Gracie’s Special Reading List…“Frugal Seeds Christmas Edition” by Charlie Lee Austin

Gracie’s Special Reading List

“Gracie’s Special Reading List” shares self-published or independently published books, often by authors who have sites here at WordPress. This is to promote other indie writers with something valuable to contribute.

Unlike our other book posts, this one by Charlie Lee Austin is the first non-fiction eBook. This is a change for my chickens and I, but it is a good change because this book is filled with inexpensive ideas for celebrating Christmas.

You might think of this book as a collection of shiny Christmas ornaments all in a big box which someone has collected over the years. You can examine them and choose the ones which seem right and best for you depending on your particular needs. Keep in mind, the eBook is 892 pages long, and so it would be nearly impossible to do everything! But there are sparkling ideas to try.

One of our favorite ideas, a giving kind of idea, came at the end of the book. My chickens and I enjoyed this because we live in the Tidewater area of Virginia which is home to many of our active and retired service members from all branches. (Our home city of Portsmouth is designated as an “Official Coast Guard City” and is also home of the Norfolk Naval Shipyard.)

“Frugal Seeds Christmas Edition” is free if you have Kindle Unlimited (which I don’t), but it is also available as a purchased eBook or paperback through Amazon.

Charlie blogs at Simply Chronically Ill and provides inspirational posts for a large number of readers affected by a wide variety of conditions. Charlie’s posts are always positive and encouraging.

Just so you know, “My Life With Gracie” isn’t getting anything from sharing any of these books with you. We don’t collect anything if you click the Amazon links here. Some websites work that way, but for us, it’s about supporting independent writers even when it’s not what we write!

Gracie’s Special Reading List…“A Year Before Christmas” by Cathy Cade

Gracie’s Special Reading List
“Gracie’s Special Reading List” shares self-published or independently published books, often by authors who have sites here at WordPress. This is to promote other indie writers who also have something valuable to contribute.

Unlike our other book posts, this one will not have a full review from my chickens because I’m saving it to be their Christmas Eve story. But I did share this description with them from the back of the book:

Emmie the Elf works hard, running errands and sweeping out reindeer stalls, but Santa’s newest helper still finds herself grounded on Christmas Eve. Can Emmie prove she’s capable of higher things in time for next Christmas?

“A Year Before Christmas” by Cathy Cade

Here are their first impressions based on just the small amount of information I’ve given them.

“I am eager to hear this story on Christmas Eve. We did get a sneak peak of the Dedication Page, and we all agreed that Digger is adorable.” Gracie

“Yes, the Dedication Page said Digger wasn’t afraid of Christmas crackers. At first I thought it would be silly to be afraid of crackers. You just eat them, but then I learned that Christmas crackers mean something completely different in England where Digger and the author live.” Bessie

“It sounds like Emmie and I have a lot in common. I can do more than what others think I can do. I was able to sneak a peak inside the book and there was a funny looking guy wearing sunglasses and a hat. You know I’m going to love hearing all about that because I love hats and costumes!” Pearl

“Emmie’s name sounds a lot like mine, so I know I will enjoy this story. The part about cleaning out reindeer stalls sounds icky. Ew! But I’ll bet she still does it in a very lady-like way.” Emily

“There are supposed to be flying things in this story, so I’m really looking forward to learning about them and about faraway places like the North Pole. I also like that this is a story told as a poem. I like poetry. A lot.” Amelia

“A Year Before Christmas” is available through Amazon in the U.S. and  Amazon in the UK and would make a great stocking-stuffer gift.

Cathy is one of several writers in the same writing group named The Whittlesey Wordsmiths, and many have websites. You can find Cathy at “Writing Wrinkles” and her friends Wendy at “Wendy Wordsmith” and Phil at “Fenland Phil’s Blog”. Take some time to visit their writing websites because I think you will enjoy them.

The Whittlesey Wordsmiths have also published other books on Amazon, so you may want to do a search there for “Whittlesey Wordsmiths” to view all of their books.

