Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Amelia Rules

Kids love comic books, and summer is a great time to let them loose on this genre. There's a relatively new series that your 3rd to 5th grader will want to check out. The Whole World's Crazy (Amelia Rules) by Jimmy Gownley is hilarious, fun to read and offers up quite a cast of characters.

Amelia is a sassy fourth grader who has moved with her mom from New York City to a town in Pennsylvania because of divorce. Together they live with her mom's young, hip, rock n' roll sister Aunt Tanner. Although she's the new kid in town, she manages to put together a ragtag, yet endearing, group of friends (the G.A.S.P.'s--the Gathering of Awesome Superpals). These friends-Reggie, Rhonda, Pajamaman and Amelia-get into all sorts of scrapes and trouble, which will have you and your kids reeling.

Gownley manages to take on familiar things that make up childhood, like freeze tag, P.E. and trick or treating, adds some manic twists and crazy characters, and the results are freewheeling situations you never want to end. But, there's also a softer side to Amelia Rules, which Gownley handles deftly. For instance, Amelia thinks she's the reason for her parent's divorce, and it's dealt with in a way that kids will understand and relate to. And in one of the more poignant stories in the book, Amelia discovers that Pajamaman comes from a family that has little money, and she ends up doing something very generous for him (and it doesn't seem out of character).

A lot goes on in Amelia Rules. By that, I mean that there are a lot of words and subplots going on in this comic book format. It will keep your kids entertained for hours. It also has much to say about heavier subjects such as divorce, broken promises by parents and poverty. But it does it in a way that kids will understand, and it won't be the last thing they remember about the book. What they will remember are the weird kids and funny situations they manage to get themselves into. They'll want to read more, so be prepared to buy the next installment of Amelia Rules, which comes out at the end of August.

BookNosher Tidbit: There's a non-profit organization called Kids Love Comics! that is "dedicated to increasing awareness and interest in kids' comics through innovative marketing and promotional techniques, and to increasing the comic book medium's sales potential by making kids' comics readily available to the general public through both new and traditional venues." Check it out.

BookNosher Activity: There is a website devoted to Amelia called "Ameliarules", which includes an interview with Jimmy Gownley, information about the characters as well as some activities for kids to do. It also promises that Curriculum Guides for parents and teachers will be available soon.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

A Picture Book That Deals With Death

Nana Upstairs and Nana Downstairs by Tomie dePaola is a picture book for preschoolers that deals with death in a gentle and age appropriate way. Recommended for young children who are dealing with the death of a grandparent or other family member, it's also a good book to have on hand when children start asking questions about death.

Little Tomie goes to his grandparent's house every Sunday. There he visits his grandmother who is usually downstairs in the kitchen (Nana Downstairs), as well as his great-grandmother who is upstairs in bed (Nana Upstairs). The time he spends with Nana Upstairs is precious. They share mints and she tells him stories about the "Little People" (She's Irish).

One day, Tomie is told that Nana Upstairs has died. He asks "what's died?" His mother explains that "Died means that Nana Upstairs won't be here anymore...Except in your memory." Tomie is naturally very upset, especially when he sees the empty bed. Later on he sees a falling star in the sky, and believes it's Nana Upstairs sending him a kiss.

The pictures depict a wonderful family life for little Tomie and his two Nanas. Small details such as combing out Nana Upstairs' beautiful white hair, and Nana Downstairs twisting her own into a bun are heartwarming and lovingly drawn. Even when he hears the news of Nana Upstairs, you know that Tomie is surrounded by a loving family who will help him deal with his grief.

This was a much read book in our house when my children were young. In the course of two years, they lost both a grandmother and a grandfather, and Nana Upstairs & Nana Downstairs gave them much comfort. I highly recommend it.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Who Needs Donuts When You've Got Love!

Here's an oldie, but goodie that may be familiar to some parents out there. Who Needs Donuts? was written and illustrated by Mark Alan Stamaty, and originally published in 1973. It has a cult-like following among children's book aficionados, and you'll immediately see why.

