Jack and I just finished Jennifer Murdley's Toad. This is the second book we have read by Bruce Coville. Mr. Coville has written several other Magic Shop Books. We finished Jeremy Thatcher Dragon Hatcher a couple of weeks ago. Jennifer Murdley's Toad was excellent and engaging. Last night, even though it was already late when I was putting Jack to bed, I read an extra chapter, and then another because I had to find out what had happened. We finished the epilogue today. I love books with an epilogue.
My favorite part as a teacher - the author's note. Mr. Coville wrote about the process of writing the book, how he had to put the book away for awhile and how his friend Jane Yolan (another great author) helped him to revisit the book. The author's note is a lovely, concise (less than 3 pages) lesson on the writing process.
My favorite part as a parent - Kids seem to get the message from so many places that happiness is all about getting what you want; this book is all about learning to happy with what you have. I think it would especially meaningful for girls who have had a few too many Disney Princess stories, this book is a wonderfully different perspective on what it means to be beautiful.
I would read this with mature 1st graders - 5th graders.
This book is about a typical 4th grade reading level