Just so you know, “My Life With Gracie” isn’t getting anything from sharing any of these books with you. We don’t collect anything if you click the Amazon links here. Some websites work that way, but for us, it’s about supporting independent writers even when it’s not what we write! Best wishes to all of the Whittlesey Wordsmiths!

Gracie’s Special Reading List…“The Railway Carriage Child” by Wendy Fletcher

The Railroad Carriage Child

“Gracie’s Special Reading List” is for self-published or independently published books, often by authors who have sites here at WordPress. (This particular book is more for adult readers, but my chickens did enjoy the parts which I shared with them.)

Trains are like chickens. They both bring up memories of bygone days. When I meet someone and they find out I have chickens in my backyard, so often they will tell me about their own connection to chickens. Either they or a relative had backyard chickens when they were growing up. Just as many people have “a chicken story” to tell, many also have “a train story” to tell.

When I was growing up, the grandfather of a classmate owned a restaurant named The Virginia Diner. It started as a discarded railroad car and was added on to over the years. To eat at a table in the actual original car is still considered something special.

“Something special” also describes this book by Wendy Fletcher who grew up in a house made from two discarded Victorian railway carriages. Her unique voice as an author comes through beautifully on each page, and while reading, it is often easy to be carried away to a different time and place.

Although describes as a memoir, this book feels most like a conversation you might have with someone while rocking on their front porch. You hardly notice you have been transported to the past in Oxfordshire, England. Specific details are woven in when needed, and I never felt like I had received a huge “data dump” before the real story began. Instead, I was quickly immersed in a fascinating life with details added when helpful. I was always eager to read more, and yet I did not want the story to end.

“What is not to like about this book? There are chickens on the second page! You don’t get that with every book. Even the dedication page was interesting. Part of it read, ‘To Ian Bridge who met the ghost of Granny.’ That caught my attention. Especially since it is getting close to Halloween and we are having a ‘Scariest Halloween Costume Contest’ this year.” – Gracie

“I thought it was fascinating how they turned railroad cars into a house for people to live in. I wonder if anyone ever thought of doing that for chickens. It might not be a bad idea. Chickens like having fun houses too, you know!” – Bessie

“My favorite part was when Wendy’s mother would dress Wendy all in white, just like my feathers, and then Wendy and her father would go for a walk. Wendy loved to explore everywhere, and that was just like me! And sometimes when I go exploring, my white feathers get messy too. Like just this past Sunday when I got out and had fun being chased around the back yard. Nobody realized I knew exactly what I was doing. But I was grateful for being rescued, just like Wendy. – Pearl

“The wonderful photographs, particularly the one on the cover, were my favorite part. They really helped me imagine the story much better. I also liked the glossary at the end of the book. It explained words that were unique to the part of England where Wendy lives. Someone should maybe put a glossary of words in Chicken and English in our next book. (Hint. Hint.)” – Emily

“Wendy is a wonderful writer. It’s not easy for me to imagine what a person’s life is like, mostly because I am a chicken. So I only really know what a chicken’s life is like. But Wendy did a very nice job of making me feel like I was right there in her neighborhood with her.” – Amelia

“The Railway Carriage Child” is available through Amazon in the UK for roughly $20.00 U.S. This includes the cost of the book and shipping across the Atlantic. (Amazon Prime in the U.S. does not apply.) After the first few chapters, I felt I already had my money’s worth. This book is that good.

Wendy is one of several writers in the same writing group named The Whittlesey Wordsmiths, and many have websites. You can find Wendy at “Wendy Wordsmith” and her writing friends Cathy at “Writing Wrinkles” and Phil at “Fenland Phil’s Blog”. Take some time to visit their writing websites because I think you will enjoy them.

The Whittlesey Wordsmiths have also published an anthology of short stories and poems titled “Where The Wild Winds Blow.”

