On Thursday, January 1st, the short lists for the Children's and Young Adult Bloggers' Literary Awards (the Cybils) will be announced. I've been working on the nominating panel in the Easy Reader category, and one book, of many, that I enjoyed was Maybelle Goes to Tea. Here's my take.
Bedecked in a pink bow and a string of pearls, Maybelle is one proper cockroach. Proper cockroach? Hey, why not? With her list of rules ("If you're spied, better hide"), she does everything possible to avoid an Extermination Event at the home of the equally proper Peabodys. But on the day of the Ladies' Tea, decorum flies out the window, and one adventure after another ensues. Newly independent readers, and children listening to a read-aloud, will get a kick out of Katie Speck's original and amusing story, which she tells in thirteen short chapters. Paul Rátz de Tagyos's whimsical illustrations, of the unlikely heroine and her insect friends, add to the insouciant fun.