Book Reviews Children’s Book Reviews

  • I Spy Spectacular

    I Spy Spectacular

    This new release marks the 20th year of the I Spy series. I Spy author Jean Marzollo created new riddles to accompany Walter Wick’s classic photo layouts from the early years of the series. The complex images range from traditional toy layouts to model village set-ups, holiday toy store window (a favorite), and foliage. Readers are asked to find an equally wide range of objects.

  • Who Said Coo?

    Who Said Coo?

    Lulu the pig settles into her cozy bed for a good night’s sleep and is awakened by a “coooo” sound. She opens her front door and sees her friend Pigeon standing there, but he denies making any sound. Lulu goes back to bed and later hears “whooo.” Now it’s Owl who is outside the door, and he too denies making the sound. Next, Lulu is awakened by a “mooo” and becomes quite cross. Still believing the noises are coming from Pigeon and Owl, Lulu harshly shoos the two away from outside her door. Soon, she hears them crying “boo-hoo.” Lulu feels bad at her angry…

  • The Great Katie Kate Discusses Diabetes

    The Great Katie Kate Discusses Diabetes

    Young Andrew becomes ill and faints while at a carnival. He wakes up in a hospital with his parents by his side, and learns that he has a disease called “diabetes.” Naturally, Andrew has loads of questions and concerns. But the Great Katie Kate, an imaginary young female “superhero,” arrives to help Andrew overcome his fears. They embark on an adventurous journey through the human body as Katie Kate describes the medical aspects of diabetes. They also visit an imaginary playground and meet other kids with the disease who tell Andrew what he can expect and how he can manage his condition.…

  • Jam & Honey

    Jam & Honey

    The old saying goes, “there are two sides to every story,” and that’s just what this new book offers. Melita Morales’ story is about a young girl who encounters a bee while out picking berries. She dramatizes this meeting with two separate first-person narratives — one from the girl’s point of view and the second from the bee’s viewpoint. In the girl’s version, she sagely heeds her mother’s advice and stands still so the bee can go about his business. The bee eventually flies away, and the girl and her mom go home with their berries to make jam. In the bee’s…

  • Quackenstein Hatches a Family

    Quackenstein Hatches a Family

    Quackenstein is a lonely, grumpy duck living in the darkest corner of the zoo. Feeling sorry for himself, one day he stumbles upon several “orphaned” eggs and decides to adopt one. He anxiously takes his chosen egg home to hatch. On a dark and stormy night, the egg hatches and out comes a mysterious little creature that was definitely not a duck. “Quack” ran in horror with his “baby” following close behind. When finally cornered in a cave, Quack is greeted with “Hello...Dad!” and his heart melts as any parent’s would when hearing their child’s first words.…

  • And to Think that I Saw it on Mulberry Street

    And to Think that I Saw it on Mulberry Street

    The National Education Association has dubbed March 2nd as “Read Across America Day” in honor of Dr. Seuss’ birthday. We thought it fitting to honor the literary legend (a.k.a. Theodore Geisel) who made his silly rhyming stories a childhood right of passage—and a tremendously important component of early reading. But with more than 40 incredible books to choose from, how do you pick just one? I headed to Facebook and posed the question, “What is your favorite Dr. Seuss book?”, to more than 300 of my closest family and friends. In no time, I had plenty of suggestions from…

  • Alfred Zector, Book Collector

    Alfred Zector, Book Collector

    As the title says, this book is about bibliophile Alfred Zector, a young boy who is lonely and shy until he discovers the magic of reading. A rhyming story tells how Alfred began collecting books and continued well into adulthood. In fact, he had so many books, every place in his house was crammed with them, even his refrigerator! With Grinch-like greed, but much more politely, he decided to collect every book in town right down to the last one, for which he traded his bike to a tike. While Alfred was locked in his house reading every book in town, life for everyone else became very boring, especially for parents and…

  • I'm Not.

    I'm Not.

    This new book is a story narrated by a young crocodile. Though the narrator isn’t named, we learn a lot about her, like the fact that she’s shy, and her best friend, Evelyn, is her exact opposite — or so it seems. Evelyn is on top of the latest fashion trends and great at nearly everything. One day, however, Evelyn confides in her friend that she’s “stinky” at spelling. The narrator perks up because she is very good at spelling! And, it turns out, our narrator is good at a bunch of things that Evelyn is not—such as karate and baking. As a result of their differences, the two…

  • Sweet Reads For Valentine's Day

    Sweet Reads For Valentine's Day

    Many call Valentine’s Day a “Hallmark Holiday” and rightly so. But rather than look at the “holiday” as one day to express your love, you might want to use Valentine’s Day as a time to renew your commitment to creating special times and traditions with your kids. Reading aloud is critical for kids’ developmental growth and it is one of the best ways to spend time together. What says “I love you” more than togetherness? There is no shortage of Valentine’s Day-themed books in stores and libraries. However, there are many wonderful books not tied to February…

  • Child of the Civil Rights Movement

    Child of the Civil Rights Movement

    Paula Young Shelton, daughter of a civil rights leader and former U.S. ambassador Andrew Young, gives readers an eyewitness account of her extraordinary experiences as a child living in the Deep South during the civil rights movement. Born in New York, where there were no Jim Crow laws, Paula and her family moved to the Deep South so her parents could help “Uncle Martin” and his friends put an end to the oppressive treatment of African Americans. Paula tells readers about the joys of living in a close community and the struggles of a child growing up in a society where they were often told…