Cathy Cade, who first introduced me to these other authors through her “Writing Wrinkles” blog, has her own book titled “A Year Before Christmas” which just may be the next book on “Gracie’s Special Reading List”!

Just so you know, “My Life With Gracie” isn’t getting anything from sharing any of these books with you. We don’t collect anything if you click the Amazon UK links here. Some websites work that way, but for us, it’s about supporting independent writers even when it’s not what we write! Best wishes to all of the Whittlesey Wordsmiths!

Gracie’s Summer Reading List…“The Invention of Hugo Cabret” by Brian Selznick

This was our “vacation book” while taking time away from adding new stories and illustrations to “My Life With Gracie.” It is a perfect book for a vacation, even if it is only in your own backyard.

At first, my chickens didn’t realize this was a book. They had never seen a book this thick. They thought it was just something to stand on. As you may know, chickens like to stand on things, and the first thing my chickens ever stood on top of was a brick. This book is as thick as a brick. I’m not kidding. It is over two inches thick.

Don’t let the thickness fool you. This is not “War and Peace” or “Ulysses” for children. There are many pages with only pictures, and parts of the story are told only through pictures. Some pages are full of text, but others have only a short paragraph surrounded by white space. These all help with pacing. This is a brilliant combination of several book types: novel, picture book, and animated flip book.

While it is a substantial book, it is also a delightful book to read and to treasure. As you can see on the cover, it won a Caldecott medal which is intended for children’s picture books. This was the first novel to ever win a Caldecott medal because of its delightful pencil illustrations drawn by the author. (You can see part of one on the book jacket’s spine.)

“My favorite thing about this book is how the setting is Paris where they dance ballet. There are French words in this book too. All important ballet words are in French. Even though there wasn’t any dancing in this book, I did like the descriptions of the train station and the streets of Paris. My dream is to one day dance in the streets of Paris. This book is mostly about dreams, and it was written for dreamers. You may not know this, but I am a dreamer.” – Gracie

“I felt really sorry for the main character, Hugo. He lived all alone in the walls of a train station and he had no one to take care of him or cook for him. Sometimes he stole croissants to eat. If I knew how to bake croissants, I would make some for him. They do a lot of baking in France. If Gracie and I ever get to visit France, she will study ballet dancing and I will study baking. They do fun things like that in France all the time. I do wish there had been some birds in this story though. Did you know that a chicken, a rooster, is the national bird of France? I do hope we can visit France some day.” – Bessie

“Hugo was very clever, just like me. He collects things and put them together to make clocks and toys. (I collect scraps of fabric and paper and other things. I put them together and make hats.) Hugo even fixed a mechanical man that drew a picture! Most people don’t realize it, but chickens are fascinated by mechanical things. We study them and watch them move and try to figure them out. Isabelle was Hugo’s friend and she liked secrets, just like me. – Pearl

“The wonderful drawings were my favorite part of this book! They helped tell the story and helped me feel like I was right there in the story. I draw with chalk, and I paint with watercolors. The pictures in this book were drawn with pencil on watercolor paper. I will have to try that. This book was also about making movies. I think I might like to see a movie some day. Movies are pictures that move, and they must be quite remarkable if they can do that all by themselves.” – Emily

“Even though this was a book mostly about Hugo, things would have never worked out without Isabelle. She was smart. She was strong too, but also pretty. She read a lot of books. And some books she would read over and over again. I’m not sure I could do that much reading because there are so many real-life adventures I want to have instead, but I do want to read this book again. Anyway, Isabelle is a lot like me, except she reads words and I only read pictures.” – Amelia

“The Invention of Hugo Cabret” is suitable for ages 8 to 12 and is available through Barnes and Noble. The regular price is $24.99, however Barnes & Noble is offering it for considerably less. (Currently it is $19.99.) Summertime discount codes offer additional savings.

“Hugo” is the film adaptation of this novel, and like the book, it is also delightful and encourages dreamers of all ages.