Sam is a little boy who lives in the suburbs with his mom and dad. He has a nice, rather typical life but wants more. Actually, what he wants are donuts, lots and lots of donuts. So off he goes to the city on his tricycle in his quest for donuts. There he meets Mr. Bikferd, a collector of donuts who needs a helper. On their way to find even more donuts, they pass a Sad Old Woman who shouts out to them "Who needs donuts when you've got love?" What follows is a madcap story of Sam, Mr. Bikferd and donuts in the big city. By the end of the book, Sam too realizes "who needs donuts when you've got love?"

What makes this book so amazing are the pen and ink illustrations. You and your child will spend hours looking at the incredible (and humorous) details on each page. In fact, with each reading you see something new. I can't begin to explain how captivating each page is. This is one book you'll want to own. It's a keeper!

BookNosher Tidbit: Here's an interesting interview with Mark Stamatsky where you'll learn how the book was initially received, and the cult following it ultimately gained. He also talks about the drawing process and his actual encounter in a coffee shop with an old woman who provided the initial inspiration for the book when she shouted "who needs donuts when you've got love?"

BookNosher Activity: After pouring over Who Needs Donuts, you may find yourself with a hankering for them. I discovered a wonderful site for parents-The Artful Parent: The Intersection of Art and Parenting- that has a donut recipe designed for kids (and it's relatively healthy). Bon Apetit!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Willoughbys-A Perfect Summer Romp

Okay, I'll start right off with recognizing this book may not be for everyone. Its dark humor and lampooning of beloved "old-fashioned" children's literature may rub some the wrong way. But I have to admit I loved The Willoughbys
and think that author Lois Lowry outdid herself in the writing of a true laugh aloud winner.

The Willoughbys is about four children (Tim, Barnaby and Barnaby and Jane) who recognize that their situation would improve immensely if they were orphans. They live with their perfectly awful mother and father who "frequently forgot that they had children and became quite irritable when they were reminded of it." The children realize that many heroes/heroines in classic tales were orphans (James of James and the Giant Peach, Anne of Anne of Green Gables.). So they go to the Reprehensible Travel Agency to pick up some travel brochures to entice their parents to be on their way. Simultaneously, upon reading Hansel and Gretel one evening, the parents realize that they don't much care for their kids and come up with a plan to get rid of their kids.

The resulting story takes place with the parents setting off for unsafe places across the world, the introduction of a nanny, the kids dealing with the fact that their parents put their house up for sale (with them in it), a baby left on the doorstep and a candy-maker billionaire neighbor who is mourning the loss of his long lost son. If it sounds farfetched, it's because it is, and yet it works. It's a delightful word romp and a parody of good old-fashioned children's literature.

Be sure to read both the Glossary and Bibliography at the end, which manage to tie up the story neatly. In the glossary, Lowry defines some of the words she used in the book. For example: "Nefarious means utterly, completely wicked. The character in the Wizard of Oz could have been called the Nefarious Witch of the West but authors like to use the same beginning consonant, often. Perhaps L. Frank Baum crossed out the word nefarious after wicked came to his mind. Thank goodness, because nefarious would be a terrible name for a musical."

In the Bibliography, Lowry includes a list (and brief description) of the books referenced throughout The Willoughbys. For example, "Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, published 1868. Sisters Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy live with their mother, whom they call Marmee, while their father is off in the Civil War. They have many adventures, and some misfortunes. Meg is mature and sensible. Jo is literary and boyish. Amy is vain and foolish. Beth is saintly and dies."

While this is marketed as a book for 8 to 12 year olds, I think slightly older kids will like it too. Its tongue-in-cheek humor will appeal to all (adults too).

BookNosher Tidbit: Arte Johnson (of Laugh In fame) is the reader for The Willoughby's on tape. Here's a link to the booksontape site, and here's a sample of his reading:

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Bubble Trouble-A Rollicking Book in Verse

I just picked up Bubble Trouble from the library because I'm a big fan of Margaret Mahy, and wanted to see her latest book. As I started to read it, I realized by the fourth page it absolutely had to be read out loud. So I sat on my couch (all by myself) and read it out loud. It is such a fun read, although I highly recommend finding a youngster to laugh along with you.

The story begins with Little Mabel blowing bubbles across the table. They bobble over to her baby brother and take him away. From there the baby in the bubble floats around the house, outside into the garden, in the neighborhood and down to the shops. All the while, the baby in the bubble is "wibble-wobbling" away. Mahy is from New Zealand, and it shows in her word choice, as well as her character's names (Sybil, Tybal, Mabel). Here's a sample page:

At the sudden cry of trouble, Mother took off at the double,
for the squealing left her reeling, made her terrified and tense,
saw the bubble for a minute, with the baby bobbing in it,
as it bibbled by the letterbox and bobbed across the fence.

