Friday, February 26, 2016

Small Readers: Stanley and Me: Misty by Christine Dencer, illustrated by Jessica Meserve

The description of this title sounded rather ho-hum, but I love Jessica Meserve's illustrations and was interested enough to read it to go to a little extra effort.

Sophie and Stanley are best friends. They do everything together and take turns playing in their yards. Until Stanley gets a dog. A big dog. Her name is Misty and Sophie is scared of her. Sophie stays away from Misty until she has to face her fears in order to help her friend. Will Misty be as scary as she looks?

Meserve's illustrations are simple but heartfelt. Soft colors and expressive faces fill out the simple story and blend smoothly with the gentle plot.

This is an intermediate easy reader - not quite a beginning chapter book, but definitely for a more advanced reader. It's slightly larger than a traditional easy reader and has a smooth layout that's very appealing and engages the hands and eyes as well as the mind. It's similar to the early chapter books that have been increasingly popular in the past year, like the easy versions of Judy Moody and Hank Zipzer or DiCamillo's Tales of Deckawoo Drive.

Verdict: It looks like the beginning of a series, but I don't see any additional information on future titles. While it's not a really stunning stand-out, it's a sweet, simple story that will engage readers and make an excellent addition to your easy reader section.

ISBN: 9781927018590; Published 2014 by Simply Read Press; Borrowed via inter-library loan

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