Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Children's Book Week: Day 3

Okay, you've heard a lot of recommendations from many of us here at Little Shop of Stories, but our Pappa Bear, Dave, co-owner of the store, has been quite mum. No more, I say! Here's two titles that rank as some of his favorites from the year:

The blurb on the cover of Jacques Couvillon's The Chicken Dance states "Like having Napolean Dynamite and Frank Perdue as your best friends." That quote comes from Jack Gantos - author of the Joey Pigza books - and he's dead on. Eleven year-old Don Schmidt is our somewhat socially clueless protagonist and narrator who goes to school in Louisiana and raises chickens on the side. His success in chicken-judging contests leads him to an unusual friendship with the class bully and sends him on a search for his long-lost sister.

In his debut novel, Couvillon writes with great empathy for his subject, and also with great joy. This book is great fun to read, and I highly recommend it for readers around the ages of 10 to 15 - particularly boys.

Punk Farm on Tour rocks! Like Jarrett Krosoczka's original Punk Farm, this picture book is wonderfully anarchistic fun combined with playful illustrations. It's a great book for reading (and singing) to your kids. Not only that, but you can go to and download songs performed by the farm animals.
- Dave

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