Children's Book List

Reviews of Children's Literature

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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Mesmerized

Written By: Mara Rockliff
Illustrated By: Iacopo Bruno

Mesmerized: How Ben Franklin Solved a Mystery that Baffled All of France

mesmerized

Summary: Discover how Benjamin Franklin’s scientific method challenged a certain Dr. Mesmer’s mysterious powers in a whimsical look at a true moment in history.

Rating: 4 ****

A truly interesting story about an incident that showcases Benjamin Franklin’s keen sense and process of the scientific method. Rockliff writes in a tongue and cheek fashion, making fun of the story as she writes.

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Winnie

Written By: Sally M. Walker
Illustrated By: Jonathan D. Voss

winnie

Winnie: The True Story of the Bear Who Inspired Winnie-the-Pooh

Summary: When Harry Colebourn saw a baby bear at a train station, he knew he could care for it. Harry was a veterinarian. But he was also a soldier in training during World War I. Harry named the bear Winnie, short for Winnipeg, his company’s home town, and he brought her along to the military camp in England. Winnie followed Harry everywhere and slept under his cot every night. Before long, she became the regiment’s much-loved mascot. But who could care for the bear when Harry went to battle? Harry found just the right place for Winnie–the London Zoo. There a boy named Christopher Robin played with Winnie–he could care for this bear too!

Rating: 4 ****

A unique story of a sweet bear who went on to capture the hearts of many generations.

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The Pilot and the Little Prince

By: Peter Sis

pilot-and-the-little-prince

The Pilot and the Little Prince: The Life of Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Summary:
A tribute to the life of the creator of “The Little Prince,” tracing his early achievements as a pilot, his efforts to break aviation records, and the experiences that inspired his writing life.

Rating: 2 **

A good book for anyone interested in Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s flying career, but a little too much disjointed detail for most kids.

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Shackleton’s Journey

By: William Grill

shackletons-journey

Shackleton’s Journey

Summary:
Details Shackleton’s journey to Antarctica. This book takes the academic and historical information behind the expedition and reinterprets it for a young audience.

Rating: 4 ****

The amazing tale of Ernest Shackleton and his and his crew’s attempt to voyage to Antarctica. Grill focuses on items that will be of interest to children, such as the 69 dogs, and weaves the tale with lots of illustrations for young readers.

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Spic and Span

Written By: Monica Kulling
Illustrated By: David Parkins

spic-and-span

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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The Iridescence of Birds

Written By: Patricia MacLachlan
Illustrated By: Hadley Hooper

iridescence-of-birds

The Iridescence of Birds: A Book about Henri Matisse

Summary: If you were a boy named Henri Matisse who lived in a dreary town in northern France, what would your life be like? Would it be full of color and art? Full of lines and dancing figures?

Rating: 3 ***

A poetic book about Henri Matisse and what might have inspired him as a child to become a painter.

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Albie’s First Word

Written By: Jacqueline Tourville
Illustrated By: Wynne Evans

albies-first-word

Albie’s First Word

Summary: Because three-year-old Albie, who would one day be known as Albert Einstein, has never spoken his concerned family takes him to a doctor who recommends a series of activities that might stimulate him to talk.

Rating: 4 ****

A story of possible activities Albert Einstein’s parents did with him to get him to start talking.

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Josephine

Written By: Kelly DiPucchio
Illustrated By: Christian Robinson

Josephine

Josephine

Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker

Summary: In exuberant verse and stirring pictures, Patricia Hruby Powell and Christian Robinson create an extraordinary portrait of the passionate performer and civil rights advocate Josephine Baker, the woman who worked her way from the slums of St. Louis to the grandest stages in the world. Meticulously researched by both author and artist, Josephine’s powerful story of struggle and triumph is an inspiration and a spectacle, just like the legend herself.

Rating: 4 ****

The book is written like poetry. It has a fluid rhythm to it. However, it’s a bit long for a story book.

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Viva Frida

By: Yuyi Morales

viva-frida

Viva Frida

Summary:
Explores the passionate, imaginative life of the incomparable Frida Kahlo.

Rating: 4 ****

Short, but powerful snippets in both English and Spanish of aspects to Frida Kahlo’s life and personality.

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