Note: Top Shelf Text was provided with advanced reader copies of these texts for review from the publisher. All opinions are my own.
Piper Green may just be my new favorite character in children's chapter books. She's a spunky little girl navigating the everyday with all of the humor and sass that can be so exasperating and endearing in children. In Piper Green and the Fairy Tree, we're introduced to Piper, who lives on Peek-a-Boo island, which is the first thing that I love about this story. She and the other children who live on the island ride a lobster boat to school each day, and it's on the first day of second grade that Piper's whole world is turned upside down. Instead of the teacher she's expecting, Piper has a new teacher, who seems like a princess at first but actually has a bad attitude and a penchant for calling Piper's parents. I love that Potter has created a character that's just so real; she's not a perfect little girl, or a mermaid, or a prodigy, she's just an ordinary kid who says exactly what she thinks and views the world through a quirky lens. Just when Piper thinks that this whole year is going to be a bust, her neighbor Mrs. Pennypocket lets her in on a little secret: there's a fairy tree in Piper's front yard. The cast of characters around Piper (including the fairy tree) help her to come to terms with the new changes in her life and in the end, she thinks that second grade might not turn out to be so bad. Besides Piper, my favorite character of the whole book has to be her little brother, Leo, who thinks he's married to a post-it note named Michelle. This is one book that I'll be sure to have on my classroom shelves, and I have more than a few little friends in mind for gifting it to when it comes out on August 4th.
But wait, that's not even the best part! Not only is Piper Green and the Fairy Tree coming out on August 4th, but the second in the series, Piper Green and the Fairy Tree: Too Much Good Luck is also being published on that date. I am doing a happy dance, because you guys, this second book was just as perfect as the first.
In this book, Piper's world is expanded a bit more as we are introduced to more of her friends from school. Piper is devastated when she finds out that their class pet, a rabbit name Nacho, has to be removed from class because of a new student's allergies. At first, Piper isn't the most welcoming, but with the help of the fairy tree, she eventually makes friends with the new girl. Potter does a great job conveying Piper's inner conflicts without turning Piper into a "mean girl." It's pretty clear that consequences don't always occur to Piper before she acts, and that's part of what makes her character so realistic for this age group. I can see Piper Green becoming a popular character in elementary classrooms and can't wait to follow this series in the future.
Bottom Line Rating: 5/5
Recommended for grades 2-4 (ages 7-9)
- Title: Piper Green and the Fairy Tree & Piper Green and the Fairy Tree: Too Much Good Luck
- Author: Ellen Potter
- Illustrator: Qin Leng
- Publisher: Random House Children's
- Expected Publication Date: August 4, 2015
- ISBN: 0553499246 & 0553499270
- Format: #1 in hardcover and #2 in paperback
- Price: $5 for Book One / $5 for Book Two
- Source: Advanced Reader Copies received from Net Galley