Book Reviews Children’s Book Reviews

  • Bailey


    Bailey’s not like any other dog. He has his own bedroom, sleeps in a “human” bed and goes to school every day. Bailey, the only dog at school, does just what all the other kids do, such as ride the bus, learn math and enjoy lunch in the cafeteria, among other typical school activities. Like most kids, Bailey gets into his share of harmless trouble. For example, he pops the kids’ kickball, thinking it’s a chew toy, and makes a mess after dipping his tail in paint during art class. In all, Bailey is just “one of the kids.”

  • A Sick Day for Amos McGee

    A Sick Day for Amos McGee

    Amos McGee is an elderly gentleman who lives alone and works at the city zoo. He considers the zoo animals his good friends. Like many creatures in literature, these animals have some human qualities. Amos is a very considerate friend and makes sure he spends quality time with each of them. For instance, he races with the tortoise, and always lets him win, and sits patiently while the elephant ponders each move in chess. One day, Amos wakes up with a cold and is too sick to go to work. The animals wait anxiously for him to arrive, and when he doesn’t, they hop on the city bus to visit him. They nurse him back…

  • The Prince’s Bedtime

    The Prince’s Bedtime

    A young prince has so much to do, why waste time going to sleep? One night, this story’s prince flat-out refuses to go to sleep. His mother, the queen, has the castle staff bring him cookies and hot milk, to no avail. So the king puts out a royal request to his kingdom for assistance. A diverse parade of subjects comes to the prince’s bedroom, including a physician with a special medicine that ends up putting everyone else to sleep except the prince. Dancers, magicians, jugglers all visit the Prince and their efforts only energize the youngster. One evening, an old woman knocks on the door, claiming to…

  • How to Get a Job ... By Me, the Boss

    How to Get a Job ... By Me, the Boss

    It’s never too early to learn job-hunting skills! This new picture book, in Sally Lloyd-Jones’ “how-to” series, is a humorous guide for tot job seekers, narrated by a young female “executive” known as “The Boss.” The Boss begins with the basics of working, such as the need for money and “something to do.” From a child’s point of view, she covers the skills needed for a wide variety of “professions,” including a scuba diver, magician, teacher and police officer, among others. The Boss advises readers to chose a job based on what they are…

  • The Ugly Duckling Dinosaur

    The Ugly Duckling Dinosaur

    This new picture book is a retelling of Hans Christian Anderson’s The Ugly Duckling using a young dinosaur as the subject. The story line is similar to the classic, except when Mother Duck’s eggs hatch, a dinosaur pops out instead of an ugly duckling. Like the original, Mother Duck loves her “ugly duckling” despite his differences. After unintentionally scaring other animals and being mocked, the little dinosaur runs off to find a place where he belongs. As time passes, he grows really big, so much that even other dinosaurs flee at the sight of him. Finally, he meets an “adult”…

  • The Ugly Duckling

    The Ugly Duckling

    Hans Christian Anderson’s timeless tale from the mid-1800s is retold with modern illustrations by Sebastien Braun. We all know the story of how Mother Duck found an extra, different egg in her nest, and vowed to love and nurture it as if it was her own. When the egg hatched, the “duckling” looked and sounded very different than his siblings. As he grew up, he was ostracized by others for being so different, yet his mother always said, “No matter, I love you just the same.” He runs away and eventually meets some swans who look and sound just like him. He realizes that he does…

  • The Wicked Big Toddlah Goes to New York

    The Wicked Big Toddlah Goes to New York

    Toddie, the world’s largest toddler, takes a sightseeing vacation with his family to New York City. Toddie enjoys landmarks such as Grand Central Station, Times Square and Yankee Stadium. However, he becomes separated from his parents and is very scared until he finds a lost dog. He befriends the dog and a bunch of kids they meet in the park, and continues sightseeing with them. Eventually, his parents realize Toddie is missing and start calling for him. Toddie gets a good idea — climb to the top of the Empire State Building to see if he can find them. It works! The family continues their silly…

  • Buzz


    This is a story about a bee, named Buzz. She flies about all day, stopping to visit with friends and really loves her life. Until one day, she sees an article torn from a newspaper that says “bees can’t fly.” While she was able to read only a portion of the article, it was all she needed to read before losing her confidence and ability to fly. Her friend Snail unsuccessfully tries to cheer her up. That evening, the pair smelled smoke coming from Old Owl’s tree. Old Owl is a very sound sleeper and appeared to be in serious danger. Since Snail cannot fly up to warn Old Owl, his only hope is…

  • All the Way to America

    All the Way to America

    Acclaimed author-illustrator Dan Yaccarino shares his family history beginning with his great-grandfather’s immigration to America. Like many young men and women searching for a better life, Michele Iaccarino (renamed Michael Yaccarino at Ellis Island) left his family in Italy and headed to New York. He left with few possessions, including a little metal shovel and his parents’ advice: “work hard,” “enjoy life” and “never forget your family.” Michele settled in New York City’s Little Italy, found a job using that little shovel, got married and had a family. When…

  • Summer Round-Up

    Summer Round-Up

    The summer is a great time to explore new topics with the kids, study the wonders of nature or learn about interesting places. Either at the library or bookstore, there’s no shortage of summer-themed books on a variety of topics to fit every age. Here are some recent releases worth checking out, along with some family favorites.