Children's LiteratureHarry and his younger sister Emily, know that an important day is coming up. April 1st and they need to think of some really good tricks to play on Mom and Dad. After rehashing last year's surprises, they rack their brains to come up with new ones. Finally, gathering the funds from their piggy banks, they head to the magic store. Harry does a good job and catches all of the family members unawares. All day long he waits for Emily's trick but she seems to have forgotten about him. Never fear, it is little Emily who really is the tricky one and does indeed get the last laugh. An early reader that will make kids smile and maybe try to come up with a few tricks of their own. A Level 2 "Holiday House Reader" targeted for grades 1-2. 2002, Holiday House, $14.95. Ages 6 to 8. Reviewer: Marilyn Courtot
School Library Journal - School Library JournalK-Gr 1-In the first book, Frog is jealous when his best bud, Turtle, is also friendly with Otter, Bird, and Squirrel. However, when Baby Bear threatens Turtle, Frog is the first one to the rescue, followed by the others. After they are safe from danger, Frog realizes that it is OK to have many friends. The colorful animals have facial expressions that show their feelings; otherwise they are illustrated realistically. The simple words and sentence structure along with the lesson learned make this a good choice for beginning-reader collections. In April Fool! Harry and Emily are trying to think of tricks that are safe and fun to play on their parents and one another. When the big day arrives, the kitten siblings are ready to fool each other and also are tricked themselves. The text is a bit choppy and doesn't flow as well as in the first book, but the cartoons of the cat family are amusing. This is an adequate beginner-level book with the often-forgotten holiday as its theme.-Sandra Welzenbach, Villarreal Elementary School, San Antonio, TX Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus ReviewsThe fifth entry in the Harry and Emily easy reader series finds the kitty-cat siblings ready to celebrate another holiday together. As lots of mild little tricks are played within their family, big brother Harry insists his little sister won't be able to play any tricks on him. She cleverly waits till the very last minute on April Fool's Day, and then-when Harry has given up on any more tricks-surprises him with all their tricks from the previous year. The final punch line is cunningly hidden in the art as Emily hides a toy snake under her brother's pillow for one last laugh. It's heartening to see the little sister prevail in a children's story, using calm and controlled strategy to disprove her brother's claim. Ruelle's (Spookier Than a Ghost, 2001, etc.) simple watercolor illustrations are not sophisticated or innovative, but are charmingly direct and humorous, just like her story. Although this is intended for new readers at the second-grade reading level, it would also be an excellent read-aloud for younger children to explain the concept of April Fool's Day. (Easy reader. 5-8)
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