The Secret River - Absolutely wonderful! My daughter still yearns for picture books over chapter books with spot illustrations here and there, but she's old (and ridiculously bright) enough to want stories with more depth and substance than is to be found in shorter children's books intended for limited attention spans. This book is a fantastic bridge from child to kid literature. The entire family was enchanted by this sweet, mystical tale of a girl who wants to do her part to turn hard times into soft.
Blueberries for Sal - Grade for story: A+ Grade for illustrations: A+ Such a sweet story despite the fact that at least to the adult reader there's a sense of legitimate danger. After all, in real life not all bear-human interactions go quite so innocently. But this is a children's book, not an episode of beasts gone wild on Animal Planet, and quite a delightful book at that.