Skip to main content

Daisy Dawson is on Her Way! by Steve Voake, illustrations by Jessica Meserve, 98pp RL 2

First reviewed on 3/9/09, Daisy Dawson remains perfect in every way. She is a thoughtful, brave, kind person who can talk to animals and the books about her are the ideal refuge for readers (and parents) who are tired of sassy girl characters and oafish boy characters. And the illustrations are as charming as the title character.

Daisy Dawson is on Her Way! by Steve Voake, perfectly illustrated by Jessica Messerve, is exactly the kind of book I wish there were more of in the world of beginning reader chapter books - a beautifully illustrated, interesting story that is under 100 pages and just right for kids who are tired of Junie B Jones and the Magic Tree House and ready to move one.  Although it is ninety-eight pages and six chapters in all, Daisy Dawson is on Her Way! is probably about fifty pages of text, with generous, charming illustrations on almost every page. In addition to being just the right length, Daisy Dawson is on Her Way! has a great plot with a nice twist at the end. 

When we first meet Daisy, her mother is reminding her not to dawdle on her way to school because she was late three times last week. That means she had been on time two times, not too bad, Daisy thinks to herself, as she stops to move a worm out of the path. Daisy can't help it, she dawdles. Her next stop is to rescue a beautiful yellow butterfly from a spider's web. As it is flying to freedom, the butterfly's wing brushes Daisy's cheek and she feels a warm, sparkly fizzy feeling rush through her body. She continues on her way, next stopping to talk to the old bloodhound who lives in a field with a tumble-down barn and a white mare. Daisy pulls out the ham sandwich she brought to share with him and calls him over. When he arrives he says, "Good morning. What's on the menu today?" Then he informs Daisy that his name is Boom, not Rover. Daisy is shocked!

It seems as though the butterfly's touch has given Daisy the ability to talk to animals. There is a very funny scene at school when she overhears two escaped gerbils rhapsodizing on the joys of Cheesy Cheddars and convinces them to return to their cage in exchange for two Cheesy Whatsits. She also talks to a lost ant while waiting in the principal's office and helps him to find his colony. But, the climax of the story is the disappearance Boom and Daisy, Cyril the Squirrel and Meadowsweet the Horse's plan to rescue him. The twist at the end comes when, the day after the rescue, Daisy thinks she has lost her ability to talk to animals...

But, fear not! Daisy still has her special ability and in her next book, Daisy Dawson and the Secret Pond, she uses it to talk to a pair of shy otters. This book is available in paperback and is guaranteed to be a hit with any girl who is reading at a high first grade or second grade level. Book Three, Daisy Dawson and the Big Freeze comes out this fall.  I can't wait for Daisy Dawson and her adventures to begin taking up more shelf space in the beginning reader's section at the bookstore!

Daisy Dawson on the Farm is the newest title in the series!

Readers who enjoyed this book might also like:

Travels with My Family by Mary Louise Gay
The Lighthouse Family by Cynthia Rylant
Catwings by Ursula LeGuin
The Amazing World of Stuart by Sara Pennypacker


Popular posts from this blog

Made by Dad: 67 Blueprints for Making Cool Stuff - Projects You Can Build For (and With) Kids! by Scott Bedford

On his personal website, Scott Bedforddescribes himself as an "Award Winning Online Creative Professional" working within the advertising and design industry. What is more interesting (and applicable here) is how hisWhat I Made website came to be. While sitting in a Starbucks with his restless young sons, trying to enjoy his latte, Bedford created something out of coffee stir sticks that ended up keeping his boys entertained, finishing his coffee in peace and sparking (re-sparking, really) his creative drive and reminding him of the "enormous joy gained from making things, even simple things, and that this joy is not the complexity or quality of the finished project but in the process of making itself. On Bedford'sWhat I Made website, he even shares Six Cool Coffee Shop Crafts for Kidsthat you can try out next time you want to enjoy your coffee and your kids are making that difficult. I've shared two below - be sure to check out the website and see the rest!


POP-UP: Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book, paper engineering by Ruth Wickings, illustrations by Frances Castle RL: All ages

POP-UP:  Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book with paper engineering by Ruth Wickings and illustrations by Frances Castle is THE COOLEST BOOK EVER!!!  I know that I haven't dedicated much time to pop-up books here, but they have always held a special place in my heart, and the phrase "paper engineering" is a favorite of mine. Although I didn't know what it was at the time, I did go through a paper engineering phase when I was ten or so. I would sneak off to the back of the classroom during independent work periods and go to town on the construction paper and glue and make these little free-standing dioramas. A huge fan of The Muppet Show (the original), I reconstructed the all-baby orchestra from an episode, drawing and coloring each baby and his/her instrument then gluing them onto a 3D orchestra section I had crafted out of brown construction paper.  I also made a 3D version of Snidely Whiplash throwing Nell off a cliff with Dudley Do-Right wa…

The Seeing Stick, written by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Daniela J Terrazini

The Seeing Stick is an original Chinese fairy tale written by the prolific (and prolifically award winning) Jane Yolen. First published in 1977 with illustrations by Remy Charlip (author and illustrator of the brilliantly fun picture book Fortunately and friend and muse to Brian Selznick, who asked him to pose as George Méliès while he was working on the Caldecott winning The Invention of Hugo CabretThe Seeing Stick was reissued with new illustrations by Daniela J. Terrazini in 2009. I have not seen Charlip's version, but Terrazini's is a beautiful work of art and the book itself is yet another magnificently packaged book published by Running Press, the house that brought us Steven Arntson's The Wikkeling, yet another superbly and uniquely packaged children's book with artwork by Terrazini. Interestingly, both The Wikkeling and The Seeing Stick were designed by Frances J Soo Ping Chow.

The Seeing Stick begins, "Once in the ancient walled citadel of Peking there l…