Reading Ahead – Books for Ages 5 to 8 (September/October 2008)

To put together the Reading Ahead column, I jot notes about books as they come in. So it isn’t until I come back to do the final tweaks that I see the collection that has come together. I am really tickled to see the diversity: biographies, poetry, picture books, and chapter books, too.

One written and illustrated by Kathryn Otoshi. This book has lots of white space, which makes the colors (who are the characters) really stand out. On first impression, it strikes me as one of those books you’ll treasure “just because.” (KO Kids Books, 2008)

Seven Miles to Freedom: The Robert Smalls Story by Janet Halfmann, illustrated by Duane Smith. This is the story of a South Caroline slave who, as a wheelman, steered his boat toward the Union fleet. I haven’t read more than the blurb, I’m just captivated by the illustrations. They are just incredible. (Lee & Low Books, Inc., 2008)

Oscar & Otis Fat Fighters by Alicia Kirschenheiter, illustrated by Maciej Zajac Books about healthy choices must be on the rise, because we have had several in the last few weeks. This one caught my eye, because Oscar and Otis look like “cool cats” that kids can relate to. (Book Surge, 2008)

The Adventures of Buttons and Bows: The 3-Wheeled Wagon by Jane Croxton, illustrated by Molly M. Green. On the cover, there is a baseball in the spot where you’d expect to find a wagon wheel. This looks like a clever story about problem solving and teamwork. (AuthorHouse, 2008)

Happy Birthday Mrs. Piggle Wiggle by BettyMacDonald & Anne MacDonald Canham, illustrated by Alexandra Boiger This is a new title, based on a manuscript that Betty MacDonald’s daughter found. I loved Mrs. Piggle Wiggle as a girl, and I’m looking forward to this one. (HarperCollins Publishers, 2008)