SERIES THURSDAY: Sprout Street Neighbors by Anna Alter


In the tradition of classics such as The Wind in the Willows and Winnie-the-Pooh comes Anna Alter’s first chapter book.

Henry, Violet, Emma, Wilbur, and Fernando are neighbors in the same apartment building and they are also friends—though they have very different personalities and interests. Henry prefers peace and quiet, and poetry. Violet spends hours knitting and practicing her flute. Emma loves planning birthday parties. Wilbur would be happy to spend all day in his garden. And Fernando is just a little bit shy, but has a secret talent for the stage.

Sharing walls with your neighbor can sometimes bring the unexpected, but in the end, these five work together to overcome their differences.


Alter has created an adorable new series that revolves around the lives of five animal neighbors:  Emma (squirrel), Wilbur (cat), Henry (mouse), Violet (duck), and Fernando (rabbit).  Each chapter focuses on one of the characters and a problem he/she needs to solve.  I liked the fact that none of the problems was big and heart-breaking.  All the problems relate to every day sorts of irritations and concerns, things such as Emma worrying about having a great birthday party, Henry's irritated with the noise coming from the apartment above him.  Thankfully each character finds a solution to his/her problem, usually with the help of the neighbors.  This sort of book works well for students who don't enjoy scary stories or get anxious when they read anything too intense.  Stories like this are realistic (other than the animal characters) and provide what I like to call comfort reading.  These stories are just sweet and homey.


There's a new neighbor on Sprout Street in this early reader series perfect for fans of Clementine, Just Grace, and Ivy & Bean.

Mili has just moved into the empty apartment on Sprout Street all the way from Hawaii--and her new neighbors can't wait to meet her! Violet is happy there's someone in the building who shares her love of art. Emma is excited to have a new breakfast buddy. Henry is eager to show off his model ships. Mili is quick to lend a hand when she finds Wilbur in a pickle, and Fernando always welcomes another voice at the weekly Sprout Street meetings.

Of course, sometimes a new friend can take some getting used to, but with neighbors like these, it's not long before Lily is part of the Sprout Street family, too.


24 Sprout Street has a new resident, Mililani, who has moved all the way from Hawaii.  Each of the neighbors befriends her and interacts with her.  Each of the original residents has a story connected to Mili.  Violet gets sick and loses confidence in her artistic abilities after seeing Mili's fabulous art, it's up to her friends to help her get well.  Emma has breakfast every day with Mili, until the day she doesn't and she assumes that Mili is planning a surprise for her.  Henry mistakenly tells Mili about his boat, forgetting to mention that it's a model and not a full size boat.  Mili helps Wilbur turn a sad day into a wonderful day when he loses the fortune in his pocket.  And Fernando needs help when he gets caught between Mili's idea and Henry's idea for the color they should paint the building.  All these stories are short and sweet and represent the best in friendship and overcoming everyday obstacles.


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