January 13, 2011
Cork and Fuzz: Finders Keepers by Dori Chaconas illustrated by Lisa McCue
by Dori Chaconas
illustrated by Lisa McCue
Cork and Fuzz may be best friends but in many ways they are as different as different can be. Cork is a critter, specifically a muskrat, who finds things. Imagine the child who brings home 3/4 of the natural world after any walk — feathers, sticks, stones. Fuzz is a possum who keeps things. Sometimes these things are his. Sometimes they belong to someone else.
The problem comes when Cork loses his fabulous new shiny green stone. Predictably, Fuzz finds it. What isn’t so predictable is what happens next when they investigate a chittering pile of leaves in Fuzz’s yard.
Don’t worry that at least in the beginning this story is a bit predictable. As an adult, you have more experience in the world than the intended reader — a child in grades 1 to 3 who is just reading alone. Because this book is a beginning reader, meant for the newly minted reader to follow without adult intervention. The text is straightforward and the illustrations add to it in a way that will help the reader decipher any single word that may be a little hard.
Often, I don’t care for beginning readers. I know that they’re really hard to write but the stories just feel ho hum. Not so with this one. Both characters are likable and young readers will readily identify with both as well.
This is a fun story about friends as well as finders keepers and even the childhood chorus of “but I want to keep him as a pet.” Bring this home for your newly independent reader today.