Miss Nancy at The Storybook Shoppe always amazes me. You'll notice if you go into her shop that it never looks the same from day to day. She's constantly receiving shipments of new books, almost all of which she has personally read the reviews on, ordered herself, and then reads thoroughly. She recently recommended this new one: Amy's Three Best Things by Phillipa Pearce, wonderfully illustrated by Helen Craig.
A young girl Amy who has never spent the night away from her home, tells her mother she wants to spend three nights at her Grandmother's home.
Her mother agrees and Amy goes, but not without three of her best things from home to comfort her when she's homesick. Each night when she feels lonely, she unpacks one of the things she's brought, which brings her on a magical journey. She feels safe and comforted and has a wonderful time with her Grandma.
What we liked most about this book is it's combination of reality and fantasy -- not usually intermixed easily. It's very real that a child would feel homesick. Exploring a fantasy world of riding on a horse to visit home is magical. My 4 year old daughter, Molly, was able to make sense of the reality and the fantasy simply because how it was written. It also follows a pattern, which Molly picked up on. And at the end Molly said: "was she dreaming with her three best things?" BINGO!
This book is a wonderful way to encourage conversation. It can breach subjects about spending the night away from home, or what's real and what's fantasy. Distinguishing the two when you are between the ages of 3 and 6 isn't always easy. (Molly is convinced that Princess Aurora is real.)
Children will love the illustrations, they are done in a realistic and unique way, that reminds me of an etching (lots of hash marks!) The colors are soft and soothing and set the tone perfectly for the story. We highly recommend this new book. You can have it shipped directly to your door, just check out with PayPal below.
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