need more information, but for certain picky eaters, the suggested strategy just might work. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Nov. 6, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-9836615-1-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Readers to Eaters

Review Posted Online: Sept. 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2012

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