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$4.99 $2.38
1. Seedfolks (Joanna Colter Books)
$6.26 $4.30 list($6.95)
2. Time for Bed
$10.87 $9.50 list($15.99)
3. Corduroy
$5.99 $1.97
4. The Whipping Boy
$4.99 $2.47
5. The Great Brain (Great Brain)
$5.39 $1.25 list($5.99)
6. Harriet the Spy
$10.88 $8.95 list($16.00)
7. Insectlopedia: Poems and Paintings
$5.40 $2.94 list($6.00)
8. Whoever You Are
$9.00 $3.97 list($12.00)
9. Reading Magic: Why Reading Aloud
$5.39 $3.50 list($5.99)
10. Joyful Noise (rpkg) : Poems for
$12.24 $10.89 list($18.00)
11. The Voice That Challenged a Nation
$5.39 $1.92 list($5.99)
12. The Black Stallion (Black Stallion
$5.40 $3.80 list($6.00)
13. Tough Boris
$10.88 $2.64 list($16.00)
14. Sleepy Bears
$4.99 $2.37
15. Me and My Little Brain (Great
$10.20 $8.22 list($15.00)
16. Where Is the Green Sheep?
$6.99 $4.75
17. Shh! We're Writing the Constitution
$10.88 $10.52 list($16.00)
18. Lizards, Frogs, and Polliwogs:
$10.17 $9.57 list($14.95)
19. Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge
$6.30 $4.25 list($7.00)
20. Beast Feast : Poems

1. Seedfolks (Joanna Colter Books)
by Paul Fleischman
list price: $4.99
our price: $4.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0064472078
Catlog: Book (1999-04-30)
Publisher: HarperTrophy
Sales Rank: 73825
Average Customer Review: 4.19 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Common Ground

A vacant lot, rat-infested and filled with garbage, looked like no place for a garden. Especially to a neighborhood of strangers where no one seems to care. Until one day, a young girl clears a small space and digs into the hard-packed soil to plant her precious bean seeds. Suddenly, the soil holds promise: To Curtis, who believes he can win back Lateesha's heart with a harvest of tomatoes; to Virgil's dad, who seems a fortune to be made from growing lettuce; and even to Mariclea, sixteen and pregnant, wishing she were dead.

Thirteen very different voices--old, young, Haitian, Hispanic, tough, haunted, and hopeful tell one amazing story about a garden that transforms a neighborhood.

An old man seeking renewal, a young girl connecting to a father she never knew, a pregnant teenager dreading motherhood. Thirteen voices tell one story of the flowering of a vacant city lot into a neighborhood garden. Old, young, Jamaican, Korean, Hispanic, tough, haunted, hopeful'Newbery Medal winner Paul Fleischman weaves characters as diverse as the plants they grow into a rich, multi-layered exploration of how a community is born and nurtured in an urban environment.

00-01 Utah Book Award (Gr. 7-12)

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Reviews (54)

5-0 out of 5 stars seedfolks
Seedfolks by Pual Fleischman is a story of racial divide changed to community through the actions of a little girl. It all starts when she plants beans in honor of her dead father. People take notice, and one by one, people in the neighborhood begin to plant various crops from their native lands. Eventually they build a strong, protective, and friendly community that grows along side the garden.
The story is told through the eyes of 13 different characters each explaining their diverse background, what they've seen in the garden, and why they're now involved. The style makes the book a quick read, and because the characters are not directly revisited, it's not confusing.
Overall, this book's inspirational sense of true community is not only achieved in the fictional garden, but ideally in day-to-day life. Seadfolks leaves you with an uplifting, warm and fuzzy all over feeling, and a strong desire to make change.

4-0 out of 5 stars Seedfolks Review
Seedfolks is takes place in a diverse community in Cleveland, Ohio. It is basically a story about a young Vietnamese girl that plants lima beans in a vacant lot filled with garbage to please her dead father. An older lady sees the girl through her window. Expecting that the girl is up to no good, she sends one of her friends out to investigate. The friend comes back and reports that the girl had only planted beans and that they wouldn't grow if he didn't help her take care of them. Other members of the community see that someone has removed all of the garbage from the lot and notice that someone was growing plants. Slowly, everyone begins to plant things in their own section of the garden. People begin to talk and get to know each other and help to transform the neighborhood.
One of the strengths of the story is the way each of the characters tells their own personal story but it all ties back to the garden. Even though there are many different characters, you never get thrown off track. This book is short and to the point with a good message. One of the weaknesses of the story is the way it ended. You find out that once winter comes, the garden looks run down and no one is really taking care of it; their owners have dug up most of the plants. You're kind of left wondering whether the garden is ever rejuvenated after spring returns.
I really enjoyed this book. I like the way this story is put together and the way each of the characters is of a different ethnicity. The fact that this book can be read in one day is also a plus. Seedfolks shows how one simple act can bring a community together. I would recommend this story to anyone who is looking for something positive to read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Seeds of hope
I loved Seedfolks, with its way of bringing you to see other people's side of the story. It was amazing, the way Paul Fleischman used rich descriptions and amazing details to bring you into the hearts and thoughts of an entire neighborhood. I read this book when I was in fifth grade, and since, I have always remembered the characters and plots from this remarkable story. Every now and then, I find myself in a situation like one in this book, and I always find myself asking, "What would Virgil do here?" or "If I were Curtis, what would I do now?" This is one of the best books I have ever read. And I read quite a lot, so that's saying something!

1-0 out of 5 stars Not for MY 10-year-old!
After reading the entire book, I've concluded that one chapter doesn't belong--at least not for elementary school students: The Maricella chapter. In it, a 16-old-girl is considering abortion after realizing the baby she loathes is making her look fat. She hasn't been invited to any parties since she started to show. She wishes her baby would die. She talks about leaving its body in a dumpster.
This has NOTHING to do with culteral diversity. Okay, so she is a member of two minority groups. And sure, in the end she decides that she--like the garden they've planted--is part of a never-ending cycle of life and that maybe she'll keep her baby after all.
Why does a 10-year-old need to know about such a negative societal situation such as this? Please, parents, know what your child is reading. Middle school students would probably be fine with this. Anyone younger than 7th grade, no way.

4-0 out of 5 stars Intertwined lives
I enjoyed this story of a community that comes together because of the act of one little girl. The book celebrates the ability of a group to work with our strentghs to fill in the weaknesses of others. Also, it illustrates how people approach situations differently and bring new ideas and new approaches to others. I teach sixth grade and plan to use the book with my classes this school year in an effor to help celebrate diversity. ... Read more


2. Time for Bed
by Mem Fox
list price: $6.95
our price: $6.26
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0152010661
Catlog: Book (1997-09-01)
Publisher: Red Wagon Books
Sales Rank: 1887
Average Customer Review: 4.75 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Darkness is falling everywhere and little ones are getting sleepy, feeling cozy, and being tucked in. It’s time for a wide yawn, a big hug, and a snuggle under the covers--sleep tight! “Working beautifully with the soothingly repetitive text, each painting conveys a warm feeling of safety and affection.”--School Library Journal
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Reviews (77)

3-0 out of 5 stars Sweet Nighttime Rhymes
The outstanding watercolor illustrations highlight this book - and are the reason I bought it at all. The rhyming text is sweet, but too repetitive. I find myself doing a little self-editing as I read it aloud. All the illustrations are amazing, although I would prefer the snake and the bee weren't included. I usually skip those pages. A nice way to teach your child the names of animals - especially since the illustrations all contain a "mommy" or "daddy" and a "baby" - the first words most children learn.

5-0 out of 5 stars Precious book!
This darling bedtime story, so endearing will charm your youngster to sweet dreams night after night. Jane Dyer's watercolor illustrations depicting animals, and their offspring are OUTSTANDING. Each two-page spread features a different Mommy (or Daddy), in a suitable setting, preparing their "little one" for bed. For instance, the mice are portrayed at the base of a hallow tree, and the fish are deep at sea. The sweet, and simple text appears on the left side of the book, while each mimicking phrase begins with, "It's time for bed." Subtle and rhythmic, the beat is ideal for nighttime reading, "It's time for bed, little sheep, little sheep, the whole wide world is going to sleep." The book concludes with a Mommy tucking a toddler into bed, "The stars on high are shining bright, sweet dreams, my darling, sleep well, good night!" This is a precious bedtime book.

As an educational tool, children will learn to recognize the illustrated animals: mouse, goose, cat, calf, foal, fish, sheep, bird, bee, snake, pup, and deer. My son received the hardcover edition of "Time For Bed" as a baby gift, and I was so captivated by the artwork that the board book version was purchased as a supplement. One-year and up.

5-0 out of 5 stars Our favorite bed time book
I began reading this book to my daughter when she was six weeks old. Even at that young age, she responded to the soothing cadence. She is now four months old and this book lulls her right to sleep for naps and bed time. We both love it!

5-0 out of 5 stars awesome book
My 14 month old daughter absolutely LOVES this book. She's captivated by every page!