Just so you know, “My Life With Gracie” isn’t getting anything from sharing this book with you. We don’t collect anything if you click the link here. Some websites work that way, but for us, it’s about reading. Children (and chickens) need to read and be read to, whether it’s what we write or not!

Gracie’s Summer Reading List…“We Don’t Eat Our Classmates” by Ryan T. Higgins

We Don’t Eat Our Classmates

When I think about the time spent reading our last book, A Wrinkle In Time, to my chickens, I believe I’ve spent just as much time reading and rereading this short picture book to them. I don’t mind though because this book is delightful. It makes me say, “I wish I had written that!”

Penelope is a young dinosaur who goes to school for the first time. She is a Tyrannosaurus Rex, known as great hunters. All of my chickens could relate to that because they are all excellent worm and bug hunters. They could not relate to school because even though we live only three blocks from an elementary school, chickens are not allowed to be students.

“Penelope is a very fortunate girl to be able to go to school. I like how she has problems just like everyone else. It’s nice how she has her own bedroom. Sometimes I wonder what that would be like. She looks really cute in her pink overalls too.” – Gracie

“I liked Penelope’s teacher. She was very accepting and fair towards Penelope, even when she ate all of her classmates. Oops! I probably shouldn’t have said that. I don’t want to give the story away. Walter was hilarious! Oops! There I go again!” – Bessie

“I would really like to have a backpack just like Penelope’s. It has ponies on it. Who doesn’t like ponies? But seriously, I can really understand how hard she tried to fit in and stay out of trouble. I would be her friend for sure. – Pearl

“One of my favorite parts was when Penelope got to do finger painting with her class. I would like to do that even though I don’t have fingers. Is there such a thing as feather painting? She had a hard time making friends even though she was the biggest in her class. I thought that was interesting because I had a hard time making friends too and I’m the smallest.” – Emily

“To be honest, I thought this was a deeply philosophical book which challenged my moral beliefs. It made me ponder the possibility of being the only chicken in a classroom filled with worms. Would my teacher tell me, ‘We don’t eat our classmates’? And if so, what would I do? Penelope definitely faced a real dilemma.” – Amelia

“We Don’t Eat Our Classmates” is suitable for ages 3 to  5, but there are plenty of chuckles for every age group. This picture book  is available through Barnes and Noble. The regular price is $17.99, however Barnes & Noble is offering it for less. Summertime discount codes offer additional savings.

Just so you know, “My Life With Gracie” isn’t getting anything from sharing this book with you. We don’t collect anything if you click the link here. Some websites work that way, but for us, it’s about reading. Children (and chickens) need to read and be read to, whether it’s what we write or not!

Gracie’s Summer Reading List…“A Wrinkle In Time” by Madeleine L’Engle

A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L’Engle

To tell the truth, recently was the first time that I’ve ever read this book on my own. I only read it again because I remembered the way it made me feel, and I wanted to feel that way again. I wanted my chickens to feel that way, or whatever way this wonderful book might make them feel.

This book was first read to me fifty years ago when I was in the sixth grade. Mrs. Kitchen was our Language Arts teacher and also our “home room” teacher. The school was Wakefield Elementary School which had actually been a high school when I started attending there in first grade. Her room was in the basement which had thick concrete walls to help keep it extra cool in the warmer months. The other rooms on the first and second floors had huge windows to let in breezes.

Mrs. Kitchen’s daughter, Mary Ann, had been in my class up until third grade when she was killed in a car accident by a drunken driver. All I remember about her was that she was one of the sweetest and prettiest girls in our class and always had the right answers. I think Mrs. Kitchen may have had a hard time when our class made it to sixth grade because it may have brought back painful memories, but she never let it show.

There are only a few things I remember about sixth grade, and this book is one of them. Honestly, I did not remember anything about the plot other than it is about three children who took a trip in time and had some adventures. What I remember much more than that sketchy bit is how this book made me feel somehow understood even though no one appeared to understand me. Perhaps this is best summarized in the theme of the book as stated by Meg, the main character, “Like and equal are not the same thing at all!” This book is about the value of being an individual.

