The Birchbark House
by Louise Erdrich
“This book is a really happy book except for in the middle when two of the main characters die from a sickness that a person gave them. The main character is Omakayas. She likes to be helpful. She loves her brother baby Neewo. She did the right thing and told her brother Pinch to stop doing stuff. I like it because their family is really nice and they try to get away from the sickness but two of the main characters die. And I like that their grandmother and their father really like to tell stories.”
Flora & Ulysses
by Kate DiCamillo
“It is really good cuz flora thinks a squirrel is a superhero and Flora’s mom doesn’t like the squirrel a bit.”
I Broke My Trunk
by Mo Willems
“This is a story about a elephant who broke his trunk. I like cuz it is good for five-year olds to read by themselves and out loud to their parents and they can help them sound out the words. And cuz its really funny.”
Swan: The Life and Dance of Anna Pavlova
by Anna Pavlova
Every week while Penny takes ballet, Marilee asks me to read this book to her. It’s a beautiful, surprisingly lyrical biography for children about one of the most famous ballerinas ever. As Marilee says, “I like it ‘cuz Anna Pavlova gets to do ballet.”
by Amy Ehrlich
“I like it because Cinderella gets to go to the ball. And It’s a little different from the Disney version. If you look closely, you can find different animals in the painted pictures.”
by Debbie AllenThis story, based upon the author’s life, tells the story of a young African American girl who perseveres and gets to dance on the stage of her dreams. Marilee says “I like how Sassy gets to go to the dancing school in Washington, D.C.”
by Crockett JohnsonI love that everything he draws becomes true. And that Harold, even though he drew a frightening dragon, it scares him.
by Jane O’Connor“I like it because she loves her doll but loses it and her mom rushed up to the lady and the lady says ‘Kindly remain in your seats!’ and a moment later a girl cries ‘Yipes! This isn’t my doll.” Not only can Marilee quote this book word by word, but in reading and rereading the entire Fancy Nancy corpus of late, I have been struck by how well Jane O’Connor uses the “girly” stereotype of liking fancy things to explore real life themes in pre-school life. Of all the pink/sparkly/girly books out there, this is by far my favorite series.
by Madeleine L’EngleThis was the first time Marilee has ever listened to a chapter book in full, and surprisingly she loved it more than her brother and sister. (She is now back to picture books.) As a parent, I recommend it for the depiction of good and evil and the power of love. From Marilee: “I liked it because they got Meg’s father back and because the father got to meet Charles Wallace.”
by David SomanShe’s so fun reading about her because she like invites her friends to all the parties and her brother is kind of fun.
by Bobby Lynn MaslenAs with everything else–bike riding, swimming, staying up late–Marilee is racing to catch up with her big brother and sister. She’s determined to learn to read this summer, so “Mat sat” has become our go to…
by A.A. Milne