5-0 out of 5 stars Great bedtime book!!
I bought this book for my daughter when she was 18mths. We have read it almost every night for the past 6 months. She has the verses memorized. She loves the picture of the baby animals w/ their mothers and likes to point them out "my sheep, mommies sheep". The rhymes are easy to read and the pictures are great! ... Read more


3. Corduroy
list price: $15.99
our price: $10.87
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0670241334
Catlog: Book (1968-03-01)
Publisher: Viking Books
Sales Rank: 663
Average Customer Review: 4.76 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Have you ever dreamed of being locked in a departmentstore at night? The endearing story of Corduroy paints a pictureof the adventures that might unfold (for a teddy bear at least) insuch a situation. When all the shoppers have gone home for thenight, Corduroy climbs down from the shelf to look for his missingbutton. It's a brave new world! He accidentally gets on anelevator that he thinks must be a mountain and sees thefurniture section that he thinks must be a palace. He tries topull a button off the mattress, but he ends up falling off the bedand knocking over a lamp. The night watchman hears the crash,finds Corduroy, and puts him back on the shelf downstairs. Thenext morning, he finds that it's his lucky day! A little girl buyshim with money she saved in her piggy bank and takes him home toher room. Corduroy decides that this must be home and thatLisa must be his friend. Youngsters will never get tired of thistoy-comes-alive tale with a happy ending, so you may also want toseek out Dan Freeman's next creation, A Pocket forCorduroy. (Ages 3 to 8) ... Read more

Reviews (45)

5-0 out of 5 stars This is such a touching story
This story shows that it doesn't matter what you look like or what other people think of you, someone will always love you for who you are. After reading that book I always wanted a bear just like Corduroy with the missing button and all. I thought how it was so cute that the little girl came back with all her piggy bank money and bought the tiny bear that didn't even look new. Most kids will see things in the store and beg for it then forget about it once they are told no. There must of been something about Corduroy that you will have to read to find out.

5-0 out of 5 stars Everyone should know this lovely book!
Cordoroy is the perfect children's book. It is a gentle, sweet tale of a little bear in cordoroy overalls waiting to be purchased in a department store. A real little girl sees him and falls in love with him, but her mother says she doesn't have money to buy him and he's missing a button. After the store closes, all the toys with faces close their eyes except Cordoroy. Instead, he travels the department store searching for a button because he didn't know he was not perfect. He does not solve his problem. Cordoroy is back on the toy shelf the next morning. The little girl, Lisa returns to buy him. She takes him home, sews on a button, and provides him with his own little bed right beside hers. "I've always wanted a friend!" he says. This beautifully illustrated book has a simple text and huge appeal to anyone with a heart.

4-0 out of 5 stars Fuzzy wuzzy was a bear
Children have been fascinated with the idea of dolls and toys that can talk and move, from the Newbery winning, "Hitty: Her First 100 Years" to the more contemporary (and better known) "Corduroy". This particular tale focuses on a bear, his small unassuming quest, and the girl that eventually becomes his friend. The book feels more like, "The Velveteen Rabbit" than "Toy Story", but kids will quickly come to enjoy (or at the very least, understand) Corduroy's wish for a child to love him.

Living in a department store with other toys and dolls, Corduroy is a stuffed teddy bear in overalls. One day a doe-eyed girl and her patient mama spot the bear and the child is instantly entranced. Unfortunately, her mother points out that the bear is a little worn down and is even missing one of the buttons on its overalls. Upon hearing this, the bear is distressed and resolves to, that night, locate the missing item. After taking an unexpected ride up the escalator, Corduroy finds himself in the store's bedding area. He tries (unsuccessfully) to prise a button off of a nearby mattress, but succeeds only in alerting the local night watchman to his presence. The next day, however, the girl returns with her own allowance money and quick as a wink purchases the bear, missing button and all. She even sews a new button back onto his overalls, and the two are fast friends.

The book, when you look at it closely, almost seems to resemble a series of woodcuts, painted with watercolors later. I don't know if this was the case, but if so the author/artist, Don Freedman, is certainly adept. I've never seen woodcut faces as well presented as the ones here. People are smooth and rounded, and Freedman apparently doesn't have any problems with round curves. Moreover, I was impressed that the little girl and her mother that view Corduroy are black. Originally published in 1968, this was a bit of a big deal back in the day.

Today, the story of the little bear who wanted a friend is as poignant and simplistic in its telling as it was when first it came out. Anyone who read (or had read to them) this book as a child will instantly remember the scene of Corduroy tugging and tugging the button on the mattress in an attempt to remove it for himself. It's a sweet story all in all. I think people feel a great deal of affection for "Corduroy" because they can identify with the little unwanted fuzzy guy. He's a cutie, there's no question.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fun bear story
A brown teddy bear sits in a toy shop waiting to find a real home. He catches the eye of a little girl, but her mother says she can't take him home because he's missing a button on his overalls. Determined to find a home, the bear goes on a nighttime hunt through the store for his button. The hunt almost ends in disaster. But the next morning the little girl returns to the store and takes him home at last. The book is not scary. The human characters are shown to be African Americans. The book has about 250 words.

3-0 out of 5 stars Sweet little tale about a bear
The Corduroy books are sweet, easy tales about a stuffed bear and his BIG adventures. Easy reading, nice pictures. ... Read more


4. The Whipping Boy
by Sid Fleischman
list price: $5.99
our price: $5.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060521228
Catlog: Book (2003-04-01)
Publisher: HarperTrophy
Sales Rank: 24039
Average Customer Review: 3.85 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A Prince
and a Pauper

Jemmy, once a poor boy living on the streets, now lives in a castle. As the whipping boy, he bears the punishment when Prince Brat misbehaves, for it is forbidden to spank, thrash, or whack the heir to the throne. The two boys have nothing in common and even less reason to like one another. But when they find themselves taken hostage after running away, they are left with no choice but to trust each other.

... Read more

Reviews (101)

5-0 out of 5 stars AWESOME BOOK -MUST READ IT !
This story is about a prince who is bored out of his mind and thinks he should run away from home. This is book is good for people who like funny and short books in grades 4 and up.
Some of the main characters are Hold Your Nose Billy, Jemmy, Prince Brat, Petunia, and Cutwater. Hold Your Nose Billy and Capiton Nips are really mean people who like garlic. They kidnapp Prince Brat and Jemmy. Prince Brat is a boy who you think has a perfect life but he does not think so. He thinks he has a boring life. Petunia is a bear who saves Jemmy and Prince Brats lives.
The main part of the story begins when Prince Brat and Jemmy run away from home and get kidnapped. It is set in a forest and in a palace in an imaginary time long ago.
I think the theme is never run away. Just stay home with your family. Sometimes you don't realize how good you have it. Also, learning to read is very important.

3-0 out of 5 stars A book about two boys that eventually beome friends.
Hi!I read a book called "The Whipping Boy," by Sid Fleishchman.Do you like a book with humor and suspense,well than this is a book for you!This is a book for 3rd to 4th graders to read and enjoy.This book is about Prince Horace better known as Prince Brat and his own whipping boy named Jemmy.In this book they encounter close calls when they runaway from the castle.I can't tell you what happens at the end,so you will have to read the book to find out.I liked this book because it deals with some real problems and makes you think more about people who are poorer than you are.So the next time you want to read a good novel,go and get "The Whipping Boys!"

4-0 out of 5 stars Whipping boy
Sid Fleischman's book, "The Whipping Boy" is about a king who will not punish his son so he has another child who gets whipped and punished instead of the prince. The prince deiced one day that he could not take getting in trouble and having the whipping boy get punished for his wrong doings. One night the prince deiced to run away with the whipping boy. On there journey they get captured by "Hold-Your-Nose-Billy," and Cutwater. The criminals deiced that they are going to keep them hostage. Jemmy did not like the prince to much because he had to take all of the punishment for all of those bad things that he did. Since they both got captured they had to become friends with each other, even though jimmy was from the lower class of people and the prince was from the upper class of people they had to get along. The whipping boy thinks of a plan, his plan is to escape to the sewers. The prince on the other hand does not think that it would be a good idea because he has never been in the sewers. The whipping boy has been in the sewers his life before becoming a whipping boy. Jemmy used to trap and sell rats that were in the sewer that does how he now all of the turns and different things. The prince and the whipping boy are trying to get along, become friends, and break though the barriers that are between them. The prince is finding out how Jemmy used to live, also the prince is coming immune to Jemmys life. The prince and the whipping boy are starting to take responsibility for there own actions. The prince does not like how Jemmy used to live. They find interest in each other. The prince is getting used to how Jemmy had to live.
They finally deiced that they have had enough of the kidnapper. Jemmy told the prince to follow me and they went though the tunnels. They finally get away though the tunnel because of how well Jemmy knew the tunnels. The prince did not want to go though the tunnels because he did not think that Jemmy did not know them until Jemmy showed him that he could get through them.
I thought that is was a very good idea for the prince and "The Whipping Boy" finally deiced to run away. I would have not liked being the whipping boy. I liked this book very much and I really do not like to read. I thought that it was easy for younger kids to understand to. I really liked this book.

