Books for children - April 21


"The Hundred Dresses" by Eleanor Estes, illustrated by Louis Slobodkin, Harcourt, 96 pages

Read aloud: age 6 and older

Read yourself: age 8 and older

Wanda wore the same faded blue dress to school every day. She had no friends, but Peggy and Maddie talked to her every day, teasing her with the same question, "How many dresses did you say you had hanging up in your closet?" Wanda's reply is always the same, "A hundred, all lined up." Peggy and Maddie would roar with laughter, for it was obvious Wanda only owned one dress. They repeated the same nasty game over and over. Soon enough, Wanda stopped going to school.

First published in 1944, "The Hundred Dresses" is filled with multiple messages about bullying, hurt, compassion and forgiveness. This timeless and important book should be required reading.


Library: Westerly Public Library, 44 Broad St., Westerly, R.I.

Library Director: Kathryn Taylor

Head of Children's Services: Helen Mochetti

Children's Librarian: Krystal Laharty

Choices this week: "Broken Arrow Boy" by Adam Moore; "Shark Attack: Bethany Hamilton's Story" by Tim O'Shei; "Operation Yes" by Sarah Lewis Holmes


"Wild Boy: The Real Life of the Savage of Aveyron" by Mary Losure, illustrated by Timothy Basil Ering, Candlewick, 2013, 170 pages, $16.99 hardcover

Read aloud: age 8 and older

Read yourself: age 10 and older

It is 1797, and there are reports of a wild, naked boy roaming the mountains in southern France. This fascinates the residents in the nearby village of Lacaune. One year later, the boy is captured.

Word spreads about the Savage of Aveyron, and soon he is sent to one large town after another to be studied and is typically sheltered in orphanages. The boy is eventually given a name - Victor. There are some who are Victor's champions and try to teach him how to speak and become educated and civilized, namely Dr. Itard and Madame Guérin. But despite Victor's great fondness to those who had done so much for him, his intense love of the outdoors and wind and rain never ceases.

A fascinating, captivating true story that brims with compassion, readers will hang on every word of this seamlessly written book.

"Princesses on the Run" written and illustrated by Smiljana Coh, Running Press, 2013, 40 pages, $15.95 hardcover

Read aloud: age 3, 4 and older

Read yourself: age 7 nad 8

Princess Antonia appears to have everything she could possibly want, but she is bored. One day it occurs to her to run away, and as she runs through the forest her other princess friends joined in the fun. It is such a life-altering experience for them all that their days of being princesses are never the same again.


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