Kids love other kids. As babies, they are fascinated by books featuring photos of babies, and you often see them exploring each other's faces on the playground and at playdates. Most children's books are about stories of other children, and live action shots of children playing are regular features on popular TV shows like Barney, Sesame Street, The Wiggles, and so on. One of my kids' favorite books is Poor Pluto, a book written and illustrated by a third grade class in Lodi, California. So when I received a couple of books written and illustrated by a 7-year old boy, I was pretty sure my kids were going to like it -- but I was surprised at how much I liked them.
Dalton James, a talented 7-year old boy, has written two lovely books featuring the adventures of a boy and his dad. In The Sneakiest Pirates, Pirate Pete and his dad Scurvy James set sail on an adventure to dig up some pirate treasure. The Heroes of Googley Woogley starts up where the first book ends, taking Pete and James (now known as Spaceboy Pete and Spaceman James) on an intergalactic quest for justice.
I'm really impressed by the quality of writing in both stories. They are interesting, imaginative, fast paced, and cohesive, with just the right kinds of action that small boys enjoy -- swordfights, chases, and battles with evil aliens. They are so good that I almost wonder whether this is like one of those science fair projects that parents "help" their kids with -- and then Dalton comes up with things that only a 7-year old could possibly think of (A candy store on a spacecraft! Using pirate booty to start a rock star career! Cooking food as punishment!), which leaves no doubt that the story is truly his. Both books are fun reads, and we can't wait to read more of the adventures of Pete and James . Who will they be next? Where will they go? Keep writing, Dalton James, so we can find out!