Books for children - March 24


Read aloud: age 7, 8 and older

Read yourself: age 8, 9 and older

Young Eben longs to see the Seven Wonders of the World, and it frustrates him that he is too young to go out and explore on his own. To make matters worse, Eben considers his small farming community of Sassafras Springs to be the most boring place in the world.

Then Eben's Pa presents Eben with a challenge. If Eben can find seven wonders in Sassafras Springs that are as remarkable and interesting as the real Seven Wonders of the World, Pa will send him on a trip out West. While Eben is pretty sure that will be impossible, he decides to give it a try. What he discovers comes as a total surprise in many ways.

A remarkable book on several levels, this selection serves as a reminder that wonders exist everywhere if one is willing to look for them.


Library: Salem Free Public Library, 264 Hartford Rd., Salem

Library Director: Jackie Hemond

Children & Teen Services: Pat Aldrich

Choices this week: "Bats at the Library" by Brian Lies; "Three Good Deeds" by Vivian Vande Velde; "Spiderwick Chronicles" series by Tony DiTerlizzi


"Big Mean Mike" by Michelle Knudsen, illustrated by Scott Magoon, Candlewick, 2012, 40 pages, $15.99 hardcover

Read aloud: age 4, 5 and older

Read yourself: age 7 and 8

Everyone in the neighborhood knows Big Mean Mike is the toughest dog around, and that is exactly the way he wants to be known. But one day an adorable tiny bunny shows up in the trunk of Mike's big, mean car. Mike is horrified; big, mean dogs and tiny, cute bunnies do not go together! Carefully removing the bunny, Mike speeds away. Mike's problem multiplies the next day when the bunny returns with a friend, and then another and another. Yikes! What is Mike to do with these cute little bunnies? And what about his reputation?

Loaded with laughs and an important lesson on not worrying what other people think, "Big Mean Mike" is a very good read.

"Have You Seen My Blue Socks?" by Eve Bunting, illustrated by Sergio Ruzzier, Clarion, 2013, 32 pages, $16.99 hardcover

Read aloud: age 2 ½ to 4

Read yourself: age 6 and 7

A spunky little duck has lost his new blue socks and is determined to find them. He searches his own box but with no success. Then he asks one friend after another for help. After searching near and far, duck finally finds his socks, but they certainly weren't where he expected them to be!

A charming story perfectly complemented with expressive, charming illustrations, this story is delightful.


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