4-0 out of 5 stars The Whipping Boy
Sid Fleischman's book The Whipping Boy is a really good book. It is about a prince who got the nick name "Prince Brat" because he is a mischiouf maker because his pranks aren't funny. He has a whipping boy named Jemmy who is smart and clever. One day prince brat runs away and takes Jemmy with him. They don't get far before two cutthroats stop them. One of their names is hold-your-nose-Billy and the other is cutwater. They take Jemmy and "Prince Brat" into their cabin. Jemmy and "Prince Brat" must outwit the two and become friends, except prince brat keeps betraying Jemmy. The adventure will take them through alot of adventure. I recomend buying it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable while including major Social Issues
Sid Fleischman's book, "The Whipping Boy," is about a runaway prince and his whipping boy, who discover adventure on their journey, and surprisingly find friendship in one another. The boys' adventures include them being abducted by two criminals, "Hold-Your-Nose-Billy," and Cutwater. The criminals kidnap the boys and plan to hold them for ransom from the King.
"The Whipping Boy," focuses on the distinctions and differences of social classes throughout the book. These differences are vividly illustrated through Prince Brat (Horace) and Jemmy, the whipping boy. Prince Horace, who is from a high social class and is considered very important, is never whipped. However, Jemmy, who is from a lower class, serves as a, "whipping boy," and takes the punishments for Prince Brat.
However, "The Whipping Boy," also looks at the overcoming of these class barriers. At the beginning of the story, there was a definite difference between the upper class and the lower class. This difference is intensified in the description of the boys escape into the city's sewer. Jemmy, a member of the working class, is well-informed of the tunnels of the sewer because he has spent the early years of his life there, trapping rats and selling them for money. Jemmy seems at ease in the sewer, knowing what direction to take and where to hide. On the other hand, the Prince is very frightened in the tunnels below the city and clings desperately to Jemmy for security. The Prince has never been to the sewers. His life has always been spent in the luxury of the palace walls with everyone at his beck and call.
As the two boys spend more and more time together the Prince slowly begins to become a part of Jemmy's world. The same can be said for Jemmy's whose quick thinking while dealing with the two men helps the boys escape. When Jemmy is mistaken for the prince, he really takes over the role, and the two classes seemed meshed.
During their journey, Prince Horace and Jemmy both become responsible for their own actions. Jemmy, who has been away from his family and on his own for awhile, is prepared when he gets chased and tormented by the two men in the forest. The Prince, on the other hand, has to learn responsibility since he has never had to rely on himself before. At first, the Prince is stubborn and foolish in his actions, but, as time passes and he sees Jemmy for who he really is. It is when the Prince realizes this, that he learns a very important lesson, and the moral of the book. The Prince learns to break down the barriers that hold the two boys apart. The Prince shows a very big step in growth that even some adults have not taken yet. With his maturation, he is able to become true friends with Jemmy, and earn the name Prince Horace.

I really enjoyed how Fleischman is able to take a very serious and real topic, such as class discrimination, and simplify it for a young reader. The author does not make light of the topic, yet he addresses it in such a way that the reader understands and can relate the story to his/her own life. Children that would read or hear this book have most likely already read or heard fairytales that include royalty. However, I think it is rare that a child is given the opportunity to hear the story of the lower class. "The Whipping Boy," gives a vivid explanation and description of the class differences.
This main theme in this book is that friendship should be free of prejudices. "The Whipping Boy," would be an excellent choice in encouraging students to get along with one another no matter what their differences may be. It lays a very good framework for young students who have been or one day will be on the giving or receiving end of discrimination or prejudices without being preachy. The theme is a powerful one, yet the story includes enough adventure to keep the reader interested and engaged. ... Read more


5. The Great Brain (Great Brain)
by John D. Fitzgerald, Mercer Mayer
list price: $4.99
our price: $4.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0142400580
Catlog: Book (2004-02-01)
Publisher: Puffin Books
Sales Rank: 221512
Average Customer Review: 4.86 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The best con man in the Midwest is only ten years old. Tom, a.k.a., the Great Brain, is asilver-tongued genius with a knack for turning a profit. When the Jenkins boys get lost inSkeleton Cave, the Great Brain saves the day. Whether it’s saving the kids at school, orhelping out Peg-leg Andy, or Basil, the new kid at school, the Great Brain alwaysmanages to come out on top—and line his pockets in the process. ... Read more

Reviews (57)

5-0 out of 5 stars I remember this book from when I was a nine year old boy...
I never read any of the books in the Great Brain series; they were actually read to me when I was a child. It was a ritual that my mother and I had every night. Just after I got in bed she would sit or lie down next to me and pull out a book. Over the years she read many different series, and to be honest, at the age of 23 all of these stories are a bit of a blur, except one series, The Great Brain. The Great Brain was by far my favorite I remember the stories as though they were read to me yesterday. One bit, which I remember particularly, is a scene in one of the books involving a headmaster (I think) and one of the brothers. I remember something being said about adults finding it admirable when children looked them in the eye while being addressed. That little bit has stayed with me all my life. After my Mother read that part I immediately started holding my head high and looking every adult who spoke to me in the eye. I've done that ever since, and when I do it I remember The Great Brain. Anyhow, I thought I would share this the world, especially any parent looking for a book that their child might like. If you haven't done it yet, you should consider reading this series to your own kid.

4-0 out of 5 stars I was so EXCITED--
I was an avid reader as a child, and the GREAT BRAIN books were some of my favorites. I am now a mother of an avid reader, and tried to locate the books in several book stores. (For some reason, the library did not occur to me--shame on me!) I am so glad to have found them on Amazon.com that I am buying the whole set. This will be a great way to spend time with my son this summer! To parents--you will enjoy reading these with your children (sons or daughters)To children--you will enjoy reading these yourself (or listening, if you don't read yet). Very humorous series! Have a great time reading!

5-0 out of 5 stars Two stars in the story--Tom D. and John D.
Many books have complex plots or narration and attempt to pull together many characters or ideas, or they take place in some annoyingly exotic location. John D. Fitzgerald's books feel natural being in the town of Adenville, Utah and chart the progress of two brothers. Best yet, it introduces you to Adenville so you feel like you're there in a few pages and is overall nice and short--the chapters can stand alone as stories, but the book's short enough you'll have no problem reading it in one sitting. But the best part about this short book is--it has several sequels at least as good.

On the one hand, there's John D., the narrator, who's sentimental and well-meaning but easily pushed around. Being eight he also overreact to everything, yet at the same time the narration tells you exactly what's going on. Then there's Tom D., who uses his Great Brain for swindling and occasionally for helping schoolmates and even adults.

One chapter involves his charging money for kids to see the first instance of indoor plumbing in their hometown and trying to swindle John D., whom he hired to do the dirty work, into paying more than he should when things go wrong. Another involves his teaching a Greek immigrant boy how to be a 'real American'--for a fee, as he pulls some sharp deals along the way. But later Tom helps a friend who is seriously depressed without looking for repayment. You sense it can't last, and you don't want it to, because his hijinks are amusing, and as a reader, you don't have to worry about getting caught by them.

Mercer Mayer's illustrations fit the book wonderfully, and the whole Great Brain series tends to cover issues of potential inferiority without being the least bit whiny. Although this book doesn't contain any of my favorite Great Brain swindles, it focuses more on emotions and people trying to fit in. The whole series is an overlooked set of contemporary classics.

5-0 out of 5 stars Mr. Locker's 4/5 grade class reading group, loved this book!
Mr. Lockers 4/5 grade readers, Oliver,Tori, Madison,Luc,Sam & Nick, January 26, 2004,
Mr. Locker's 4/5 grade class reading group, loved this book!
The Great Brain was a very funny book. I liked how the Great Brain figures out funny solutions. I think the author did a very good jobwith the book. I like how the author took his childhood and fit it into the book. I thought it was really GREAT!-Oliver M.age10 The Great Brain is a very interesting book. It is based on the funny happenings of the author, J.D.Fitzgerald's childhood.The story is told by J.D., the youngest brother. He tells of the exciting things that his older brother Tom(aka the GREAT BRAIN)does.THis is a very good book.-Madison C. age 9 The Great BRain is a great book to read when you are just having fun. THis book is about a boy named Tom who has a 'GREAT BRAIN'. HIs younger brother J.D., always wants to be like Tom. Sometimes Tom's 'GREAT BRAIN' gets him rewards and sometimes it get him into trouble.-Tori T.-age 10 'Tom (THE GREAT BRAIN) is hysterical with his weird ideas'! I liked this book and hope others do too.-Sam F.-age 11 MR. Locker's 4/5 Grade Reading Group @ Carter Elementary-Palm Desert, CA Loved the GREAT BRAIN!

Also recommended: The Great Brain at the ACademy, Me and my little Brain, THe GREAT Brain does it again, More Adventures of The Great Brain

5-0 out of 5 stars One Great Brain
I read these books as child by checking them out of a library. Now almost 20 years later, I have decided to reread them all starting from the beginning. The Great Brain book is as good as I remembered. Some things may seem goofy at first from an adult perspective, but give the book a chance and read the whole thing. Many things come together later or at the end. John Fitzgerald gives every book a complete feeling, so you feel satisfied after completing each. Keep in mind the time and setting of the book and you'll be able to enjoy it. The book is written from JD's viewpoint, but is largely about TD aka the Great Brain. I enjoyed these books a child, I am enjoying them now, and my friends in their 50's are enjoying them too. These are for all ages and are my all-time favorite children's series. Now, I hope that they re-release the books or I'll have to look for them used. ... Read more


6. Harriet the Spy
by LOUISE FITZHUGH
list price: $5.99
our price: $5.39
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0440416795
Catlog: Book (2001-05-08)
Publisher: Yearling
Sales Rank: 4831
Average Customer Review: 4.57 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Harriet M. Welsch is a spy. In her notebook, she writes down everything she knows about everyone, even her classmates and her best friends. Then Harriet loses track of her notebook, and it ends up in the wrong hands. Before she can stop them, her friends have read the always truthful, sometimes awful things she’s written about each of them. Will Harriet find a way to put her life and her friendships back together?
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Reviews (113)

4-0 out of 5 stars A must-read for kids 9-12! Highly enjoyable.
As many teachers do, I try to preview and read books before I introduce them into the classroom. This summer I read a slew of books and really enjoyed Harriet the Spy.

It was written like nothing I have ever read before. Harriet is a different breed altogether. She is going through great changes in her life and is not even that likable as a person. However, she is very real. Her situations and her explorations are strange, unique and funny. I wish I had read this in the fifth grade! I really think that my students are going to love and enjoy it when I read this book out loud to them this coming school year.

You'll enjoy Harriet's spying escapades, the characters she views and writes in her journal about and her outlook on friends and family. The other characters in the book are equally off-beat, real and hilarious. Harriet the Spy is a masterpiece of children's literature and one to be enjoyed for years to come I hope.

