Category Archives: New Book Reviews

strictly-no-elephants January 19

Strictly No Elephants written by Lisa Mantchev & illustrated by Taeeun Yoo – Review by Darshana Khiani

Strictly No Elephants written by Lisa Mantchev and illustrated by Taeeun Yoo is a book that is so, so important especially in our current climate. The story is about “fitting in” and inclusivity and it’s done in the most charming way through a boy and his pet elephant. I love this book both as a […]

penguin-problems-1 January 12

​Everyone Loves Penguins! by Jennifer Sniadecki

I have problems. You have problems. Our world has problems. Did you know penguins also have problems? I read many books in the year 2016, but Penguin Problems by Jory John and Lane Smith is one of the few books I labeled “5-Star Status.” Everyone loves penguins, right? Maybe, maybe not, but that’s not the […]

stepping-stones-front-lg3 January 05

STEPPING STONES: A REFUGEE FAMILY’S JOURNEY, by Margriet Ruurs, with stone art illustrations by Nizar Ali Badr – Review by Sandy Brehl

  Canadian author Margriet Ruurs is an educator, a prolific author, and a world traveler. Her visits to international schools and other global destinations have inspired several of her titles. But Margriet found inspiration for her latest picture book while at home, scrolling through Facebook posts. There, she first viewed the stone-assemblage scenes of Syrian […]

rook December 08

Rook by Sharon Cameron – Review by Kimberly Adkins

My better half and I have often discussed whether we believe the universe only holds one ideal person for another and that fate will ultimately bring the two together or whether humans simply decide to live with and love those that they bump into along life’s journey (the right time, right place theory). I wonder […]

esquivel-space-age-sound-artist December 07

Esquivel! Space-Age Sound Artist by Susan Wood and Duncan Tonatiuh – Review by Elizabeth Brown

Esquivel! Space Age Sound Artist (Charlesbridge, 2016), written by Susan Wood and illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh, captures the story of musician Juan Garcia Esquivel, bringing both his story and music to life on the page. This picture book not only expands a reader’s knowledge of the life and work of Esquivel, it also helps expand […]

adas-violin November 30

Ada’s Violin by Susan Hood and Sally Wern Comport – Review by Sheila Berenson

Ada’s Violin The Story of the Recycled Orchestra of Paraguay A picture book by Susan Hood and Sally Wern Comport Picture books are given formidable tasks to perform for their young readers – to entertain, to offer new experiences, to expand emotional vocabulary and empathy, to explore their own worlds or the worlds beyond. Ada’s […]

super-gear November 20

Super Gear: Nurturing my Inner Science Nerd by Annette Bay Pimentel

I’m thrilled my seventh grade daughter loves math. I sign her up for science activities. But I try to keep my own secret hidden from her: I fell off the STEM bandwagon in middle school. I used to be just like her—an elementary and junior high school math whiz who always got put in advanced […]

also-an-octobus October 26

Also An Octopus by Maggie Tokuda-Hall – Review by Jen Vincent

Every story starts the same way… with nothing. If you are a writer and/or you write with students, you know the truth of this first line from Maggie Tokuda Hall’s Also an Octopus. Writers make something out of nothing. They pay attention to the world, notice things, capture ideas in their writer’s notebooks. Then they […]

findingperfect_final October 19

Finding Perfect by Elly Swartz – Review by Bridget Hodder

  Most of us have done it, at one time or another.   We’ve joked about being “kind of OCD.”   We say it when our colleague keeps his desk meticulously neat; when our friend goes back to the salon the instant she gets a chip in her nail polish; when we check our phones […]

swing-sideways October 05

Swing Sideways by Nanci Turner Steveson – Review by Dana Murphy

If I am being honest, I only grabbed the book from the pile on my nightstand because it looked like an easy read. We were leaving for a three-hour drive to our lake house, and I wanted a break from all the professional reading I had been doing. This book with the skipping girls and […]