Words in the Dust

What is truly amazing about Words in the Dust by Trent Reedy is that this young man could write such a beautiful book from the first-person perspective of a young Afgani girl. Zulaikha (thankfully, there’s pronunciation guide in the back of the book) loves her family, especially her older sister and her father.  They don’t... Continue Reading →

Year of the Jungle

Children dealing with deployed parents can gain comfort from Year of the Jungle by Suzanne Collins (yes, the author of The Hunger Games). Collin's father was deployed to Viet Nam when she was six.  In this picture book, she remembers what life was like with her dad gone, and the questions she asked about his... Continue Reading →

Keeping Score

Maggie Fortini listens to every game her beloved Brooklyn Dodgers play, usually at the firehouse with her father’s former co-workers.  When Jim joins the firehouse, she is shocked to discover he is a huge fan of the Dodgers arch-rivals, the New York Giants.  She determines to never be his friend. But slowly, he wins her... Continue Reading →

Al Capone Does My Shirts

Moose is not happy about leaving his best friend in Santa Monica to move to Alcatraz Island.  He knows its not easy for his dad to find a job in the middle of the Great Depression, but it just isn't fair.  His mom has pushed this move on his family because the Esther P Marinoff... Continue Reading →

Ashanti to Zulu: African Traditions

For preschoolers learning about other people groups and the alphabet, Ashanti to Zulu: African Traditions by Margaret Musgrove is the perfect picture book marrying the two. Musgrove works her way through the alphabet, telling a bit about a different African tribe for each letter.  The tribal illustrations by Leo and Diane Dillon are as interesting... Continue Reading →

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 →

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 →

The Truth of Me

Patricia MacLachlan has done it again. "Done what?" I hear you asking. She's written a beautiful book about difficult relationships and finding your way through them. In The Truth of Me, Robbie's parents send him to his grandmother's house for the summer. They are touring with their woodwind quartet for the summer. Robbie is fine... Continue Reading →

The Kissing Hand

Many children feel anxious when they have to be separated from their parents or caretakers. The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn provides not only a good story, but also a wonderful way to deal with that type of anxiety. Chester Raccoon does not want to go to school.  He does not want to leave his... Continue Reading →

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