Awhile back, the boys & I read two really fun books by Marianne Mitchell. Gullywasher Gulch is published by Boyds Mills Press and illustrated by Normand Chartier. Joe Cinders is published by Henry Holt & Company and illustrated by Bryan Langdo. Both are picture books written for children ages 4-8 years. Marianne Mitchell is a wonderful woman, who's been an incredible help to me and my efforts as a writer for children.
Ebenezer Overall lives on the outskirts of Gullywash Gulch. He's the town packrat and people always ask him when he will get rid of all his junk. "I'm savin' it for a rainy day," Eb replies. That rainy day finally comes and boy, it's a doozy! The storm washes Eb's house and all his junk right into the middle of the busted up town. The people wonder how they will ever rebuild, until they realize everything they need was right there from Eb's shack. Will he let them use his stuff? The boys & I loved this story. The illustrations are amazing -- the action jumps right off each page!
Another fun book by Marianne is Joe Cinders. It's set in the classic tone of Cinderella, only with a southwestern flare. Joe is a poor cowboy who's only importance are doing chores while his lazy stepbrothers sit around counting buzzards. A fiesta and a fairy godfather change everything and Joe finds himself with his stepbrothers trying to win the heart of Miss Rosalinda. The boys & I loved this book also. Every year in school we do weeks where we read several retellings of famous stories and compare the differences. Joe Cinders is one we will add this year. It's cute, it's funny, it's different and it has a great ending. Both stories are fun and wonderful additions to your children's book collection. Visit Marianne Mitchell's website here.