Children's Book List

Reviews of Children's Literature

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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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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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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Otter in Space

By: Sam Garton

Otter in Space

otter-in-space

Summary: After visiting an outer space exhibit in a museum, Otter and Teddy decide they need a moon rock, and the only way to get one is to build a space ship and go get one.

Rating: 3 ***

Otter takes a visit to the moon.

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Two Mice

By: Sergio Ruzzier

Two Mice

two-mice

Summary: Illustrations and minimal text follow two mice as they set off on an adventure that includes a shipwreck, kidnapping by a bird of prey, a narrow escape, and a moonlit stroll home.

Rating: 5 *****

Ruzzier creates a number book that goes beyond counting and addresses issues such as sharing, taking turns and jealousy as well.

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The Dog that Nino didn’t have

Written By: Edward Van De Vendel
Illustrated By: Anton Van Hertbruggen

The Dog that Nino didn’t have

dog-that-nino-didnt-have

Summary: Nino has a wonderful time playing with his imaginary dog until he gets a real one, and although the new dog does not always behave as he expects, Nino is still content.

Rating: 3 ***

The story starts off as a little boy who is crying for help via an imaginary dog, but then when he gets a new dog that seems to solve his problem.

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Sidewalk Flowers

Written By: JonArno Lawson
Illustrated By: Sydney Smith

Sidewalk Flowers

sidewalk-flowers

Summary: A little girl collects wildflowers while on a walk with her distracted father. Each flower becomes a gift, and whether the gift is noticed or ignored, both giver and recipient are transformed by their encounter.

Rating: 4 ****

A sad book about how a father is all too consumed with his phone call to notice his daughter who is thoughtful, sweet and kind as she passes out flowers along the way home. Maybe it’s a message to parents to get off their phones and enjoy their children. Of interest as well is that this wordless picture book is written by an author.

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enormous SMALLNESS

Written By: Matthew Burgess
Illustrated By: Kris Di Giacomo

enormous SMALLNESS: A story of E.E. Cummings

enormous-smallness

Summary: Presents the life and work of the twentieth-century American writer, focusing on his fascination with words from a young age and highlighting his poetry’s inspirational properties.

Rating: 3 ***

Biography of poet e.e. cummings.

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