With editors and agents making wish lists and identifying what they want in picture book manuscripts - quirky - humorous - few words - fast-paced, to name a few, it's nice to see author, Jodi Moore, following her muse and not the latest picture book trends. She's written a story that's quiet and nostalgic. Sometimes what makes a picture book a success is the message it brings to its young readers.
As a picture book author, a former children's literature book reviewer and director of a Pre-K, where I purchased over 1,000 picture books in my career, I'm proud to include a formal review of this wonderful book.
Good News Nelson
Nelson greets his customers every morning as he delivers newspapers. Most ask, “What’s the good news?” But not Mrs. Snodberry. She’s too cranky. She’s convinced the news is always bad. Each day, she picks up her newspaper and walks back into her house without so much as a hello for Nelson. But one Monday morning, Mrs. Snodberry scans the headlines and can’t believe her eyes. One hundred cats were abandoned in an old house. Clutching her own cat, she mumbles that no one cares. Nelson is left to ponder what he can do to help the cats, to prove Mrs. Snodberry wrong. An idea pops into his head when the shelter tells him they need newspapers to line the cats’ cages. Every day after that, when Nelson delivers the morning papers, he takes the old ones back and carts them to the shelter. Mrs. Snodberry notices his effort and presents him with a rickety wagon to help transport the newspapers. Nelson makes her realize that someone does care. He does, but the shelter is overrun with cats, so Nelson gets another idea. He takes their pictures and makes flyers to deliver with his papers. By the end of the week the cats are adopted, thanks to Nelson. He stops at Mrs. Snodberry’s to tell her, but she isn’t home. She’s at his house with a surprise.
This inspirational story of acts of kindness demonstrates how one child can make a difference in the lives of others. Thirty percent of the proceeds for this book go to The Humane Society to help animals in need. The stylized illustrations of Brendan Flannelly-King promote the feeling of neighborhood, community and caring.
BIBLIO: 2012, Story Pie Press, Ages 4-9, $14.99
REVIEWER: Gayle C. Krause
FORMAT: Picture Book
GOOD NEWS NELSON will be released on December 4, 2012 from Story Pie Press.