Children's Book List

Reviews of Children's Literature

Sona and the Wedding Game

Written By: Kashmira Sheth
Illustrated By: Yoshiko Jaeggi

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Sona and the Wedding Game

Summary:
Sona is excited about attending her first Indian wedding, especially since her sister is the bride, but when she learns that tradition requires her to steal the groom’s shoes during the ceremony she must ask her annoying little cousin, Vishal, for help.

Rating: 4 ****

A fun way to introduce kids to Indian culture.

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Spic and Span

Written By: Monica Kulling
Illustrated By: David Parkins

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Spic and Span: Lillian Gilbreth’s wonder kitchen

Summary: Born into a life of privilege in 1878, Lillian Moller Gilbreth put her pampered life aside for one of adventure and challenge. She and her husband, Frank, became efficiency experts by studying the actions of factory workers. They ran their home efficiently, too. When Frank suddenly died, Lillian was left to her own devices to raise their eleven children. Eventually, she was hired by the Brooklyn Borough Gas Company to improve kitchen design, which was only the beginning.

Rating: 3 ***

This is an interesting story about a female pioneer inventor and some of the inventions she made.

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Elsa and the Night

By: Jons Mellgren

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Elsa and the Night

Summary: One day, Elsa hears a creature moving underneath her sofa. When she lures it out, she discovers that it’s the Night. ‘You’re not allowed to be here,’ she says, and puts it in an old cake tin. Fourteen hours later, it’s still day outside.

Rating: 3 ***

A unique story about what would happen if night was trapped and everyone had to stay awake.

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Sugar Hill

Written By: Carole Boston Weatherford
Illustrated By: R. Gregory Christie

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Sugar Hill: Harlem’s Historic Neighborhood

Summary: Rhyming text celebrates the Harlem neighborhood that successful African Americans first called home during the 1920s. Includes brief biographies of jazz greats Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Sonny Rollins, and Miles Davis; artists Aaron Douglas and Faith Ringgold; entertainers Lena Horne and the Nicholas Brothers; writer Zora Neale Hurston; civil rights leader W. E. B. DuBois; and lawyer Thurgood Marshall.

Rating: 3 ***

Rhyming book about the Harlem Renaissance. Many of the references are not explained until the glossary in the end.

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Two Speckled Eggs

By: Jennifer K. Mann

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Two Speckled Eggs

Summary: It’s Ginger’s birthday, and she has to invite all the girls in her class to her party, including Lyla Browning. Even though she doesn’t want to! Lyla isn’t like the other girls: she smells like old leaves, doesn’t talk much, and once brought a tarantula to school for show-and-tell.

Rating: 4 ****

An adorable story about giving people a chance even though they may seem different.

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Blue on Blue

Written By: Dianne White
Illustrated By: Beth Krommes

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Blue on Blue

Summary: Rhyming text and illustrations depict the swell and quieting of a storm.

Rating: 3 ***

A little too vague for young kids to understand, although the illustrations are beautiful.

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Hunters of the Great Forest

By: Dennis Nolan

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Hunters of the Great Forest

Summary: A band of hunters goes off on a mysterious but worthwhile expedition in this wordless picture book.

Rating: 3 ***

Gnome hunters make a dangerous trek into the dark forest to get a marshmallow which they share with their entire village for roasting over a fire.

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What If…?

By: Anthony Browne

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What If … ?

Summary: What if Joe doesn’t like the party he’s going to? What if he doesn’t like the food or the games or the people? As Joe and his mom walk down the darkening street, Joe’s imagination starts to run wild. And as they search for the right place, he wonders ‘what if…’ at each house, peeking in to see some surprising sights.

Rating: 3 ***

Browne perfectly captures the what if questions all children ask when they are concerned that something will go wrong.

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The Baby Tree

By: Sophie Blackall

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The Baby Tree

Summary: After learning that his parents are expecting a baby, a young boy asks several people where babies come from and gets a different answer from each before his parents have a chance to give the right answer. Includes advice on answering questions about reproduction.

Rating: 4 ****

A really great book for answering the inevitable questions kids have about how babies are made. Blackall includes a section in the back that goes into how to answer specific questions.

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The Great Cheese Robbery

By: Tim Warnes

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The Great Cheese Robbery

Summary: Patrick Elephant is scared of lots of things, like the dark and the fluff under the sofa. His daddy isn’t scared of anything – except mice! So when a mouse posing as a cheese inspector tries to steal the elephants’ cheese, Daddy is too terrified to stop him! Can little Patrick Elephant save the cheese – and his father?”

Rating: 3 ***

A silly story based on the idea that elephants are afraid of mice. A particularly nice story for girls because the strong bull elephant is afraid, and mom comes in and saves the day.

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