Thursday, September 29, 2022

Early Readers: Book Buddies - "Ivy Lost and Found" & "Marco Polo Brave Explorer" [Review & Giveaway]

Ivy Lost and Found (Book Buddies #1) by Cynthia Lord & illustrated by  Stephanie Graegin

My thoughts: 
Absolutely adorable. Chapter books of appropriate story line, language, and comprehension that are entertainingly engageable are treasures to be sought. I believe the Book Buddies stories fit this and that they will bring joy to young readers.

Written with the grade 1 to 4 child in mind, they are illustrated with pencil drawings which are soft, cute, and interesting. I think children will totally enjoy holding and reading these sweet books.

In Ivy Lost and Found we find that Anne, the little girl in the story, has a beloved doll named Ivy. Anne grows up and Ivy is placed in a box in the attic. Later we find that Anne has grown to be an adult librarian and brings Ivy to the library to be placed on the shelf of "Book Buddies." This particular library has a toy lending area where children can borrow books and toys.

Toy lending libraries are a wonderful way to provide toys to children whose families don't have the financial means to give them toys with which to play. It is also a way gently used toys can find new homes. I highly approve this idea.

The sweet story reads with a gentle flow of words that will be familiar and yet a challenge to readers. I really look forward to seeing more from this author and illustrator in the series of "Book Buddies" and perhaps other young reader chapter books. Read a sample chapter  View/download activity kit 

About the book: A lonely doll helps a child adjust to a blended family in the first of a charming series about library toys and the children who borrow them, written by Newbery Honoree Cynthia Lord.

Ivy was Anne the librarian's doll when she was a young girl. But now she has moved to Anne's library to be its newest Book Buddy--a toy that can be checked out just like a book. Ivy isn't sure she wants to be borrowed, though. She'd rather go back to just being Anne's favorite toy. Fern, a child who visits the library with her stepfamily, also wishes things could go back to the way they were, when Fern had her dad all to herself. When Fern takes Ivy home, an unexpected outdoor adventure helps both of them find confidence and belonging in their changing worlds. This heartwarming story by Cynthia Lord, with a classic feel and gentle illustrations by Stephanie Graegin, is the first in a chapter-book series that pairs friendly toys with child characters who need them. 

Marco Polo Brave Explorer (Book Buddies #2) by Cynthia Lord & illustrated by Stephanie Graegin 

My thoughts:   
In Marco Polo Brave Explorer we have a very small felt mouse designed to be a Christmas tree ornament and is just the right size to keep tucked away in a pocket or little purse. He was Anne the Librarian's when she was a child and had been tucked away in a box in the attic when Anne had outgrown her toys.

Now as an adult and a librarian, Anne has brought Marco Polo the felt mouse Christmas ornament to the library to sit up on the "Book Buddies" shelf. He has a special role he plays in helping a little boy go to a sleepover and overcome his fear of being away from home.

Anne the librarian seems to know just which "Book Buddie" to match the children with and Marco Polo is a fine match for Seth. 

This is a simply delightful story and involves a family cat that has mischievously hidden a trove of items in his stash. Will Seth find Marco Polo without revealing to his friends that he needed to bring his "comfort toy" to the sleepover?

About the book: Can an intrepid toy mouse help a child venture out of his comfort zone? Book Two of an endearing illustrated series about friendly library toys and the children who borrow them.

Marco Polo is a retired Christmas ornament, but in his mind he is a great mouse explorer. Because he’s tiny and likely to be lost, he is the least-borrowed of the Book Buddies—toys that children can check out of the library just like a book—and he almost never leaves the library. But the little mouse finally meets the right match in Seth, a boy who is about to attend his first sleepover. If Seth were to bring the stuffed bunny he usually sleeps with, he’d risk being teased, but Marco Polo is the perfect size to hide away in his sleeping bag. Are both boy and mouse in for an unexpected adventure? Charmingly illustrated and offering a window into the secret life of toys (including a suspenseful glimpse at where all the household’s lost toys go), Marco Polo Brave Explorer explores common fears and quiet bravery and will leave readers eager for the next episode in the Book Buddies series. 

Begins September 29
Ends October 19 @ 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addresses only.
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. Winner's prize is provided and shipped directly to the winner by publisher or publicist. Chat With Vera is not responsible for lost or misdirected prizes.

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