Quick Kids’ Reads

Quick Kids’ Reads

Spring break will find me winging my way across the country to visit my sister and her kids! Since I only have a few days with them, I’ve been gathering books that are high-interest, yet short enough that we can actually finish them. I learned my lesson on a previous family visit where we had to beg my sister-in-law to let the kids stay up late to finish a book, and another visit where my niece and I barricaded ourselves into a tiny guest room for most of a day to finish another one. You really can’t just leave a giant chicken wandering through the streets, or leave a broccoli-colored boy in the hospital with no hope of a cure.

Here are some of my favorite titles that should do the trick—since they are shorter and all contain illustrations, they’re also great picks for beginning readers just starting on chapter books.

“Ben Yokoyama and the Cookie of Doom” by Matthew Swanson kicks off the funny and heartwarming Cookie Chronicles series in which Ben tests the truth of fortunes from fortune cookies.

 “Princess Cora and the Crocodile” by Laura Amy Schlitz tells of a princess who gets fed up with her princess training and takes a day off. My niece fell on the floor laughing at this one!

“Juana & Lucas” by Juana Medina, “Violet Mackerel’s Brilliant Plot” by Anna Branford, “Anna Hibiscus” by Atinuke, and “Ways to Make Sunshine” by Renee Watson each follow a young girl’s every day adventures making her way through the real world. (There are sequels to each one.)

Animal series sure to engage include “Rabbit’s Bad Habits”, the first in Julian Gough’s “Rabbit & Bear” funny series about forest animals learning about friendship and life truths. In “Skunk and Badger” by Amy Timberlake, orderly Badger learns to live with and love new roommate Skunk. (Skunk makes a fabulous breakfast, but never cleans up…) “The First Case” by Ulf Nilsson tells of an old toad police detective solving a forest mystery with his new young mouse deputy. On the surreal and very funny side, “Inspector Flytrap” by Tom Angleberger features a Venus flytrap who solves mysteries with his sidekick, Nina the goat.

Find all these titles at the Ames Public Library, and happy spring break reading!