Make May memorable with Newsbee’s “Way-Great Reads.” Your literary buddy is buzzing about a wordless wonder of a read with art that dazzles, an inspirational true story about a girl with grit and an engaging chapter book about a boy who becomes a neighborhood do-gooder. There’s plenty in store for book lovers this month. Page On! Enjoy!
‘Little Fox in the Forest,’
By Stephanie Graegin
“Little Fox in the Forest,” by Stephanie Graegin, is a beautifully illustrated wordless book that captivates with woodsy scenes and forest animals.
It begins when a little girl takes her cuddly, stuffed fox down from a shelf in her room. Then she’s off to school, at recess playing with a boy who’s her special friend. Later, instructions are written on the board. The following day students are to bring “something old, something treasured” for Show and Tell. The toy fox pops up in a word bubble above the girl’s head.
Show and Tell goes well, as does a swing on the playground until a culprit arrives, mischief personified in a real fox, offered to readers in Technicolor, a spot of bright orange. With a zip, the fox scurries into the forest, the furry, toy fox in hand, while the girl takes chase, her friend from school following up.
As their adventure continues, trees, plants and animals are added in bright shades, color eventually taking over the pages. The chase concludes in heartfelt scenes sure to steal readers’ hearts — the girl’s unselfish final act one to be admired.
‘The Youngest Marcher,’
By Cynthia Levinson
Imagine taking a stand and landing in jail for your conviction. That’s what happened to children who backed what they believed in during May 1963, including Audrey Fay Hendricks, the young Civil Rights Activist in “The Youngest Marcher,” by Cynthia Levinson.
Nine-year-old Audrey was inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King, who came to her house in Birmingham, Ala. When he talked about what could be done about segregation, she wanted to do her part. Goodness knows it was hard not to be able to drink out of water fountains used by white folks and have to get on a bus using the rear door — in so many ways being treated as less-than.
In church with Dr. King on the pulpit, her family and others sang, “Black and white toge-e-ther, we shall overcome.” Then stories were shared about how adults peacefully battled injustice. The story of what Audrey and thousands of other children did, when they participated in marches that long ago May, makes for an admirable tale of courage. Their big, bold acts come to life in spirited illustrations by Vanessa Brantley Newton.
‘The Goldfish Boy,’
By Lisa Thompson
Matthew Corbin, the struggling 11-year-old in “The Goldfish Boy,” by Lisa Thompson, has a narrow existence. His obsessive/compulsive disorder causes his world to shrink until he’s only comfortable in the bedroom of his London home.
From his window Matthew watches the neighborhood, recording the people who come and go, in between bouts of washing his hands, germs being the culprit he fears.
When a toddler named Teddy disappears from his yard, Matthew is the last to see him before he’s snatched, or did he wander off? Readers will be consumed with cracking the mystery, as an assortment of neighborhood characters are introduced, many considered possible suspects.
From his solitary spot, Matthew has help in figuring out this whodunit — Melody Bird, who desperately wants to be his friend, and Jake Bishop, a bully who used to be his buddy.
“The Goldfish Boy” lures you in, making for a fast, absorbing read that entertains and sheds light on a common disorder. Though readers may struggle to understand Matthew, and grow impatient with him, when they finish this page turner, they’ll be more empathic having met him, an admirable protagonist who learns to share his true feelings.