Title: Zach and Lucy and the Museum of Wonders
Author: The Pifferson Sisters (Jennifer Bradley and Stephanie Guerra)
Copyright Date: 2016
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Reader Brand: Ready to Read
Level: Level 3
Series: Zach and Lucy (Zach and Lucy and the Yoga Zoo)
Zach and Lucy decide to start a museum of natural things in the basement of their apartment complex. But when their grumpy neighbor Mrs. Blankenship shows up, can she find something that she likes in the museum?
First of all, the positives: Zach and Lucy appear to be a biracial or blended family and that is a huge positive in my books. Diverse beginning readers are one of the hardest requests to fill for our patrons. I thought that the storyline was good and appropriate for a beginning reader — new vocabulary like “specimens” are defined in the text in a kid-friendly way. The text is solidly a “Level 3” and is comparable to Henry and Mudge in terms of difficulty, although Zach and Lucy in shorter in word count.
My only concern with the book is that the text varies significantly from page-to-page and that might frustrate a beginning reader who thinks the book is good for them on a one sentence page only to get the book home and find eight/nine sentence page spreads. Hopefully, parents/caregivers will pay attention to the “Level Three” classification.
Zach and Lucy already have a second book on the publishing schedule and I hope more will follow.