5-0 out of 5 stars A book to read over and over through the years
When I was in fifth grade, Harriet The Spy came into movie theaters. My teacher had posters of the movie in the classroom, and everytime I walked to the restroon, I'd look at it. It looked like it'd be good, so I decided to see it. I LOVED it.

Almost immeadielty I bought the book, and loved it even more. What I loved most about the book and movie was that Harriet was so sly, yet determinted to know everything, everything and work on her long-term goal to become a writer.

I loved watching and reading about her observations recorded in her little compostion notebooks. I became so obessed with Harriet The Spy that I myself became an eleven-year-old spy. I got a notebook that was the same as the one in the movie (which was not easy, those flexible comp notebooks are HARD to find), wrote PRIVATE on the front cover, and created my own spy route. I'd spy on neighbors, family, even friends! And best of all I NEVER got caught! The best part was writing in my notebook and proudly stating no else could read it.

I've always wanted to become a writer, so being a spy in 5th-6th grades was so much fun. I even had the whole spy getup on, the belt with all the tools I'd need. The only thing I didn't like about the belt was the fact that running with the notebook under it was very uncomfortable, and it dug into my stomach, lol! Poor Michelle (Harriet) must have been in such pain whenever they did takes with the book under her belt!

Anyway, both the book and movie have inspired me to become a writer. I highly doubt I would have taken a more serious interest in writing if it were not for this movie/book. Of course now I no longer spy, (I stopped after sixth grade because it apparently caused some controversy with family and friends) but I still keep notebooks/journals/diaries whatever you want to call them, and I LOVE to write stories and poems. No matter how old I get, I'll ALWAYS, AWLAYS love Harriet The Spy. :0)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Fabulous Book
(...) I have read the whole book of Harriet the Spy and as long as long as I live, I will love this book. This is the best book I have ever read, because it has very vivid writing and you can almost hear Harriet thinking and see what Harriet is doing (what everybody is doing). Harriet learns two things: First, sometimes you need to lie to your friends in order to keep them your friends. Second, friends are very important. I could read this book a thousand times more and not get bored with it. I would recommend over 70 people reading this book a month.

5-0 out of 5 stars Harriet the Spy sparkles
I first knew about Harriet the Spy in 5th grade when the movie came out. I was entranced, enthralled and totally taken with such a moving film (no wonder it's called "One of the best children's movies ever!"), and I bought the book later that week - along with Fitzhugh's sequel The Long Secret. I became a "child spy" like Harriet because I found her lifestyle amazing, and Louise Fitzhugh is an excellent writer. Harriet the Spy sparkles as one of literature's best children's novels!

5-0 out of 5 stars There's a girl who leads a life of danger
I have a theory about "Harriet the Spy". I suspect that no adult that read this book once (and only once) as a child remembers it correctly. For example, if you had asked me, prior to rereading it, what the plot of "Harriet the Spy" was, I could have summed it up like so: Harriet the Spy is about a girl who wants to be a spy. She spies on lots of different people and writes in a notebook, but one day all her friends read the notebook and none of them like her anymore. That is the plot of "Harriet the Spy". And I would be half right. Surprising to me, I found I was forgetting much much more.

In truth, "Harriet the Spy" is about class, loss, and being true to one's own self. Harriet M. Welch (the M. was her own invention) is the daughter of rather well-to-do socialites. Raised by her nurse Ole Golly until the ripe old age of eleven, Harriet must come to terms with Ole Golly's eventual abandonment. Ole Golly marries and leaves Harriet to her own devices just as the aforementioned tragedy involving her friends and the notebook occurs. The combination of the nurse's disappearance from Harriet's life (leaving behind such oh-so helpful pieces of advice as, "Don't cry", and the like) and the subsequent hatred directed at Harriet by her former friends makes Harriet into a veritable she-devil. A willful child from the start (punishments are few and far between in the Welch family) Harriet slowly spirals downward until a helpful note from Ole Golly gives her the advice she needs to carry on.

So many things about this book appeal to kids. The realistic nature of peer interactions is one. Harriet randomly despises various kids, even before her notebook is read. After making their lives terrible, she eventually has to experience what they themselves have had to deal with. Author Louise Fitzhugh is such a good writer, though, that even as you disapprove of Harriet's more nasty tendencies you sympathize with her. Honestly, who would want ink dumped down their back? As Harriet observes various people on her spy route, she writes her observations about them as well as about life itself. She hasn't quite figured out the differences between her life and the life of her best friend Sport (the son of an impoverished irresponsible writer) though she does briefly ponder if she herself is rich (the fact that she has her own private bath, nurse, and family cook never quite occurs to her). On the whole, the book contains a multitude of wonderful characters. Harriet's parents are both amusing and annoying, completely dedicated to their daughter and completely clueless about her needs. I was especially shocked by a section of the book in which Harriet asks her mother if she'll be allowed to eat dinner with her parents that night. Gaah!

Accompanying the text are Fitzhugh's own meticulous line drawings. They're fantastic and eerie. Combined with this timeless story (timeless in all the good ways) the book deserves its status as one of the best books for children. Read it again to remember. You'll find a whole lot more than you bargained for. ... Read more


7. Insectlopedia: Poems and Paintings
by Douglas Florian
list price: $16.00
our price: $10.88
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0152013067
Catlog: Book (1998-03-01)
Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books
Sales Rank: 17871
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

A perfect springtime accompaniment to actual bugs, Insectlopedia swarms, buzzes, and slithers with poetry and paint. Douglas Florian, creator of the award-winning Beast Feast, On the Wing, and In the Swim, has succeeded again, this time with a delightful infestation of 21 spider and insect poems and paintings, awash in watercolor and collage on primed brown paper bags.

Well-loved for his clever wordplay (complete with endearingly shameless visual and verbal puns), Florian manages to seamlessly blend science with pure whimsy. Take "The Praying Mantis," for example: "Upon a twig/I sit and pray/For something big/To wend my way;/A caterpillar,/Moth,/or bee--/I swallow them/Religiously." His rhythmic chant "The Weevils" begins, "We are weevils./We are evil./We've aggrieved/Since time primeval." Add a few inchworms, moths, and whirligig beetles, and you have the blisteringly funny, stingingly clever Insectlopedia, the perfect book for emerging entomologists and budding poets alike. (All ages) ... Read more

Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great fun, even for kids who aren't "insect lovers"
This is a book of poems about insects. The poems are great; their content is funny and rhythmic. Through the poems we learn about the various insects. Some have very creative text formatting such as the inchworm; the text is shaped like a humped-up inchworm. The illustrations are very creative collages that are unique compared to most other children's books.

I began reading this when my first son was 2 years old and he loved the poems then and he loves them now. Neither of my children are otherwise very interested in reading about insects but this book captures their interest and they laugh hysterically at some of these poems. After reading these they have found some of the more unusual insects such as the walking stick outdoors and called it to my attention. We've owned the book for 3 years, every once in a while my now-5 year old will find it and get excitedly proclaim "we haven't read this in a long time" and begs me to read it again (and again and again).

Some of the insects featured are the inchworm, tick, walking stick, praying mantis, monarch butterfly, daddy long legs spider and army ants.

The poems are so much fun I don't mind reading the entire book two or three times in a row. A fun book to read to young children. This is good reading for just plain fun or to introduce poetry or to enhance learning about insects and nature.

5-0 out of 5 stars It's great! (Ethan 5) It's Wonderful (Alissa 6)
We just love reading Insectlopedia! My 6 year old daughter andmy 5 year old son both think it is a great read. Ethan & Alissalike the poem about the Whirligig Beetles the best.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book Filled with Info!
I read this book while sitting in the Dr.'s office this week. It was not only fun to read, but educational as well. At 27 I learned some interesting things about insects! And the illustrations are outstanding, especially for adults who can look further into the artwork.

5-0 out of 5 stars enchanting poems not only for children
Florian created a wonderful book of poems that captured the youthful joy and echantment of the insect world. Each poem is unique and the accompanying illustrations are whimsical and fun. Both parents and children will love this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars A pure delight!
As a children's author myself, I look at a LOT of picture books each year. INSECTLOPEDIA was one I simply had to have. The poems and art are equally witty, and it seems to me the perfect gift book, to be enjoyed and appreciated by children (and adults) of all ages. Every time I show it to someone, we find something new to delight us in the art work. A wonderful book! ... Read more


8. Whoever You Are
by Mem Fox
list price: $6.00
our price: $5.40
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0152164065
Catlog: Book (2001-08-01)
Publisher: Voyager Books
Sales Rank: 19403
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Every day all over the world, children are laughing and crying, playing and learning, eating and sleeping. They may not look the same. They may not speak the same language. Their lives may be quite different. But inside, they are all alike.
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Reviews (12)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book for every child
I loved this book and plan to give it to everybody I know when they have a new baby. It is, as the other reviews say, a book about how all children in the world, regardless of where they live and their culture, are fundamentally the same -- they smile the same, cry the same, laugh the same, hurt the same. And it is a book that anyone can give their child regardless of their race, gender, nationality, etc., because it is so beautifully inclusive of many cultures. And I like it that the angelic figure who guides us through the book is a beautifully illustrated African man in a suit and hat. I think it's a wonderful book to welcome a child into the world. Definitely a keeper that the child will pass on to his or her children. I just bought 3 more copies today for two new babies and one to keep on hand for the next one who comes along! My other favorite new baby book is On The Day You Were Born, also wonderful for children of any race, gender, nationality, etc. because of it's inclusive language and artwork.

5-0 out of 5 stars Teaching Our Children Right
What better way to begin teaching your child how to be a citizen of the world than by sharing this book with her? Though recommended for ages 4 - 8, it is my 17 month old's favorite book. The illustrations are colorful and enchanting, the text rhythmic and clear. The story is simple, yet profound:"love is the same, pain is the same, joy is the same, blood is the same..." "Whoever you are, whoever they are, all over the world."

