After kids learn to read most picture books but before they’re ready for bigger chapter books, there’s the awkward in between time when finding appropriate reading material is a challenge. The Elevator Family by Douglas Evans is the perfect books for kids in that gap!
The Wilson family–Mr. and Mrs. Wilson and their ten year old twins, Winslow and Whitney–plans to vacation at the San Francisco Hotel, but upon their arrival they find that there aren’t any rooms available. Not willing to have their time in town spoiled by such a minor detail, they decide to stay in one of the hotel’s elevators, which they dub the Otis Room.
During their stay in the Otis Room, the Winslows meet many guests and workers as they travel up and down. There’s a lonely traveling salesman, grateful for the family’s company, the lovesick bellboy, seeking advice, and the busy widow, rushing from one social engagement to the next. During their time in the elevator, each person learns to slow down a little and to look at what is most important to them. Just in case you think this sounds a little contemplative for a book for early readers, there’s a mystery thrown in, too. As they ride the elevator, the Winslows notice some details that lead them to solve a major crime!
The Elevator Family is ideal for kids wanting more than a picture book. It’s just under 100 pages, so the length isn’t too intimidating or overwhelming. They story is simple and easy to follow and there are many situations kids will find funny.
I think if you give it a try you’re going to love The Elevator Family. If you do enjoy the antics of the Winslow family, there are also three recent sequels: The Elevator Family Hits the Road, The Elevator Family Takes a Hike, and The Elevator Family Goes Abroad!
Note: There is one dinner scene in which the adults drink champagne, so please be aware if that is a sensitive topic for your family.