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 →

Hooray for Amanda and Her Alligator

If you're looking for a delightful picture book to read to a preschooler, you cannot go wrong with Mo Willems. He has a whole library of picture books which delight both parents and children. (You can read about some here, and here.) In Hooray for Amanda and Her Alligator, Amanda loves her alligator, even if... 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 →

Empty Fridge

When I picked up Empty Fridge by Gaetan Doremus, I loved the feel of it in my hands. The heavy cardboard cover felt weighty, and its unusual size (tall and rather narrow) seemed to fit my hands. The story is weighty too. In the tradition of Stone Soup, a modern-day neighborhood (in this case an... Continue Reading →

The Ranger’s Apprentice

So many people have recommended that I read The Ranger's Apprentice series by John Flanagan, I've quite forgotten who first mentioned it to me.  But it wasn't until after reading book recommendations from my writing classes - almost a third of whom chose to write about The Ranger's Apprentice - that I finally picked up... Continue Reading →

The Boy on the Wooden Box

If you have seen Schindler's List, you will know the basic story of The Boy on the Wooden Box by Leon Leyson. Leyson was the youngest boy Schindler was able to save from the Nazi killing machine.  He relates his story of growing up in rural Poland, moving to the big city after his father... Continue Reading →

Xander’s Panda Party

Linda Sue Park is one of my favorite authors (see reviews of other books here, here and here), so when I saw she had written a picture book, I snatched it up.  I was hoping it was as good as her chapter books, and I was not disappointed! Xander is a panda, and a panda... Continue Reading →

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