The Perfect Nest
Illustrated by John Manders
2007 Candlewick Press
ISBN – 9780763624309
Genre – Picture Book
Age – Preschool
Jack the cat had a plan to build a perfect nest, so that way a chicken would come by and lay an egg for him to eat for breakfast. Much to Jack’s surprise, once he builds his nest a chicken, duck, and a goose laid an egg in his perfect nest. After great attempts, Jack finally got the three birds to leave their eggs and find a new nest. Jack was really excited because three eggs would make three great meals. That is until each egg hatches. What will Jack do with the new baby birds?
I thought this book was a perfect choice for a story time. The format is large, and the pictures are bright and clear. The soft illustrations add to the humor of the story. If you are good with basic accents this book is sure to be a hit. Each bird has a fun accent. The chicken is Mexican, the duck is French, and the goose has a southern accent. If read aloud properly, this should be a crowd pleaser. Also the super sweet ending is sure to melt the hearts of both kids and parents.
Catherine Gilbert Murdock
2006 HMH Books for Young Readers
ISBN – 9780618683079
Genre – Realistic Fiction
Age – High School
D.J. was just your typical farm raised Midwestern girl, but life for her seems to be anything but typical. Her father hurt his hip, and she has taken over all of the farm duties. Her mom has taken on two jobs to compensate, and her college football star brothers haven’t spoken to her all year. Things couldn’t get any weirder in her life until Brian Nelson, her high school’s rival football team quarterback, walks onto her farm to help her out for a day. Somehow all of this leads to even stranger happenings, like training Brian for his upcoming season, or her trying out for the football team herself.
Honestly, it’s hard to explain how all this fits together, but it does, and wonderfully. This book has it all, humor, sports, real life, and cows. Did I mention football? The writing was simplistic, yet elegant in that way. D.J.’s life is not fancy or showy. This is not your typical girl meets boy; girl and boy fall in love type of realistic fiction. It has depth. It admits that maybe just maybe there is something more to teenage life than cheesy teenage love. You know like football, cows, family, and friendship. Well done!