‘A PET NAMED SNEAKER’
BY JOAN HEILBRONER
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.
BY KIMBERLY NEWTON FUSCO
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 They clothe her, though their clothes are strangely out of date.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.