“This story took longer than any of the others so far, but I liked it and could sit still for each chapter. The cover was interesting, and I wanted to know more about the story just from the cover because it had three children flying through the air like chickens and a horse with chicken wings carrying the children somewhere.” – Gracie

“If we ever get into a situation like the one that the children were in, I think I will know what to do. (And chickens do get into some strange situations!) I was a little disappointed that none of the characters were chickens. I mean, they could have been, especially Mrs Whatsit and Mrs Who and Mrs Which because they could take on just about any appearance they wanted, I think. Oh, well, it was still an interesting story.” – Bessie

“To be totally honest, I was a little unsure about what it said on the cover about ‘Now a Major Motion Picture’ because who knows what that means. I’ve never seen or heard a Motion Picture, Major or Minor…or Flat or Sharp for that matter. But I did like the gold medal on the cover because it was shiny and bright! It’s a John Newberry Medal for having a good story, and I can completely agree with that!” – Pearl

“I think Mrs Who was my favorite of the three mysterious ladies in the story. She had glasses that let her and Meg, the main character, see things that other people couldn’t see. That’s a lot like me and my drawings because they let me do things I wouldn’t be able to do any other way. There were also some helpful pictures with an ant to explain what a ‘wrinkle in time’ is like. Drawings help explain difficult things too.” – Emily

“I like that a girl got to be the main character and save the day in this book. The boys that went with her on their journey in time had their own special powers and gifts that helped, but Meg was the one who ultimately made everything right. She didn’t make the boys look stupid or bad or anything like that. She didn’t have to look pretty or be mean or sassy. She just had to be herself. She saved her father and her brother and probably everybody else too. I would like to be like Meg.” – Amelia

“A Wrinkle In Time” is suitable for ages 8 to 12 and is available through Barnes and Noble. The price on the back of the book is $6.99, however Barnes & Noble is offering it for less. Summertime discount codes offer additional savings. By the way, Barnes & Noble is offering “We Don’t Eat Our Classmates” at a special price with the purchase of this or other books. This picture book by Ryan T. Higgins will be our next on Gracie’s Summer Reading List! (It is hilarious!)

Just so you know, “My Life With Gracie” isn’t getting anything from sharing this book with you. We don’t collect anything if you click the link here. Some websites work that way, but for us, it’s about reading. Children (and chickens) need to read and be read to, whether it’s what we write or not!

Gracie’s Summer Reading List…“Molly’s Story” by W. Bruce Cameron

Molly’s Story by W. Bruce Cameron

This book was not a “quick sell” for my chickens because it isn’t about chickens or eggs. But amazingly, it does have a “chicken connection” which caught their attention. Let me explain.

Each of the books in this series is about a different dog with a special purpose. Molly has the ability to detect cancer in people before they even know they have it. She is a cancer-sniffing dog.

While writing this book, W. Bruce Cameron turned to a close friend, Dina Zaphiris, who trains dogs with this special ability. She had not been able to have a dog of her own when she was growing up because her family had chickens. She trained her family’s chickens to do tricks and to come when their names were called. When she grew up, she got her own dogs and became a certified animal trainer.

That part caught the attention of my chickens. If someone who knew about chickens was somehow connected to this book, then that was okay with them. After we finished this story, they have decided they wouldn’t mind it if we eventually get a dog as long as it likes chickens and will guard them.

