Thursday, July 21, 2011

Happiness is...a good book. (Summer Reading edition #25)

Andy Shane: Hero at Last
Author: Jennifer Richard Jacobson
Illustrator: Abby Carter
Pages: 58
Age Range: 5+
Published: 2010
Genre: Beginning Reader/Juvenile Realistic Fiction
Cover Score: ***
Overall Grade: ***
Rating: G

Andy Shane wants just two things; to win the bike parade contest and to be a hero. He knows some things take luck and some things take practice and preparation. He has a backpack full of things to help him help others should the need for a hero arise (rope, flashlight, Band-Aids, a map etc.) and is busy getting his bike ready to look like a swallow (the town bird.)

Others are preparing too. Dolores Starbuckle has covered her bike with crepe paper streamers and daisies (including a daisy covered helmet for her cat Myra) and the high school band is practicing marching to the beat of the big bass drum.  There are a few minor setbacks and silly situations but finally the day of the parade arrives and Andy is ready.

After a fall on his bike ruins his costume he sees the bass drummer's drumstick and finds a way to be a hero after all.  

This is a fun little advanced beginning reader. Black and white sketches give it a touch of the funny pages feel. There’s a helpful Grandmother, a nosy neighbor and various minor characters but Andy is the star.  He keeps a proper perspective in the face of adversity and overcomes his mini-trials with ingenuity and hard work. Perfect for those who’ve moved beyond Frog and Toad but aren’t ready for The Magic Tree House.

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