Little Pea – book review

Little Pea by Amy Krause Rosenthal illustrated by Jen Corace Picture book * * * * * Stars (Amazing!) This tongue-in-cheek take on cleaning one’s plate is humorous fun for kids and grown-ups alike. “If you want to grow up to be a big, strong pea, you have to eat your candy.” Papa Pea tells Little Pea. That’s a tall order, but Little Pea acquiesces. And what’s for dessert? You might be surprised. Corace’s signature … Read more

Imagine Harry – book review

Imagine Harry by Kate Klise illustrated by M. Sarah Klise Picture book * * * * * Stars (Amazing!) Little Rabbit is quite dependent on his friend, Harry, especially when it’s time to start school. The thing is, no one else sees Harry, or even seems to realize he’s there. This warmly reassuring tale underscores the security Little Rabbit has in his relationship with his mother and the inner resources he draws upon in adjusting … Read more

Lola at the Library – book review

Lola at the Library by Anna McQuinn illustrated by Rosalind Beardshaw Picture book * * * * Stars (Great!) Lola is a happy girl. Why? Because it’s Tuesday and Tuesday is library day. Little ones will relate to Lola and appreciate her celebration of books as they shadow her through her adventures from wake-up time to bedtime when, of course, her new library books are read to her. Bright, but soft and fuzzy, acrylic illustrations … Read more

Season of Gifts – book review

A Season of Gifts by Richard Peck Historical Fiction * * * * Stars (Great!) Richard Peck is an author of several award-winning historical fiction books for kids. In A Season for Gifts, he has written another exceptional story. Set in the 1950’s, this is the story of 12-year-old Bob, his family and his experiences as the new kid in town. This novel is filled with remarkable characters, including the older teenage sister who begins … Read more

Curious Garden – book review

The Curious Garden by Peter Brown Picture book * * * * Stars (Great!) When Liam is out exploring (he seems to be the only one in his city that enjoys being outside) he discovers some plants struggling to grow between the rails of an abandoned elevated railway. He starts tending these plants, even though he doesn’t have much experience with gardening, and he gradually learns how to care for them. The plants flourish and … Read more

How to Clean a Hippopotamus – book review

How to Clean a Hippopotamus: A Look at Unusual Animal Partnerships by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page Juvenile Nonfiction (Grades 4-7) Intricate and colorful torn paper collages illustrate the fascinating symbiotic (mutualistic) relationships between various animals and organisms. Their stories are told in comic book/graphic novel-like panels, describing the nature of the relationship and how it benefits each animal. Even if you know something about symbiosis, this book really brings it to life – from … Read more

How to Scratch a Wombat – book review

How to Scratch a Wombat by Jackie French Juvenile Nonfiction (Grades 4-6) * * * * * Stars (Amazing!) Jackie French has been living among wombats in the near-wilds of Australia for over 30 years. She’s made friends with her neighborhood wombats and has cared for orphaned and injured wombats. Wombats are curious creatures, marsupials, which like to dig. They experience the world primarily through their large nostrils and have a highly evolved sense of … Read more

Ghost in the Tokaido Inn – book review

The Ghost in the Tokaido Inn by Thomas and Dorothy Hoobler Historical Fiction Juvenile Fiction Mystery * * * * Stars (Great!) Seikei is the son of a merchant in ancient Japan, but he longs to escape his current station and become a noble samurai – one of the knights of Japan. He gets his chance when he notices a mysterious figure in the dark while he and his father are staying at an inn. … Read more