Tomie dePaola has long been a favorite children's picture book author of mine. His Streganona series is hilarious and sweet. We've read dozens of his books from his Bible stories to his Native American legends. I'm almost ashamed to admit that I never even knew about his 26 Fairmount series until several months ago when I stumbled upon the first one at our local used bookstore.
26 Fairmount Avenue is the first book in dePaola's autobiographical early chapter book readers series. The story begins with the hurricane that hit his hometown of Meriden, CT in 1938 and continues through his kindergarten year until his family finally moves into their long awaited new house at 26 Fairmount Avenue. Each chapter contains a nearly independent story of an event that happened in dePaola's life during that period from spending time with his great grandmother, Nana Upstairs, to watching Disney's Snow White on the big screen and is woven with updates to the house that dePaola's family was building during that time. These events are relayed with dePaola's knack for beautiful storytelling. His ability to tell historical events through the lens of a young child brims with charm. My 7-year-old and I couldn't put the story down, and he's already asking for other books in the series to read on his own.