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Friends and Animals: New Early Readers May 8, 2013

Posted by ccbooks in Book Reviews.
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April was a good month for readers age 6-8 (or anyone who likes a good story, for that matter). Here are a couple of new Early Reader titles.

Bink & Gollie: Best Friends ForeverBink and Gollie: Friends Forever

Radiating good humor, a love of pancakes and rock solid friendship, the duo Bink and Gollie have won many fans with their first two books Bink & Gollie and Bink & Gollie: Two for One. I’m sure everyone will be sad that the latest installment of their adventures; Bink & Gollie: Best Friends Forever will be their last.

Writers Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee spin three final tales with themes of dissatisfaction and searching, accompanied as always by Tony Fucile’s delightful illustrations. Gollie finds a picture of a relative wearing a crown and decides that she will be queen, prompting Bink to retreat until she comes back down to earth. Bink decides that she is tired of being short and sends away for a Stretch-O-Matic machine, with predictably wacky results. As in the previous volume, which also gave each character a feature story before bringing them together, the final tale follows their quest to become world record holders. In my book, however, they are and always have been champions.

Welcome to Silver Street Farm

Welcome to Silver Street FarmI was already sniffling over the final Bink & Gollie book, so it was lucky that the same shipment brought a brand-new Early Reader series that I can look forward to now. Nicola Davies, who is one of my all-time favorite animal writers, makes her chapter book debut with this new series.

Meera, Karl and Gemma have been friends since kindergarten, where they all ignored the toy city and buildings and focused on the farm animals instead. Now that they are older (the book never gives an exact age) they still dream of having their own farm in the city. When Meera discovers an abandoned railway station called Silver Street, she is convinced that the dream can actually come true. With the addition of two poodles who turn out to be lambs, some ducklings and a guard dog who likes jelly beans, the group is well on their way. But with the city council looking to build a new parking garage, will the station be demolished before the animals even get there?

With short chapters, charming illustrations and a fun wish-fulfillment story, this is a perfect new series for animal lovers age 6-8. Fans of Mercy Watson, Anna Hibiscus and the Cobble Street Cousins will love the kids in this books. I’m looking forward to many more books about Silver Street Farm in the future!

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