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Zelda and Ivy: The Runaways
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this award-winning book for beginning readers includes three stories full of kid imagination. In one, the sisters pretend to run away but stick to their own yard (their parents know where they are, but this is never spelled out). In another, they make a potion they call "creative juice" to help them think of a poem idea. Some literal-minded kids may think the girls are really running away and their parents don't notice, or that the potion is real or something to drink (they don't drink it -- they throw it on their heads) -- so it's definitely worth checking in with kids to see whether they understood the story.
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What's the story?
Three chapters -- The Runaways, The Time Capsule, and The Secret Concoction -- feature young fox sisters Zelda and Ivy. In The Runaways, Zelda and Ivy escape eating cucumber sandwiches by packing a suitcase and running away to their backyard. In The Time Capsule, the girls bury a couple of their favorite things for future children, then realize they miss them. In The Secret Concoction, Zelda can't think of a haiku poem to write her grandmother, so Ivy makes \"creative juice\" to help Zelda along. A very different creative idea results.
Is it any good?
Just like any good Seuss book, Theodor Seuss Geisel Award winner ZELDA AND IVY: THE RUNAWAYS dives right into the fun stuff and keeps kids reading. Author Laura Kvasnosky's illustrations are friendly and colorful and reward young readers after only a few sentences of hard pronunciation work. She makes simple fox features surprisingly expressive. Kids will be challenged here and there with words like "haiku" and a blanket edge described as having "pussy-willow puffs," so this probably isn't a book kids will toss aside after one reading. Happily, the way the stories are presented will make them more up for the challenge.