By learning to read, old Jeremiah discovers the beauty in literacy, and a shared joy.
Wise old Jeremiah farmed his whole life, and now wants to read. "You are wonderful as you are", said his wife. "But I can be better", he responds. Perhaps his way of learning was unusual, but he soon discovers that reading offers more than simple facts. Juliana asks, "When are you going to read to me?" He answers, "When the time is right". He has found a special new reason for reading!
When her widowed father advertises for a wife, Anna anxiously watches for signs that Sarah Wheaton’s visit to their prairie farm will fulfill her hopes for family harmony.
Anna's mother died after Caleb's birth, and the singing on their isolated prairie farm ended. When Papa advertised for a wife, Sarah came to visit, from Maine. And, Sarah sang! Would Sarah stay or would she return to the sea she missed? Dialogue keeps Sarah's uncertainty explicit, but MacLachlan's use of subtle action shows a growing relationship between Papa and this new woman. The contrast creates tension and encourages deeper comprehension from young readers.
A young Green Tree Python learns he cannot keep his youthful colors as he matures but, in surprisingly joyous ways, he does keep his zest for life.
As a youthful snake, Verdi resists growing out of his bright yellow skin, with its lovely brown zig zags. He loves his agility too, and resolves to never adopt the slothful life of older snakes. His fascinating 'forest gymnastics for snakes' are too good to miss. Verdi expertly shows us that "accepting what we cannot change, and changing what we can" is essential to the pursuit of personal happiness.
Young Percy proves he is of adult character when he courageously defends his family's home against a prairie fire.
In a nightmare, young Percy dreams of a wind driven prairie fire galloping, as a running horse, straight toward their home with nothing to stop it. Later, a prairie fire really comes and Percy and his family are in the fight of their lives. Deemed too young to help on the farm, and in great fear, Percy must now be a man. He must act to protect his values, not just to please his father.
Red is Best portrays Kelly's admirable and fun, intellectual, independence as she happily tells us all her cute reasons for preferring red.
We can't give away too much of Kelly's clear delight with red. She knows her values, and when it comes to color, its red! Kelly says, "I like my red barrettes the best. My mom says, 'You wear pink barrettes with a pink dress.' But my red barrettes make my hair laugh." The simple illustrations provide all we need to appreciate her pleasure with red; Surely you too can see that red boots make bigger steps!
Preferring human over mermaid values, Ariel puts her soul in the control of a treacherous sea-witch to become a human maiden so she can earn Prince Eric's love.
Ariel, King Triton’s youngest daughter, is fascinated by the human world. Defying his rules, she falls in love with a seagoing prince even saving him from a shipwreck. Longing to be in Eric’s world she trades her voice to a Sea-Witch to gain legs. If she fails to win Eric’s love, the witch will take her soul. In a treacherous gamble to steal Triton’s power the disguised witch uses Ariel’s voice to distract the Prince.
Ziggy heads to the beach as the three disapproving pigs prepare for the wolf, but it's Ziggy's "outside the box" thinking that saves the day.
In fear of a visit from the Big Bad Wolf the three little pigs improve the 'security' of their, straw, stick and brick homes. Ziggy happily sleeps under the stars. The other three scornfully reject Ziggy's carefree invitation to go swimming. When the wolf blows apart all three homes, the pigs run to the beach. There, Ziggy provides a brilliant lesson in "thinking outside the box" (It's also a lesson for advocates of U.S. "Homeland Security").
Undeterred by rejections, a lovely cat proudly perseveres at finding a home.
The plot may be simple, but this children's story offers more than just a happy ending. Undaunted by a thoughtless woman, an intolerant old man, and a snappy dog, a young, white cat seeks a place of her own. She eventually exhibits her beauty in a setting that young Amy cannot resist. The books strength lies in the way each wonderful illustration shows us the kitten's strength of character, as she moves forward after each setback.
Eva braves the caverns beneath coastal ice to collect mussels.
For the first time Eva will go alone to collect mussels beneath the coastal ice . Lit only by candles, she finds the icy caverns both beautiful and dangerous. Will she get out before the tide comes in? Illustrations of the strange beauty beneath the ice thrill the imagination.