Katie Weaver

Kit Kitteredge, the newest nine-year-old character of the American Girl historical fiction series will introduce girls across the country to the world of the 1930s. Growing up in Cincinnati, Ohio, during the Great Depression, Kit reveals a time in America when jobs were scarce, families fell on hard times, and Americans banded together to help those in need.

Meet Kit and Kit Learns a Lesson are the first of a series of six books that are intended to give girls ranging from ages 7Ð12 a compassionate view of an important time in American history. Joining her fellow American Girl characters, Kit will have a namesake doll as well as an array of historically accurate clothing and accessories, giving girls a realistic view of the 1930s.

Kit's story starts in Cincinnati in 1932, when the Depression and unemployment were in full swing. Kit's father loses his job, and the family turns their home into a boarding house to help ends meet. Although everyone pitches in, Kit's family still encounters emotional and financial difficulties. Kit is a spunky girl who learns through experience and observation what it means to struggle, survive, and feel deep compassion for others. Kit and her family are forced to rely on their own inventiveness and strength as well as their ability to work together to survive the harsh reality of the Great Depression.

In the second book, Kit's Surprise (released this month as well), Kit is full of hope that her dad will find a job. But when Kit and her friends deliver a Thanksgiving food basket to a soup kitchen, she learns a lesson about how much the Depression has changed her life and what it truly means to be thankful.

To introduce readers to Kit, American Girl is sponsoring a Kit's Care and Share Party, a program to raise funds for charities that benefit children. As part of the campaign, American Girl will encourage the spirit of giving as well as community awareness through Kit's Can-Do Challenge, which is a national food drive, running September 15ÐNovember 22. Those interested in donating food are invited to support their local food pantries and then track the progress at www.americangirl.com.

Three more Kit adventures will follow in 2001.

Katie McAllaster Weaver writes from her home in Benicia where she can often be found meeting new people, learning lessons and feeling thankful.

Kit Kitteredge, the newest nine-year-old character of the American Girl historical fiction series will introduce girls across the country to the world of the 1930s. Growing up in Cincinnati, Ohio, during the Great Depression, Kit reveals a time in America when jobs were scarce, families fell on hard times, and Americans banded together to help […]

Rabbits are soft, hedgehogs are prickly. Rabbits are vegetarians, hedgehogs eat slugs. Rabbits sleep in gloomy and damp burrows, hedgehogs sleep in the wide open where it's frightening and noisy. So what happens when you put such opposites like Rabbit and Hedgehog in the same book? Why, they become best friends, of course. At least that's what happens when author Paul Stewart and illustrator Chris Riddell combine forces in The Birthday Presents.

Rabbit and Hedgehog have been best friends ever since the debut of Paul Stewart's A Little Bit of Winter. Now these contrasting characters team up in a second Rabbit and Hedgehog story. Although they are best friends, neither knows the dates of each other's birthdays. Actually, they haven't a clue when their own birthdays are, either. Sound like a problem? Not for Rabbit and Hedgehog. They do what any present-minded child might do in this situation: They improvise.

Let's celebrate our birthdays tomorrow.

But they might not be tomorrow, said Rabbit.

But they might be, said Hedgehog. It would be a shame to miss them if they are.

You're right, said Rabbit. That's a good idea.

With their first conflict resolved, these best friends are met with the problem of what to give each other. After careful consideration, both friends come up with what they think is a suitable gift for their very best friend. Hedgehog thinks Rabbit might be afraid of his very, very dark burrow. So Hedgehog brings his friend moonlight in a bottle to light up his night. Rabbit thinks Hedgehog might be disturbed by the bright, noisy day so he gives Hedgehog a box of coziness. Fortunately, both presents end up being perfect, although not in the way that was originally intended.

Stewart takes a subject that any child can identify with and gives it a sweetness that leaves the reader feeling satisfied. With tenderhearted humor, Stewart shows that friends even ones who are so different can always give the gift of friendship. Riddell's warm, friendly illustrations go hand in hand with the gentle text, just like a good friendship, making this book a wonderful gift for birthdays or any day.

 

Katie McAllaster Weaver writes from her home in Benicia, California, where she often makes up the date of her birthday.

Rabbits are soft, hedgehogs are prickly. Rabbits are vegetarians, hedgehogs eat slugs. Rabbits sleep in gloomy and damp burrows, hedgehogs sleep in the wide open where it's frightening and noisy. So what happens when you put such opposites like Rabbit and Hedgehog in the same book? Why, they become best friends, of course. At least […]

The Bravest Ever Bear has everything a good story should have: a bear, a dragon, a princess, a wolf, a troll, even a penguin and a sausage. With silly twists and characters contradicting each other even complaining to the reader this is the kind of anti-fairy tale kids will want to hear again and again. Allan Ahlberg takes a group of familiar fairy tale characters, each telling their own story, until the bravest ever bear gets fed up and decides to tell his story. Once upon a time there was a perfect bear. This bear did lots of brave things. After slaying a dragon, winning a refrigerator (and a living room set), the bear meets his princess. From there, the characters really take over, each making the story their own. Paul Howard's playful illustrations are sure to keep even those easily distracted readers eagerly awaiting the next page. It's obvious that both the author and illustrator had fun with this book, as will the reader.

Just in case you're wary of another same old fairy tale, The Bravest Ever Bear offers several stories wrapped up in one, with twists, turns, and restarts on every page. For those who love fairy tales, or those who might be looking for something new, The Bravest Ever Bear makes for one fun story at bedtime or any time. The last story wraps it all up with, The Bed. Once upon a time there was a bed . . . with a bear in it. Ê Good! the bear tells us. The End. And he drifts off to sleep. But of course, the penguin has plans of his own! Katie McAllaster Weaver writes from her home in Benicia, California.

The Bravest Ever Bear has everything a good story should have: a bear, a dragon, a princess, a wolf, a troll, even a penguin and a sausage. With silly twists and characters contradicting each other even complaining to the reader this is the kind of anti-fairy tale kids will want to hear again and again. […]

Valentine's Day is fast approaching, and what better gift for kissers of all ages than A Book of Kisses? There are all kinds of kisses in the world, begins the book, as author Dave Ross takes a lighthearted, yet affectionate look at a variety of kisses.

And at long last, some of them have names. Some are obvious, such as Sick-in-bed kisses, and Good morning kisses, while others have multiple names, like Brother and sister kisses, otherwise known as Ew yuck! kisses. With just the right amount of humor, Laura Rader's illustrations add warmth and affection to the already fun text. Although the adults might enjoy the sentiment, the kids will no doubt enjoy the added giggles in Rader's drawings, such as the comic book tucked behind the pillow in the Turning-out-the-light kisses. For the young and not-so-young alike who might be leery of a book full of smooches, this well-suited author/illustrator team knows that kisses come in various forms, such as Tummy kisses and Underwater kisses. This lip-smacking picture book is sealed with kisses from around the world, a kisu (Japanese), a busu (Swahili), and a pog (Gaelic). For those looking to avoid a trip to the dentist, this book and a kiss in any language would make a very sweet Valentine's Day present.

Katie McAllaster Weaver is a children's writer and mother in Benicia, California.

Valentine's Day is fast approaching, and what better gift for kissers of all ages than A Book of Kisses? There are all kinds of kisses in the world, begins the book, as author Dave Ross takes a lighthearted, yet affectionate look at a variety of kisses. And at long last, some of them have names. […]

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