Pssst! – book review

Pssst! by Adam Rex Picture book * * * * Stars (Great!) A little girl goes to the zoo one day and is called over to each of the animal enclosures (by their inhabitants) and asked to acquire certain things. The gorilla wants some new tires (his tire swing is broken), the bats want some flashlights (for their friend the hippopotamus, who doesn’t like the dark), etc. etc. Everyone has a (mostly) reasonable explanation for … Read more

Could Be Worse – book review

Could Be Worse by James Stevenson Picture book * * * Stars (Pretty good) Grandpa always says the same thing, “could be worse,” whenever his grandkids tell him something. They assume that it’s because he leads a very uninteresting life. To spice things up, he tells them a story of his previous evening – when he was abducted from his bed, horrible things happen to him, and he finally returns shaken, but alive. Their response? … Read more

Boss Baby – book review

The Boss Baby by Marla Frazee Picture book * * * * * Stars (Amazing!) When the Boss Baby arrives, he immediately takes control of his parents’ lives – “He put Mom and Dad on a round-the-clock schedule, with no time off.” Dressed in black footie pajamas that look just like a power suit (with a convenient flap at the back) and a tie, the Boss Baby proceeds to throw his weight around. It’s truly … Read more

House in the Woods – book review

A House in the Woods by Inga Moore Picture book * * * * Stars (Great!) Once upon a time there were two pigs living in the woods in homes they had built for themselves – a den and a hut. When they return after a walk, they find that a bear and a moose have moved in, respectively. Due to their large size, they destroy the pigs’ homes when they get up to greet … Read more

Place to Call Home – book review

A Place to Call Home by Alexis Deacon illustrated by Viviane Schwarz Picture book * * * * * Stars (Amazing!) A group of (what appears to be) hamsters outgrows their hidey hole home in the junkyard and the seven of them decide that they must find new digs. They are afraid to venture out into the world without some kind of protection (very, very small portable holes that they can take with them on … Read more

Princess and the Pig – book review

The Princess and the Pig by Jonathan Emmett Illustrated by Poly Bernatene Picture book * * * * Stars (Great!) This is one of those books where two infants are switched at birth (or close enough) and raised by unsuspecting families until they come of age and all is revealed! Because of all of the stories they’ve read (where that sort of thing happens all the time) it’s not surprising to the King and Queen … Read more

I Don’t Like Gloria! – book review

I Don’t Like Gloria! by Kate Umansky illustrated by Margaret Chamberlain Picture book * * * * Stars (Great!) Calvin is a little dog whose people have just adopted Gloria, a fluffy, prissy cat who doesn’t understand that there are BOUNDARIES, and Calvin doesn’t like her. Gloria gets all of the attention and Calvin just gets in trouble. He’s justifiably upset, too. “The first thing she did was eat out of my bowl. MY bowl. … Read more

Mad Dog McGraw – book review

Mad Dog McGraw by Myron Uhlberg illustrated by Lydia Monks Picture book * * * Stars (Pretty good) Mad Dog McGraw is the meanest dog in the neighborhood, and the little boy who narrates this story hates him. He comes up with all kinds of schemes to get past the dog, but they all end the same way – with Mad Dog McGraw chasing him home. Then, after adopting a stray cat (called ‘Bait’), to … Read more

Crictor – book review

Crichtor by Tomi Ungerer Picture book * * * * Stars (Great!) Crichtor is a very special boa constrictor who belongs to an elderly French lady named Madame Louise Bodot. He was a birthday present to her from her son, who was studying reptiles in Africa. Although Crichtor was a surprise (he made Madame shriek when she opened the box), Madame quickly adjusts to her new pet – learning about his species at the zoo, … Read more

Princess and the Pea – book review

The Princess and the Pea adapted and illustrated by Alain Vaes Picture book * * * Stars (Pretty good) In this version of the Princess and the Pea, the prince announces to his gem-obsessed mother that he intends to marry. The queen is concerned that a royal wedding will cost a lot of money, however, and that marriage in general (the prince’s as well as anyone else’s) will deplete the amount of gems available to … Read more