Just finished reading an ARC of a new transitional reader called "Magical Ms. Plum," and I really admired it. Go buy it for your kids! Right now! At the same time it made me feel depressed because I figured something I wrote in the same vein could never be as good. BUT I'M NOT JEALOUS. (Because I'm a big person these days.)
Here's what the author, Bonny Becker, does--she has more than one thing going on. Each chapter has its own story arc, but then there's an over reaching story arc running throughout the whole narrative about a smartypants boy named Carlos. And it's that over reaching story arc I would have failed to provide. I would have just stopped with the clever individual chapters.
Lesson for today: having more than one something going on is a good idea.