Fairy Wobble by L. L. Walters is an interactive, creative approach to a children’s book with an engaging storyline combined with built-in activities for read-aloud. The book has 5 chapters and follows the adventures of the child being read to as they imagine themselves into the story. Mother Earth tells them they are summoned to help usher in the Spring. A wise, quirky old wizard named the Maestro helps them learn about their quest—to find a missing fairy, one of the Garden people. Gwendle had disappeared and Spring can’t come without her. Will the young reader be able to find her on the property of Farmer Happy in time to change the seasons so the farm can continue?
L. L. Walters has a truly warm and friendly voice towards kids, while offering notes and suggestions for anyone reading this book to children. During each chapter of Fairy Wobble, prompt sections appear with 3 levels of adaptable actions to get the child involved—for instance, gently clapping their hands if this is a bedtime story, or lots of jumping around if they feel more active. Word intelligence and participation are encouraged with the theme of “Yellow” tied into the plot of Fairy Gwendle and spring, but the guidelines are easy to adjust for the exact reader and child involved. Or you can just continue reading the book’s delightful storyline. Populated by a host of cute fantasy creatures and by children who get to shrink down to magical size and travel through an enchanted tree to a lovely farm with a lot more to it than meets the eye, Fairy Wobble is a thoughtful and excellent book.
Tales of Mr. Snuggywhiskers: The Summer Tales by C. F. Crawford is the 4th book in a series of reading adventures for kids. Picking up on earlier stories, this installment follows a genial talking mouse and his large, vivacious family of ten children as they team up with two human sisters, Hallie (age 8) and Cory (age 6), to reunite the girls' mother with a long-lost talking mouse, Mr. Snuggywhiskers’ father. But how can they find the elusive Cap’n Snuggwhiskers if they can’t leave home? When a visit to their mother’s old college gives the girls the chance they’re looking for, they get on the Cap’n’s trail at last.
C. F. Crawford tells a lovely story of reunion, friendship, and daily adventure. A modern-day companion to children's classics like The Wind in the Willows, Tales of Mr. Snuggywhiskers offers a great mix of relationships, ingenuity, and a little science all at the same time. Along the way they magically shrink in and out of mouse size; become living science experiments; and have a great deal of fun. The curiosity and inventiveness of the gaggle of Snuggywhiskers kids and their friends the Squirrel family echoes that of children, to whom an ordinary day is loaded with creativity. Their journey finding the long-lost Cap'n is just up the alley of young readers, and the wholesome, pleasant story makes this a solid children’s book. Populated with a delightful cast and an idyllic world for kids to explore, Tales of Mr. Snuggywhiskers is something parents will love to give their kids--and won't mind reading with them too.
Astrid’s Dragon by Karen Christian is a delightful, humorous fantasy adventure story for about ages 6-8. Younger children can also enjoy it, even if they’re not reading yet, since it has many illustrations and is well-suited to reading aloud. Astrid, an ordinary princess, lives in an ordinary fantasy kingdom—ordinary except that it has no dragons. When a dragon swoops in unexpectedly from another kingdom, burning up half a field, everyone panics. Astrid sneaks out of the castle and finds herself kidnapped by the dragon and taken to his lair. In a series of funny, light-hearted adventures, Astrid learns the dragon is not the menace he seems—and must inform her parents before it’s too late.
As far as princesses, dragons, children, and fun go, this book was just about perfect. Parents are likely to find their kid is drawn to it repeatedly like a magnet, and the adults might enjoy it too, because it’s spontaneously addictive. It would make a great read-aloud, with a parent doing all the voices, and there’s a lot of room to improvise and entertain kids because the gentle comedy and peaceful-but-faintly-zany world of Astrid’s Dragon have plenty of layers and character development. Astrid has a lot of personality, as do her parents, the dragon Fafnir, and his hilarious, domineering mother. The story flows naturally in a bubbling stream of tension, banter, surprises, let-downs, and all-around charm until the world gains a reality hard to achieve in such a short book. I could easily read a hundred stories about Princess Astrid.
This is the companion for Sarah Scheele's newsletter blog. In it I share reviews for books I'd recommend/are similar to my own.