101 Dalmatians

Most Americans, especially children, are familiar with the Disney version of the 101 Dalmatians story.  But as with most movies based upon books, the book is so much better! Many of the characters - both human and dog - are the same in both the movie and the book.  However, Perdita is not Pongo's wife,... Continue Reading →

Scaredy Squirrel

Scaredy Squirrel never leaves his nut tree.  The outside world is just too dangerous.  He has a schedule, an emergency plan and a first aid kit. But as a bee flies by (is it a killer bee?!), nothing goes according to plan.  How will Scaredy Squirrel recover? Children will enjoy hearing parents read Scaredy Squirrel... Continue Reading →

Queen of the Falls

Not very many people have braved riding Niagara Falls - what a fearful idea!  But some have done it, and survived.  Perhaps none as interesting as Annie Edson Taylor. In Queen of the Falls, Chris Van Allsburg tells Taylor's story - what gave her the idea to go over the falls, how she accomplished it,... Continue Reading →

Good Masters! Sweet Ladies!

If you or your child is studying the Middle Ages, you must get a copy of Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village by Laura Amy Schlitz. In it, you'll read from nearly two dozen viewpoints about life in a medieval village - from the lord's nephew, to the begger, from the blacksmith's... Continue Reading →

The Garden of Abdul Gasazi

Author and illustrator Chris Van Allsburg specializes in the dreamy, the spectacular, and the wondrous.  His picture book, The Garden of Abdul Gasazi, is no exception. Alan is all set to care for Miss Hester's dog while she visits her sister.   He plays with Fritz until he's completely worn out, then takes him for an... Continue Reading →

An Invitation to the Butterfly Ball

Counting books are a dime a dozen, so to speak, and finding one that captures the attention of both children and their parents is quite the feat. That's why I enjoyed An Invitation to the Butterfly Ball by Jane Yolen.  Yolen doesn't just count one through ten, she also tells a story about animals getting... Continue Reading →

Duke

Children and teens sometimes wrestle with the question of courage - what does it mean to be courageous? How can I have courage when I'm so scared? Hobie Hansen constantly asks himself those questions, especially since his dad is courageously fighting in World War II.  He finds great comfort in his dog Duke, who accompanies... Continue Reading →

A Visit to William Blake’s Inn

I will admit to being a novice at poetry, and in fact, not a huge fan of it.  However, I am a fan of reading poetry aloud to children.  I think one of the reasons I didn't like poetry was because I only encountered it in school, which wasn't very fun. My favorite poetry is... Continue Reading →

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