Children's Book List

Reviews of Children's Literature

The Other Side

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

The Other Side


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


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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Grandma’s Gloves

Written By: Cecil Castellucci
Illustrated By: Julia Denos

Grandma’s Gloves


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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Walter the Farting Dog Goes on a Cruise

Written By: William Kotzwinkle
Illustrated By: Audrey Colman

Walter the Farting Dog Goes on a Cruise


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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I Wish You More

Written By: Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Illustrated By: Tom Lichtenheld

I Wish You More


Summary: In simple text and pictures, the author and illustrator create a compendium of small daily moments.

Rating: 3 ***

Each page offers a new wish.

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Where Bear

By: Sophy Henn

Where Bear?


Summary: A bear cub that has grown up with a boy gets too big and bearish to continue living in a house, so the boy sets out with his friend to find him a new place to live.

Rating: 3 ***

A nice story about emotions. As they visit different locations the bear says no for many different reasons, until they find the perfect place for him to call home.

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Little Tree

By: Loren Long

Little Tree


Summary: Little Tree is very happy in the forest, where he is surrounded by other little trees and his leaves keep him cool in the heat of summer, but when autumn comes and the other trees drop their leaves, Little Tree cannot be pursuaded to let his go, even after they wither and turn brown.

Rating: 3 ***

Offers a misleading depiction of what happens if you refuse to change. Seems to indicate that there are no consequences in the end.

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Mad Scientist Academy

By: Matthew McElligott


Mad Scientist Academy: The Dinosaur Disaster

Summary: Dr. Cosmic’s class of clever monsters at the Mad Scientist Academy solve the greatest challenges in science, in this perfect blend of adventure and exploration.”

Rating: 3 ***

A fun twist on a dinosaur book. All of the students are fantasy creatures such a vampires, wearwolves, robots and more. A cute story, although because the story is factual at times the writing seems too dry.

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The Little Mouse Santi

Written By: David Eugene Ray
Illustrated By: Santiago Germano


The Little Mouse Santi

Summary: The little mouse Santi idolizes the cats on the farm. He practices his meows and kitty struts even when the other mice laugh at him. When Santi finally works up the courage to approach a cat for friendship, he is surprised by what happens.

Rating: 3 ***

A mouse thinks he’s a cat and does lots of cat like things with his new cat friend until the cat friend reveals a secret of his own.

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Mama’s Nightingale

Written By: Edwidge Danticat
Illustrated By: Leslie Staub


Mama’s Nightingale: A Story of Immigration and Separation

Summary: When Saya’s mother is sent to jail as an illegal immigrant, she sends her daughter a cassette tape with a song and a bedtime story, which inspires Saya to write a story of her own–one that just might bring her mother home.

Rating: 4 ****

A touching story about children of illegal immigrants and the hardships they face at the loss of their parents. Teaches kids that they too can be political advocates and help fight the government.

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