Reviews for Elisa Michaels, Bigger & Better


Booklist Reviews 2003 December #2
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. ((Reviewed December 15, 2003)) Copyright 2003 Booklist Reviews

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2004 Spring
Cozily bookended with episodes about Elisa, now seven, and her grandmother in Florida, these chapters in the lives of the Michaels family are easygoing and easy reading. There's one about a new babysitter, another where Elisa decides to eat nothing but chocolate all day long (she barely makes it past lunch). Hurwitz knows kids, and while she writes like everyone's favorite aunt, she's nobody's fool. Copyright 2004 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

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Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2003 #6
Cozily bookended with episodes about Elisa, now seven, and her grandmother, far away in Florida, these chapters in the lives of the Michaels family are easygoing and easy reading. There's one about a new babysitter, another about two-year-old Marshall's liberation from his pacifier, another where Elisa decides to eat nothing but chocolate all day long (she barely makes it past lunch). In the liveliest episode, librarians will surely recognize the folly of their hapless colleague who decides that empty gift-wrapped packages, ostensibly to and from children's book characters, are a good thing to put under the Christmas tree in the children's room: "I don't want a story. I want a present," shouts one little girl. Hurwitz knows kids, and while she writes like everyone's favorite aunt, she's nobody's fool. Copyright 2003 Horn Book Magazine Reviews

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Kirkus Reviews 2003 October #2
Elisa, almost eight, is the star of the newest Riverside Kids series. With Marshie still clinging stubbornly to his pacifier and Russell struggling through the challenges of sixth grade, Elisa realizes she's no longer a little girl and Marshie, at two, is no longer a baby. Elisa is a responsible middle child. She changes her brother's diaper and soothes him to sleep, convinces him to give up his pacifier to the baby gorilla at the zoo, realizes that there's more to eating than chocolate, and flies in an airplane alone for the very first time. Elisa's wide-eyed, but sensible, outlook is honestly and lovingly portrayed. Hurwitz has a gift for making everyday family life seem remarkable. Familiar situations and characters, frequent pencil illustrations, and generous font and white space make this a perfect transitional book for new readers who will look forward to following Elisa and her warm family and friends in the future. (Fiction. 6-9) Copyright Kirkus 2003 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2003 December #1
Several popular series continue with new installments. Elisa Michaels, Bigger & Better by Johanna Hurwitz continues the Riverside Kids series. A half-dozen stories highlight Elisa's newest adventures now that she's in second grade. In the first, she has breakfast with her Grandma-over the phone; in another she takes charge of her baby brother when the baby-sitter doesn't know what to do, and celebrates her half-birthday by eating nothing but chocolate all day long. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2004 March
Gr 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 2004 Reed Business Information.

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