Thursday, September 1, 2016

Hannah and Sugar

As I mentioned in my previous post, there was one book this summer that was on repeat like no other -- being read time and time again, and being discussed even when we were away from it. And that book was Hannah and Sugar by Kate Berube (Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2016).

Plot: When Hannah gets off the school bus each day, Sugar is there, waiting for Violet P. As gentle as Sugar is, Hannah is nervous around her, and always keeps her distance. But when Sugar goes missing, Hannah joins in the search. She thinks about how scary it would be to be lost and, in one unexpected moment, she musters up some very real courage to bring about a happy ending.

I think there are two main reasons why this book has become such a favorite in our household: its simplicity and its art. The story's concept is relatable and compelling -- many kids are nervous around dogs, and pets sometimes go missing. Berube's moderate and purposeful word choice for telling the story makes it easy for very young children to understand, but the older ones get wrapped up in the conflict, as well. And its subtle messages of understanding adults, community support, and an act of bravery make this simple story quite powerful.

Couple all that wonderfulness with beautiful art, and this book is the whole package. With ink and paint, Berube has created sweet, relatable, beautiful, moving illustrations that add to the story's drama. As an adult, I enjoy the details and sweet scenes as much as my kids.

Hannah and Sugar is that special type of book that appeals to a great range of ages, and I love hearing my toddler flip through the pages and mimick reading the book based on clues from the art. It is a book that lends itself to repeat reading, and I imagine it will have success for years to come.

If you haven't had a chance to read this one yet, I hope you will do so soon! Happy reading!


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