“'There's cold chicken inside it,' replied the Rat briefly; 'coldtonguecoldhamcoldbeefpickledgherkinssaladfrench

'O stop, stop,' cried the Mole in ecstacies: 'This is too much!'”
-- from
The Wind in the Willows

Friday, March 1, 2013

Daisy's Defining Day
by Sandra V. Feder
Available now   Kids Can Press   Ages 7-10  Grades 2 - 5
Book Two in the irresistible Daisy series which introduces children to the satisfaction of independent reading and the joy of playing with language.
Story: Daisy loves words, so she is delighted when Miss Goldner teaches the class about alliteration. When her neighbor Grant starts calling her Lazy Daisy, she decides to come up with an alliterative nickname so dazzling it sticks. As Daisy collects D words that describe her, she shows delightful determination in finding the perfect name.

Story behind the story: Author Sandra Feder offers this behind-the-scenes info on the Daisy series:  "Often I hear parents say that they want to raise children who are avid readers.  We all want our children to curl up on the couch with a book just as often as they reach for the TV remote.  But how do we get them there? With three daughters of my own, I have come to believe that the best way is to start with the building blocks of books – the words. Daisy is a normal kid who likes riding her bike and hanging out with her best friend. 

But what makes Daisy so special in the world of children’s literature is that the thing she loves most is words – she even keeps track of her favorites in her green notebook covered with purple polka dots.  My goal was to create a totally accessible and appealing character, in the hope that she will draw children into her world of words and reading in a natural and fun way.   Each book in the series deals with a different aspect of words and language.   

In Daisy’s Defining Day, the second book in the series, Daisy does what any word-loving girl would do when a neighborhood boy gives her a nickname she dislikes.  She uses her words to come up with a wonderfully long name for herself, so that everyone will forget the awful nickname. Because she’s just learned about alliteration in school, Daisy decides to make her new name alliterative.  I think all children can relate to Daisy’s delightful determination to tackle her problem with creativity and enthusiasm."

On her website, Sandra shares some terrific tips for teachers on using DAISY'S DEFINING DAY (including a great exercise for introducing the concept of alliteration) with students to help children develop a lifelong love of language and begin to understand, even at a young age, the fun and power of words.  Plus helpful ideas for librarians on how to help readers associate the library with books but also the words that are in them.  

"Transitioning readers, particularly girls, will enjoy seeing Daisy navigate the familiar shoals of elementary school in this better-than-average early chapter book." - Kirkus Reviews

“This delightful book not only takes us into the everyday adventures of a wonderful character, but it also explores the ways in which words affect us, and sometimes seem to take on a life of their own. Through Daisy, young readers will discover that words are not just inanimate things sitting on a page, they have the power to make people happy or sad. They can inspire and excite people, and they are full of possibilities.”– Through the Looking Glass (for DAISY'S PERFECT WORD)
“Daisy loves words. She collects them like squirrels collect nuts, ever eager to store her selections in her green notebook with purple polka dots . . . Daisy’s irrepressible but realistic enthusiasm for life is charming and irresistible. Her story is a perfect next step for children who have outgrown Jane O’ Connor’s “Fancy Nancy” books but aren’t quite ready for Andrew Clements’s Frindle.” – School Library Journal (for DAISY'S PERFECT WORD)