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Monday, November 25, 2013

Stella Batts: A Case of the Meanies and Pardon Me

Happy Thanksgiving Week, everyone! 

In honor of the upcoming holiday season, I am featuring some fabulous children's books I have read as of late to help facilitate your small-person shopping. I urge you to visit your local bookstore (or the links below) to buy books for those in your life this season--the world is so much better with a good story. 

For my favorites for larger people, visit my blog birthday post for suggestions.

She's baaaack!!! It's my absolute favoritest in the world heroine, Stella Batts. I loved the first two books in the series so much that when I was given the offer to read her next two I am not even sure I breathed before shouting (through email), "YES!"

You may remember that in a previous book, Stella's best friend, Willa, moved away--across the country! Now, in Pardon Me, Stella is best-friend-less, and no one wants to be that. But finding a new best friend is harder than it looks. Stella's father introduces her to the new girl in town, Evie, and they become fast friends. Stella cannot wait to introduce Evie around school, but when they get there Stella learns that friendship is not always a closed-off event. Sometimes you must share friends.
In A Case of the Meanies, Joshua the mean kid is back with a vengeance--would you believe he didn't invite Stella to his birthday party? He invited everyone else in the class, and to make it worse, he is having it at Batts Confections! Stella wants to avoid the party altogether, but circumstances beyond anyone's control forces her to play hostess to her arch nemesis. Can Stella behave herself and be the bigger person?

Le sigh. These books are just the cat's pajamas. I love reading about Stella and her hijinks, but more than that I love the moral that comes out of each of these books. In Meanies, it turns out that the invitation never made it to Stella (because of Joshua!), but understanding that perception is reality for our heroine helps us learn that just because you are angry at someone doesn't mean that you shouldn't do what is right. In Pardon Me, Stella must learn that friendship isn't as black and white as she believes it or wants it to be.

These are hard lessons for even adults to learn, and I love how they are addressed in these books with such pathos and ethos, in such an accessible way for children, particularly girls. Finding strong female protagonists who can serve as a role model for children as young as 7 or 8 is not an easy task, and I am so thankful for these books. I have a solid series that I can recommend to parents of young girls (and boys--let's not leave them out!), and that makes me the happiest camper on earth.

Thank you, Courtney, and please keep these coming!!!

Kindle versions on left, hard copies on right:

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