A review of Sparky! by Jenny Offill

A bird? A bunny? A trained seal? A young girl wants the perfect pet . . . however, her mother says no to all of these ideas. In fact, she says no to any pet that needs to be “walked or bathed or fed”. What’s a girl to do? Do research, find a pet that fits those criteria, and mail order one – of course! In Sparky! by Jenny Offill (Schwartz & Wade Books, 2014) the mail ordered pet turns out to be a sloth. A hang-from-the-tree, do-not-much-of-anything, except-if-it’s-really-really-slowly, kind more

Reviewed by Tracy on
March 6, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of The Scraps Book: Notes from a Colorful Life by Lois Ehlert

Open up this lovely and colorful picture book about author and illustrator Lois Ehlert! The Scraps Book: Notes from a Colorful Life (Beach Lane Books, 2013) reads like a personal journal or memory book, with the added benefit of having Ehlert’s own stunning artwork, personal jottings, and inspirations filling every page. We get to see a yellowed photo of her parents after a trek to hunt wild asparagus. We get a peek at her folk art and fishing lure collection – we see mock-ups of some of her more

Reviewed by Tracy on
December 19, 2014 | 0 comments
A review of Sophie's Squash by Pat Zietlow Miller

A sweet story about a girl and her friend – who just happens to be a butternut squash! Sophie’s Squash by Pat Zietlow Miller (Schwartz & Wade Books, 2013) is a fun read aloud with simple and humorous illustrations. I loved watching Sophie tuck Bernice (the squash) in at night and bring her to story time at the library. “Well, we did hope she’d love vegetables,” her parents concede. However, they still try to convince her to exchange the squash for another toy. A truck? ( more

Reviewed by Tracy on
September 12, 2014 | 0 comments
A review of On a Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einstein by Jennifer Berne

Ah, wondrous science! On a Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einstein by Jennifer Berne is a sparse yet brilliant picture book biography that will engage and inspire young readers. The book begins with baby Einstein, who didn’t utter a single word for a very long time. He just watches and wonders at the world around him. When he begins school, his teachers think him strange. But Albert was always pondering numbers, light, and space . . . His wonderings led to many amazing scientific more

Reviewed by Tracy on
March 21, 2014 | 0 comments
A review of A Splash of Red by Jennifer Bryant

Add some color to your life and check out A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin by Jen Bryant. This colorful picture book celebrates the life of artist Horace Pippin. The book chronicles his life as a young boy growing up in West Chester, Pennsylvania. Then on through working in a rail yard, on a farm, serving in World War II, and – then - returning home, marrying, and settling down. Throughout his life, he drew picture after picture for those around him. In spite of a more

Reviewed by Tracy on
January 3, 2014 | 1 comment
A review of The Feelings Book by Lynda Madison

Whoa! A book to help better understand the emotional rollercoaster of tween-and-teen-hood! The Feelings Book: The Care & Keeping of Your Emotions by Dr. Lynda Madison is written for girls working their way through the many emotions and feelings of adolescence. The book incorporates real questions and letters written by girls. The colorfully illustrated pages are engaging and have a cozy, comfortable feel. Some of the topics covered in the book include identifying emotions and more

Reviewed by Tracy on
December 6, 2013 | 0 comments
A review of Dog Loves Drawing by Louise Yates

Adventure and new friends abound in Dog Loves Drawing by Louise Yates. Dog gets a brand new sketchbook from his dear Aunt Dora. “Dog knew exactly what to do. . .“ He begins his own story! With pencil in hand, he draws a door and steps through. He is joined by a stickman, duck, owl, and crab. Of course, they decide to ride a train and, then, set sail on a boat to a sandy island. The sketched illustrations fit well with the storyline. Soft colors and spare lines add to the gentle feel of more

Reviewed by Tracy on
September 27, 2013 | 0 comments
A review of A Home for Bird by Philip Christian Stead

In A Home for Bird by Philip C. Stead, cheerful Vernon meets a new friend, Bird. Bird is very quiet (and actually does not talk at all!) but that doesn’t discourage dutiful Vernon. He shows Bird the river and the forest . . . and other animal friends. But Vernon worries that Bird is unhappy. Is he lost? Does he want to go home? Vernon rigs up a small boat and they set sail to find Bird’s home. They meet a family of birds near a dumpster, a bird in a birdhouse, and plastic flamingos more

Reviewed by Tracy on
June 28, 2013 | 0 comments
A review of Forget-me-nots by Mary Ann Hoberman

Ready for some rollicking and roaring word play? Check out Forget-Me-Nots: Poems to Learn by Heart by Mary Ann Hoberman for some unforgettable poems. This is a wonderful treasury for elementary school kids. The poems are joyful and include bright and colorful illustrations by Michael Emberley. The book has 123 poems by 57 authors (ranging from A.A. Milne to Shel Silverstein to Valerie Worth, and many more phenomenal poets). It is also a great book for reading aloud! Explore other more

Reviewed by Tracy on
April 19, 2013 | 0 comments
A review of Guyku by Bob Raczka

In honor of National Poetry Month, join the fun and check out a creative collection of haiku, especially for boys! In Guyku: A Year of Haiku for Boys by Bob Raczka and Peter H. Reynolds, we read through the seasons as boys catch grasshoppers, make zipping and clanking bikes, and wait expectantly for snow days. Illustrations are sparse and match the text of each haiku. Many will make you smile, such as: “If this puddle could/talk, I think it would tell me/to splash my sister,” or, “I more

Reviewed by Tracy on
April 5, 2013 | 0 comments