“There were many parts of the story that made me nervous and worried about Molly and her little girl named CJ. I didn’t like the mother, Gloria, or her boyfriend, Gus. I was really mad at Gloria for turning Molly in as a stray dog and pretending she didn’t know Molly. That was not true, and she should not have done it. Gus grabbed CJ’s arm and wouldn’t let go. Molly defended her. The scariest part of all was when CJ and Molly ran away from home for days and days. Well, I don’t want to ruin the story for anyone, but I will say there were a lot of very intense parts.” – Gracie

“I thought it was interesting how Molly liked being with her little girl even inside the house. I’m not sure what that is like because chickens are more independent, and we like being outside whether our people are inside or not. We don’t really perform tricks to get treats, though we certainly don’t look down on those who do. We think, and rightly so, laying an egg every day is all of the performing we should ever need to do. Molly saved someone’s life in this story, and that was my favorite part. Molly was very smart and very brave.” – Bessie

“I could really relate to Molly because she had a difficult time figuring things out. There is a lot to figure out in life, and I need all of the help I can get. This book didn’t really help me understand people any better, but it did help me to understand dogs better. If we ever get a dog to watch over us, I will know better what to expect. They seem a lot easier to understand than people.” – Pearl

“I liked that Molly is the one who was telling her story herself. Maybe one day I will tell my own story, or maybe a story about my best friend Amelia. I do wish the book had explained how Molly learned to write. Did she use a pencil and paper? Did she use something like a typewriter? I think I will need to know how to do that. There is typing called ‘hunt and peck,’ and I think chickens would be very good at it.” – Emily

“One of the best parts is when Molly writes ‘People really do very strange things.’ That is so very true! I’m glad Molly said that. I know people aren’t lucky enough to be chickens (or dogs), but maybe people will take the hint.” – Amelia

“Molly’s Story” is suitable for ages 8 to 12 and grades 3 to 7 and is available through Barnes and Noble along with other books in this series such as “Ellie’s Story” and “Bailey’s Story.” Each book is about a different special dog. The overall theme of the entire series is “Every dog has work to do. Every dog has a purpose.” The price on the back of each book is $7.99, however Barnes & Noble is offering them for less. Summertime discount codes offer additional savings.

Just so you know, “My Life With Gracie” isn’t getting anything from sharing this book with you. We don’t collect anything if you click the link here. Some websites work that way, but for us, it’s about reading. Children (and chickens) need to read and be read to, whether it’s what we write or not!

Gracie’s Summer Reading List…“What Do You Do With An Idea?” by Kobi Yamada

What Do You Do With An Idea?

As soon as I saw this book written by Kobi Yamada and illustrated by Mae Besom, I knew it would be a great book to share with my chickens. After all, it has an egg on the cover!

The gold seal is for an Independent Publisher Book Award. This book won a gold medal in the category “Children’s Picture Book (All Ages)” in 2014. It is still on the bookstore shelves because it is that good!

“The egg is adorable, especially because it has chicken feet for walking. For most of the book, it looked as if it wanted to hatch but wasn’t quite ready yet. I have lots of ideas, like being a ballet dancer, that aren’t quite ready for hatching yet. This book gave me more ideas and encouraged me to dream even bigger!” – Gracie

“The best part of this book is everything. I liked this book because I have lots of cooking ideas I’m hoping to hatch. Sometimes I don’t know what to do with my ideas for recipes, but this book helped me a lot. I think it would be good for anyone who has ideas.” – Bessie

“The crown on the top of the egg was fun because I like to wear hats too. I like the part of the book that said, ‘It wanted food. It wanted to play. Actually, it wanted a lot of attention.’ That’s just like me too! I have so many ideas. I have ideas I haven’t even thought of yet!” – Pearl

“The illustrations by Mae Besom are beautiful, absolutely beautiful. All of the birds flying are elegantly streamlined and are drawn with sweet personalities. I thought it was very clever how the illustrator always made the egg and whatever was near the egg colorful while everything else was dull and brown…until the exciting ending!” – Emily

“I like the beginning of the book best. It started off like this. ‘One day, I had an idea.’ That made my own best and most special idea pop into my head right away. So I had to see what happened to the idea in the book. My idea is to be the first chicken to fly to the moon and back.” – Amelia

This picture book is appropriate for anyone of any age. If someone has an idea and needs a little encouragement to see it through to the end, then this book may be for them.

