Book Buddies 1: Ivy Lost and Found by Cynthia Lord, illustrations by Stephanie Graegin, 68 pp, RL 2


Book Buddies 1: Ivy Lost and Found 

by Cynthia Lord

illustrations by Stephanie Graegin

Review Copy from Candlewick Press

Book Buddies hits a sweet spot for me - both the kid reader I was and the adult who wants to put great books into the hands of young readers. As a kid, I loved reading books that had dolls as characters. As an adult, I love books that offer moments of social-emotional learning for young readers and this book has both. AND it has stellar illustrations by Graegin!

The series title refers to all the dolls and stuffed animals librarian Annie has added to her library for readers to check out. Along with Lilyanna, a doll in princess garb, a stuffed owl, a black bear, a flying squirrel, a mother chicken and her chick and a tiny mouse in an acorn cap (a Christmas ornament named Marco Polo, who is the star of the next book in this series!) As Ivy Lost and Found begins, readers learn that Ivy was a gift to Anne when she was a girl. Newly rediscovered, Ivy has been retrieved from a box in Anne's mother's attic and is filled with all kinds of feelings, from being forgotten to being nervous about her new life.

At the insistence of her younger step-sister Sophie, who, along with little brother Ethan checks out Lilyanna and Piper, the flying squirrel, Fern checks out Ivy, insisting that she doesn't like to play with dolls. Back at her father and step-mother's home, where she visits during vacations, Fern struggles to feel like she has a place in this new family, where she has to share everything with her step-siblings, including her father. Ivy, feeling forgotten by Anne and wishing they could return to the days when Anne took her everywhere and made clothes for her, Ivy realizes she and Fern have something in common - just as she and Piper find themselves stuck in a tree and forgotten in the backyard as a storm approaches.

Lord offers a superb resolution to her story, one that allows Fern the opportunity to tell her father how she feels, be heard by her father and find some real solutions. Ivy is also able to resolve her feelings over being forgotten by Anne and appreciate the new connections she is making, both with her fellow Book Buddies, and with new children.

For more books with anthropomorphic toys, don't miss the excellent chapter book trilogy (plus a bonus picture book) by Emily Jenkins, illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky AND the superb DOLL PEOPLE Quartet (also with a bonus picture book)! 

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