5-0 out of 5 stars Just Right...
for teaching children that the way we are is not the only way to be. Great but not heavy-handed book for preschoolers about differences and similarities, whoever you are, wherever you are...

5-0 out of 5 stars This is who we are...
As the home educator of children from toddler to pre-school, representing a wide range of cultures, this wonderful inclusive book is soothing and almost prayerful. I discovered it on a list of books recommended by Heifer.org, a non-profit organization bringing respectful solutions to many nations affected by poverty. The drawings by Leslie Staub, gently framed with "jewelled" borders, are universal. The text, by Mem Fox, reaches deep inside of us. Indeed, every child, every adult, has hearts that are "just the same" regardless of all the differences that separate us. It is hard to imagine anyone who can think war is the answer to anything, after reading this book. I heartily recommend it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Exactly the message children need
This book is a true blessing in the middle of our divisive world. Fox's words and the amazing illustrations are helping my two year old understand that children everywhere have boo-boo's, love their Mommies and do many of the same things she does. It is now her favorite book, probably because of the gorgeous (I cannot stress that enough) colors in the illustrations. I am buying this for every child I know for Christmas. ... Read more


9. Reading Magic: Why Reading Aloud to Our Children Will Change Their Lives Forever
by Mem Fox
list price: $12.00
our price: $9.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0156010763
Catlog: Book (2001-09-04)
Publisher: Harvest Books
Sales Rank: 28814
Average Customer Review: 4.38 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Bestselling author and literacy expert Mem Fox reveals the incredible emotional and intellectual impact reading aloud to children has on their ability to learn to read.

All parents want and expect their children to learn to read, but few realize they can get their kids on the road to reading long before they start school simply by reading aloud to them every day. With passion and humor, acclaimed author and internationally respected literacy expert Mem Fox tells readers how she herself became aware of the astonishing effects that reading aloud and bonding through books have on very young children.

She speaks of when, where, and why to read aloud and demonstrates how to read aloud to best effect and how to get the most out of a read-aloud session. She walks readers through the three secrets of reading which together make reading possible. She gives guidance on defining, choosing, and finding good books and closes with tips on dealing effectively with the challenges that sometimes arise when children are learning to read.

Filled with practical advice, activities, and inspiring true read-aloud miracles, this book is a must for every parent-and for anyone interested in how children learn to read.

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Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Book by a Beloved Children's Author
As a Speech Language Pathologist and Children's Literacy Coach I can attest to the fact that reading to children is a critical element in literacy acquisition. Children must learn the flow of language and the variance and flexibility of words in order to appreciate literature and write well. Reading to children of ALL ages ( yes even middle and high school!) is critical for the development of advanced reading, writing and listening skills. What can be better than creativity and imagination being fostered during a warm, entertaining storytelling session.....with the stories coming from brilliant authors ( like Mem Fox)? I recommend this book to all my parents, my fellow teachers and to my friends. It makes a great book for new parents. It makes a great addition to any one's library who has an interest in children's literature, literacy or storytelling. Thank you Mem Fox for writing such a great book!

5-0 out of 5 stars You Go Mem
I loved this book. I learned how to choose better books for my daughter and I learned to take myself less seriously while reading to her and to just let go and be silly and have a ton of fun. Thank you Mem. Among my favorite books to read aloud to my 3 year old daughter are Mem's It's Time for Bed, Karma Wilson's The Bear Snored On, and The Bear Wants More and Judy Hindley's Do Like a Duck Does.

5-0 out of 5 stars Reading Specialist WHOLE Heartedly Agrees Part of Puzzle
I respectfully disagree with many people in these reviews who are touting that this book is a glib solution, most especially the citation of the NRP Report!

I am a postgraduate educated Reading Specialist, and can tell you that report was compiled by numerous people who have no education on the subject of reading instruction. Also, that report is misconstrued and in schools allowed to be used as support for phonics worksheets as an isolated way to teach reading.

I don't know about you, but I didn't learn to read totally be being able to identify a picture, and writing the beginning or ending or medial sound on a blank line of a worksheet.

No, I listened. (Do those reviewers know the all too important impact of a child's listening comprehension?) I also looked at the pictures (that's called Context Clues). And I looked at word structure and vocabulary (that's called the Structural Cueing System). I made sense of what I was reading (currently referred to as metacognition).

I now remediate adolescent readers. And let me tell you - direct systematic phonics has failed them! It's because they have not made sense of their reading. What they read doesn't engage them or motivate them.

Think about it - what is your definition of reading? Do you have a scientific montage of words or is it plainly just decoding symbols to decipher meaning from the message? For me, reading is making meaning.

When children are read aloud to (as I do DAILY in my secondary remediation classes), numerous things happen in the brain. Read brain-based learning books. Then tell me how phonics worksheets are THE only and recommended way to learn. When children are read aloud to, the basis for making meaning is created.

I can guarantee you in an unscientific study that my students were NOT read to as children or even in their later lives. We may be able to get those kids past decoding in their early years - Kindergarten and First Grade - but reading aloud increases and hones listening comprehension, attention to task, and visualization - components of reading comprehension that are often overlooked.

Reading aloud creates meaning - provides motivation and engagement for kids. It is a HUGE component of reading comprehension, and should not be treated lightly.

Mem Fox does not purport ANYWHERE in this book that it is the be all and end all. She is an outstanding author who knows that fluent and fluid language is a part of the puzzle.

Readers who are looking for a quick fix and pat answers to reading difficulties - sure, yes, can look at the NRP Report, and get whatever answers they need to get.

And for those parents who perhaps misunderstand many components of reading, you really do need to consult a specialist before you make wide sweeping generalizations. For most of us, we have never given thought to how we learn to read. There are varied and enumerated reasons that a child cannot read - some of them are phonological or processing related and some of them are meaning related. For whatever reason, there is NOT just ONE answer, like NRP would have you believe.

But if you talk to any educated reading professional, he or she will tell you straight up how that report is regarded.

With the whole language vs phonics debate roaring wildly these days, I think our time is better spent -

Reading aloud to children.

5-0 out of 5 stars Reading Magic: Why Reading Aloud to Our Children Will Change
I started to read this book over a cup of coffee today. Four cups (decaf!)later I completed the book. I couldn't put it down! I think this book should be given to every new parent! I read the other reviews and agree that reading aloud isn't going to work for every child. But why not try it? Why not make it a priority in your family anyhow? Even if it doesn't make your child a top reader... your child, you, your entire family, will benefit in some way by reading aloud. And it is fun! Both of our kids happen to be excellent readers (they're 10 and 7) and read well above grade level. Is it because we have always read aloud to them? Is it because we have used many of the strategies discussed in the book (even without knowing it at the time)? Who knows. For me, there is nothing like cuddling up in a comfy, warm spot, with a child on each side, reading, talking and laughing about a good book. It doesn't get much better than that!

2-0 out of 5 stars Although I think reading aloud is wonderful
I think this author got a little carried away. I found some of her examples to be down right insulting. She read aloud to a boy for 15 minutes...and suddently he started reading. Please.

I am currently the mother of a boy in Kindergarten and a preschool girl. I have read to my son since he was 2 days old. Through hours of colic, I recited Dr. Seuss to calm us both. In his 5.5 years, I have barely missed a day reading. Although he loves to be read to, he is really struggling to learn to read on his own. And to imply, that if a parent had just read the right books, with the right tones...then it would be a piece of cake is setting up a lot of parents (myself included) for a lot of frustrationg.

Learning to read for most kids is hard. I read the entire book looking for some aknowledgement of this fact and there is none.

I love reading aloud to my kids, to their classes, to anyone who will listen but this book just goes too far. ... Read more


10. Joyful Noise (rpkg) : Poems for Two Voices
by Paul Fleischman
list price: $5.99
our price: $5.39
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0064460932
Catlog: Book (1992-01-01)
Publisher: HarperTrophy
Sales Rank: 45049
Average Customer Review: 4.93 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Written to be read aloud by two voices--sometimes alternating, sometimes simultaneous--here is a collection of irresistible poems that celebrate the insect world, from the short life of the mayfly to the love song of the book louse. Funny, sad, loud, and quiet, each of these poems resounds with a booming, boisterous, joyful noise.

In this remarkable volume of poetry for two voices, a companion to I Am Phoenix,Paul Fleischman verbally re-creates the "Booming/boisterios/joyful noise" of insects. The poems resound with the pulse of the cicada and the drone of the honeybee. Eric Beddows's vibrant drawings send each insect soaring, spinning, or creeping off the page in its own unique way.

Paul Fleischman has created not only a clear and fascinating guide to the insect world--from chrysalid butterflies to whirligig beetles--but an exultant celebration of life.

Winner, 1989 Newbery Medal
Notable Children's Books of 1988 (ALA)
1988 Best Books for Young Adults (ALA)
1988 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award Honor Book for Fiction/Poetry
1989 Fanfare Honor List (The Horn Book)
1988 Notable Trade Books in the Language Arts (NCTE)
Children's Books of 1988 (Library of Congress)
1988 Books for the Teen Age (NY Public Library)
100 Books for Reading and Sharing (NY Public Library)

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Reviews (15)

5-0 out of 5 stars What a great book!
This is a collection of beautiful short poems for children about a variety of insects. The children are supposed to read the poems together as if it were a dialog or play and the interplay of words is supposed to fit with the type of insect the poem describes. The book, illustrated by Eric Beddows, won the 1989 Newbery Medal for best contribution to American children's literature.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great and Lots of fun!
Joyful noise is a great book to read with another person. It is filled with poems for two voices about insects. It has from Book Lice to Water Striders, House Crickets to Grasshoppers, Water Boatmen to Fireflies. I really enjoy reading it with one of my friends!!

