THE LUNCH THIEF

By Anne C. Bromley

Tilbury House Publishers, 2010

32 pages, $16.95

ISBN 978-0-88448-311-3

 

What does a little boy do when he sees a classmate stealing his lunch at school? Should he confront the lunch thief and risk a fistfight, or is there another way to handle a difficult dilemma?

Author Anne Bromley is a poet and teacher, and this is her debut children’s book for children in grades 3-6. In THE LUNCH THIEF she presents a real-life problem and a thoughtful, considerate solution, a satisfying life lesson for all children about theft, confrontation, hunger, and homelessness.

When Kevin steals Rafael’s lunch one day, Rafael is understandably angry (and not just because his mother makes a wonderfully tasty lunch for him). But what should he do? Rafael knows that stealing is wrong, but his first efforts to deal with the problem only draw the unwelcome attention of his teacher.

Fortunately, Rafael’s mother is a wise and caring woman, and he follows her advice — use words, not fists to deal with this problem. Then when Rafael discovers why Kevin steals lunches, he comes up with a clever solution and makes a new friend.

 

ICE HARBOR MITTENS

By Robin Hansen

Down East Books, 2010

32 pages, $16.95

ISBN 978-0-89272-905-0

 

Getting lost in the fog on a boat at sea can be frightening and dangerous, but if you are wearing your Ice Harbor mittens, everything will turn out fine.

ICE HARBOR MITTENS is West Bath author Robin Hansen’s third book. She is a folklorist and mitten expert (no kidding!), and this smart story tells of wisdom, faith and a little bit of magic. The beautiful full-color artwork is provided by award-winning illustrator Jamie Hogan of Peak’s Island.

This story has much more text than most children’s books, and is therefore more suitable for older readers in grades 4-6. Eleven-year-old Josie is the young sternman for his older cousin Sam on a lobster boat. Josie’s Aunt Agnes makes him a pair of drab, old-fashioned “compass mittens” with a distinctive nautical design, to keep his hands warm during winter fishing.

Those mittens are fine, but Josie wishes he had a pair of colorful red “sawtooth” mittens like Sam’s. A thoughtless remark hurts Aunt Agnes’s feelings, but her special mittens will save the day.

The boys ignore an older fisherman’s warning not to go to sea in such thick fog, and they become hopelessly lost. Just when things look dire, Josie’s compass mittens miraculously show the way to a safe harbor.

 

MY CAT, COON CAT

By Sandy Ferguson Fuller

Islandport Press, 2011

32 pages, $17.95

ISBN 978-1-934031-32-2

 

Sandy Fuller’s fifth book is a charming story told in rhyming verse about a little girl and a Maine coon cat becoming friends.

Fuller is an author and publishing consultant, and MY CAT, COON CAT is a simple, cute story intended for very young children, ages 2-5 years. With her gentle verses and illustrated by Jeannie Brett (who has done several other Maine books), this is a quiet, peaceful story, perfect for bedtime reading.

When a little girl moves into a new house, she is eager to make friends. A big Maine coon cat also lives in the neighborhood and maybe he needs a friend, too. The girl and the cat watch each other warily, but then become comfortable and a real friendship develops. They both like to eat, play and nap!

The story also introduces the coon cat to the girl’s sassy kitten, Marmalade; to a frisky, barking dog; to Henry a neighbor’s large orange cat; and to some pesky dragonflies.

A sidebar at the end offers fun facts and lore about the state cat of Maine, just one of three states to have a state cat.

— Bill Bushnell lives and writes in Harpswell.


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