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Posts by Rebecca M

Building dreams

Cover of A Girl Can Build Anything
A review of A Girl Can Build Anything by e.E. Charlton-Trujillo and Pat Zietlow Miller
Keisha Morris

This is a sneaky, beautiful little book. Just when you think it’s all about girl power (and power tools!) to build and construct bookshelves, parks, community gardens, and a community center - take a closer look at the illustrations. You’ll see an amazing progression of time, of six girls growing together into strong women - sisters in their shared love of building and making. There are so many things to love about this book: great friends, great building vocabulary (drills, drivers, levers, sheetrock!), and an empowering message to build, fail, and try again.

Sep 29, 2023

Everyone wants to delay the moment

Cover of I Just Want to Say Goodnig
A review of I Just Want to Say Goodnight by Rachel Isadora

“On the African veld, there is a village. As the sun sets, parents tell their children, ‘It is time for bed.’” I Just Want to Say Good Night is a universal story of childhood. While Rachel Isadora’s beautiful oil paint illustrations transport children to a far away African landscape, all the cheeky little ways Lala employs to stay up just a little bit longer will feel wholly familiar. I can imagine my own three-year-old in central Wisconsin saying… “I just want to say goodnight to the little ants” or "Yes. Yes. I am coming.

Jun 30, 2023

The power of pockets

Cover of A Dress with Pockets
A review of A Dress with Pockets by Lily Murray, illustrated by Jenny Lovlie

This librarian is obsessed with this new book by Lily Murrary and illustrated by Jenny Lovlie. When I was a little girl, my favorite book was about a little ballerina. Not because I particularly loved to dance, or because the story was so wonderful, but because of the illustrations of the tutus. I wish that younger me could have had a story like A Dress with Pockets, a book that not only has whimsical illustrations of “Sundresses, fun dresses, blue dresses, green. Swishy dresses, witchy dresses, very very itchy dresses!

Jun 2, 2023

Not the only one

Cover of My Brother is Away
A review of My Brother is Away by Sara Greenwood, illustrated by Luisa Uribe

This book is dedicated by Sara Greenwood “for the child I was and the child you are - hope, healing, love, light.” When Sara’s brother was away in prison when she was growing up, this book did not exist. Yet, like the little girl in this story realizes when they go to visit her big brother, “I see I’m not the only one whose brother is away.” In the children’s book world, we talk of books both as windows and mirrors - windows to better understand the experiences of those different from us, and mirrors to see our own experiences and feelings reflected and supported.

May 11, 2023

Hope to be found

Cover of Rodney was a Tortoise
A review of Rodney was a Tortoise by Nan Forler

Rodney was Bernadette’s old pal. Older than Bernadette, older than her dad, even older than Great-Aunt Clara! Day after day, year after year, Rodney was there. With such a loyal and constant companion and friend, it is so hard for Bernadette to adapt to a world without him when he dies. “She crawled deeper and deeper into her shell until all of Bernadette seemed to disappear.” Talking with a kiddo about the loss of a pet or a loved one can be so hard for a caregiver.

Apr 28, 2023

Each day has its own magic

Cover of On My Papa's Shoulders
A review of On My Papa's Shoulders by Niki Daly

I’m not crying, you’re crying. It definitely was not me sitting at the reference desk crying happy, joyful tears while reading this book. You must be thinking of a different children’s librarian. This is a book about walking to school, easy peasy, how can that be a tear jerker?? But the simple love the little boy in this book has for his mama, his Gogo (grandma), his Tata (grandpa),and the small but meaningful differences in each walk will warm your heart. But the days he loves best are when his Papa takes him to school.

Apr 19, 2023

Boss big sisters

Cover of Me and the Boss: A Story A
A review of Me and the Boss: A Story About Mending and Love by Michelle Edwards, illustrated by April Harrison

Lee knows big sisters. His big sister Zora is the boss. “I go wherever she goes, and we are home before dark. Those are the rules.” And today, Lee and Zora are going to the library… but not to get on the computer or to check out books, they are going to learn to sew from Ms. C, the librarian. There is a LOT to love in this book.

Mar 24, 2023

A mostly good fourth-grader

Cover of The Best of Iggy
A review of The Best of Iggy by Annie Barrows

“All of us do things we wish we hadn’t done,” reads the first line of The Best of Iggy. Especially when we are 9 years old. Some things really aren’t so bad… we just wish we hadn’t gotten caught. Some things aren’t so bad… buuuuut we probably shouldn’t have taken things quite so far. But some things. Some things we just really really wish we hadn’t done. Iggy does all of these things, with all the hilarity you might expect. (This is a snort-laugh out loud while reading in public sort of book - be warned!)  But also with the humility and remorse that comes after.

Feb 17, 2023

Most distinguished American picture book for children

Cover of Hot Dog
A review of Hot Dog by Doug Salati

It is summer and it is HOT in the city. In this incredibly illustrated new picture book by Doug Salati, you can feel the summer heat, sweltering pavement, and oppressive crowds. Past the fire engines, construction crews, and chaotic skateboarders mom and her little dog walk until her hot dog has had ENOUGH. “THAT’S IT!” And lays down in the middle of the crosswalk. Throughout the illustrations, readers will notice little dog’s mom growing grumpier and grumpier as errands progress and doggy drags his feet. 

Feb 6, 2023

Truth and consequences

Cover of Killer Underwear Invasion!
A review of Killer Underwear Invasion!: How to Spot Fake News, Disinformation & Conspiracy Theories by Elise Gravel

Unicorns, human bats, and two-legged beavers have been discovered on the moon!! Really? Well no… but I made you look? Sorry, librarians are supposed to be dispellers of fake news, not shouting ridiculous headlines for the sake of humor in their book reviews. But fake news is everywhere, and if you don’t have a handy, humorous librarian around to help identify truth from fiction - don’t despair! Elise Gravel’s hilarious new graphic novel for kids breaks it down into bite size, understandable concepts: What is fake news? Why do people spread it? How can it be dangerous?

Jan 17, 2023