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Elisa Michaels, Bigger & Better (Riverside Kids) Hardcover – October 21, 2003

ISBN-13: 978-0060096014 ISBN-10: 0060096012

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 1-3--Elisa and company return in this appealing chapter book that describes the trials, adventures, and good times experienced by the second grader. Through her interactions with friends and family, she learns about caring, sharing, and taking responsibility. From her patient and loving parents to her slightly domineering older brother, Russell, to her adorable younger brother, Marshall, all of the characters are likable and realistically drawn. Elisa's special relationship with her grandmother, who lives far away, is eloquently expressed when the two share breakfast together over the telephone. Other scenes deal with a last-minute and less-than-perfect baby-sitter who ignores Marshall and eats all of the snacks, and the unexpected results when Elisa is allowed to eat only chocolate for an entire day. Filled with moments of humor and small revelations, the writing is clear and inviting. Each chapter focuses on a particular scenario and reads like a complete story. The black-and-white sketches capture the essence of the events and the characters.--Leanna Manna, Villa Maria College, Buffalo, NY
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Gr. 2-3. Picking up where Summer with Elisa (2000) left off, the saga of eager-to-please Elisa Michaels continues with the ups and downs of being Russell's little sister as well as big sister to two-year-old Marshall. Now in second grade, Elisa is anxious for more responsibility and independence, but she's a little unnerved when she gets it, as the funniest scene in the book proves: Elisa is pleased when her mother asks her to keep an eye on Marshall for a few minutes while she goes to the adult section of the library, but she comes unglued when she can't stop him from tearing into some wrapped boxes in a Christmas tree display. Elisa's biggest test of courage comes when she's offered an opportunity to visit her grandmother in Florida--by herself. As in previous Elisa books, each chapter tells a complete story, making the book more attractive for reluctant readers or kids just beginning to take on longer chapter books. Elisa's fans will enjoy these sometimes funny, always engaging new adventures. Final art not seen in galleys. Lauren Peterson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: 1 - 4
  • Lexile Measure: 610L (What's this?)
  • Series: Riverside Kids
  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (October 21, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060096012
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060096014
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,087,574 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Elisa Michaels is a second-grader living in New York City. She has both an older and a younger brother. Each chapter is a separate story about Elisa and her family members. In the first chapter, Elisa misses her grandmother, who lives in Florida. She won't be able to see her for seven months! Elisa's mom invents a way for Elisa to "have breakfast with Grandma."
Several stories deal with Marshall, who is two years old when the book begins. Elisa cares for her little brother while the new babysitter plays chess. She goes all out to keep him happy. In another story, the family worries that Marshall is getting too old for his pacifier. When they visit the zoo, Elisa is inspired by a baby gorilla and she niftily solves her little brother's pacifier problem. In "Marshall Makes Mischief," Marshall is determined to open the library's fake Christmas presents. Elisa tries hard, but she can't control him. She does, however, come to a big realization about the library and about presents.
Elisa learns that having wishes come true can be bittersweet. In "Chocolate All Day Long," she gets permission to eat only chocolate for one entire glorious day --- but feels differently toward chocolate by dinnertime. In the last chapter, she travels alone to visit her grandmother and soon learns about homesickness. This chapter neatly mirrors the book's first story, with Elisa's grandmother helping her "have breakfast with" her mom.
Debbie Tilley illustrates the book with adorable cartoony pictures. They show rather old-fashioned looking characters, which suits the classic feel of the stories.
If you're looking for wild adventure, look elsewhere. These are gentle, good-hearted, winning stories full of humor and emotion without being sentimental. Elisa is genuine, funny and extremely likeable. I highly recommend this warm and wonderful celebration of family.
--- Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon (terryms2001@yahoo.com)
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