4-0 out of 5 stars An original idea
These poems about the lives of different insects are meant to be read by two voices, thereby mimicking the sounds or characteristics of those bugs. The book works rather well, especially the whirligig beetle poem. Appearing in bookstores nation wide in 1992, I remember being given this book at the age of 10 from my mother. At that particular age I was not interested in participating in a picture book, clearly designed for younger students. Had I received it at a younger age I think I would have liked it more. I would recommend presenting this book to a group of students, having them perform it together. That would be the best use of this singular text.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful
A real celebration of the insects. Fourteen neat poems - you can read just one side and enjoy the poems too if you don't have a partner onhand but listening to them read by two people is neat! Really great drawings throughout - obviously done by a nature lover. The poems are funny and at times like haiku too.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Novel Way to Engage Children in Poetry
This book consists of fourteen poems about different insects. Each poem is written in two parts and must be read aloud to be truly appreciated. The two parts fit together, and when performed aloud, have a rhythmical sound. Having children act out the poems as they read them would be a great way to incorporate dance and creative movement. I would recommend this book for all teachers and parents who want to get children excited about poetry. ... Read more


11. The Voice That Challenged a Nation : Marian Anderson and the Struggle for Equal Rights
by Russell Freedman
list price: $18.00
our price: $12.24
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0618159762
Catlog: Book (2004-05-25)
Publisher: Clarion Books
Sales Rank: 248328
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Book Description

"A voice like yours," celebrated conductor Arturo Toscanini told contralto Marian Anderson, "is heard once in a hundred years." This insightful account of the great African American vocalist considers her life and musical career in the context of the history of civil rights in this country. Drawing on Anderson's own writings and other contemporary accounts, Russell Freedman shows readers a singer pursuing her art despite the social constraints that limited the careers of black performers in the 1920s and 1930s. Though not a crusader or a spokesperson by nature, Marian Anderson came to stand for all black artists-and for all Americans of color-when, with the help of such prominent figures as Eleanor Roosevelt, she gave her landmark 1939 performance on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, which signaled the end of segregation in the arts. Carefully researched, expertly told, and profusely illustrated with contemporary photographs, here is a moving account of the life of a talented and determined artist who left her mark on musical and social history. Through her story, one of today's leading authors of nonfiction for young readers illuminates the social and political climate of the day and an important chapter in American history.Notes, bibliography, discography, index. ... Read more


12. The Black Stallion (Black Stallion (Paperback))
by WALTER FARLEY
list price: $5.99
our price: $5.39
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0679813438
Catlog: Book (1991-08-20)
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Sales Rank: 9124
Average Customer Review: 4.93 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

First published in 1941, Walter Farley'sbest-selling novel for young readers is the triumphant tale of a boy and a wild horse. From Alec Ramsay and the Black's first meeting on an ill-fated ship to their adventures on a desert island and their eventual rescue, this beloved story will hold the rapt attention of readers new and old.
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Reviews (75)

4-0 out of 5 stars If you like horse books you will love this one
I liked this book because it was exciting and to read. It has a great ending. Something new always happens that you would not expect. It has a good plot. It is suspenseful. You will want to know what happens next in the story.
Black Stallion is about a boy named Alec who finds and owns a black stallion. They get ship wrecked with no other living thing on the island. He has to find food for both himself and the stallion. The stallion is a big strong horse with a lot of speed and ability to run in a race. Their shelter caught on fire and burnt down. A ship saw the smoke and rescued them.

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes horse books. It's fun to read. I would recommend it to fifth through seventh graders. It's an easy book to read. It's a great book with excitement and it is fun to read.

5-0 out of 5 stars You Would Never Believe How Many times I've Read it!!!!!!!!!
This is a story about a boy named Alec who first sees a savage, yet beautiful horse led onto his ship. Alec secretly befriends him. Then there is a terrible storm and the ship is sinking.Alec lets the Black go and he plunges into the sea with Alec. A day later They have reached land but for the better or worse?

Alec and The Black are finally rescued and Alec joins forces with an ex trainer named Henry Dailey. They plan to make Black a famous race horse but will the Black Stallion ever be truly tamed?

This was a beautifully well written story full of adventure and heart. If you don't try it then you will really be missing out.

4-0 out of 5 stars A classic
Although the copy sitting on my shelf is the dog-eared Scholastic version of my youth, not this new edition, I feel that every child who has ever looked at a horse with wonder, seen it as a thing of beauty and nobility, or dreamed of having a horse of his or her own, should read this excellent series, beginning with this very book.

A fascinating and fantastical story of sea rescue, perseverance, and courage, as well as a peek into the world of horse racing half a century ago, these stories, despite being written in 1941, have a timeless quality that will always capture the heart of any adventurer.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Heart of a Horse
This book is spetacular!!! Its one of the greatest books I have read in years. Once I started reading it, I couldn't put the book down. It was about a young boy, named Alec, who finds himself and a black horse to be the only survivors of a shipwreck. Alec soon learns that he owe his life to this black horse whom saved his life, by dragging him to an island. They soon learn they must depend on each other in order to survive on the island, and because of Alec's love for horses, he learns how to become the horse's friend and he starts a type of speacial bond between the horse and himself.

One of my reasons why I liked this book is, because it always gives me that feeling of whats going to happen next. Its just that the book is so full of excitment. Every time Alec rides the black horse, the author makes it seem that Alec is always risking his life. Every once in a while the author, Walter Farley, would write an event where it seems Alec could loss his life. Such as this, "A few minutes later Henry and Jake ran up to them, and Alec weakly climbed down from the saddle. Henry took the reins- they were sticky and wet with blood."

Another reason why I liked this book is, it has just the right level of vocabulary. Sometimes when you choose a book and it turns out to be something a little too easy or a little too hard, that you can't understand what the book is really talking about. Such as this sentence, "The next day Alec set out to obtain more of the carragheen" or this sentence, "he remebered the deep gully that was there.

My most favorite part of this book was, when Alec and the black horse gets rescued from the island they were stranded on, and when Alec finally gets to see his family for the first time in many months. The reason why I like this part is, it's full of happiness. Alec had never seen his family in about five months, and he thought that he was going to die on that island with the horse.

5-0 out of 5 stars Whoa, SeaBiscuit!
I first read THE BLACK STALLION when I was 9 - and I became hooked and read several of the books that followed in the series. None held up to this first book - but they were consistent and I still have them.

With the book first being published in 1941 - I wonder now how much of this story was influenced by the SeaBiscuit story?

Anyway - this is one of those books that I remember wishing with all my heart and soul I could be Alec, alone on the island in the sun with that horse. Just riding. And having no other thoughts in the world.

And sometimes, after a particularly bad week, this book is one of those that I scoop up to smooth my edges. ... Read more


13. Tough Boris
by Mem Fox
list price: $6.00
our price: $5.40
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0152018913
Catlog: Book (1998-09-01)
Publisher: Voyager Books
Sales Rank: 46407
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Boris von der Borch is a mean, greedy old pirate--tough as nails, through and through, like all pirates. Or is he? When a young boy sneaks onto Boris's ship, he discovers that Boris and his mates aren't quite what he expected.
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Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars and beautiful illustrations
Mem Fox's _Tough Boris_ is a picture book about Boris Von Der Borch and his gang of pirates. The text is very simple. Basically, it simply states "Boris was greedy." for one pair of pages, and then "All pirates are greedy." on the next pair, and then substitutes other words for greedy, like "massive," and "scruffy," etc.

The pictures tell the story, though. Boris and his group find a treasure chest, filled with treasure and a violin. The crew drags the treasure chest aboard the ship, and divvies up the loot. A boy steals the violin from Boris's room, and Boris seeks the boy out for punishment. The boy plays the violin so well, however, that Boris has him spared. Next, Boris' pet parrot dies, and gets a solemn and appropriate burial at sea, in the violin case. Boris and all the pirates are very sad, and, as the text states, "all pirates cry."

This book required repeated readings with my 3-year old to get the whole story. The simple text says so little, but in the end the text complements the illustrations well.

Kathryn Brown's illustrations are wonderful. The colors are bright, and the renderings of the pirates are fantastic. They are the best pirates I've seen in over a dozen pirate picture books. While I'm at it, I'll salute the author and illustrator together for creating a pirate picture book which doesn't include any battles, swordplay, cannons, or gunplay.

I give _Tough Boris_ 5 stars.

ken32

5-0 out of 5 stars More Than Just A Book About A Pirate
All of the other reviews focus on this book describing a pirate who has feelings besides just being tough. But this book is MUCH more! It lets children know that death/saddness happens to everyone and it is ok to be sad and cry about it, that crying is a good way to express yourself. It is a good book to prep children for the inevitable things that happen in life...it should be read often...before something inevitable happens. I read this book often in my preschool class and found that the girls enjoyed the story just as much as the boys.

3-0 out of 5 stars See Both Sides
This is a simple but sweet story about a pirate who is many things in addition to being tough. My three year old loves this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars An eye-opener for a tough little pirate
We found this book just when my 3-year old was going through his "tough pirate" phase, so the timing was perfect. It showed him that pirates are rough and tough, but they cry, too (like all of us). The illustrations tell a story not told in words that's very touching.

