Monday, October 12, 2015

Backyard Witch: Sadie's Story by Christine Heppermann and Ron Koertge / Book Review

By: Christine Heppermann & Ron Koertge
Illustrated by: Deborah Marcero
Published by: Greenwillow
Released on: 7/21/15
Series: Backyard Witch #1
Purchase From: Harper Collins Amazon | B&N
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A must-have for newly independent readers and fans of Ivy + Bean and Clementine! The first of a new series, starring three young girls and a mysterious visitor who appears exactly when you need her--with just the right amount of magic.

Sadie has two best friends: Jess and Maya. But Jess can only take one friend on vacation with her, and Sadie is the one who gets left behind. How will she ever survive the days of loneliness and boredom? But wait . . . what is that in her old playhouse in the backyard? A witch has moved in! A kind and funny witch, who's looking for her own two lost friends. 

Together, Sadie and the witch have a curious adventure, one that makes Sadie see her neighborhood--and herself--with new eyes. 

Acclaimed authors Ron Koertge and Christine Heppermann--writing together and for younger readers for the first time--have created a heroine to rival Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle and Ms. Frizzle. Short chapters, a satisfying mystery, gentle humor, magical dazzle, and adorable black-and-white illustrations throughout by debut artist Deborah Marcero make this an ideal pick for readers of Ivy + Bean, Just Grace, and Kate DiCamillo's novels for younger readers.

Who needs a fairy god mother, when you can have a witch like Ms. M to help you. Ms. M is just the person Sadie needs. In helping Ms. M look for her best friend and fellow witch, who accidentally turned herself into a bird, Sadie begins to learn and understand how she can over come her own friendship problems she's currently having with her best friends. Ms. M and Sadie have great team work. Even though they have a few minor mishaps along the way, they continue to work things out, together. 

I loved that Ms. M helps Sadie see the magic that is in the world around them, and within herself. It's not the casting spells type of magic either.  Sometimes you need a little reminder, and some encouragement that there's something magically within you. Ms M, in her own unique way, helps Sadie realize that. I liked the way she went about teaching her that. I also loved the bird watching element in the story. There's something valuable Sadie learns through watching the birds, and helping Ms. M find her friend.

This is a great chapter book for young readers. With short chapters, age appropriate humor, a magical mystery, and an important lesson that is learned, Sadie's story is one readers will enjoy. The black and white illustrations found through out the book by illustrator Deborah Marcero, make Sadie's Story that much more appealing. I'd definitely recommend this story to young readers and feel it's appropriate for readers in 1st-3rd grade. I'm looking forward to reading the next book in this series.

I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves. ~ Anna Quindlen

Good children's literature appeals not only to
the child in the adult, but to the adult in the child.
~ Anonymous ~