At $16.95, this may seem a bit expensive for a picture book, however keep in mind this is an independently published book which can be slightly more expensive. The quality is very high for both paper and binding.

If you have an aspiring young person who dreams of one day changing the world for the better with an idea of their own, this is a perfect investment. It is a wonderful way of saying, “I believe in you and your idea.” This book would make a perfect  gift for holding onto and rereading while waiting for an idea to become a reality.

“What Do You Do With An Idea?” is available through Barnes and Noble along with several other similar titles by the same author and the same illustrator for less than the price on the back of the book. Summertime discount codes offer additional savings.

Just so you know, “My Life With Gracie” isn’t getting anything from sharing this book with you. We don’t collect anything if you click the link here. Some websites work that way, but for us, it’s about reading. Children (and chickens) need to read and be read to, whether it’s what we write or not!

Gracie’s Summer Reading List…”The Bad Guys: Mission Unpluckable” by Aaron Blabey

Gracie’s Summer Reading List

Recently while shopping for a new fan to keep my chickens more comfortable during these hot summer months, I found these books on display. I had to take a look!

The illustrations were fun, and when I saw one of the books in the series was titled “Mission Unpluckable,” I knew they would make excellent bedtime reading for my chickens (or perhaps summertime reading for your children or grandchildren). They ended up in my cart, and I couldn’t wait to show them to my chickens.

These books tell the adventures of Mr. Fox, Mr. Snake, Mr. Piranha, and Mr. Shark who have all been labeled as “Bad Guys” but who want to do heroic deeds to prove they really are “Good Guys.” (What else can you do when people don’t understand you?)

While it’s not necessary to read the books in this series in order, it does help. Except for the first book, each starts with a recap of the previous book and end with a teaser for the following book.

We obviously had to start with “Mission Unpluckable.” (Some children can be very particular about reading books in a series in order. It’s not so important to chickens.) Here is what Gracie and the others thought.

“I’ve never really cared much about foxes or snakes because I’ve seen them in our own backyard. They are dangerous guys. After hearing these stories, I have a better understanding of them. They may not be as bad as what I had imagined them to be…but I’m not letting them in our home!” – Gracie

“I was a little nervous when the snake started drooling when he was thinking about chickens, but I clucked for joy when Mr. Fox said, ‘It’s time to save the chickens!’ That kept me on the edge of my perch the whole time! Sunnyside Chicken Farm is a scary place.” – Bessie

“The jokes were absolutely wonderful! Hilarious and funny! Their comedic timing was perfect! Any of those Bad Guys would make a great addition to my next Comedy Coop extravaganza! Mr. Shark is my favorite because he likes to wear disguises. I couldn’t stop laughing!” – Pearl

“The illustrations were great, and I may just get out my crayons and color them in!” – Emily

“The Bad Guys are truly sharp dressers. The black suits and ties are perfect, and when they are wearing their sunglasses, you just can’t get much cooler than that. We can all sleep better knowing these heroes are out there protecting us.” – Amelia

The price on the back of each book was $5.99 which isn’t bad considering there are a lot of pages. (It feels like a bigger book than what it really is, so for some children that could be important if they look at number of pages and thickness.) The books fall somewhere between a comic book and a chapter book.

While intended for children ages 7 to 10, I enjoyed reading them too! Reading aloud to Gracie and the others was fun because I got to act out the different voices and the change in font size and style gave me clues on how to read like the different characters.

These books by Aaron Blabey are available through Barnes & Noble, but I bought them from our local Target store. If you’re having a Fourth of July cookout with children, these would make a great gift for summertime reading!

Just so you know, “My Life With Gracie” isn’t getting anything from sharing this book series with you. We don’t collect anything if you click the link here. Some websites work that way, but for us, it’s about reading. Children (and chickens) need to read and be read to, whether it’s what we write or not!