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ARCHIBALD'S SWISS CHEESE MOUNTAIN

Author: Sylvia Lieberman

Illustrator: Jeremy Wendell

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Publisher: Seven Locks Press ©2008

Material: hard cover

Summary: Today's the day, and Archibald is so excited. He is going out into the world to find his own food. His destination: Mr. Hochmeyer's grocery store. Archie's day is full of adventure and, having forgotten Momma's advice, escapes a close call. As his success continues, Archibald's confidence grows. And when he spots a hunk of swiss cheese on a pedestal, he launches his next plan. It is his biggest and most daring ... can he do it? This is a brightly colored picture book offers a story about pursuing your dreams.

Type of Reading: bedtime story, anytime reading, family reading, independent reading, read aloud book, elementary reader, remedial reader

Recommended Age: read together: 5 to 9; read yourself: 7 to 9

Interest Level: 5 to 8

Reading Level: 2.9

Age of Child: Read with 6½-year-old girl.

Young Reader Reaction: Our daughter really liked this story, and frequently commented on Archie's expressions. She could also anticipate what might happen to Archibald, which kept her engaged to the end.

Adult Reader Reaction: This is a fun story to read. Kids will relate to Archibald, because like him, they seem to be fearless ... until it's almost too late. Archie's reaction to sauerkraut is classic and laugh-out-loud funny. Unfortunately, Archie's creativity (and fate) save the day ... I'm not sure pre-readers will connect to the author's point that the safest choice is to listen to mom.

Pros: Kids will relate to the adventurous, risk-it-all personality of Archibald mouse. They'll also be his biggest cheerleader.

Cons: None, really. It might be nice to have just one more page that more concretely tells kids that they can have fun and adventure, even when they listen to their parents.

Borrow or Buy: Buy. First, there are lots of things you can do with this story, and Archibald is so cute kids will immediately make friends with him. Second, part of the proceeds go to Feed the Children and Variety: The Children's Charity to help children "who have ever felt hungry for food, love or adventure."

If You Liked This Book, Try: TROSCLAIR AND THE ALLIGATOR   DAKOTA GETS LOST (The Playdate Kids)   THE MISADVENTURES OF ROOTER & SNUFFLE

Educational Themes: There are lots of layers to this story, and plenty of opportunities to open a dialogue with kids. Before you jump into the themes that are here, have the kids create their own "Mount Everest." Where would they want to go, how would they get there? etc. You can talk about adventure, excitement, fear, problem-solving, safety, listening to Mom and Dad. Even though Archie knew where he was, with a little bit of tweaking, you can talk about getting lost.

Notes: Flesch Kincaid reading level 2.9. A portion of the proceeds of this book go to Feed the Children and Variety: The Children's Charity

Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, adventure, animal stories, self-esteem

Date(s) Reviewed: June 2008

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