Little Pieces

Little Pieces

When I was in (maybe) first grade, children’s book writer Robert Munsch came to my school and performed The Mud Puddle. In the story, Jule Ann puts on clean clothes—pants, shirt, socks, shoes—and goes outside on a sunny day, only to be jumped by a seemingly sentient...
Tall Tales, Short Tales

Tall Tales, Short Tales

I was halfway through Astrid Lindgren’s Pippi Longstocking when I decided that I didn’t particularly want to re-read it anymore. Pippi, first published in Swedish in 1945, is the story of an irrepressible redheaded girl. She lives in a house by herself with a pet...
Bird of America

Bird of America

In fourth grade, my Language Arts teacher read us The Trumpet of the Swan, a children’s novel by acclaimed American writer E. B. White. The story opens when Montana boy Sam Beaver, on vacation in a remote part of Canada, discovers a nesting pair of swans. The boy...
Home Alone Together

Home Alone Together

In Owl At Home, Arnold Lobel’s 1975 illustrated early reader, solitary Owl scolds winter for coming into his house. He is frightened by a creature under his covers, which turns out to be his feet. He makes himself cry in order to enjoy a pot of tear-water tea. He runs...
Secret Heroine

Secret Heroine

In E. L. Konigsburg’s From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, twelve-year-old Claudia Kincaid hatches a plan to run away from her home in Connecticut to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, taking along her money-grubbing younger brother,...
Real Girl

Real Girl

At the beginning of Judy Blume’s Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, eleven-year-old Margaret Simon and her family move from New York to New Jersey just before Labor Day. The story takes place over the school year. We see Margaret adjusting to a new classes and new...

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