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*Thimbleberry Stories* by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Maggie Kneen

Also by Cynthia Rylant:

Brownie and Pearl Get Dolled Up
Brownie and Pearl See the Sights
Brownie and Pearl Take a Dip
Mr. Putter and Tabby Spin the Yarn
Ludie's Life
Alligator Boy
Also illustrated by Maggie Kneen:

Halloween Kittens: A Lift-the-flap Book
Thimbleberry Stories
by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Maggie Kneen
Ages 5-7 64 pages Sandpiper August 2006 Paperback    

On Thimbleberry Lane, wild roses, daylilies and honeysuckle grow alongside cozy cottages. Laughter drifts from houses, and neighbors often stop over for a visit. Nigel Chipmunk is just one of the animals that live on Thimbleberry Lane, and not only does he live in the most beautiful place in the world, but he is surrounded by good friends.

Copper and Claudius live in the tall grasses of Moon Meadow. Mudpuppy lives down the road at Passalong Pond, and Little Owl lives a little higher up in Haymaker Hollow. Nigel is a homebody who enjoys ‘evening thinking’ in his gazebo, but he likes venturing out to meet his friends, too.

Nigel lives a simple life. He spends a lot of time tending to his bright blue house and taking long strolls through the flowers, but he always makes time for his friends. When Little Owl has trouble re-arranging his hollow, Nigel knows just what to do to solve the problem. When the first hummingbird moves into the area from the poppy gardens, Nigel makes him feel right at home.

Nigel and his friends may differ in personality, but they accept each other and understand how to make each other happy. Mudpuppy has finally learned what to feed Nigel on their boating adventures, and Claudius, the brown garter snake, knows how to have fun with his “fresh picked berries” when sharing them with Nigel and Copper.

Banners of flowers and berries top each page of text in Thimbleberry Stories. Rendered in watercolor on hot-pressed watercolor board, the illustrations show many of the beautiful areas surrounding Thimbleberry Lane. Dipper’s round home is set against a background of ferns and foxgloves. Mudpuppy lives near a pond teeming with lily pads and pink flowers, and Copper the swallowtail butterfly’s home is surrounded by a variety of bright colors.

Approximately fifteen pages in length, each of the four tales in Thimbleberry Stories tells of friendship and kindness. The stories demonstrate what it means to be a helpful friend and a thoughtful neighbor.

Cynthia Rylant grew up in West Virginia. A former librarian and teacher, Cynthia has completed Master’s Degrees in English and Library Science. She has received many awards for her writing, including a 1993 Newbery Award for Missing May.

Maggie Kneen was born in England. She has illustrated over thirty books for children including The Lonely Scarecrow and Some Pig! : A Charlotte’s Web Picture Book. She has also worked with churches and museums, where she helps record history with her architectural and archeological drawings.
Beginning readers book reviews for developing, emerging and fluent readers

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  Tanya Boudreau/2009 for curled up with a good kid's book  

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