$ 7.00
PreSchool-Grade 3–Once again, LaMarche laces workaday reality with a little bit of magic. Daniel longs to join his father and older brother on the family fishing boat, but every day they leave him behind to help his mother instead. Between Michael's taunts and the whole family's condescending use of the pet name Mouse, Daniel finds himself in an especially defiant mood during lunch one afternoon. Someday I'll be so strong, he mutters, and, fueled by the sheer force of his will, an oyster cracker hops from the surface of the table in agreement. Delighted and surprised, the boy quietly cultivates his strange new talent, and soon he graduates from bathtub toys and fishbowls to much bigger, heavier objects. Levitation is a neat trick, but Daniel figures it's not really that useful–until the day a whale beaches itself on the shore and he gives it the boost it needs to ease back out to sea. The soft acrylics capture the low light, palpable chill, and blue-gray color scheme of Daniel's fishing village. This is an inspiring and (yes) uplifting title about pursuing one's own talents and possibilities.