A review of 'Peak' by Roland Smith, three kids' books about mysteries, readers' picks of children's books, and kids' books for fall.
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The very youngest of readers – those not yet ready for words – can enjoy a mystery tale of their own in the award-winning picture book Tuesday by author/illustrator David Wiesner. Wiesner's gorgeous drawings tell of mysterious things that fly in the night. There's nothing to fear but plenty to observe in this evocative visual treat.Skip to next paragraph
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– Marjorie Kehe
Fall books for children
Come fall, predicts trade magazine Publishers Weekly, these children's books will be among "the hottest":
Adult authors writing for kids:
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie (Little Brown, Nov. 1)
Slam, by Nick Hornby (Putnam, Oct. 4)
Books by celebrities:
Freckleface Strawberry, by Julianne Moore with illustrator LeUyen Pham (Bloomsbury USA, Oct. 2)
Ana's Story, by Jenna Bush (HarperCollins, Oct. 2)
Knuffle Bunny: A Case of Mistaken Identity, by Mo Willems (Hyperion, Sept. 4)
Olivia Helps for Christmas, by Ian Falconer (Atheneum, Oct. 2)
Skippyjon and the Big Bones, by Judy Schachner (Dutton, Oct. 8)
I am enjoying the beloved Betsy-Tacy series by Maud Hart Lovelace. Set in turn of the 20th century Minnesota, these books follow the friendship of Betsy and Tacy from age 5 until, as adults, they send their husbands off to fight in World War I. My favorite is Betsy and Joe, which describes Betsy's senior year of high school, full of ageless challenges– how to make writing one's career, how to know when one has met a soul mate, how to cherish hometown and family yet seek adventure in the world. I highly recommend this series for readers of all ages. Constance Martin, Watertown, Mass.
My 4-year-old grandchild spent a few days with me. This meant an overnight and the opportunity to read. I pulled out two books from my old collection, both by Marjorie Flack, Angus and the Cat and Ask Mr. Bear. There is something peaceful and loving about these books. My grandchildren ask for them over and over. Jane Moginot, Rockport, Mass.
The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken has everything a little girl dreams of – dark moors, wolves, rich relatives who suddenly become poor and/or dead, mean relatives who gleefully take advantage of newly poor relatives, an orphanage where nobody gets enough to eat, a kind and clever hero who helps the orphans escape, lost relatives who reappear and make everything right again. Completely satisfying in every way. Lisa Carper, Roslindale, Mass.
My teenagers and I really enjoyed Pamela Aidan's three-book series, Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman, covering Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice" story from the gentleman's view - and it was with great angst that we waited for that third book to be published. Our copies of the first two would be "valuable first editions" if we hadn't so thoroughly enjoyed them. Helen C. Watts, Portland, Me.
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