Book Reviews Children’s Book Reviews

  • The All-American Jump and Jive Jig

    The All-American Jump and Jive Jig

    In time for the 4th of July, this new release is a celebration of the diversity and regions of our great country. Take a tour of the U.S. through a rhyming story with stops along the way to hear and see the “jigs” of children in their hometowns. Starting off in Maine where two boys show us the “Rockland Sock-Hop”, the story hits the road, and you’ll learn the “Boston Tea Party” and “Brooklyn Boogie” before heading south to see kids perform the “Miami Mambo.” After a final stop for the “Juneau Jitterbug,” kids from all regions come together…

  • A Balloon for Isabel

    A Balloon for Isabel

    Isabel is a porcupine about to graduate from preschool and is quite upset that all her animal classmates will get balloons except for the porcupines, who will get bookmarks. When teacher Ms. Quill, also a porcupine as the name hints, explains that “balloons plus porcupines equal trouble,” Isabel won’t take no for an answer. So she begins her quest to find a solution that would allow her to have a balloon. Possible solutions are strapping pillows on her head and wrapping a fellow porcupine in bubble wrap. Needless to say, these don’t work. The resourceful little porcupine scores big when she…

  • The Daddy Mountain

    The Daddy Mountain

    From a young child’s perspective, climbing just about anything seems like climbing a mountain and what could be more fun than conquering a “daddy mountain”? This wonderfully simplistic book follows the “expedition” of a young girl from base camp—dad’s feet—all the way to the summit. Like any young mountaineer, this girl builds up energy with some of her favorite fruit juice and a little courage. She takes us on her climb, with a stream-of-consciousness narrative, past the knees, over the belt and on up the shirt. She talks herself through the challenging moments, noting…

  • F is for Flag

    F is for Flag

    Our flag is the United States’ most important symbol of freedom and unity, and this book provides a simple introduction to it for kids. Basic language and concepts make a nice story out of the meaning of our flag, which author Wendy Cheyette Lewison poetically describes is “just like a hand waving hello.” Kids will learn some places where our flag is waved, such as in school and other public venues, as well as some of its early history. Ms. Lewison also introduces ways we pay our respect to the flag by mentioning the Pledge of Allegiance, “The Star-Spangled Banner” and of course, Flag…

  • If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

    If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

    This “modern classic” celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2010! Giving a mouse a cookie sounds quite simple, but the mouse in Laura Numeroff’s creative tale is quite complex. You might even say he is high maintenance! A nice young boy invites the mouse into his house for a cookie and finds himself indulging the mouse in series of connected requests beginning with a glass of milk and then a straw. The requests lead us through a chain of events that includes, among many things, a hair cut, house-cleaning spree and coloring session, returning us to the fridge where the mouse requests a second glass of…

  • Pop! The Invention of Bubble Gum

    Pop! The Invention of Bubble Gum

    Gum has been around for centuries, but the true invention of “bubble” gum was in Philadelphia in the 1920s. This newly released book is a “biography” of the gooey confection’s early years. Believe it or not, an accountant at the Fleer Corporation (of trading card fame) created the first bubble gum formula. Up until then, gum was something that you chewed and was often used to soothe stomach aches. Young Walter Diemer’s accounting office happened to be located next to an experimental laboratory, where lab techs were trying, unsuccessfully, to create a new kind of gum that could be…

  • Maybe I'll Sleep in the Bathtub Tonight

    Maybe I'll Sleep in the Bathtub Tonight

    This recently released book is a collection of 20 rhyming poems with bedtime themes as its compelling title reveals. The poems whimsically cover various bedtime topics such as monsters in the closet, who gets the top bunk, thumb-sucking, sleepovers, among others. All are written with a humorous and slightly satirical twist that will give both kids and adults a chuckle.

  • But I Wanted a Baby Brother!

    But I Wanted a Baby Brother!

    Oliver Keaton is a little boy who desperately wants a baby brother. When his mom comes home from the hospital with his baby sister, Oliver’s sure it’s a “mistake.” While everyone “oohs” and “ahhs” over baby Julie, Oliver’s frustration grows. He gets the idea to trade his baby sister for one of his friends’ baby brothers. However, when proposing the idea to a couple of friends, who eagerly say yes because their baby brothers cry all day AND night, he reconsiders. Perhaps Baby Julie isn’t all that bad… by comparison, she laughs, waves and (most…

  • Are You My Mother?

    Are You My Mother?

    Happy Anniversary to this classic story about a baby bird’s search to find his mother! On the day her egg is about to hatch, Mama bird leaves the nest to find food for the arrival of her new baby. While she’s gone, the egg hatches and her baby bird wonders where he is and sets out to find her. Not knowing what his mother looks like, he asks several animals, including a dog, hen and cow, the famous question, “Are you my mother?” Refusing to take “no” for an answer, the little guy continues on his quest, posing the question to a car, boat, plane and steam shovel. In a sweet twist,…

  • Here Comes the Garbage Barge!

    Here Comes the Garbage Barge!

    This new book is a fictionalized version of a true story of the infamous odyssey of a barge full of garbage -- more than 3,000 tons of it -- from the town of Islip on New York’s Long Island, NY, down the East Coast, and back again. With local landfills at capacity, chief garbage man, Gino Stroffolino, gets the idea to dump it in North Carolina. Cap’m Duffy St. Pierre and his tugboat are hired to tow the barge to Morehead City, NC, but a barge is a big thing. You can’t just dump it and run! Cap’m Duffy and his barge were chased away by local police. Next stop is New Orleans with similar…