5-0 out of 5 stars This book teaches a great lesson to the children
Tough Boris is a book I would recommend reading to children. The writer and illustrator do a good job working together and portraying how Tough Boris is tough but not heartless. This book would also teaches a good lesson to the readers, that is not all people that look tough, fearless, scary, and greedy are heartless. ... Read more


14. Sleepy Bears
by Mem Fox
list price: $16.00
our price: $10.88
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0152020160
Catlog: Book (1999-08-16)
Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books
Sales Rank: 40730
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Winter is here, and in winter, bears sleep. But how do you convince six not-so-sleepy bear cubs to go to bed? Mother Bear, of course, has found a way--with a cozy rhyme for each of them. Once again, beloved author Mem Fox enchants little ones--and their parents--with a tender bedtime story, irresistibly illustrated by Kerry Argent.
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Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars A good get-ready-to-sleep book
Sleepy Bears is a predictable story about Mother Bear and her six bear children getting into bed to hibernate for the winter. Mother Bear says goodnight to each of her cubs and suggests what she thinks each of them will dream about.

Kerry Argent has beautifully illustrated the bears so that they look fuzzy enough to touch. The textured artwork of the "real" world is different from that of the dreams. The scenery and objects illustrated in the bear cubs' dreams is flatter looking, with little shading or color gradient.

Argent has included a blue stuffed elephant in each non-dream illustration. It is on the title page, and then is held by one or another of the bear cubs throughout the book until the final page. Once everyone has fallen asleep, the stuffed elephant blows out the candle. This book is a perfect read-before-bed story, with it's peaceful illustrations and repetition of the line "Now who's the sleepiest? Who will be next?"

Mem Fox may be Australian, but, with the exception of one word, the reader would never know this from reading Sleepy Bears. Only the use of the word "ices" to refer to a treat akin to snow cones indicates that the author is not an American.

5-0 out of 5 stars Sweet dreams!
I purchased this book because I love Mem Fox's stories. My daughter wanted the book because she has a love for teddy bears. She is 3. I wanted to get her a nice story of a bear for bedtime. I hit the jackpot! I read the book and realized that this mother bear is not struggling with a bedtime routine to get the kids into bed. I also realized that the kids are not denying the fact that they are tired. We can all learn from this mother bear that to tell a story with the kids in it as the star is better than anything! It is a wonderful way to get kids and parents to use their imaginations to send them to a place for sweet dreams. This is a winner of a book and my daughter is going to love it!

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Book
My kids just love it. My 3 year old calls it "The Cub Bears" book. He ask for it every night for story time. My 22 month old cries when it ends and so we must read it again and again until they fall asleep. Love it!

5-0 out of 5 stars Works every time...like gluing bricks to a child's eyelids!
This is such a sweet little book, and I have found that it is the ONLY book we own that actually makes my daughter fall alseep DURING her bedtime story! The rhymes are so soft and soothing and she simply cannot keep her eyes open! I she always completely zonks at the end and I end up reading the last page 4-5 more times to insure that she's really out. Please know that my child never falls asleep like this...this book is magic! Oh, and the pictures are beautiful, colorful and interesting. Highly reccomended!

5-0 out of 5 stars Good Bedtime Story
My son who is 4 years old, loves this book to be read to him at night. It lets him have a good night sleep and he imagines what the bears are dreaming and he even thinks up stories to add himself. ... Read more


15. Me and My Little Brain (Great Brain)
by John D. Fitzgerald, Mercer Mayer
list price: $4.99
our price: $4.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0142400645
Catlog: Book (2004-02-01)
Publisher: Puffin Books
Sales Rank: 16644
Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Tom, a.k.a. the Great Brain, is off to boarding school. Now his little brother, J. D., is freeto follow in Tom’s ingenious, conniving, and profitable footsteps. All of J. D.’s attemptsat turning a profit fail miserably, and he soon realizes that he just doesn’t have that craftyGreat Brain knack. But when his younger brother is kidnapped, J. D. finds that his littlebrain may not be so ordinary after all.... ... Read more

Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars Get the series, they are great, classic children's books
John Dennis Fitzgerald intended to chronicle his youth in Utah for adults, not children. His publisher thought otherwise and the result are these gems. I don't even call them children's lit gems because I find them just as enjoyable as an adult. Before I go on, you should know that Fitzgerald wrote one book about his youth that is for adults, called "Papa Married a Mormon". It is one of the most amazing books on the American west that I have ever read. Sadly, it is out of print, and you may, like me, have to pay an exorbitant sum to get a copy. Trust me, save up and do it. Now back to this book. Every single Great Brain book in the series is pure gold, and the entire set can be had cheaply, so I say buy them all at once. I "put my money where my mouth is" as Tom the Great Brain would say, and bought the lot.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great for the 4th grade reader
I was introduced to "Me and My Little Brain" back in the late 70's when my 4th grade teacher assigned it to the class. Not only do I remember being obsessed with this book, I made my parents go out and buy the rest of the Great Brain books so I could read them all. It was an excellent beginning for me as a reader, and it became the first series of books I wanted to read, not just because I had to for school. The fact is, I can't wait to share it with my own son when that time comes. I highly recommend this one, and Fitzgerald's entire catelog of Great Brain books.

5-0 out of 5 stars If I Only Had a Brain
I read these books as child by checking them out of a library. Now almost 20 years later, I have decided to reread them all starting from the beginning. In this book, J.D. decides that he can fill the Great Brain (T.D.)'s shoes, while T.D. is away at the Academy in Salt Lake City. It turns out to be a humbling experience, thus the title, Me and My Little Brain. While some people may tell you that this book isn't as good without the presence of the Great Brain, I found this book just as entertaining as the rest. The storytelling is as superb as the rest. You don't want to miss this book because it introduces the character, Frankie, who allows this book to still be about brothers. Towards the end of this book, we find out that J.D. can still do some amazing stuff even though he has a little brain. This book and The Great Brain at the Academy are parallel books, which describe events happening at the same time, however, you should read this book first to have things make sense.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great & not so great brain
The third book in the series has mighty big shoes to fill but it lives up to expectations very well.
Other reviewers have expressed concern over the lack of stories with the main character (Tom), but this book is true to it's title and deals with the younger Fitzgerald in very well.\

I applaud the author for taking time to focus on the troubles of a younger sibling when his older (and more conniving) brother is absent.

I enjoyed this book very much when I was younger, and still enjoy it now that I am an adult and father.

This series is one that I hope to share with my children as they grow up, and I hope they will get as much pleasure from the stories as I did.

3-0 out of 5 stars The Great Brain himself does not appear.
J.D.'s brother Tom, the Great Brain himself, does not appear at all in this particular book. This one takes place after Tom has left for the Catholic Academy and is mostly about J.D. trying to follow in the Great Brain's footsteps, a task that J.D. doesn't fulfill until the last chapter, which makes this one a pretty tedious read. Tom's absence leaves a gaping hole. Try to imagine if J.K. Rowling were to write another book about Hogwart's School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and Harry Potter is not in it. That's how boring 'Me and My Little Brain' is without Tom. But readers of the Great Brain series still shouldn't skip this one. It explains the adoption of a youngest son named Frankie, who will be mentioned in the fourth book, 'The Great Brain at the Academy.' ... Read more


16. Where Is the Green Sheep?
by Mem Fox, Judy Horacek
list price: $15.00
our price: $10.20
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 015204907X
Catlog: Book (2004-04-01)
Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books
Sales Rank: 7945
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

There are red sheep and blue sheep, wind sheep and wave sheep, scared sheep and brave sheep, but where is the green sheep?

The search is on in this cozy, sheep-filled story from acclaimed author Mem Fox and popular Australian cartoonist Judy Horacek. Complete with sleepy rhymes and bright illustrations, this book is sure to delight children of all ages, from the very young to those just beginning to read.



... Read more

Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars I know where the Green Sheep is!
The kids at storytime really like this book. It is always fun, because they are so proud that they know where the Green Sheep is after the first read. They respond in unison everytime the text reads, "but where is the green sheep?" The illustrations are so cute you'll want to keep looking for the green sheep too!

5-0 out of 5 stars A delightful and sweet storybook!
I picked this up and have to say it is a beautiful piece. My 6 year old daughter picked it up and sat down and read it to me in awe at the brightly colored pictures and very excited to find out where the green sheep was! She enjoyed the opposites and the simple words that were easy for her to sound out and pick up on. It is now her favorite book!

It is a very good book for small children and it goes quickly and can definitely spark some learning experience with all of the opposites. Very nice bedtime story! ... Read more


17. Shh! We're Writing the Constitution
by Jean Fritz, Tomie dePaola
list price: $6.99
our price: $6.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0698116240
Catlog: Book (1998-03-01)
Publisher: Putnam Publishing Group
Sales Rank: 65910
Average Customer Review: 3.67 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (3)

1-0 out of 5 stars Good Author Bad Book
I dont hate the author and her books are good but this one SUCK!!! This book is a review of the 5th grade test study history with the boring Social studies book this book is much more boring. If you like this author DONT BUY THIS BOOK buy other books she made like Paul Revere but Dont buy this Boooooorrrrriiiinnngggg book!!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Are you a nervous reck over the constitution?? I was!
Hi! I am a twelve year old girl from California and i was verry nervous about the constitutioin test.This book helped me a lot on the test. I was so woried and nervous, but once i read this book, along with If You Were There When They Wrote THe Constitution,I knew i had studied to my full capability! I was so overloaded with information i didn't even need for the test! But all of that studying paid off because ,with the help from this book, I got***********100%*********************! My family was so proud of me. well i didn't just write this review to brag i wrote it to tell you that this book was a great investement for me! also if you are anything like me you will still think you need to study more so you should also buy if you were there when they wrote the constitition.Good Luck!

