I've read this book so many times now, and it never fails to move me, inspire me, and warm my heart. It's a true gem and a wonderfully unique picture...moreI've read this book so many times now, and it never fails to move me, inspire me, and warm my heart. It's a true gem and a wonderfully unique picture book. Motivation, inspiration, fitness, reading, finding your place in the world, supporting your community -- there are so many substantive themes woven into this story, but nothing preachy or "messagey" about it. It's a book that just makes you FEEL GOOD. Which is why I will continue re-reading and recommending it.(less)
Can you come of age as a second grader? Yes -- in small but meaningful ways. Kevin Henkes captures a perfect handful of them in this heartwarming and...moreCan you come of age as a second grader? Yes -- in small but meaningful ways. Kevin Henkes captures a perfect handful of them in this heartwarming and utterly wonderful book about a boy named Billy Miller who has normal kid worries as he starts (and, some months later, ends) his second grade year. He worries maybe he's not smart enough for the second grade. He worries that his teacher doesn't know he's a nice kid. But he hopes a lot too -- hopes he can succeed at staying up all night for the first time ever; hopes he can help his dad get back to making art again; hopes he can WOW his mom with the poem he writes about her.
This is an honest but hopeful book about a kid's early experiences with taking responsibility, experiencing peer pressure, and seeing his ideas become complex and USEFUL enough to inspire not just kids but grown-ups. The events that inspire Billy's growth in these areas are what adults like to think of as "small moments" but to Billy Miller, as to ANY second grader, these things feel BIG -- big enough to make the whole year feel like it could just be "the year of Billy Miller."
Kids and adults will both be drawn in by the sensitivity and care of Henkes' characterizations -- as always, he allows the reader to glimpse the private, inner thoughts of a kid whose mind feels wholly familiar and whose small "coming of age" feels, in broad strokes, like a carbon copy of our own.
This is a chapter book that fluent readers will be able to tackle, but I especially fill with glee at the thought of using it as a read-aloud. Either way it is a book worth sharing with all of the second grader(s) in your life - and the 1st and 3rd graders too.(less)
Another gem from Inga Moore! Captain Cat is a marvelous story that reads like a classic but has a freshness that tells you it's brand new. This is a b...moreAnother gem from Inga Moore! Captain Cat is a marvelous story that reads like a classic but has a freshness that tells you it's brand new. This is a book to cozy up and read together -- one kids will pull off the shelf again and again. As always, Moore's illustrations are luminous, and her cats? Even this dog lover thinks they're divine.(less)