As you can see, it's a bit of a tongue twister, which I imagine gets easier to read the second or third time around. My kids would have loved this book when they were younger and I think kids will want to read it over and over again. Polly Dunbar's watercolor and paper-cut illustrations are charming and whimsical (and remind me a bit of John Birmingham's illustrations).

BookNosher Tidbit: Margaret Mahy has written over 100 books. To find out more about her and for a complete listing of all of her books, visit her website.

BookNosher Activities: After reading Bubble Trouble, kids will be inspired to make their own bubbles. I discovered a website devoted to all things bubbles (bubble recipes, bubble wands). It also has many links to other bubble-related websites, including the art and science of bubbles. What a wonderful way for you and your child to spend a lazy, bubble-filled summer afternoon.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Non-Fiction Monday: I, Matthew Henson

I love a book where you come away with new knowledge of someone or something you had absolutely no idea existed. In I, Matthew Henson: Polar Explorer, I learned about Matthew Henson who, together with Robert Peary, became the first men to reach the North Pole.

I, Matthew Henson: Polar Explorer is written by Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrated by Eric Velasquez. Through poetry, it tells the life story of Matthew Henson, an African American man with big dreams of exploring the world. Born in 1866, Henson lived in a time when African Americans had very limited opportunities in the world. Through hard work and a little luck, he accomplished goals most people only dream about. Written in lyrical first person verse, the hardships he encountered along the way (such as serving as a manservant, frigid weather and racism) are beautifully and realistically depicted:

"We had not survived the frigid cold
that broke some and killed others
to let our dream melt when hope
and cash ran low. While others gave up,
we returned to the polar region
and, guided by Eskimos, fetched
a prize from the ice cap--a meteor,
which Peary sold to raise funds."

Henson, Peary and four Eskimos reached the North Pole on April 6, 1909. While the book ends on a positive note, there's an extensive author's note at the end of the book that talks about the controversies that Henson and Peary experienced after their journey. Someone else claimed to have gotten there first, and then some authorities dismissed their accomplishment because of the color of Henson's skin. While eventually all was resolved, the book presents a realistic portrayal of the hardships experienced by one African American at the turn of the century, and how he continued to follow his dream, despite the obstacles.

BookNosher Tidbits: I, Matthew Henson won the following awards:
Kirkus Reviews Editor's Choice for Children
Starred reviews: Publisher's Weekly, Booklist School Library Journal, Kirkus Reviews
Best Book: Kirkus Reviews Reading Guide

BookNosher Activities: I found a wonderful website created by the Bellingham School District in Bellingham WA. Explorers of the World is a site about explorers of land, ideas, sky, and art. It asks the question: "What kinds of people choose a life of exploration, adventure and danger--and where would we be without them? Your students will answer those questions as they investigate explorers and determine their impact on our world."

While the website is geared towards teachers, I think parents will find a lot of fun activities to do with their child too. For instance, one of my favorites involves inviting children to plan an expedition of their own and write journal entries about their trip. They have to come up with obstacles and ways of dealing with them, and tell whether their expedition was successful.

There are links to lots of other sites, so parents and teachers have many resources to choose from. Check it out, it's a great companion to I, Matthew Henson.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Zany Picture Books for the Youngest Readers

You may have noticed that there are less and less words in picture books. When I was a child, picture books contained upwards of 2000 to 3000 words. When my children were young it was around 1000. Now it can be anywhere less than 500, with an emphasis on less. Believe me, it is not easy to write an engrossing book under 500 words. But, there are a few authors out there who have it down. Jan Thomas is one of them, and her books are hilarious.

Take A Birthday for Cow!. Coming in at just 116 words (yes, I counted them), it has it all: well developed characters, a simple yet intriguing plot, and a surprise twist at the end.

