Safe Dog Stories I’m a sucker for dogs. I love the memories of my first dog that I lost to cancer in the spring of 2013. I love our hound mix who barks way too much. I love our new dog even as she wraps her paws around my shoulders and smears her tongue all over my face and neck for “hugs and kisses.”  But whenever I read a dog book, I know I have to brace myself for the inevitable ending of the book in which the wonderful dog I have gotten to know on paper dies. It’s easy to come up with a list of dog more

Reviewed by Karen on
March 10, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of El Deafo by Cece Bell

Cece Bell received some well-deserved recognition from this year’s Newbery Award* committee for her Graphic Novel autobiography, El Deafo. Bell lost most of her hearing due to a childhood illness at the age of four. El Deafo covers her childhood up to the age of ten, grappling with her hearing loss, various hearing aid instruments, various friendships some of which last and some of which don’t. more

Reviewed by Karen on
February 5, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of Hooray For Hat by Brian Won

When Elephant wakes up on the wrong side of the bed one morning, he is in no mood to hear his doorbell ring.  But after stomping down the stairs, he is surprised by a beribboned box on his doorstep.  Inside he discovers a tower of hats.  “HOORAY FOR HAT!”  Then Elephant goes off to show his friends who each have their own case of the grumps, and who each cheer for the hat Elephant offers them.  With minimal text and deceptively simple yet fully expressive illustrations more

Reviewed by Karen on
January 9, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of Little Elliot, Big city by Mike Curato

Will Little Elliot the small, white, polka-dotted elephant be the next big children’s book character?  I don’t know.  What I do know is that this is one book I couldn’t rightly judge by its cover.  Little Elliot is a small soul overlooked in a big and bustling New York City.  Pushed around in subway crowds, unable to reach up to the bakery counter to purchase a cupcake, Elliot defines the word diminutive.  Until, that is, he meets Mouse.  Mouse needs Elliot, and more

Reviewed by Karen on
December 26, 2014 | 0 comments
A review of The cat, the dog, Little Red, the exploding eggs, the wolf, and Grandma by Diane Fox

Cat would like to read a simple story about a little girl who wears a redhood and takes a basket of goodies to her grandmother’s house. At least that’s what Cat is trying to do. Dog has other ideas. And questions. Lots of questions. What’s the little girl’s superhero power? After all she is wearing a cape. Does she hypnotize bad guys? Why doesn’t the wolf eat little red riding hood in the woods? Does little red have a Kindness Ray? Are the eggs in the basket exploding eggs? In fact Dog is more

Reviewed by Karen on
October 31, 2014 | 0 comments
A review of Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

Check out one of our 2014 Teen's Choice books! Evie works for the International Paranormal Containment Agency. Her best friend is a mermaid, she’s falling for a shape-shifter, and she’s the only one who can see through glamours of the many paranormals on the earth. But now Evie’s dreams are filled with haunting voices and mysterious prophecies, and the paranormals are dying. White adds more than a dash of humor in this novel, where Evie is the only one who can protect the paranormals from more

Reviewed by Karen on
July 11, 2014 | 0 comments
A review of Reboot by Amy Tintura

The snow has finally melted and I am up to my chinny-chin-chin in teen books to consider for this summer's Teen's Choice Review books. Here's a sneak peek at two of the contenders for this year. Reboot, by Amy Tintera is the first book about the undead I've ever read. After I got past a teen zombie getting knifed in the head (and therefore, effectively killed), the book just sort of more

Reviewed by Karen on
April 18, 2014 | 0 comments
A review of Ten Orange Pumpkins by Stephen Savage

The American Library Association will announce the winner and runners up for the prestigious Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished picture book of the year on Monday, January 27th.In the meantime, here’s a list of 10 strong candidates plus 1. Which of these do you feel is most distinguished? Do you know of another book published in 2013 that looks like an award-winner?1. Ten Orange Pumpkins; a more

Reviewed by Karen on
January 17, 2014 | 2 comments
A review of The Brief Thief by Michael Escoffier

Leon the chameleon is just sunning himself on a rock, when nature calls. But wait, there’s no paper for wiping. So what’s a hygienic and resourceful chameleon to do? Why, snag that old pair of holey underwear just hanging on a branch and use them to get the job done. Enter Leon’s conscience – “But did you also think that maybe the owner of those underpants could have lost them?” Morals go best with a huge dash of humor, and this one hits the mark with holey underpants that serve up a great more

Reviewed by Karen on
October 18, 2013 | 2 comments
A review of Bomb: The Race to Build and Steal the World's Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin

It’s that time of year again, and I’m reading as many books as I can to find the lucky ten titles that will serve as the summer’s Teen’s Choice review books. This year’s list will include the cross-over kid’s/teen’s non-fiction title that has swept up so many awards that it is fairly dripping with medals. Yes, Bomb: The Race to Build – and Steal – the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon, by Steve Sheinkin. National Book Award Finalist, Sibert Award for best children’s non-fiction, Best Non- more

Reviewed by Karen on
May 3, 2013 | 0 comments