Seize the moment, friends! Ease children's return to class with mini breaks from textbooks: Read books together filled with fantasy or a little mystery. Sure beats the heck out of TV!
Books to Borrow
The following book is available at many public libraries:
Prince Caspian by C. S. Lewis, illustrated in black & white by Pauline Baynes (Collier Books, 184 pages)
Read aloud: Ages 5 and older
Read yourself: Ages 8 and older
Prince Caspian is the second of seven books in C.S. Lewis' "The Chronicles of Narnia." In Book 1, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, four children happen upon a different world called Narnia, a place where animals talk and wonderful things happen.
In Prince Caspian, the children are once again transported into Narnia, this time to help the good Prince Caspian and his army of talking beasts conquer the Telmarines. Rich with suspense, wonderful fantasy and adventure, this book will be almost impossible for anyone to put down.
Library: Dallas West Branch Library, 2332 Singleton Blvd., Dallas. (Library Director: Ramiro Salazar; Branch Manager: Miriam Rodriguez; Children's Librarian: Carolyn Ennis)
Choices this week: The Best School Year Ever by Barbara Robinson; Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor; The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
Books to Buy
The following books are available at your local bookstore.
The High-Rise Private Eyes: The Case of the Missing Monkey by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated in color by G. Brian Karas (Greenwillow Books, 48 pages, $14.95 hardcover)
Read aloud: Age 5 and older
Read yourself: Ages 7 Â 8
Cynthia Rylant has done it again in her new series, "The High-Rise Private Eyes." Bunny Brown and Jack Jones are best friends and shrewd detectives, and the unbeatable duo is called upon time and again to solve odd mysteries.
When Bunny and Jack go to their favorite diner for breakfast, the owner, Mac, can't wait to speak with them. His favorite glass monkey, which always sits next to his cash register, is gone. Obviously, someone has taken it, and Mac wants the culprit found and his monkey back â€“ a perfect challenge for the two pals.
Peppered with lots of humor, this book is a winner, particularly for children who have recently learned to read independently. Short chapters, easy vocabulary and humorous illustrations combine with an engaging story. And if your child likes this book (Case No. 001) as much as I do, they're sure to want to read Case No. 002: The Case of the Climbing Cat â€“ another witty puzzle kids will love trying to solve.
Drip, Drop by Sarah Weeks, illustrated in color by Jane Manning (HarperCollins, 32 pages, $14.95 hardcover)
Read aloud: Ages 4 Â 8
Read yourself: Ages 7 â€“ 8
Another "I Can Read" book by HarperCollins, this comical adventure will have newly independent readers laughing out loud and enjoying the thrill of being able to read on their own.
Poor Pip Squeak. All he really wants to do is sleep, but a wild rainstorm has turned his leaky roof into a sieve. The first drip lands on his head, so Pip Squeak retrieves a cup to catch the drops. But before he can fall asleep, he feels his toes getting damp. Off he goes to get a pan, and that's just the beginning! The rhyming text is a wonderful break from schoolwork.
Syndicated by Toler Media Services, PO Box 168, Fort Edward, NY 12828.