Children's Book List

Reviews of Children's Literature

The Song of Delphine

By: Kenneth Kraegel

song-of-delphine

Josephine: The Song of Delphine

Summary: A lonely servant girl with no family works in the palace of Queen Theodora, where she is tormented by a spoiled princess and finds comfort by singing and making unexpected friends with giraffes who visit her.

Rating: 3 ***

The giraffes make an interesting twist to this folk tale, but the spoiled princess character is resolved too quickly and unsatisfactorily.

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My Grandfather’s Coat

Written By Jim Aylesworth
Illustrated By: Barbara McClintock

my-grandfathers-coat

My Grandfather’s Coat

Summary:
A tailor’s very old overcoat is recycled numerous times over the years into a variety of garments and other uses.

Rating: 4 ****

This story is very similar to Something from Nothing in which a grandfather has made the child a blanket and the child loves it so much that it is all tattered and then the grandfather makes him a jacket and so on until it is just a button and the child loses it. In this version, the grandfather makes the coat for himself and slowly keeps reinventing it as it wears down until it’s used for bedding for some mice. Interestingly enough, in Something from Nothing, mice are at the bottom of every page living their own story.

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Give and Take

By: Chris Raschka

give-and-take

Give and Take

Summary:
In his apple orchard, a farmer meets a little man named Take and follows his advice, which does not turn out well, and the next day meets a little man named Give, whose advice is just as bad.

Rating: 4 ****

A wonderful, modern day folk tale about two elfish characters and the farmer they’ve chosen to pester. The illustrations look like they were done by give and take. The farmer himself looks really odd and not even human — more like an inanimate object.

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The Mitten String

Written By: Jennier Rosner
Illustrated By: Kristina Swarner

mitten-string

The Mitten String

Summary: Ruthie Tober’s family is known for the beautiful, warm mittens they knit, so when she and her mother meet a deaf woman and her baby and give them shelter, Ruthie decides to design very special mittens for them.

Rating: 4 ****

A very sweet and thoughtful story not just about the young girl but also about the bond between the deaf woman and her baby.

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Imani’s Moon

Written By: JaNay Brown-Wood
Illustrated By: Hazel Mitchell

imanis-moon

Imani’s Moon

Summary:
Little Imani of the Maasai people longs to do something great, like touching the moon, but the other children just laugh at her.

Rating: 5 *****

A great story resembling folklore of the triumph of a young girl’s accomplishments despite her size.

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Chukfi Rabbit’s Big, Bad Bellyache

By: Wallace Edwards

chukfi-rabbits-big-bad-bellyache

Chukfi Rabbit’s Big, Bad Bellyache: A Trickster Tale

Summary:
Silly kids, tricks are for rabbits! Chukfi Rabbit, that is. The laziest-and hungriest-trickster rabbit there is! Deep in Choctaw Country Chukfi Rabbit is figuring out some way to avoid work at all costs. When Bear, Turtle, Fox, and Beaver agree on an everybody-work-together day to build Ms. Possum a new house, Chukfi Rabbit says he’s too busy to help. Until he hears there will be a feast to eat after the work is done: cornbread biscuits, grape dumplings, tanchi labona (a delicious Choctaw corn stew), and best of all, fresh, homemade butter! So while everyone else helps build the house, Chukfi helps himself to all that yummy butter! The furry fiend! But this greedy trickster will soon learn that being this lazy is hard work! A classic trickster tale in the Choctaw tradition.

Rating: 5 *****

A super cute story about a lazy rabbit who tries to pull a fast one over on his friends.

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Anasi The Spider A Tale from the Ashanti

By Gerald McDermott

Anasi The Spider

Anansi the Spider is a wise, funny, mischievous, and loveable folk hero who pops up in traditional Ashanti tales from Ghana, in West Africa.

Rating: *****

A wonderful folktale to share with your child

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