Children's Book List

Reviews of Children's Literature

Betty Doll

By: Phoebe Wahl

Patricia Polacco

betty-doll

Summary: Whenever Mary Ellen needed Betty Doll, she was there. Betty Doll saw her through happy and sad times, thunderstorms and parties, weddings and births. Now, when Mary Ellen’s daughter Trisha needs Betty Doll most, she rediscovers the sweet old doll, along with a letter written by her mother before she died. This touching story is a reminder of the power of a mother’s love and the joy of life’s precious moments.

Rating: 3 ***

A sweet story about how important a doll can be to a little girl.

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Sonya’s Chickens

By: Phoebe Wahl

Sonya’s Chickens

sonyas-chickens

Summary: Sonya raises her three chickens from the time they are tiny chicks. She feeds them, shelters them and loves them. Everywhere Sonya goes, her chicks are peeping at her heels. Under her care, the chicks grow into hens and even give Sonya a wonderful gift: an egg! One night, Sonya hears noises coming from the chicken coop and discovers that one of her hens has disappeared. Where did the hen go? What happened to her? When Sonya discovers the answers, she learns some important truths about the interconnectedness of nature and the true joys and sorrows of caring for another creature.

Rating: 3 ***

Might be a good story for once kids realize that the animal chicken and the food chicken are one and the same.

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The Specific Ocean

Written By: Kyo Maclear
Illustrated By: Katty Maurey

The Specific Ocean

specific-ocean

Summary: A young girl visits the ocean and wants to take it home with her.

Rating: 2 **

About a young girl who does not want to go on vacation, but after a visit to a chilly ocean changes her mind.

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Float

By: Daniel Miyares

Float

float

Summary: A wordless picture book about a boy who loses his paper boat in the rain.

Rating: 3 *****

A sweet story about teaching kids resilience when losing a toy.

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Dahlia

By: Barbara McClintock

Dahlia

dahlia

Summary: Charlotte does not like dolls, until she receives a special doll from her aunt and they become good friends.

Rating: 3 *****

A wonderful doll story for the modern-age girl.

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First Snow

By: Peter McCarty

First Snow

first-snow

Summary: When Pedro comes from far away to visit his cousins, who are eager to introduce him to snow, all Pedro can think about at first is how much he dislikes cold.

Rating: 3 ***

A book about not liking something, but still trying, and finding out it’s not so bad after all.

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Prudence Wants a Pet

Written By: Cathleen Daly
Illustrated By: Stephen Michael King

Prudence Wants a Pet

prudence-wants-a-pet

Summary: Prudence wants a pet so much that she adopts a branch, a twig, a tire, and even a shoe named Formal Footwear, but none is a suitable pet for Prudence.

Rating: 4 ****

A pet story driven by a creative imagination.

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A Fine Dessert

Written By: Emily Jenkins
Illustrated By: Sophie Blackall

A Fine Dessert

a-fine-dessert

Summary: Depicts families, from England to California and from 1710 to 2010, preparing and enjoying the dessert called blackberry fool. Includes a recipe and historical notes.

Rating: 4 ****

A fascinating look at how lives and technology have changed through the years. Even more interesting are the author and illustrator notes involving their craft and research in developing the book. Of important note, this story did receive criticism for its too gentle depiction of slavery.

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Where Are My Books?

By: Debbie Ridpath Ohi

Where Are My Books?

where-are-my-books

Summary: Spencer loves books and reads one every night, sometimes aloud, then puts the book back in its place, but one morning his favorite book is missing, and the next day another, each replaced by a different object.

Rating: 4 ****

A delightful book about a child who keeps losing books one by one each night. He goes on a hunt to find them and finds an unlikely culprit.

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If You Plant a Seed

By: Kadir Nelson

Pool

if-you-plant-a-seed

Summary: While planting seeds in their garden, two animals learn the value of kindness.

Rating: 3 ***

A simple story about sharing. Two animals plant seeds, but when some birds come asking them to share, they are not very kind, until they learn better.

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