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Review of Misty

dencer_mistyMisty [Stanley & Me]
by Christine Dencer; illus. by Jessica Meserve
Primary   Simply Read   32 pp.
2/15   978-1-927018-59-0   $12.95

The first title in this new beginning reader series introduces Sophie and Stanley, neighbors and best friends. Four cumulative chapters tackle the friendship’s first obstacle, Stanley’s new dog Misty. “I would like to play in Stanley’s yard,” says Sophie, “but I am afraid of his dog.” The pair plays in Sophie’s yard instead, temporarily solving the problem, until one day Stanley hurts his arm. Sophie’s class entrusts her to deliver their get-well card to him, which means getting past Misty. The illustrations, with their long lines and soft washes of color along with purposeful layouts and perspective shifts, reinforce the story line while also bringing emotion and resonance to the easy-reader first-person text. Stanley calls out encouragement from his window, and Sophie finally braves the trip into Misty’s territory for her friend. While the picture she drew on Stanley’s card of them playing together — with Misty — is not yet the reality, she has found some initial courage. This gentle story suggests the beginning of a supportive multi-volume friendship.

From the May/June 2015 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Julie Roach About Julie Roach

Julie Roach manages youth services at the Cambridge Public Library in Massachusetts. She also teaches children’s literature at Simmons College’s Graduate School of Library and Information Science and at Lesley University.

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