Pig and Mouse are going to make their friend Cow a surprise birthday cake. Measuring out the typical ingredients (flour, eggs and sugar), their other friend Duck shouts out "Turnip!" They have to explain to Duck throughout the book, that turnips don't belong in cakes, or even on cakes. Without giving away the surprise ending, just know that it's Pig and Mouse's turn to be a little surprised at Cow's reaction (and Duck is pleased).

In another of her books-The Doghouse-Pig, Mouse and Duck are playing catch with a ball when it disappears into a doghouse. One by one, they go after the ball and one by one they don't return. Finally, only poor Mouse is left outside the doghouse. When Mouse tentatively asks if Duck can come out, a fierce-looking dog appears at the door and says "No! Because I am having duck for dinner." It's a great play on words, and once again, there's a bit of a twist to the ending, and all end up in a happy spot.

So why do these books work so well? First of all, the cartoon-like illustrations are bold and eye-catching. They are done completely on computers, with text types set in Eatwell Chubby and Chaloops (I'm not sure exactly what that means, but it's kind of irresistible). The animals have great expressions that manage to convey much of what is going on. Thomas chooses her words very carefully and knows how and when to use repetitive words and phrases. She seems to understand what makes kids laugh. The end result is a great story for pre-schoolers that they will want to hear over and over again.

BookNosher Tidbit: Here's a complete listing of Jan Thomas's picture books:
What Will Fat Cat Sit On?
A Birthday for Cow
The Doghouse
Rhyming Dust Bunnies
Can You Make a Scary Face (coming in August 2009)
Here Comes the Big, Mean Dust Bunny! (coming in November 2009)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Great Middle Grade Read Alouds for the Summer

Does your summer vacation include a long car trip with the kids, with possibly a dog thrown in for good measure? Are you dreading the inevitable whining? Well, with the right "book on tape," six- hour car trips can actually be manageable, (and a lot of fun). One year, when my kids were around 8, 10 and 12 we had a long drive up to Canada. Luckily we had the great fortune of having two of Christopher Paul Curtis's books on tape with us, and because of that, the time flew by.

Christopher Paul Curtis writes books for the middle grade reader (ages 9-12 ). In Bud, Not Buddy, the story is set in the Depression. Ten-year-old Bud is fed up with the abusive foster homes he keeps getting placed in. Convinced that his mother left him a clue of who his father is before she died (a flyer of Herman E. Calloway and his famous band, the Dusky Devastators), Bud runs away to find his "father" Herman E. Calloway. Armed with the flyer, a beat-up suitcase and the maxims he lives by ("Bud Caldwell's Rules and Things for Having a Funner Life and Making a Better Liar Out of Yourself,"), Bud makes his way through the shanty-towns of the 1930's. Along the way he encounters others like him who have little in the way of material goods. Told with a lot humor, you'll find yourself rooting for Bud on his journey. His "rules" are funny, with a touch of truth in them: "Rules and Things Number 87: When a Adult Tells You They Need Your Help with a Problem Get Ready to Be Tricked-Most Times This Means They Just Want You To Go Fetch Something For Them," and "Rules and Things Number 39-The Older You Get, The Worse Something Has to Be to Make You Cry."

Bud, Not Buddy is a remarkable book. It's a great way to learn about the Depression, and Bud is a character that stays with you long after you've turned the last page. He is tough, smart, and persistent. His views on life are humorous and spot on, and kids will identify with him. When he finally meets up with Herman Calloway and his band, jazz permeates the story and the itinerant musicians start to provide the stability Bud is seeking. Although it's geared for middle grade readers, younger children (3rd and 4th graders) will enjoy Bud, Not Buddy too.

In The Watsons Go to Birmingham--1963, the story shifts to a different era--the 1960's. Here, in a fast-paced and well-told story, readers learn about the civil rights movement. Told from fourth grader Kenny's point of view, the "Weird Watsons" decide to leave Flint, Michigan and travel south. Kenny's older brother Byron is on the verge of becoming a juvenile delinquent, and his parents think that spending time in the south with grandma (a disciplinarian) will be just what's needed.

The family immediately notices that there's a difference between Michigan and Alabama in 1963, with racism and the civil rights movement hovering in the background. The climax of the book is the burning of the 16th Avenue Baptist Church with four little girls inside. The Watsons think that the little sister, Joetta, is there. Once they realize, she is safe, they decide to return to Flint. The Watsons Go To Birmingham is a humorously told, yet deeply moving book, that all the while stresses positive family relationships.

