Samantha on a Roll
by Linda Ashman, illustrated by Christine Davenier
Samantha's mother tells her that she's too young for skates, but she can't resist the chance to try them out. A tall hill starts a havoc-wreaking trip, that happily ends well with Mom none the wiser. Rhyming books can be hard to pull off, but this really worked. As Samantha eyes the skates she thinks, "I'll just try them in the hall./Mama wouldn't care at all." (Mama, talking to Aunt Joan, would have cared if she had known, I'm guessing.) The silly circumstances and great read aloud rhymes make this a fun book to share about an adventurous girl, even if the adventure is only an accidental one. Gentle, soft-colored sketches by the wonderful Davenier support and complement a fun book.
Summer Jackson, Grown Up
by Teresa Harris, Illustrated by AG Ford
Nothing to see here, just a seven year old girl who is tired of kid things and wants to be a grown up with a blazer, high heels, and a cell phone. She runs the school yard like a boss. When her parents show her the responsibilities of being a grown up and the fun she misses playing. she changes her mind a bit, but she gets in the last word. Funny illustrations convey so much of the humor and fun, especially in her expressions. It's exciting to see a girl of color on the cover, without it being a book about race. We need more of that in children's literature.
My Side of the Car
by Kate Feiffer, illustrated by Jules Feiffer
Dad and daughter are going to the zoo in a long delayed trip that has been cancelled many times. As they leave, dad notes that it is raining but Sadie does not see rain on her side of the car. In fact, "People are putting on their sunglasses and heading to zoos all over the world on my side of the car." At the end, it does stop raining and they get to go to the zoo. The difference between what the adult and child "sees" is a clever concept, well written and illustrated. Um, natch with Jules Feiffer. Personally, my favorite part may be the discussion of father and daughter - illustrator and author - of the real life event that inspired the story. So cute.
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