Children's Book List

Reviews of Children's Literature

The Other Side

Written By: Jacqueline Woodson
Illustrated By: E.B. Lewis

The Other Side

other-side

Summary:
Two girls, one white and one black, gradually get to know each other as they sit on the fence that divides their town.

Rating: 4 ****

A story of friendship and breaking down barriers. At times the words read a bit awkward, but maybe that was the point.

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Thunder Cake

By: Patricia Polacco

Thunder Cake

thunder-cake

Summary:
Grandma finds a way to dispel her grandchild’s fear of thunderstorms.

Rating: 3 ***

A sweet story about how to turn a child’s fear into something special that only a Grandma could manage.

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and then it’s spring

Written By: Julie Fogliano
Illustrated By: Erin E. Stead

and then it’s spring

and-then-its-spring

Summary:
Simple text reveals the anticipation of a boy who, having planted seeds while everything around is brown, fears that something has gone wrong until, at last, the world turns green.

Rating: 3 ***

The book explains how the earth starts all brown, but as seeds and rain come, slowly the earth turns green with spring.

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Grandma’s Gloves

Written By: Cecil Castellucci
Illustrated By: Julia Denos

Grandma’s Gloves

grandmas-gloves

Summary:
When her grandmother, a devoted gardener, dies, a little girl inherits her gardening gloves and feels closer to her memory.

Rating: 3 ***

A story about how a little girl learns about death when her grandmother passes away and learns about a way to keep her memory alive by continuing to do something they enjoyed doing together.

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Busy in the Garden

Written By: George Shannon
Illustrated By: Sam Williams

Busy in the Garden

busy-in-the-garden

Summary:
A collection of short poems and riddles about planting seeds, watching garden vegetables dance, and growing jack-o-lanterns.

Rating: 3 ***

A series of poems about life in the garden and what happens there.

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Strega Nona Takes a Vacation

By: Tomie dePaola

Strega Nona Takes a Vacation

strega-nona-takes-a-vacation

Summary:
Strega Nona sends home gifts of candy and bubble bath while on vacation, but when Bambolona grabs the candy, Big Anthony is left with a lot of bubbles.

Rating: 3 ***

Another fun Strega Nona story, but this time Big Anthony is not the culprit.

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The House Takes a Vacation

Written By: Jacqueline Davies
Illustrated By: Lee White

The House Takes a Vacation

house-takes-a-vacation

Summary:
While the Petersons are away, their house decides to take a trip to the sea to watch the “Dance of the Sunlight,” despite some groaning from the chimney and the basement’s refusal to rise to the occasion.

Rating: 3 ***

In this silly story, the family who lives in the house goes on vacation, so the components of the house decide to go on one too. Kids will love how all of the doors, windows, roof and other elements have personalities that interact throughout the book.

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Row, Row, Row Your Boat

Jane Cabrera

Row Row Row Your Boat

row-row-row-your-boat

Summary:
In this expansion of a familiar song, the occupants of a rowboat enjoy seeing and making the sounds of different jungle animals.

Rating: 5 *****

Kids will love to sing all of the wacky animal versions to this favorite song.

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Locomotive

Brian Floca

Locomotive

locomotive

Summary: Learn what it was like to travel on the transcontinental railroad in the 1860s.

Rating: 3 ***

Interesting, but a little dry and long for a picture book.

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Walter the Farting Dog Goes on a Cruise

Written By: William Kotzwinkle
Illustrated By: Audrey Colman

Walter the Farting Dog Goes on a Cruise

walter-the-farting-dog

Summary: Because his farts create unpleasantness for everyone on a cruise ship, Walter the dog continues the journey in a lifeboat, but when the ship’s computer crashes, causing the liner to drift, Walter again proves himself a hero.

Rating: 4 ****

A rare book about the very funny subject of farting.

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