Lois Lenski’s American Regional books have been likened to the Little House books of Laura Ingalls Wilder. Yes, the similar settings are hugely important to the story, but Lenski’s style is far different than Wilder’s, and I like them both. … Read the rest
Twelve-year-old Andy Rusch walks to school and walks home for lunch. He’s free to roam the countryside surrounding his small town of Serenity the whole day long, and his parents have no trouble with him befriending the village’s odd-man character, Onion John.… Read the rest
Ivan is a silverback gorilla, captured as a baby and living his entire life in captivity—a featured attraction in the third-rate Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade. With his artistic talents (drawings by Ivan sell for twenty bucks apiece), life is bearable.… Read the rest
I read this Newbery winner when I was in junior high school. Ordinarily, I didn’t go for man-against-nature type of stories. I didn’t go for a novel told in first person present tense. But Island of the Blue Dolphins featured a girl who had to survive totally alone on her island.… Read the rest
As a fan of Kate DiCamillo, I’m delighted to report that Flora and Ulysses The Illuminated Adventures does not disappoint. In fact, it may have just become my favorite book of hers. This 2014 Newbery Medal winner is mostly a standard text, but it’s sprinkled with scenes like a graphic novel thanks to illustrator K.G.… Read the rest
The Saturdays, first book in The Melendy Quartet, is a delightful trot into yesteryear’s childhood. Elizabeth Enright created a family of four siblings who live an “ordinary” life in New York City, yet their minor escapades become “special” adventures.… Read the rest
HITTY Her First Hundred Years was published before I was born, before my mother was born! I wanted to see if such books are still “readable” in the twenty-first century. My answer? It depends.
As soon as I opened the book, my heart sank.… Read the rest
Knowing this story won the Newbery Medal in 1931, I expected fantastic writing. Looking at the title, I assumed it was a book of faith. I was mostly correct. Yes, The Cat who went to Heaven is magnificently written, a wonderful read-aloud giving your child a full picture of the setting.… Read the rest
I’ve previously reviewed Kate DiCamillo, and there’s a reason she consistently wins the highest awards in the nation for her stories. Because of Winn-Dixie is no exception.
Winn-Dixie is a dog, so named under unusual circumstances, and he really doesn’t do much in this tale except act like an average dog, but if it weren’t for Winn-Dixie, much of the story wouldn’t have happened.… Read the rest
Skeleton and Ghost by Nathaniel Dowell is a book for children, appropriate for ages 3 and up.
Skeleton lies in his coffin, listening to the earthworms crawl, and longs to walk around outside. Unfortunately, he is stuck underground because he has a ghost.… Read the rest