DePaola makes a point to speak directly to the reader by using parentheses or additional explanation. For example, when he uses the phrase "out in the sticks" he follows by saying, "That meant way out where not many people lived. There wasn't even a real street." DePaola's voice, as well as his realistic illustrations that support the text on every page, make this book a perfect fit for beginning readers who are transitioning to chapter books.
What I Dislike: Nothing. The books could be a bit slow-moving for some since they detail everyday life, as opposed to dramatic action sequences.
Age Appeal: 7-10
Publisher Info: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1999; ISBN: 0-399-23246-X ; Hardcover, $13.99
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Special Info: 26 Fairmount Avenue won the Newbery Honor Award in 2000. The book is also available in hardcover at Amazon.com.