Friday, March 9, 2018

Book review - Gracie LaRoo

Title: Gracie LaRoo
Author: Marsha Qualey
Genre: beginning chapter book
Similar books: Wallace and Grace Take the Case by Heather Alexander
                      Three Ring Rascals series by Kate Klise

Summary (provided by publisher): Gracie LaRoo is a synchronized swimming pig extraordinaire!  Follow Gracie as she shoots for the gold medal; uses her dazzling moves in a Piggywood movie; visits her old school and shows her former coach just how hard synchronized swimming can be; and captivates a cruise ship audience with her signature spins. This easy-to-read, beautifully illustrated chapter book by seasoned author Marsha Qualey will make new readers squeal with delight as they learn about the marvelous, the amazing, the pig-tastic Gracie LaRoo!

My opinion: Most early chapter books follow the same basic framework. This one is a bit of an aberration. Structurally, its closer to collected short stories. They are linked in broad strokes but each story stands on its own. Each plot has an easily distilled message and is supported by appealing illustrations. Focusing a book on synchronized swimming is an interesting choice. Not the most relatable but certainly unique. Additionally, synchronized swimming allows the author to discuss both cooperative and individual life-skills.
Advanced Reader Copy provided by NetGalley.

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