We love Houndsley and Catina by James Howe around here.
Catina is so spunky and Houndsley is so houndish and sweet. I love their friends. I love that Catina wants to be a writer and she stinks at it. I love that Houndsley wants to be a chef, and he's wonderful, but only when he's cooking at home, for friends. These are perfect for your Early Readers (preschool through second grade), and they are just good writing. The stories are realistic, and the illustrations are enchanting, for lack of a better word. They are part of the Candlewick Sparks series which I generally love.
Buy some. Today!
And if you have any extra time, watch this video that has caught my attention. I'll be posting about this later because we are trying SOLE's in our family right now and, so far, we love them.