Emma's Magic Winter: (I Can Read Book Series)

Emma's Magic Winter: (I Can Read Book Series)

by Jean Little, Jennifer Plecas

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A new friend?

When Sally moves into the house next door, Emma's mom thinks it will be easy for the two girls to become friends. But Emma is so shy, she can barely even read out loud in school. Will Emma ever make friends with her new neighbor?  See more details below


A new friend?

When Sally moves into the house next door, Emma's mom thinks it will be easy for the two girls to become friends. But Emma is so shy, she can barely even read out loud in school. Will Emma ever make friends with her new neighbor?

Editorial Reviews

The Horn Book
"This is Jean Little’s first book for beginning readers, and she’s a natural."
The Horn Book (starred review)
“This is Jean Little’s first book for beginning readers, and she’s a natural.”
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-An enjoyable, gentle story about making friends and overcoming fears. Emma is a painfully shy child who likes to read, but not out loud or in front of her class. After some nudging by her parents, she goes next door and introduces herself to her new neighbor, Sally. Emma comes up with the idea that their winter boots (they have identical pairs) are magical, and it almost seems that they are. Thanks to the boots, both girls overcome their awkwardness and become good friends. Many children will identify with these familiar childhood situations. The idea of magic boots will surely inspire some wintertime adventures. The easy-to-read text and bright, lively watercolor illustrations work together in perfect harmony. A magical selection in any season.-Dina Sherman, Brooklyn Children's Museum, NY
Horn Book
Emma is too shy to speak above a whisper whenever it's her turn to read aloud before her class; too shy to make friends easily. But when a new girl her age moves in next door, Emma finds a way to connect: she instigates a shared pretend. "My boots have magic powers. They can make me vanish. They can even make me fly. Your boots look just like mine. Are yours magic too?" Together, Emma and Sally "vanish"-applying, as in all good fantasy, rules to how it works (the reason they can still see each other is that they are both invisible; it's OK that a baby can see them, because "babies know magic")-and pretend to be mountain climbers. Emma and Sally make a leap from the imagined magic of their play to the real magic and power of friendship when Sally's encouragement allows Emma finally to speak up when it's once again time to read aloud at school. This is Jean Little's first book for beginning readers, and she's a natural. Her prose flows easily, with touches of humor (Emma's father, encouraging her to go next door with a homemade pie to meet Sally, says, "Go for it, Emma. You can't be shy with a pie"), and soars into appropriate lyricism at the end. The shy young girl stumbling over reading is a familiar Jean Little character, but the emphasis here is on the friendship between the two girls, and on the true magic friendship can work. Like Katherine Paterson's Marvin's Best Christmas Present Ever, this "I Can Read" is about believable, con-temporary kids, with not a whiff of babyishness about it. With Jennifer Plecas's warm illustrations-which, by the by, cast Emma as white and Sally as African-American-Emma's Magic Winter is a book newly independent readers won't be at all shy about reading.
Kirkus Reviews
Several complicated issues for children are nicely resolved in Little's book, her first for the I Can Read series. Emma is shy, and she hates to read aloud in class. But when a new family moves in next door, Emma's mother sends her over with a pie to welcome them and to meet their daughter, Sally, who is Emma's age. Emma is frightened and doesn't know what to say, but she notices that Sally's winter boots are bright red, just like her own. Plucking up her courage, she tells Sally that their boots are magic. Both girls enter into the pretend game, and use the magic to make a snowpile into a mountain for climbing, or to make themselves "invisible." When Sally joins Emma's class, she encourages Emma to use the boots to make her brave in reading aloud, and it works. Come spring, Emma's parents present her with a jump rope with red handles, just like Sally's, so the magic will go on. Clear watercolors fill the energetic lines of the illustrations, with their sweet round-headed figures: Emma's peach face with straight brown hair, and Sally's chocolate face surrounded by masses of curls. Shyness, friendship, and little brothers are all encountered and adroitly dealt with, as the girls move from winter "into a magic spring." (Fiction. 5-8)

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Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
I Can Read Book 3 Series
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.18(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Jean Little is the author of more than twenty-five books for children. In addition to Emma's Magic Winter, her first I Can Read Book, Ms. Little's works include the novels Lost and Found, Different Dragons, From Anna and Hey World, Here I Am, illustrated by Sue Truesdell. Jean Little has always been interested in adoption, and she had a first-hand experience with it when her sister adopted two children several years ago. The family has nine pets, the most recent addition being Henry Higgins, a talking African gray parrot. Although Jean Little was born with scarred corneas that severely impair her vision, she has always loved to read and to write. She writes with a voice-activated computer and travels widely with her Seeing Eye dog, Pippa. Ms. Little lives in Ontario, Canada.

Jennifer Plecas's illustrations appear in many popular books for children, including Wrapping Paper Romp, a Growing Tree book by Patricia Hubbell, and Rattlebone Rock by Sylvia Andrews, as well as the ALA Notable Book the Outside Dog, an I Can Read Book by Charlotte Pomerantz. Ms. Plecas lives in Blue Springs, Missouri.

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