A little English, a little Russian, and a lot of heart make a birthday celebration you won't want to miss! When Sara's grandma, Catherine the Great, suddenly announces, "This year for my birthday, I want no presents! I have music in my Russian bones, and laughing in my heart. I have the day and the night, and I have all of you," Sara is surprised. How can Grandma have a birthday party with no presents?" Her mama explains that a no present can be anything from a kiss or a hug to a game of gin rummy - as long as it comes from deep inside you.
Whether she's impersonating Elvis, swaggering like Captain Hook, or imitating the sounds of a cricket, Violet is expressive and funny - but only when she's alone or with her best friend, Opal. At school, especially around class bully Irwin, who teases her nonstop, she retreats into a shell of shyness. But when Irwin, playing the part of Planet Mars in the class play, begins to spin wildly out of control and threatens to ruin the entire production, it's Violet who saves the day -- managing not only to give Irwin his comeuppance but to find her own unique way of surviving the spotlight.
"Delightful, Deep, Wonderful Narration"
When Ava and her sister Arlie see the "Write a Poem / Win a Pet" sign in Mr. Noah's pet shop window, Ava is sure the prize is going to be a dog and convinces Arlie to enter the contest with her. The girls write the best poem they can, and while waiting and hoping to win, they decide that "Lucille" would be the perfect name for a dog.