I'd ordered Gooney Bird and All Her Charms with my 6 year old niece in mind. I've been collecting books to send her and I expect that this will go over well. It's my first time to read a Lois Lowry Gooney Bird adventure and it's an easy series to enjoy.
Gooney Bird loves hats, glasses, dressing up, but in a way that reminded me a bit of Pippi Longstocking because she chooses her accessories with a sense of fun and purpose. She has a serious hat that she wears for important meetings - such as her meetings with the librarian, the school principal, etc. She's not shy but she's not pushy either. She speaks her mind but listens to her classmates. She's comfortable with the limelight but doesn't have to always be the star. She's the active, self assured, funny girl that I imagine young girls would love to spend time with, befriend, emulate.
In this particular story, Gooney Bird's second grade class is studying the human body. Gooney Bird's great uncle lends the class a skeleton as a teaching aid and the students gradually adjust to having a skeleton and are excited to share what they learn about the different systems of the body. The book mixes the biology lessons with humor - and does this very well. The second grade class covers the nervous system, the digestive system, the circulatory system, the respiratory system, skeletal system, and muscular system with humor and a way that kids would understand. The new teaching tool does have a strong opponent and a disaster of sorts that requires teamwork from all the classmates to resolve.
The one thing that I didn't enjoy was how the Keiko, the young Japanese American girl, was always scared, worried, easily upset. I'd much rather have a Japanese girl with a samurai spirit instead of a scared nervous and hyper feminine type.
I look forward to reading the other books in the series and sharing this with my niece Sofia.
About the Author:
Lois Lowry is the author of more than thirty books for young adults, including the popular Anastasia Krupnik series. She has received countless honors, among them the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award, the California Young Reader’s Medal, and the Mark Twain Award. She received Newbery Medals for two of her novels, NUMBER THE STARS and THE GIVER. Her first novel, A SUMMER TO DIE, was awarded the International Reading Association’s Children’s Book Award. Ms. Lowry now divides her time between Cambridge and an 1840s farmhouse in Maine. To learn more about Lois Lowry, see her website at www.loislowry.com.