Christian Retailing

Seasoned children’s authors inspire new readers Print Email
Written by Karen Schmidt   
Monday, 10 November 2008 11:52 AM America/New_York

Dandi Daley Mackall and Crystal Bowman have applied their well-honed writing skills to eight new books in the "I Can Read!" line for children ages 4 to 7 from Zonderkidz. Four books in the "Ali Cat Series" and another four in the "Owl and Otter Series" debut this month from Zondervan’s children’s division.

Originally published by HarperCollins starting in 1957, the "I Can Read!" books ($3.99 each) have sold more than 60 million copies. When Zonderkidz took over the publication of the books in 2007, they hired writers who have been adding the faith element to each story, creating a dual-purpose book, one that fosters the skill of reading and also undergirds a child’s spiritual training.

The new Level 1 books by Mackall feature a girl who adopts a stray cat. Ali Cat Finds a Home (978-0-310-71700-3), Ali Cat Is a Scaredy-Cat (-2-7), An Ali Cat Christmas (-3-4) and Just Ali Cat (-1-0) develop themes of responsibility, confidence in God’s love, the true meaning of Christmas and the importance of inner qualities as compared to external appearances. Janet McDonnell illustrated these titles with gentle art that underscores Ali’s tender heart.

Bowman’s books, with playful, cartoon-style art by Kevin Zimmer, are also Level 1 readers: Otter and Owl Set Sail (978-0-310-71704-1), Otter and Owl and the Big Ah-Choo! (-5-8), Otter and Owl’s Helpful Hike (-6-5) and Otter and Owl Say I’m Sorry (-7-2). These teach lessons in friendship, kindness, relying on God and forgiveness.

Retailers who stock the "I Can Read!" series will be interested in Zonderkidz’ "buy 2, get 1 free" offer and new spinner racks available this spring free of charge.

For more information or to order, call Zondervan at 800-727-1309, or visit