Book Reviews Children’s Book Reviews

  • We Planted a Tree

    We Planted a Tree

    A story about the important functions of trees cleverly told through the eyes of two families who each plant a tree -- one in New York City and the other in Africa. In addition to these locations, we see how trees grow throughout the world and each season. We learn that blossoms drop to reveal leaves, which bring food to the tree, keep the earth cool and the air clean. We also learn about the different types of fruits that trees can provide, among other important functions such as keeping soil healthy for other plantings that grow into healthy food for humans and animals. The story comes full circle in the end with…

  • I Can Save the Ocean!

    I Can Save the Ocean!

    In this newly released book, which is part of Simon & Schuster’s “Little Green Books” eco-friendly collection, we meet Max, a little green monster, who learns the importance of keeping the oceans, beaches and other areas clean. While snorkeling in the ocean, he sees how unsightly the bottom of the ocean becomes from trash. Once he has cleaned up after himself and others, he sets out on a mission to find the source of all this trash. He scolds other beach-goers and boaters for littering, and sees that litter from people on the streets and from our homes can end up in storm drains, which…

  • Bread and Jam for Frances

    Bread and Jam for Frances

    This is a classic tale featuring Frances, one of children’s literature’s most endearing characters, and her fussiness about food. During a family breakfast of eggs, Frances announces that she prefers bread and jam, and gives a similar response at dinner that night. Feeling a bit frustrated, her parents try a new strategy—offering her only bread and jam for every meal. Predictably, Frances eventually tires of bread and jam when she sees the variety of foods that her friends and family eat. Her breaking point is when her mother serves spaghetti and meatballs. She softly cries at the thought of eating…

  • Pinkalicious Series

    Pinkalicious Series

    First published in 2006, Pinkalicious quickly became a best-selling children’s book and was followed up with Purplicious in 2007, along with a musical stage show which is currently running in New York. The third book in the series, Goldilicious, was released last spring, and with more titles and licensed merchandise being released throughout 2010, we decided to take a look at the three initial books in the series.

  • It's Hard to Be Five

    It's Hard to Be Five

    A five-year-old boy tells us, through an easy-to-read rhyming beat, about the many trials and tribulations of his age. We learn about how hard it is to control one’s hands and mouth, sit still, keep clean, start a new school and a number of other “hardships”. He turns the corner upon the realization that his body and mind are like a car. With the “license to steer,” he can make many decisions such as use manners, when to walk and run, cross the street and even how to dream.

  • Wake Up, It's Spring!

    Wake Up, It's Spring!

    A very sweet, simple story that celebrates, how the Earth “wakes up” for spring, beginning with the sun, moving onto plants, insects, animals and finally, humans.

  • Rhyming Dust Bunnies

    Rhyming Dust Bunnies

    A story about four dust bunny pals named Ed, Ned, Ted and Bob. As the title implies, they like to say rhyming words, but Bob puts an end to the rhyming sequence when trying to call attention to the impending danger of a broom. In the end, they all wind up where dust bunnies should be, in theory -- the vacuum cleaner.

  • My Name is Yoon

    My Name is Yoon

    Helen Recorvits’ first illustrated children’s book about a young girl from Korea adapting to life in the U.S., has deservedly won numerous awards. Yoon, who does not speak English, starts school in the U.S. is understandably very resistant to her new surroundings. At first, she does not like her new school, but each day she gains a bit more confidence and begins to make friends, bond with her teacher and enjoy her new language.

  • Princess Pig

    Princess Pig

    A barnyard tale about “Pig” who wakes up to find that the wind has blown a “Princess” sash on top of her. So, she convinces herself, her animal friends and humans that she is indeed royalty. In the end, she realizes that she misses her friends and all the usual things she used to do as an ordinary pig, and rejoins her pals and their farm life.

  • Make Way For Ducklings

    Make Way For Ducklings

    The classic story about Mr. and Mrs. Mallard who search for the perfect place to raise their family of ducklings. After “scouting” many locations, they settle in Boston’s Public Garden. The Mallard family feels a bit like fish—or, ducks—out of water as they dodge speeding bikes and cars, and wonder why statues of swans won’t talk back to them.