Farjeon, Eleanor. Elsie Piddock Skips In Her Sleep. Illus. by Charlotte Voake. Candlewick, 2017 (U.S. edition). 84p. $12. 978-0-7636-9055-7.
Originally published in 1937, this tale describes a young girl who is a whiz at skipping rope, which is a skill that later is essential in saving Elsie’s English country town. The story is told in two sections, with the text set down in chapters that a third grader could read without help. This hand-held chapter book edition of the classic short story is just right for transitional readers, and much preferred to the 2001 edition which was done as a large picture book. The illustrations in this new edition are lovely – light watercolors on every page – and are similar in style to the original book. The artwork and text is paired well, elaborating on the setting, time period, and characters. The illustrations were originally used in the 2000 picture book edition, but they work better in this small chapter book version. In the picture book, the artwork overwhelmed the text, and the text was too dense for the format. If a library needs replacement copies, this is an excellent choice. Recommend to readers who like books with fairies, or fans of Roald Dahl books.
Wilder, Laura Ingalls. The Little House Book of Wisdom. Harper, 2017. [62p.]. $12.99. 978-0-06-247078-2.
This small collection of quotations from Wilder’s various “Little House” books is more of a gift item than something for libraries. In fact, even as a gift, it is relatively skimpy, containing just 24 brief quotes. The book where a quote originated is mentioned, but no page number, and the generic illustrations don’t add much. Strictly for Wilder devotees.
Penny Peck, San Jose State University iSchool