magical

Sweep

One part fantasy, one part historical fiction and three parts wonderful, Jonathan Auxier’s most recent release is a must-read. This story is filled with friendship, wonder, sadness and injustice; it has all the feels. Thankfully, it ends with large doses of hope and redemption. It’s the kind of book that brings the best kind of sigh at the end of the last page.

Nan, the main character, is smart and wise beyond her years. Since her Sweep left her, five years ago, she has a hard time letting anyone else in. When she finally meets Charlie, a gift from the Sweep, their friendship is sweet and fierce. They are characters that you can’t help but fall in love with and Charlie is the most endearing monster you will ever meet. They make a great team. The story moves along at a good clip, highlighting the plight of children sweeps, the wonder of new discoveries, and the joy of friendship.

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, the Classic and the Modern twist

I loved Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle stories when I was a kid. I love them as an adult too. Although I have to admit, reading them from a parent's viewpoint adds a whole new layer to these classic books. As a kid, I loved the cures Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle would use to heal children of "diseases" like selfishness, never-want-to-go-to-bedders, and fighter-quarreleritis. (Ah, if only!) Her cures felt so out-of-the box, extreme, and funny. As an adult, her cures feel a lot like using natural consequences to teach a lesson. (Hmm, I wonder if the author had an ulterior motive...)