Big Mouth Elizabeth
by Rachel Vail ill by Paige Keiser
Creating chapter books for early readers is a challenge. Stories should present readers with an interesting dilemma, introduce engaging characters, and feature lively dialog. In addition, the narrative needs a controlled word count in terms of the number of words on the page as well as the amount of text requiring complex decoding skills.
Format requirements include large-sized font, plenty of white space on the page, illustrations which support the reader's understanding of the narrative, and short chapters.
That’s a tall order!
Rachel Vail is up to the task. Her mastery of this form of storytelling is evident in every page of this series.
Big Mouth Elizabeth, a continuation to the A is for Elizabeth series, delights readers with the exploits of a plucky second grader.
In this installment, several of her classmates lose a tooth. They form the Big Mouth Club, an exclusive group open only to students missing a tooth. Elizabeth does not qualify for membership.
Our little protagonist learns painful lessons about the effects of judging others, name-calling, and excluding individuals from your circle.
We are friends with everybody in the whole class.
It is not easy.
Keiser's line drawings capture the unique personalities of Elizabeth and her classmates in room 2B. Illustrations are brimming with vitality and charm.
Young readers may recognize a bit of themselves in this girl with a large attitude and definite opinions. Elizabeth is just the right mix of spunk, self-doubt, and honesty.
Shout out to the author and editor for making An A is for Elizabeth a series. More Elizabeth stories are planned. Hurrah!