Readers’ Corner: April 2024. School Library Month

By Bonnie McCune and Kathleen Duhamel ~

Take advantage of wonders stored at a library, including The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes, a 1939 children’s picture book written by DuBose Heyward and illustrated by Marjorie Flack. Cottontail, a small, brown rabbit, always dreamed of being an Easter Bunny. Only five are selected annually, and she’s scorned by the others. She concentrates on mothering her 21 offspring, teaching them self-reliance and helpfulness. When Grandfather Bunny spies her perfectly behaved brood, he’s so impressed he makes Cottontail the most important Easter Bunny and gives her magic shoes. He chooses her to deliver an extra-special egg to a little handicapped boy on a mountain.

Elf Dog and Owl Head. This reviewer highly recommends M.T. Anderson’s fantastic children’s adventure tale. The author blends elements of time travel, a mythical underground kingdom, and scary monsters into a roller coaster of a story that never slows its pace. The plot unfurls when Clay, a young boy stuck at home during a global pandemic, begins to explore the woods surrounding his home, finding much more than he intended, including an extraordinary dog that young readers will love. The story’s central themes of friendship and courage are laced with plenty of humor.  

When You Reach Me. Rebecca Stead’s best-selling young adult novel goes far beyond the overworked “coming of age” trope into a thoughtful, complex story of 11-year-old Miranda dealing with inexplicable life changes in 1970s New York. Overnight, her world is overturned when her best friend shuns her. She begins to receive anonymous notes from someone who seems to predict the future, along with someone’s death. Inspired by A Wrinkle in Time, this Newberry Medal winner combines elements of mystery and the paranormal into an unforgettable read. I also enjoyed the fact that Miranda’s family (single mom and potential stepfather) were not the stereotypical dysfunctional mess.

Authors Kathleen Duhamel, https://www.kathleenduhamel.com, and Bonnie McCune, https://BonnieMcCune.com, write women’s fiction.

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