When I first had the idea for this fabulous new feature, in which I (along with my collaborators here) try to help match up books and readers, I thought it was going to be nothing but nice, easy fun. People would write in, and magically I would think of just the right book, and we would all end the adventure happy and satisfied. What I didn't anticipate was that 1) (the harder side) I wouldn't be so exactly sure what the perfect book was, because I never quite know enough and 2) (the excellent side) I had no idea that readers would be so amazingly generous with their own super-powers of recommendation. It is all been quite pleasantly humbling.
At any rate, this week's subject wrote in with an intriguing situation:
an 8-year-old girl who is a very strong reader with a powerful desire to read books about animals, particularly guinea pigs (the mother opined that there were probably no guinea pig books she hadn't yet read). The child also vastly prefers books with pictures in them, and likes series. Oh, and in case you weren't feeling challenged (and were leaning toward Watership Down) she's having a lot of nightmares now and the book can't be scary.
Here's what we came up with:
Diana is all for this one, and it is (can you believe it?) part of a series. It doesn't have illustrations, though (drat!) but the cover might make up for that. But just in case, here are the others we though of (it's summer after all, time for long happy trips to the library with nothing you have to read):
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
Chet Gecko by Bruce Hale (very silly detective series with animals and lots of illustrations)
I am sure that now everyone will have many more excellent possibilities. I am interested to see.
Oops, and an update: if for any reason you have missed them, absolutely read the animal books that started it all: the amazing E.B.White books: Stuart Little, The Trumpet of the Swan, and Charlotte's Web, all of which have glorious illustrations.