Fun books for Kindergarten to Grade 5 kids are hard to find sometimes. David Michael Slater has written a good half-dozen, for Magic Wagon's Looking Glass Library: Seven Ate Nine, Ned Loses His Head, Missy Swiss, Flour Girl, The Sharpest Tool, and Comin' Through. There's a delightfully literal quality to some of them. Ned Loses His Head, for example, starts out as a story about a kid who is forgetful, and then becomes a wild romp when Ned does lose his head. Seven Ate Nine features talking numbers and, er, an unfortunate incident. A series of them, actually. Some of the other books tackle topics like being the new kid at school, wanting to be a hero, being the youngest (in this case, with talking tools), and how too many "cooks" can spoil a "recipe." It's very funny at times, and I can just see young kids giggling at the art and the situations.
Says Slater about his books, "The most enjoyable aspect of writing picture books for me is taking on the challenge of writing stories that will appeal to both children and adults. As the parent of a six-year-old, I know what it's like to have to read a book a few thousand times! It has been gratifying to hear back from adults who like the books as much as their kids."
All of the books are published in a handsome rectangular hardcover format with the art printed on the boards, schoolbook style. The art is lively and fun. And while Slater may cover some important topics for young children, he rarely preaches. Highly recommended for parents who are looking for good, wholesome, but never boring books for their kids. --Jeff