Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Wheel on the School

One of the changes I worry about in reading is the loss 
of access to books.
That sounds ridiculous, because don't all those e-readers and websites give us access to more books?
Yes and no. They do not give us access to the books we do not know. Libraries and bookstores do. At least for now.
Have you ever heard of The Wheel on the School?
The book my six year old says is "the best book I ever read"?
(I read it to him at bedtime)
I am reading it to him because I walked into the library and
found it on a table with its beautiful gold Newbery medal
stamp on the front cover.
This story of school children in the Netherlands who want to attract storks to their village creates suspense from simple
quests.  Lina,overlooked and left out as the only girl at school, starts everything when she writes about the storks that do not
come to their small town of Shora. Grandmother Sibble III
turns out to be a Shora stork expert, and old Douwa 
the source of the all important wagon wheel. As the 
children learn to look in unlikely and seemingly impossible
places for what they want, they discover chubby Eelka is
strong enough to rescue his friends and that the fearsome,
legless Janus can do far more than just terrorize kids who
try to steal fruit from his cherry tree. All of this is part of
a realistic story without a hint of preachiness or condescension.
This is a good story to read with kids who think literally,
with direct action and emotions spelled out.
Some kids may worry more than others about some
of the situations, but all of them are relatively mild.
No kids/parents were harmed in the making of this
-Spectrum Mom 

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