This first talking animals book in the "Candlewick Sparks" series by Laura McGee Kvasnosky is published by Candlewick Press, an imprint of Walker Books.
Zelda and Ivy: The Runaways is written for kids ages 5 to 8. The age range reflects readability and not necessarily content appropriateness.
Zelda and Ivy are sisters who appear in three tales: "The Runaways," "The Time Capsule" and "The Secret Concoction." In the first story, the talking animal foxes run away (to their backyard) rather than eat Dad's cucumber sandwiches again. They bury their favorite toys in a time capsule in story No. 2, only to miss their treasures and dig them back up. When Zelda struggles to write a haiku in story No. 3, Ivy concocts a jar of "creative juice" for her sister made from items such as glue and orange juice.
Zelda and Ivy's parents appear only in the first story. Though they don't let on, they seem to realize that the girls have only "run away" to the backyard. They go about their business and even do fun things like dancing to lure the girls back home. When the girls do return, Mom and Dad don't waver — they still make their children eat the dreaded cucumber sandwiches.
Zelda has a "lucky" jewel, which she believes will help her improve both her piano playing and her poetry writing. Ivy makes a potion for Zelda, hoping it will help her finish her poem.
Theodor Seuss Geisel Award, Medal Winner 2007
If your children have read this book or someone has read it to them, consider these discussion topics:
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