Reviews of Sprout Street Neighbors: Five Stories

"The five stories here present a tribute to the ups and downs of friendship. Differences are the central focus of each story as characters display their very diverse personalities. Poetry-loving Henry fancies peace and quiet; vivacious Emma is always ready to party; creative Violet wants to practice her flute and knit; gardener Wilbur prefers to work with plants and dig in the dirt; and shy Fernando’s secret desire is to dance. These animal friends reside in the same apartment building, but sometimes their different lifestyles make being neighbors hard! Episodic chapters reveal how problems, such as a noisy acorn collection, leaky ceilings, and a birthday cake disaster, find resolution in a fashion reminiscent of Winnie the Pooh’s misadventures in the Hundred Acre Woods. Soft, expressive pen-and-ink illustrations provide assistance for the transitional reader. Demonstrating tolerance, politeness, and teamwork, these gentle stories help show how the world can work when challenges are approached with kindness and understanding."
Martha Edmundson, Booklist

"Five animal friends who share an apartment building feature in this sensitive and drily funny collection of five stoires, which are driven by mild but realistic worries and conflicts. In one, Emma the squirrel bakes herself a 15-layer birthday cake, only to mistake it for a piñata, giving her the memorable party she wanted, but not how she expected; in another Fernando the rabbit tries to summon the courage to embrace his unexplored passion for dancing. Alter's b&w illustrations contribute greatly to the characters' distinct personalities and the warm atmosphere of their neighborhood, one that readers will be eager to revisit."
Publishers Weekly

"This intermediate chapter book showcases five very different neighbors—Henry (a mouse), Emma (a squirrel), Wilbur (a cat), Violet (a chicken), and Fernando (a rabbit)—all living in an apartment building. They help one another in simple ways, such as celebrating a special birthday, as well as with more complicated problems, such as moving a garden about to be demolished or repairing a drippy roof. The chapters are liberally sprinkled with adorable illustrations, and each story begins with a picture of the resident’s apartment door, allowing readers to speculate about his or her habits and hobbies. Hand this title to fans of Cynthia Rylant or Patricia MacLachlan or to any reader who prefers a quieter book."
Melissa Bailey, School Library Journal