Monday, August 17, 2015
Piper Green and the Fairy Tree by Ellen Potter, illustrated by Qin Leng
Now it's the first day of school, and second grader Piper is missing her older brother Erik, who has just started boarding school. To feel closer to him, Piper decides to wear his old monkey earmuffs 24/7, even in school.
New teacher Ms. Arabella may look like a princess to her students, but, unfortunately for Piper, she has some very definite idea about where her students will sit in class and what they may or may not wear in school, and that includes monkey earmuffs. But when Piper refuses to take them off, she must stay in at recess and discovers when she get home, that a phone call to her parents has been made.
And even though they tell her no earmuffs in school, Piper is determined to keep them on and Erik close. The next morning on her way to the lobster boat, Piper decides she done with second grade. She decides to hide in a tree, and sitting on a branch, she watches as the lobster boat heads to school. But when things quiet done, Piper hears an odd sound - like the tree is crying.
While Piper is sitting in the tree, hearing it cry, along come neighbor Mrs. Pennypocket, who immediately knew what to do when she heard the tree crying - and it was just the solution to help Piper give up her earmuffs. As she saws off a small tree branch, Mrs. Pennypocket and Piper talk about how much Erik is missed and the reason for the earmuffs. But after the branch is off the tree, Piper finds two kittens, who had gotten stuck after the mother cat had hidden them in a hole in the tree. Mrs. Pennypocket tells Piper the tree is a fairy tree, one she has been searching for ever since her grandmother had told her about it. If you take a treasure from the tree, you must leave a treasure. Yup, that's right, Piper took two little kittens and left Erik's earmuffs, but not her feelings about missing him.
Piper Green and the Fairy Tree is a new early chapter book series with a sweet, spunky, but stubborn main character that young readers won't be able to resist and a setting that offers endless unique possibilities for more Piper Green stories.
Though the idea of having a magic tree in one's front yard is a lot if fun, the real problem in this first book of the series is that Erik was away at boarding school and Piper is missing him more than the people around her realize. Until Mrs. Pennypocket talked to her about her feelings, no one asked why she was wearing Erik''s earmuffs, not even her teacher, who just punished Piper by taking away recess.
Inked Black and white full page and spot illustrations by Qin Leng are scattered throughout the book adding a light, humorous touch to the story and serve as excellent visual cues to the action for young and beginning readers, like seeing Piper and her friend Jacob on the lobster boat instead of a school bus, but then seeing the familiar school yard and classroom.
There just aren't enough good early chapter books for kids, but fans of such classics as Junie B. Jones, Judy Moody, Bink and Gollie, and Amber Brown are sure to add Piper Green to this list of favorites.
This book is recommed for readers age 6+
This book was an EARC received from the author through NetGalley