The Edmond Sun

Arts & Entertainment

December 17, 2012

12-18 Good Reads

New books

EDMOND — ‘ANNIE AND HELEN’

BY DEBORAH HOPKINSON


Author Deborah Hopkinson and illustrator Raul Colon present the story of Helen Keller in a fresh and original way that is perfect for young children.

Focusing on the relationship between Helen and her teacher, Annie Sullivan, the book is interspersed with excerpts of Annie’s letters home, written as she struggled with her angry, wild pupil.

But slowly, with devotion and determination, Annie teaches Helen finger spelling and Braille, letters and sentences.

As Helen comes to understand language and starts to communicate, she connects for the first time with her family and the world around her.

Some photographs of Annie and Helen are included in the endpapers. Children will also enjoy learning the Braille alphabet, which is embossed on the back cover of the jacket.

Ages 4-8.

‘FOX AND CROW ARE NOT FRIENDS’

BY MELISSA WILEY


Fox and Crow can agree on two things: their love of cheese and loathing of each other.

These cagey animals will do whatever they can to outwit their sworn enemy and claim sole possession of the prized cheese they keep finding.

But they are too caught up in their plotting and planning to realize they’ve picked the wrong house to steal from — since the mother of the house is one fed up Mama Bear who knows exactly how to contend with freeloaders.

Perfect for newly independent readers who are ready for more involved, episodic stories, this Step Into Reading Step Three title will be a staple in early elementary classroom curriculum units about fables.

Ages 5-8.

‘PIE IN THE SKY’

BY JANE SMILEY


Abby Lovitt doesn’t realize how unprepared she is when she takes her beloved horse, True Blue, to a clinic led by the most famous equestrian anyone knows.

The biggest surprise, though, is that Sophia, the girl who never makes a mistake, suddenly makes so many that she stops riding.

Who will ride her horse? Abby’s dad seems to think it will be Abby. Pie in the Sky is the most expensive horse Abby has ever ridden. But he is proud and irritable, and he takes Abby’s attention away from the continuing mystery that is True Blue.

And then there’s high school — Abby finds new friends, but also new challenges, and a larger world that sometimes seems strange and intimidating. She begins to wonder if there is another way to look at horses, people and life itself.

Accompanied by the beautiful imagery of 1960s Northern California, Abby’s charming mix of innocence and wisdom guide us through Pulitzer Prize winner Jane Smiley’s latest middle grade horse novel.

Ages 11 up.

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