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Monday, July 15, 2013

The Stella Batts Series

This week I am going all themey-like on you guys--it's children's book week! Since I have so many friends who are popping out small humans as of late, I wanted to make sure everyone knows how thrilled I am that they are passing down their awesomeness. What better way to do this than to dedicate a whole week to children's books for a variety of ages?

Ladies and jellybeans, I have a new love. Her name is Stella Batts; she's eight years old, precocious as anything, and utterly magnificent.

Stella Batts, by Courtney Sheinmel and illustrated by Jennifer A. Bell, lives with her mother, father, sister, and soon-to-be-born baby brother in California. Her father runs a candy store, Batts Confections, and her bestest friend in the world is Willa.

In Stella Batts Needs a New Name, we are introduced to Stella and her younger sister, Penny. Stella decides to write her autobiography, and this is where we begin. We learn about Stella's family dynamics, we accompany her on a class field trip to her father's candy store, and we witness Stella deal with being bullied by a classmate who calls her "Smella". When the bullying gets to be too much, Stella decides to choose a new name for herself--but can she learn that her name is exactly what she needs?

In Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow, Stella is so excited about the new gum at Batts Confections (it's glow in the dark--you would be too!) that she chews it late into the night regardless of her parents' instructions to the contrary. She wakes up in the morning with gum in her hair, and she decides to take action by cutting it out, hoping her parents won't notice. Oh no! This only increases the teasing from the bully at school. Just when Stella thinks things can't get worse, her best friend Willa announces she is moving clear across the country. Can Stella weather these storms, or will they make her hide under the covers forever?

I had the pleasure of meeting Courtney at Book Expo America this year, and I have to tell you, she is as lovely as her books.

I was not exaggerating when I said that I am in love. From, like, page five of the first book I was sold on Stella, and I only grew more fond of her as the books went on. I can not wait to pick up these books for the young ladies in my life--they are perfect for upper elementary readers, even as young as  7 or 8 if you have an advanced reader on your hands. I loved the characters, all of Stella's friends and even Joshua, the class bully. The stories are super appropriate for young readers and they all have a moral without being preachy. I would have enjoyed these books immensely as a young girl.

I can't wait for you to read these for yourself and grow to love Stella as much as I do!

Stella Batts Needs a New Name (Kindle on left, hard copy on right):

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow (Kindle on left, hard copy on right):

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