Sunday, June 29, 2008

Three Robbers Celebration--Books For Younger Kids

I don't want my blog tour hosts to carry the entire burden of celebrating A Girl, a Boy, and Three Robbers' publication this Thursday, so I've tried to plan a few special things for this week, too. Off and on, I'm going to try to bring some attention to other books for younger kids--since that is what Three Robbers is.

I picked up Zelda and Ivy: The Runaways by Laura McGee Kvasnosky before the last 48 Hour Book Challenge because the title turned up while I was searching a library database for short story collections for kids. These three stories are for very young kids. They don't involve a lot of text and every page includes a charming color picture of the slightly mousie- looking fox sisters, Zelda and Ivy.

The last story, about creating a concoction (which I can remember doing when I was somewhere between five and seven years old) is probably the most creative. The first story, The Runaways, is pretty familiar, being about a couple of kids who run away and then come home when no one misses them. But the first two sentences are so fantastic that I was hooked right away.

"Dad's making cucumber sandwiches for lunch," said Ivy.
"Not again!" said Zelda. "That's it. I'm running away."

Talk about not wasting time on tedious exposition! Talk about introducing conflict early! This intro could be an example in a writing textbook.

Sometimes I don't get animals that think they are humans in kids' books. They work best for me when they are like Zelda and Ivy--characters living as realistic children in happy, comfortable situations, who just happen to be foxes or frogs or toads or pigs.

Three earlier Zelda and Ivy adventures appeared in picture book format.

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