A heads-up for younger readers: There are a fair amount of swear words laced throughout The Watsons Go to Birmingham.

Finally, although my family listened to both books on tape, all of my children went back and read the books on their own. Both of these books are sure bets for good summer reads, whether hearing it via tape, from a parent, or reading it directly from the book.

BookNosher Tidbits: Bud, Not Buddy was a Newbery winner in 2000, and a Coretta Scott King Author Award Winner.
The Watsons Go to Birmingham was a Newbery honor book in 1996 and a Coretta Scott King honor book.

BookNosher Activities: A word about books on tape (or rather books on cd). Besides the aforementioned activity of enduring long car trips by listening to books on tape, they can also be a wonderful way for the reluctant or struggling reader to follow along. By tracking the words with their eyes as they listen to the tape, readers feel a strong sense of accomplishment as they tackle books they normally wouldn't try. Summer is a perfect time to introduce books on tape to your readers.

Most libraries carry many books on tapes. My local library carries multiple copies of both Bud, Not Buddy and The Watsons Go to Birmingham. They each run about five hours long.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Pictures Books for Your Graduate

I'm a big believer that you are never too old for picture books, and that they make great gifts for anyone from 2 to 102. Their messages are often beautifully conveyed through pictures and limited words. So as my middle son prepares to graduate from high school next week, here are a few picture book suggestions for the graduate in your life.

No list would be complete without Dr. Seuss's Oh, the Places You'll Go!. It's a perennial favorite, and for very good reason. Written directly to the reader, it's the perfect book for anyone beginning a new passage in life. How can you resist lines such as: "You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose." Or "Step with care and great tact and remember that Life's a Great Balancing Act. Just never forget to be dexterous and deft. And never mix up your right foot with your left." You really can't go wrong with this Dr. Seuss book, and many kids will remember it from their childhood.

On a quieter and more Zen-like note, is The Three Questions written and illustrated by Jon Muth. It's a tale of Nicolai, a boy who isn't always certain about how he should act. So he sets out on a quest to find the answers to the three questions on his mind: "When is the best time to do things? Who is the most important one? and What is the right thing to do?" He eventually asks Leo, the wise old turtle. But before Leo can answer, a storm hits and Nicolai must spring into action to help an injured panda and her cub. And while his actions demonstrate that he actually knows the answers to his questions, Leo later explains to him "...that there is only one important time, and that time is now. The most important one is always the one you are with. And the most important thing is to do good for the one who is standing at your side." Based on a short story by Leo Tolstoy, it's a beautiful allegory about living in the moment.

In Only One You, Mama and Papa (they are rock fish) are ready to share their wisdom with their son Adri as he prepares to explore the world. Their words are simple, yet meaningful: “No matter how you look at it, there is so much to discover," “Look for beauty wherever you are, and keep the memory of it with you," and "Stay in the background when necessary and stand out when you have the chance." It's a wonderful way to tell your graduate that s/he is special, while offering positive gems that everyone should live by. The colorful illustrations are quite unique, as they are rocks painted to resemble fish.

All in a Day is a brand new Cynthia Rylant book about making each day count. The text is spare, and will probably appeal more to older readers rather than young children. The story follows a little boy and his chicken as they explore, work, and play their way through the day. Exhausted at the end, the verse reads: "This day will soon be over and it won't come back again. So live it well, make it count, fill it up with you. The day's all yours, it's waiting now...See what you can do." The illustrations by Nikki McClure are black and white paper-cuts set against blue and yellow backgrounds, and give the book a unique, old-fashioned look.

All of these books celebrate the endless possibilities that stretch out before your child. They are at a momentous juncture in their lives (as are we!). For eighteen years we've raised them, and now it's time to let them go out into the world. So as they leave their childhood behind, what better way to mark it than with a children's book. Of course, there's also the option of wrapping up a favorite picture book and presenting it to them as a graduation gift. So take a look at your bookshelves and see if you're ready to part with Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Where the Wild Things Are, The Napping House or whatever book you read to them over and over again. Your young adult may be very happy to take a piece of their childhood with them as they begin their journey into the world.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Beginning Reader Series: Houndsley and Catina

I remember how exciting it is when your child first starts to read. I also remember how difficult it can be to find the right books to test out their new skills. You want books that are easy enough to read and stimulating enough to hold their attention. James Howe (of Bunnicula fame) has created a lovely series of beginning reader books about the adventures of Houndsley and Catina.

