In honor of this week’s holiday, a book review post from a few years back: Sarah Gives Thanks: How Thanksgiving Became a National Holiday, by Mike Allegra, illustrated by David Gardner. Whitman, 2012, 32 pages. Age-interest level: 4-up As our story opens, Sarah Hale is gathered with her five children around the Thanksgiving table. No […]
Do little kids love fantasy? NPR recently reported on a study done by three academic psychologists on the subject of children and fiction. They asked a group of 4-to-7-year-olds what choose between two stories they might like to read or listen to: one story about a child who found a treasure, and another about a […]
Prolific author Jean Fritz turns 100 today! During her long life, she has written numerous books–mostly biographies–for children. Before picture book biographies were so prevalent, elementary school children had few solid sources for biographies…except for Fritz’s works. Even with the advent of such young reader-friendly series as the “Who Was…?” series by Scholastic, Fritz’s works […]
As a book reviewer, I have stars in my eyes. That is, I watch for stars when scanning book review journals, because they are an indicator of what someone finds excellent. Often, what others value is not what I would value, but if a book collects a lot of stars (six is the absolute gold […]
Do Picture Books Retire? Petunia, that silly goose, is turning the ripe old age of 65 this year, the same age as my father-in-law who is retiring this fall from his long-standing position as nurse anesthetist. The Carrot Seed at 70 is the same age as my father who semi-retired this summer. And Harold and his trusty […]
A Chocolate Moose for Dinner by Fred Gwynne. Scholastic, 1976. 32 pages. Reading Level: Ages 4-8, Picture book Recommended For: Ages 4-8 When a child hears her parents using idioms, she imagines literal interpretations with humorous results. How do you hang shoes on a tree? Would a new wing on the house have feathers? Would […]
Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the closed doors of a book award committee’s deliberations? How a group of people can, with confidence, pronounce a particular book the “best” of the year? An earnest committee, regardless of their makeup, will go through a similar process in their deliberations. The PBOTY Committee… Our Picture […]
World magazine has just announced their Children’s Books of the Year! Both the Children’s Book of the Year and the Picture Book of the Year lists are outstanding collections. While the five of us on the Picture Book of the Year committee–and any other grown-ups we could round up–scrutinized the nominated books in minute details, […]
*Boats for Papa by Jessixa Bagley. Roaring Brook Press, 2015. 40 pages. Reading Level: Picture Books, ages 4-8 Recommended For: Ages 4-8 Buckley, a young beaver, lives with his mother by the sea. While he loves everything about the sea, his favorite thing to do is to make boats: “big boats, small boats, long boats, […]
*Water is Water: A Book About the Water Cycle by Miranda Paul and illustrated by Jason Chin. Roaring Brook Press, 2015. 40 pages. Reading Level: Picture books, ages 4-8 Recommended For: Ages 0-10 Most books about the water cycle show the classic diagram of ocean/lake, clouds, and land, using technical terms such as evaporation, condensation, and precipitation. In […]
*The Golden Plate written and illustrated by Bernadette Watts. NorthSouth, 2014. 32 pages. Reading Level: Picture books, Ages 4-8 Recommended For: Ages 4-8 When Isobel sees a golden plate in her friend Elisabeth’s beautiful doll house, she slips it in her pocket hoping to improve her own pitiful doll house at home. But the stolen […]
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- “The book is a lot better than the movie” – Usually October 14, 2015
- A Reflection on Rick Riordan October 16, 2015
- The Uses of Terror October 29, 2015
- Have an Awesome Thanksgiving November 23, 2015
- Scary Stuff October 28, 2015
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- Tani Newton: Love this topic of discussion! I don't know who m...
- Heather Coulter: Jean Fritz's excellent books were the backbone of...
- Cheryl: Although my kids and I mostly enjoyed reading this...
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