*Review Copy Provided
One of the best parts of being a kindergarten teacher was all the wonderful children's book I got to read and share with my students. There are always a few titles you know from the second you preview it, that it'll be a big hit with the kids. Millie Fierce Sleeps Out by Jane Manning is one of those.
Little girls can be strong and fierce and brave—and sometimes their ferocity is just the thing they need to save the day.
Millie is strong. Millie is fierce. But Millie has learned to keep her fierceness in check. And since she’s been sweet all summer long, Millie gets to have a sleepout with her friends. One where she promises to be well behaved. But things don't go as Millie planned, and our fierce little heroine is not happy. Still, she tries her best to keep her fierceness inside. But when the scary dog from next door howls at the girls' tent, Millie's ferocity saves them all!
A perfect addition to a bookshelf filled with Fancy Nancy, Eliose, Olivia, and Ladybug Girl.
The vibrant watercolor illustrations set the stage and perfectly match the exuberance of the title character and what a character Millie is! I love that her individuality is celebrated and how the story shows that something we struggle with can turn out to be an asset. That being able to be strong and getting fierce is sometimes necessary and a good thing. It's a story kids can relate to as many have trouble controlling themselves, adults too at times!
On top of that, I really appreciated just how well written the book is. It's full of little gems and text that doesn't talk down to kid but rather introduces them to a variety of very descriptive phrases such as "hair frizzed itself into a magnificent tangle" or "packed her fierceness away as tightly as a rolled tent", lines like that really give children something to think about and are what makes this an exciting story for young kids.
Besides kindergarten, I also taught special education for a few years and had students with emotional issues. I was always looking for good books that could get us talking about conflict resolution and peer interaction and Millie Fierce lends itself to that well too. I can think of a lot of interesting ways to use this title in the classroom.
My seven year old daughter liked it because, "It's about a girl who's been trying to be really good and she does it all summer. So her mom lets her have a sleep out in the back yard and I've always wanted to do that. When her friends come over there are issues and she tries really hard to keep it together, and her friend throws away the gummy worms! I'd be super mad about that.
"At the same time there is a monster outside, but it turns out to be a dog. So she lets herself go and gets really fierce and chases it away. Then her friends get a new bag of gummy worms and they all end up having a fun time after all. It's a good book because everyone feels like crazy once in awhile. Sometimes you don't get along with your friends but it all turns out well in the end And the pictures are really good, I mean you can even see the shadows of the girls on my favorite page."
It's safe to say that although the recommended age range is 3-5 years, Millie Fierce Sleeps Out is still a compelling book for older children. My struggling reader really enjoyed it and was very proud that she could read it herself, especially since it does have challenging vocabulary.
Jane Manning is the illustrator of dozens of children’s books, including Little Goblins Ten by Pamela Jane, Drip Drop by Sarah Weeks, Cindy Ellen by Susan Lowell, and the New York Times Bestselling The Witch Who Was Afraid of Witches by Alice Low. She wrote and illustrated 2008?s Cat Nights (Greenwillow).
Many of Jane’s books have appeared in Scholastic Book Clubs and ALA “Pick of the Lists”. She’s won several awards for her work, including Parenting Magazine’s Reading Magic Award for Drip Drop, and The Western Writers of America Storyteller Award for Cindy Ellen.
Jane lives in Deep River, Connecticut with Tim, Tatiana, Nellie, Ziggy, and Shep. She is usually very well behaved, but every once in a while, Jane turns fierce, just like Millie.
Learn more about Manning's series at the official Millie Fierce website.
Millie Fierce Sleeps Out
List Price: $16.99
Hardcover: 32 Pages