The latest in the series is Houndsley and Catina Plink and Plunk. Houndsley (a dog) and Catina (a cat) are best friends, despite their very different interests (and very different personalities). Houndsley likes to canoe, and Catina likes to bike. Without giving away the plot, through a series of adventures they discover things about each other they didn't know before. It's a gentle book that celebrates friendship, as well as the differences between friends.

There are three other Houndsley and Catina books: Houndsley and Catina, Houndsley and Catina and the Quiet Time and Houndsley and Catina and the Birthday Surprise. All are well written and beautifully illustrated by Marie-Louise Guy. Emergent readers will be delighted to discover this lovely series of books.

BookNosher Tidbits: Houndsley and Catina was the 2007 winner of the EB White Read Aloud Award for Picture Books.

BookNosher Activities: With summer just around the corner, you and your child can create a summer reading log. Together you can come up with a design and individualize it. Depending on the age of your child, you can use gold stars, stickers, or just colored markers to show their reading progress over the summer. Set goals at the beginning of the summer (such as reading ALL of the Houndsley and Catina books) and help them reach their goals. Your kids will feel proud of themselves as they track their progress.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Calling All Sports Fans...

Sometimes you run across a children's author who has found the perfect niche for their writing. They know exactly who their audience is and their voice comes through loud and clear. This is the case with Dan Gutman, author of a wonderful series of baseball books, that my own sons loved when they were between 8 and 12 years old. These books have the ability to draw in even the most reluctant of readers.

The protagonist in each of the books is 12-year-old Joe Stoshak. Joe (a.k.a Stosh) loves baseball, and is somewhat of an expert on the subject. He's also a big collector of baseball cards. Unfortunately, he isn't quite the player he wishes he could be. Stosh lives alone with his mom, a nurse, who struggles to make ends meet. His dad is a distant figure in the background.

In the first book of the series, Honus and Me: A Baseball Card Adventure, Stosh comes across an original Honus Wagner baseball card, while cleaning out a neighbor's attic. Because he is such an expert on baseball, he immediately realizes that he has found something very valuable, which could really help his family's financial situation. What Stosh doesn't realize is that the card has the power to take him time traveling.

Later that night, Honus visits him in his bedroom and together they are whisked back to the 1909 World Series. The book is well-researched and filled with authentic baseball references. It even has some old, grainy photographs of Honus and other players. Gutman does a great job bringing the players of the time alive. Honus, in particular, comes across as a true gentleman. I'm not going to give away the plot here, but if you have a child who likes baseball (or even one who doesn't), I can pretty much guarantee they will like this book.

In addition to the compelling story, Gutman includes a couple of interesting sidebars at the end. The first is an actual article Honus Wagner wrote for Sporting News in 1950 on Baseball Tips for Kids. The second is information about the Honus Wagner baseball card which, as some of you may know, was sold for $2.8 million a couple of years ago.

All of the books in the series are well researched and easy to read. Without even realizing it, kids will learn a lot about the history of each time period that Stosh visits. In both Jackie and Me and Satch and Me, race relations are addressed in a frank way, and readers will see how African-Americans were so unfairly treated. In Shoeless Joe & Me, readers will learn about the 1919 Black Sox scandal. In Babe & Me, readers will learn about Babe Ruth, as well as the time period he played in-The Depression. All in all, I highly recommend these books; they're a perfect blend of fact and fantasy.

Other books in the series include:
Jackie & Me (Baseball Card Adventures)
Babe & Me: A Baseball Card Adventure
Shoeless Joe & Me (Baseball Card Adventures)
Mickey & Me: A Baseball Card Adventure (Baseball Card Adventures)
Jim & Me (Baseball Card Adventures)
Ray & Me (Baseball Card Adventures)
Satch & Me (Baseball Card Adventures)

BookNosher Tidbit: If your kids became enthralled with the series, they may want to find out more about Dan Gutman. He has an interesting website, which includes facts about him, as well as the many books he's written. And if your class is interested, he has created a DVD for grades 3-6 about the baseball card adventures.