No wand needed—pure magic for emerging readers.

PRINCESS POSEY AND THE CHRISTMAS MAGIC

From the Princess Posey series , Vol. 7

All Posey wants from Santa is a real magic wand.

Posey and her classmates are excited about the upcoming winter holidays, and Posey sure is ready. She has written her letter and knows that Santa will understand that she needs a wand that can really perform magic. But when Posey accidentally hurts her toddler brother, she does not tell her mother the truth and is haunted by the fact that Santa will know that she was bad, for goodness’ sake! Posey is a delightfully imperfect little first-grader, and others will empathize with her plight. A subplot about Gramps and his new love interest, neighbor Mrs. Romero, adds much to the story, making it more than just a story about a little girl. When Mrs. Romero shares a childhood picture of Barbara, her little girl who died years ago, the twist is revealed with calm, believable emotion. And later, when Posey creates a gift picturing Barbara with angel wings, it is a powerful moment that is free of any emotional manipulation. Telling this story with simple vocabulary, in oversized font and 10 very short chapters, Greene makes this rich tale accessible to the earliest readers. Showing no signs of flagging in this seventh series entry, she continues to develop winning characters in realistic situations. 

No wand needed—pure magic for emerging readers. (Fiction. 5-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 17, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-399-16363-0

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2013

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A touching, beautifully illustrated story of greatest interest to those in the New York City area.

RED AND LULU

A pair of cardinals is separated and then reunited when their tree home is moved to New York City to serve as the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree.

The male cardinal, Red, and his female partner, Lulu, enjoy their home in a huge evergreen tree located in the front yard of a small house in a pleasant neighborhood. When the tree is cut down and hauled away on a truck, Lulu is still inside the tree. Red follows the truck into the city but loses sight of it and gets lost. The birds are reunited when Red finds the tree transformed with colored lights and serving as the Christmas tree in a complex of city buildings. When the tree is removed after Christmas, the birds find a new home in a nearby park. Each following Christmas, the pair visit the new tree erected in the same location. Attractive illustrations effectively handle some difficult challenges of dimension and perspective and create a glowing, magical atmosphere for the snowy Christmas trees. The original owners of the tree are a multiracial family with two children; the father is African-American and the mother is white. The family is in the background in the early pages, reappearing again skating on the rink at Rockefeller Center with their tree in the background.

A touching, beautifully illustrated story of greatest interest to those in the New York City area. (author’s note) (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 19, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-7636-7733-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Aug. 21, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2017

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Kid-friendly dark humor.

POULTRYGEIST

The chicken crosses the road…and arrives on the other side as a ghost.

The action kicks off before the title page when the chicken crossing the road winds up a splatter of feathers against the grille of a tractor trailer. When its ghost rises from the squished remains, it meets a host of other animal ghosts that encourage the new poultrygeist to start getting scary. They probably didn’t realize, however, that they’d be the ones to be frightened. Geron’s text is full of punny lines like “It’s time to get foul, fowl!” and “Ghosts of a feather haunt together!” Midway through, the poultrygeist turns to readers to make sure they’re not too scared. This is a nice touch, maintaining engagement while also giving more timid readers time to take a beat. Oswald’s illustrations display masterful use of color, with bright, ghostly animals against a dark, often all-black background, the dialogue shown in colors that correspond to the speakers. These ghosts do become scary but not enough to completely terrorize readers. Oswald’s skill is seen in full effect, as readers witness only the animal ghosts’ reactions to the poultrygeist’s scariest face, building suspense for the full reveal. This book is just right for kids easing into the slightly scary and macabre but who still want a safe and fun read.

Kid-friendly dark humor. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 17, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-5362-1050-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2021

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