New Neighbors for Noraby Johanna Hurwitz, Debbie Tilley
Nora loves making new friendsbut there aren't many kids to play with in her New York apartment building. Apart from her little brother, Teddy, there's only four-year-old Russell. The three of them have lots of funbut what would happen if there were more kids around? More fun, whats that! See more details below
Nora loves making new friendsbut there aren't many kids to play with in her New York apartment building. Apart from her little brother, Teddy, there's only four-year-old Russell. The three of them have lots of funbut what would happen if there were more kids around? More fun, whats that!
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A New Neighbor
Sometimes Nora wished that everyone she knew lived in her apartment building. It would be fun if all her school friends and Grandma and Grandpa and Aunt Suzanne and the cousins all lived in the same apartment building. She would spend all her time going up and down in the elevator visiting them.
Since they didn't, Nora had made friends with most of the 200 people who did live in her building. If only there were more children, she thought.
Except for Nora, who was seven, and her little brother Teddy, who was five, the only other child in the whole building was Russell. He lived on the second floor and was four years old.
Despite their different ages, the three children were good friends. Living in the same building meant that even when the weather was bad or Mommy and Daddy were too busy to take them outside, they could play together.
One day Nora noticed that Russell's mother, Mrs. Michaels, was getting very fat. She saw a button pop off Mrs. Michaels' blouse when she and Teddy were having lunch in Russell's apartment. She had been taught that it was not polite to comment on such things, so she didn't say anything at the time.
But later, when she was back in her own apartment, she said to her mother, "Mrs. Michaels is getting awfully fat."
"You're right," said Mommy. "But she isn't really fat. She is growing a baby inside her. Soon Russell will have a new brother or sister."
"I hope it's a sister!" said Nora, delighted by the revelation.
"No, no," said Teddy. "I hope it's a brother."
"It will be a sister because I said it first," claimed Nora. "And besides, wealready have two boys in our building and only one girl. If Russell gets a sister, there will be two girls and two boys."
"Nobody will know till the new baby is born, and that won't be until next month."
The next several days the children thought about possible names for the new baby. They called out suggestions whenever they thought of them, as if they were guessing the secret identity of Rumpelstiltskin.
"How about Snow White, because there is snow on the ground?" offered Nora.
"That snow is dirty," said Teddy, looking out the window. "The baby should be named George Washington, because that is a famous name."
Now that she knew about the baby growing inside Mrs. Michaels, Nora was terribly impatient for it to come out. A month seemed a long time to wait for a baby. It was like waiting for your birthday, and, as Mommy pointed out, it was exactly that: waiting for a birth day.
One Sunday morning Nora and Teddy woke up to discover that there was a strange bundle of blankets in the middle of their bedroom floor.
A small head was poking from it.
"Russell! You came to play early," shouted Teddy with delight. This was a wonderful surprise.
Russell woke rubbing his eyes. He seemed surprised too, just as surprised as Nora and Teddy.
Then the bedroom door opened. It was Mommy, with a big smile on her face. She hugged Russell and asked him, "Do you remember when your daddy brought you here in the middle of the night?"
"Where is my mommy?" asked Russell. He looked as if he was deciding whether or not he should cry.
"She is at the hospital with your daddy, and they will phone us as soon as the baby is born." Mommy smiled at Russell. "How would you like to help me make pancakes for breakfast?"
After breakfast, Russell was restless. He moved from the building blocks to the farm animals to the Play-Doh after just a couple of minutes at each. He kept running to the door to hear if his mother was coming. Nora and Teddy did their best to amuse him, but he did not want to play. Mommy said she would read a story to them. She was only on the second page when the telephone rang.
It was Russell's father with the exciting news: Russell had a baby sister named Elisa. Even Teddy rejoiced, though the baby wasn't a boy.
"Russell," said Nora, "we must go tell everyone!" Mommy agreed. So, carried away by Nora's excitement and determination to spread the news to all their neighbors, Teddy and Russell followed her.
First they went to Anita, who lived next door.
"Guess what!" demanded Nora when the door opened to their ring. And then before Anita could make even one guess, Nora said, "Russell has a new sister named Elisa." Anita smiled sleepily and congratulated Russell.
The children said good-bye and took the elevator up to the eighth floor. They rang the bell of Mrs. Wurmbrand. She was over eighty-five years old and walked slowly, so they had to wait a couple of minutes till she came to the door.
"Guess what!" said Nora.
"Is it trick or treat time again?" said their old friend, smiling.
"No!" Nora laughed. "Russell has a baby sister. She's a girl named Elisa."
"What lovely news and what a beautiful name!" said Mrs. Wurmbrand. "Don't go away," she instructed the children, and she went back into her apartment. When she returned she was holding three chocolate bars.
"This is for the celebration of such a wonderful event, " she said. "But I think you should save them till after lunch."
They thanked Mrs. Wurmbrand and said good-bye. Then they rang the bell of her next-door neighbor, Mrs. Ellsworth. Nora used to call her Mrs. Mind-Your-Own-Business because she never did. But recently they had become special friends.
The door opened and, looking out, Mrs. Ellsworth said, "Nora, what are you up to now?" So Nora told her the good news.New Neighbors for Nora. Copyright � by Johanna Hurwitz. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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