Piper Green and the Fairy Tree by Ellen Potter, illustrated by Qin Leng

Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers

Summary: It’s Piper’s first day of second grade, and she’s decided to wear her brother Erik’s monkey earmuffs to school. Things get off to a bad start when Piper’s new teacher, who looks like a princess, turns out to be pretty strict and insist that Piper take off her earmuffs. When Piper refuses, a note goes home to her parents, and things spiral downward quickly. The next day, Piper decides to play hooky by hiding in a tree. A friendly elderly neighbor helps Piper to uncover the secrets of this fairy tree, and to get back on track with school and the new teacher. Grades 1-3.

Pros: Piper is a spunky second-grader who will be appreciated by fans of Junie B. Jones, Clementine, and Horrible Harry. Kids will be fascinated by her life on an island off the coast of Maine, from where she travels by lobster boat to school each morning.

Cons: I couldn’t get a good picture in my mind of how the fairy tree worked, and why the neighbor had to cut off a branch to get to the two kittens hidden inside.

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