5-0 out of 5 stars It has great illustrations.
It is important for a book about a Constitution to be very good. It has good illustrations and it has a lot of interesting and cool facts. It is a good book overall. ... Read more


18. Lizards, Frogs, and Polliwogs: Poems and Paintings
by Douglas Florian
list price: $16.00
our price: $10.88
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 015202591X
Catlog: Book (2001-04-01)
Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books
Sales Rank: 4196
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

We are mad for poet-painter Douglas Florian. We were buzzed by Insectlopedia, moony for Mammalabilia, and batty for hisother beautifully biological, biologically beautiful books as well. We loveFlorian for his clever, downright shameless wordplay. One of our favorite poemsin Lizards, Frogs, and Polliwogs is "The Wood Frog":

I am a frozen frogsicle.
I froze beneath a logsicle.
My mind is in a fogsicle
Inside this icy bogsicle.
My temperature is ten degrees.
I froze my nose, my toes, my knees.
But I don't care, I feel at ease,
For I am full of antifreeze.
Another favorite is "The Polliwogs:"

We polliwoggle.
We polliwiggle.
We shake in lakes,
Make wakes,
And wriggle.
We quiver,
We shiver,
We jiggle,
We jog.
We're yearning
To turn ourselves
Into a frog.
We love Florian equally for his playful paintings that manage to be visual punsas well as suitable-for-framing pieces of art. A subtle and delightful use ofcolor combine with brilliant composition and some collage work to create amarvelous menagerie--this time accompanying 21 reptile and amphibian poems.Neither cobra nor chameleon escape pun-ishment from this talented wordsmith. Wewill patiently await the next beastly poetic parade from Florian! (Ages 5 to 10)--Karin Snelson ... Read more

Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Fabulous for reptile fans!
My two-year-old son is a *huge* reptile fan, and he loves this book. The playful language is wonderful, and it's an inspiring way to talk and think about different types of animals. It's one of those books that *I* love reading, too!

5-0 out of 5 stars A rare find, like Loco for Lizards
This book takes an offbeat subject like lizards and makes the subject fun and entertaining, while it also informs. Very much like Jim Cherry's book, Loco for Lizards, a laugh-out-loud funny book that packs an amazing wealth of information in at the same time. Highly recommended!

5-0 out of 5 stars Keen observations, delicate touch.
Florian delights! He's carefully observed the reptiles and amphibians in his book, and the poetry and collages are witty and subtle. This is good for kids and like great animation, terrific for herp-loving adults. --Ae Nash, Director, Colorado Reptile Rescue

5-0 out of 5 stars Poems You Don't Want to Miss!
Douglas Florian is back with another marvelous collection of 21 poems that will charm and amuse the entire family. This time out, he tackles the world of reptiles and amphibians, from those noisy spring peepers to the transparent glass frog to the wall walking gecko. His clever poetry, full of wordplay, puns and even visual fun, is complimented by his creative and inventive artwork, that will mesmerize readers with its wit, color and detail. For all who loved Mr Florian's past collections of Mammalabilia and Insectlopedia, Lizards, Frogs, and Polliwogs is a terrific book you shouldn't miss. ... Read more


19. Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge (Public Television Storytime Books)
by Mem Fox
list price: $14.95
our price: $10.17
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0916291049
Catlog: Book (1985-11-01)
Publisher: Kane/Miller Book Publishers
Sales Rank: 25093
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

The offbeat style of this wonderful story--and of Julie Vivas'sperfectly matched illustrations--couldn't be summed up better than by the oddness of the first sentence: "There was once a small boy called Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge and what's more he wasn't very old either." Wilfrid lives next to a retirement home, filled with folks like "Mrs. Jordan who played the organ" and "Mr. Hosking who told him scary stories."But his favorite old person is 96-year-old Miss Nancy. Everyone says Miss Nancy has lost her memory, and despite the fact that Wilfrid doesn't even know what a memory is, by accident he helps her find it. Mem Fox's original take on the capacity of children to help the old remember is especially notable for its non-patronizing focus on old people. (Ages 4 to 8) --Richard Farr ... Read more

Reviews (16)

4-0 out of 5 stars Try to remember the kind of September...
Mem Fox fans are a livid crew.If you've ever met one then I think you might know what I mean.When you meet a Mem Fox fan, it is more than likely that you may find yourself grabbed bodily as your arms start to fill with Mem Fox book after Mem Fox book.Mem Fox fans love her work and are quick to recommend everything she's done in a thrice.If you should feel like giving in and reading her works, then let me recommend that you begin with the delightful, "Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge".A touching tale of a boy and his elderly friend, the book explores the nature of memory itself in a way that children can understand.

Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge lives next to an old folks home and (as the book is quick to point out), "he wasn't very old either".Just a scrappy young boy, Wilfrid likes all the old people in the home, but his favorite is Miss Nancy Alison Delacourt Cooper because she has just as many names as he does.One day Wilfrid hears his parents tsk tsking over the fact that Miss Nancy has lost her memory.Wilfrid asks what a memory is and his pop explains that it's something you remember.This definition doesn't sit well with young Wilfrid, however, and he runs over to the neighbors to get a little more clarification.What he finds instead, however, are mixed messages.I mean, Mrs. Jordon says a memory is something warm, while Mr. Hosking says it's from long ago.Mr. Tippett says it's something that makes you cry while Miss Mitchell claims it's what makes you laugh.And to top it all off Mr. Drysdale says it's as precious as gold, period.Using his head, Wilfrid decides to put things from his own memories into a box to give to Miss Nancy.After giving her the things one by one, Miss Nancy suddenly realizes that she does remember bits and pieces of her life by going through the objects.We watch as a medal reminds her of her brother who went to war and didn't come back, and a puppet reminds her of one she herself owned and would entertain her sister with.And that is how a small boy helped Miss Nancy find her memory again.

The fear behind a book such as this is that it might unduly raise the expectations of those kids whose beloved grandparents suffer from such memory sapping diseases as Alzheimer's or dementia.After all, Wilfrid makes it look so easy.But if used conscientiously the story is a sweet intergenerational tale for all kids to enjoy.Who wouldn't want to run around playing with a bunch of wise elders like this crew?There is a definite sense that Wilfrid is a great comfort to these people and his easy going camaraderie with them is a joy to behold.The story is a well told one, hinting at the backgrounds of these different men and women but never exactly telling anything specifically.I was also pleased to find that Miss Nancy's memories were not purely cheerful ones.She remembers sad facts as easily as happy ones, suggesting that perhaps nothing is worth forgetting.And where else will preschoolers be given the chance to discuss the nature of memory itself?

Add to Mem Fox's adept narration the color imbued illustrations of artist Julie Vivas and you've got yourself a hit!Vivas has such an original eye-catching style that it's difficult not to recognize it instantly.It's a little like a rounded out Patricia Pollacco.Here the elderly sport slippers and elastically-challenged socks as well as fabulous multi-colored dresses and baggy pants.Wilfrid is your average kid, skateboarding in the old folks home and climbing hither and yon.I was especially taken with the shot of him lying upside down between his parents as he father lazily carries his teddy bear.Most interesting are the pictures of Miss Nancy's past.Here the young red headed Miss Nancy (looking a little like Wilfrid's older sister, perhaps) sports lank black tights, high brown button shoes, and eclectic purple silk loose-fitting chemises.Kids won't notice the obviously odd clothing, but parents may pause a moment and wonder just how exactly it is that Miss Nancy found such clothes back then.

Still, it's a lovely tale.Full of wit and imagination.Many picture books contain active elderly characters, but few contain so many within a single book.Here we have a story that gives respect to the older AND younger members of our society at the same time.We owe so much to both that it's nice to see a story that gives them the fun color filled adventure they so richly deserve.

2-0 out of 5 stars feel-good book
sappy, feel-good book.if that's what you're looking for, it's not bad.even with that, though, there's not much originality

5-0 out of 5 stars This is one of my favorite books
I really like this book.I read it today for the second time, but I remember it from when I was younger.This story has siplicity for young children and a wonderful story line for any age.I am going to get this book for my children when I grow up and hopefully my little sister will read it some day.

5-0 out of 5 stars Miss. Nancy's memory
Title: Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge
Author: Mem Fox
Favorite Characters: Mrs. Jordan, Mr. Hosking, Mr. Tippett, Miss. Mitchell, and Mr. Drysdale

Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge was a curious little boy who loved the old people that lived right next to him, especially Miss. Nancy.In the story, Gordon finds out that Miss. Nancy has lost her memory.There is a slight problem, though, he doesn't know what a memory is!He asks everyone what a memory is and everyone gives him a different answer.
After everyone's different answers, Gordon goes out to look for Miss. Nancy's memory. Gordon ends up bring a box with a football, a puppet, a medal, a shell, and a warm egg to Miss. Nancy.What does this all have to do with her memory?Find out by reading the book...

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Book - Not a Good Alzheimer's Lesson
This book is a beautiful story with a wonderful ending, but not if you are trying to teach kids about what it means to have Alzheimer's Disease.I see this book mentioned quite a bit when exploring children's books on this disease.In the story, the boy successfully finds the woman's memory and she returns to her old self.This might send the wrong message to a child trying to understand why their grandparent doesn't remember them; they might think they can return his or her memory.I love this book, and would recommend it to anyone, but I would not recommend it as a teaching tool for kids on Alzheimer's Disease. ... Read more


20. Beast Feast : Poems
by Douglas Florian
list price: $7.00
our price: $6.30
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0152017372
Catlog: Book (1998-03-01)
Publisher: Voyager Books
Sales Rank: 76023
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In this hilarious collection of twenty-one original animal poems and paintings, the animals are out in all their finned, furry, and feathered glory. From lobsters to rheas to fireflies, kiwis to camels to chameleons, here’s a beast for everyone to love!
... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Beast Feast
It is very funny. I'll give the The Walrus In His Chair a "two thumbs up." I memorized The Bat for a Poetry Reading for school. I give The Barracuda some very earth-eating competition. niknnik (Evan, 9) ... Read more


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