Cody and the Fountain of Happiness
This had a very classic, B is for Betsy vibe to it, with the simple text and cute pictures that illustrate important moments in the text. For emergent readers, this is a good balance, and the happy story will resonate with readers.
The characters are all delightfully drawn and have their own quirks—Wyatt’s obsession with Payton, Cody’s unrelenting optimism, her mother’s habit of cradling an ash tray when she is stressed. This is a gentle story, more about how the characters react to small, ordinary events rather than a complicated novel with lots of twists and turns. Again, just the thing for beginning readers who are more comfortable with the type of world they know than a convoluted fantasy or mystery world.
This is a perfect summer read, especially for the first day of summer vacation, and would be made even better if the reader could be supplied with a sunny porch, a cold glass of lemonade, and a cat who doesn’t run away!