"B" is for Betsy

What a fun little surprise this was!  I pulled the book thinking that it would be a cute, easy, summer chapter book for Stella and I to read.  The cover art made me a little nervous, it's a new cover with new art and I assumed that it was a mid-'90's kid-lit.  I had no idea what a gem I had picked up.  Just goes to show that you really CAN'T judge a book by it's cover!  It's a sweet little story.

Anywho... "B" Is for Betsy was written by Carolyn Haywood and first published in 1939.  I immediately relaxed.  This would be safe.  The children were respectful, the perspectives refreshing. There was some independence, some rebellion, but also remorse and reparation.

Stella begged for more chapters, and even Bruce sat through most of it.  She couldn't wait to find what Betsy would do next!  I really enjoyed it also!  We would whole-heartedly recommend this book to any family with kids in the early chapter book years.

It's also a series, and we are looking forward to the next few books!

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The Three Ninja Pigs

This week at the Library we borrowed the book The Three Ninja Pigs by Corey Rosen Schwartz.  A little back-story: I am married to a man with a second degree black belt and a love for all things Japanese, karate, or ninja related.  I love fractured fairy tales.  So when I saw this book, I knew we'd all love it.  And we did.

It was funny.  It rhymed (well).  It taught the concept of follow-through, and working hard to accomplish a goal. But without being preachy.  Some of it went over the kids heads I'm sure, but the pictures are great, and the story easy to follow.

I do think it helps a kid to know the original fairy tale before reading the fractured fairy tales.  Otherwise they aren't nearly as funny.  So I asked Stella to tell me the original story.  She's a good story teller.

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Tuesdays at the Castle

So, I'm late getting this post up, since we actually read this book almost three weeks ago!  But we loved it.  It was a little advanced for Stella, and there were parts that she was a little nervous to read through.  But I persisted and we finished this delightful book by Jessica Day George.

I am a huge fan of fantasy of this sort.  I mean, really, who isn't fascinated by a magical, growing, living castle. The fun part of Tuesdays at the Castle is that it makes the castle, the setting of the book a major character in the story.  The heroine of the book, 11 year-old Celie is a bright, fleshed out, child.  I loved that she was simply a girl, she didn't act or speak like an adult.

Stella's favorite parts were where she was escaping from the "bad guys"! 
We are looking forward to the sequel, Wednesdays in the Tower
There are some heavier themes in this one, so be aware of that. Celie's parents are presumed dead for much of the book, there is an attempted coups by some advisers and a foreign prince.  And her older brother is at school to become a wizard.  With that said, we would highly recommend this book for 1st grade and up.

What are your favorite books fantasy books for kids?

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