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Miss Little's Gift Hardcover – August 11, 2009


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 4
  • Lexile Measure: 710L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick (August 11, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0763616869
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763616861
  • Product Dimensions: 0.4 x 9.6 x 11.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #318,726 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 1–3—This autobiographical picture book chronicles the author's struggles in second grade. Smaller than everyone else, new in town, and speaking with an unfamiliar Southern accent, Wood also found reading to be a chore. Miss Little had him remain after school each day, and while he was at first resentful of the attention, her patience and careful choice of reading material eventually won him over. The story works as a tribute to those unsung teacher heroes whose dedication to their craft and native intuition about children have changed lives, although that aspect of the book may be appreciated more by adults than by youngsters. However, the book also works as a tribute to Golden MacDonald's (Margaret Wise Brown's) The Little Island (Random, 1946). It is that gentle but quietly magical tale that Miss Little wisely used as a teaching tool, and that showed the boy that learning to read was worth his time because the book truly spoke to him. Burke's large, realistic oils, with their rich greens and blues, complement the story nicely. In an author's note, Wood discusses ADHD. While not quite as powerful as Patricia Polacco's Thank You, Mr. Falker (Philomel, 1998), this book is a worthwhile addition to most collections.—Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ
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About the Author

Douglas Wood is the author of GRANDAD'S PRAYERS OF THE EARTH, a recipient of the Christopher Award, and the best-selling OLD TURTLE. He is also an artist, musician, naturalist, and wilderness guide. He lives in St. Cloud, Minnesota.

Jim Burke has illustrated many celebrated picture books and is the author-illustrator of TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALL GAME. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Douglas had moved from Kentucky to Iowa and was having trouble fitting in. The other kids poked fun at him claiming he "talked funny." He didn't like the other kids, they didn't like him. He didn't like reading because he couldn't and he didn't like Miss little because he wouldn't. She made him stay after school so he would learn to read. The only thing he managed to learn out of those "line and blobs and squiggles that didn't mean anything" was that teachers sure knew how to torture kids. He DID NOT like that Miss Little . . . not even a tiny little bit. It was a discouraging thing to be stuck in after school every day. "I can't do this . . . "

"Oh, yes, you are Douglas. You're going to become a good reader." The playground spoke to him. Baseball, football . . . "Douglas." No, he couldn't do it. Lines and blobs and squiggles he couldn't decipher were sheer torture. Miss Little gave him a book about an island that interested him and brought back fond memories of Granddad and Lake Kabetogama. Miss Little was sooooo persistent, but now something started to click. "A juh-gen-tell--gentle! A gentle wind." There was something about this book. The kitten was going the island and some people were going to have a picnic. What was going to happen? Help, Miss Little . . . he needed to find out what secret things that kitten was going to find and he needed to know the secret of reading!

I loved this heartwarming tribute to Miss Little several times and each time I felt the elation one might feel at the end of a movie when the underdog succeeds. Many children would never have made if they didn't have a Miss Little in their lives. The greatest gift that Douglas probably ever had was the gift of his teacher's time, patience and love for a little boy with ADHD.
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By G. Weight on January 7, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is a great book to read and it is so uplifting. It's always a great idea to share positive, motivating stories with your children.
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By Karen on July 17, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Teachers and struggling readers, especially, will like this book. Also, if you are lucky enough to hear Douglas Wood in person, go! He is an excellent story teller and you will want all of his books!
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By Books Come Alive on April 15, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Douglas Wood has given us many gifts over the years. Non better than Old Turtle..a classic.
I have used Miss Little's Gift in my read-aloud presentations for First through Fourth grades, and they all have the same reaction, they are amazed that the author had a reading problem in Second grade. Many can identify with some of the same problems with recognizing those lines, dots and squiggles that Douglas encountered. Thank you Douglas Wood..you have given us numerous gifts over the years,and Miss Little Gift is a very special book that honors all of those heroes who taught us how to read!
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