For Ages 3-7
LUCY AND THE STRING
words and pictures by Vanessa Roeder
What’s black, and white, and red all over? The silly, suprising, and stellar illustrations in this darling picture book. Lucy finds a string and gives it a tug. When she discovers a slightly disgruntled (and half unraveled) bear named Hank on the other end of the string, Lucy tries to set things right. She whips up oodles of red yarn surprises for Hank. But nothing seems to fit him just right. This sweet book about friendship, creativity, and persistence will be a favorite your child will want to return to again and again. And with a little red yarn, some paper, and glue, you and your little reader could make your own creations for Hank to try. It’s always extra special when you can bring stories off the page and into your home. Enjoy!
For ages 5-8
MERCY WATSON TO THE RESCUE
words by Kate DiCamillo, pictures by Chris Van Dusen
If you aren’t familiar with Kate DiCamillo’s work, you are seriously missing out. You may have seen movies based on her middle grade novels (like BECAUSE OF WINN DIXIE and THE TALE OF DESPEREAUX). The Mercy Watson series stars an adorable and precocious pig who gets into all manner of silly situations. In this first installment in the series, the reader will meet Mr. and Mrs. Watson, owners of Mercy, the porcine wonder. Mr. and Mrs. Watson love their sweet Mercy! And they love snuggling in bed with her, but the floorboards underneath their bed do NOT have such a positive reaction to these cozy snuggles. When the floor (which is on the second story!) begins to give way, Mercy bounds from the bed. The Watson’s HOPE she is going in search of help, but she might just have a hankering for some sugar cookies. The action gets sillier and more out of hand as the Watson’s creak closer and closer to peril. Will Mercy save the day?
This is a great transition book for kids getting ready to read independently. The reading level is more complex than early readers, but Chris Van Dusen’s hilarious and juicy illustrations make this the perfect book to ease readers into chapter books without those big, intimidating, picture-less pages of more advanced books. Younger readers might like to listen along too. The story is just over-the-top fun!
SHADOW ON THE MOUNTAIN
written by Margi Preus
For fans of military stories, spy novels, or historical fiction, this book is a winner. Based on the the real-life adventures of Norwegian spy Erling Storrusten, SHADOW ON THE MOUNTAIN tells the tale of 14 year old Espen, living in Norway after the Nazis have invaded. “Espen and his friends are quickly swept up in the Resistance movement. Espen gets his start by delivering illegal newspapers…He then delivers coded messages and supplies to others in the Resistance, and finally becomes a spy. During the five years of the Nazi regime, Espen…lives in fear of nighttime raids, has little food, gains – and loses- friends, falls in love, and makes one small mistake that threatens to catch up with him as he sets out to escape on skis over the mountains into Sweden.”
This fast-paced, biographically based story will keep your young reader on the edge of his seat. But don’t think this story is just for boys. My 10 year old daughter couldn’t put this book down. She INSISTED I include it in my Rad Reads for your kids. I hope your readers will enjoy it as much as she (and I) did.