The Edmond Sun

April 22, 2013

4-23 Good Reads


CNHI News Service




Here’s a fresh new Little Golden Book edition of the classic children's sing-a-long song, brought to life by a popular illustrator.

Sheet music included on the last page of the book invites classrooms and families to strike up the song.

Ages 2-5.



Two-time Newbery Honor-winning author Patricia Reilly Giff tells the story of a young girl’s search to find the family she has yearned for in her latest novel “Gingersnap.” Giff’s story provides readers with a bird's-eye view of what life was like during wartime 1945, and gives them a character to root for in the lovable redheaded “gingersnap,” Jayna.

When Jayna’s brother is called to serve his country, Jayna once again finds herself alone, with no family to call her own.

Forced to live with her landlady, Jayna counts down the days till Rob’s return, until the dreaded moment when she receives the telegram that says Rob is missing in action.

Devastated by the possible loss, Jayna remembers Rob telling her about a box he found containing an old handwritten recipe book with an address in Brooklyn, and the suggestion that they have a grandmother they have never met.

With a mysterious ghostly girl whispering in her ear, Jayna takes the recipe book and her pet turtle and sets out on a journey that will take her to Brooklyn, and to the potential reunion with a family she so desperately craves.

As soon as Jayna arrives in Brooklyn and meets Elise, she is certain that Elise is the grandmother she have been hoping for. And as Elise opens her door and heart to Jayna, the truth about Jayna's family is finally revealed.

Will Jayna have the family she dreamed of?

Told in Giff’s poignant, lyrical prose, “Gingersnap” will give young readers an inside look into life during wartime, when food was rationed and families were living apart. Interspersed with Jayna’s recipes for such soups as “Hope Soup” and “Feel Better Vegetable Soup,” “Gingersnap” is another unforgettable novel about the importance of family, friendship, and love.

Ages 9-12.



Fifty years after the publication of “Robert the Rose Horse” comes Joan Heilbroner's second Beginner Book — “A Pet Named Sneaker,” with illustrations by Pascal Lemaitre.

A madcap tale reminiscent of “The Cat in the Hat,” “Go, Dog. Go!,” and “Put Me in the Zoo,” Sneaker is the story of a pet-store snake who longs for a real home.

When he is finally adopted by Pete — a young boy charmed by Sneaker's uncanny ability to twist himself into different shapes — Sneaker not only proves himself a good pet, but proves to be a good student (sneaking into school with Pete and learning to read and write); a good citizen (saving a drowning toddler at a community pool); and a goodwill ambassador for the entire animal kingdom (inspiring the community to open the pool to all animals)!

With delightfully understated, wickedly funny illustrations, this is a funny book that will sneakily get beginning readers reading on their own.

Ages 5-8.



Bee is an orphan who lives with a carnival and sleeps in the back of a tractor trailer. Every day she endures taunts for the birthmark on her face — though her beloved Pauline, the only person who has ever cared for her, tells her it is a precious diamond. When Pauline is sent to work for another carnival, Bee is lost.

Then a scruffy dog shows up, as unwanted as she, and Bee realizes that she must find a home for them both. Bee runs off to a house with gingerbread trim that reminds her of frosting. There, two mysterious women, Mrs. Swift and Mrs. Potter, take her in. They clothe her, though their clothes are strangely out of date. They feed her, though there is nothing in their house to eat. They help her go to school, though they won’t enter the building themselves. And, strangely, only Bee seems able to see them.

Whoever these women are, they matter. They matter to Bee. And they are helping Bee realize that she, too, matters to the world — if only she will let herself be a part of it.

This novel captures the pain of isolation, the healing power of community, and the strength of the human spirit. 

Kimberly Newton Fusco is the author of “The Wonder of Charlie Anne” and “Tending to Grace,” both of which received multiple starred reviews and accolades.

Ages 8-12.



An adorable little duckling is trying to befriend another “duck.”

However, he is oblivious to the fact that his potential pal is, in fact, a cat.

Though resistant and stubborn at first, the cat soon realizes labels don't matter in the least — and before you know it, meowing and quacking are one and the same.

Told as a back-and-forth dialogue between the two potential friends, this title makes for an ideal read-aloud.

Ages 3-7.

NOTE: Email to have your name entered into a drawing for the following titles: "Old MacDonald Had a Farm" and/or "Gingersnap" and/or "A Pet Named Sneaker." Deadline is 10 a.m. Apr. 29. Winner will be notified by return email. Winner is responsible for picking up the book at The Edmond Sun at 123 S. Broadway. All entrants must be 18 or older to win.