The Hundred Dresses – Eleanor Estes

The Hundred Dresses tells a thought provoking tale about peer pressure.  Although written in the 1940’s it is sadly still highly relevant.  Although a short book, there is great depth to this story, and I chose to partner read it with our daughter.  It served as the catalyst for some excellent discussion about friends and friendship.  Even as an adult I found the story compelling and haunting.  It really sticks with you.

Sarah, Plain and Tall – Patricia MacLachlan

Sarah, Plain and Tall is simply a great book.  The fact that this tale of loss and love is told from the point of view of a child intensifies the power of this story.  MacLachlan’s simple straight-forward writing style provides the perfect manner in which to meet Anna and her 19th century mid-western family as they wait and subsequently get to know Sarah.  An enjoyable read which provides lots to discuss.

Sophie’s Squash – Pat Zeitlow Miller

Sophie’s Squash is a sweet story that highlights the power of imagination.  The book features the unlikely friendship between a little girl and a squash that Sophie fashions into a baby doll which accompanies her on adventures.  The realities of having a vegetable for a dolly friend eventually present themselves and are resolved in an interesting manner which makes for some good discussion.

Because of Winn Dixie – Kate DiCamillo

Kate DiCamillo is truly talented at creating interesting characters of depth for young readers, and we love her books!  Because of Winn Dixie is a delightful story that features the themes of friendship, forgiveness, and the power of new beginnings.  Our daughter quickly fell in love with Opal and Winn Dixie and had many powerful take aways from the book most notably the importance of thankfulness.

The Loving Kitchen – LeAnn Rice

LeAnn Rice writes a food blog that is filled with yummy creations.  The Loving Kitchen features many of Rice’s favorite dishes which are southern comfort food classics.  These recipes are delicious, but many of them are very hearty and liberally use ingredients like heavy cream.  Traditionally, photographs in a cookbook are an added bonus.  Unfortunately in this cookbook, many of the photographs seem to have been taken a bit too close to the food, and ultimately make the food look a bit less appetizing.

While this complimentary book was provided for review by Harper Collins Publishing, no other compensation was given.  All remarks are my personal and honest opinions.

Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures – Kate DiCamillo

Kate DiCamillo is a beloved author in our home so I was excited to share this book with our daughter.  I thought we might read it together.  She had other ideas.  She truly could not put this book down and read and read with joy and audible giggles.

Flora and Ulysses is a zany tale that features a squirrel who can fly and types poetry.  These skills appear after he is rescued from a near death experience with a vacuum cleaner by ten year old Flora.  The duo shares a special bond and a number of exciting adventures.  DiCamillo books always provide terrific character development.  This book also features outstanding vocabulary use and interesting sentence structure.  It is definitely a new favorite!