Blueberry Bonanza

illus. by Mark Tuchman. 72p. (Raccoon River Kids: Bk. 1) Persnickety. Aug. 2017. Tr $14.95. ISBN 9781943978298.
Gr 1–3—Nicholas first saw the bear last year during blueberry season. The two of them had an understanding—the bear was to leave Nico and his family's blueberry bushes alone, and in return Nico promised to leave the bear a big pail of berries. So far, both have held up their end of the bargain. But this year, there are more berries than ever—far more than the family could ever pick or eat. When Nico's mother learns about the hungry intruder, precautions are taken. Whistles are dispensed, and there's even a bear drill. Things don't quite go the way he'd hoped, but Nico is determined and resourceful. This is the first in a new series of easy chapter books featuring Nicholas and his best friend, Hannah. Frequent, cheerful black-and-white cartoon illustrations help break up the text for newly independent readers. Incidental bear trivia will also appeal to kids. The characters and the plot are empowering and inspirational for community-minded young entrepreneurs.
VERDICT A worthwhile addition for public and school libraries.

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