Sweet Home Alaska

You might think that a story about pioneering families in Alaska would be the most unusual part of Sweet Home Alaska, by Carole Estby Dagg. You’d be wrong. The most unusual part, at least in my opinion, are the names of her main characters - three sisters named after Greek muses. The twins are lucky... Continue Reading →

One Time

Gina Filomena has a new neighbor whose wide, welcoming smile catches her off-guard. She like his smile. She likes his imagination, which makes her look at her neighborhood differently. When Antonio shows up at her class, and offers his generous smile to everyone, Gina feels a bit put out. But the tenor of the whole... Continue Reading →

The Penderwicks in Spring

Note: I wrote this review in 2015, but am just now publishing it. Excitement reigned at my house last month. My youngest daughter realized that the library finally had processed the newest book about one of our favorite literary families, the Penderwicks. The day we got the email that her hold was ready, I made... Continue Reading →

Bronze and Sunflower

Bronze and Sunflower are the names of two children in China who become inseparable friends - and eventually family. This sweet story by Cao Wenxuan was translated from Chinese by Helen Wang. Set during the Cultural Revolution, Bronze and Sunflower is a story of love, hardships and family life in the Chinese countryside (and not... Continue Reading →

The Kite that Bridged Two Nations

Can a kite really bridge two nations?  Homan Walsh wonders the same thing.  But Homan loves to fly kites, so when he finds out about a contest for kite flyers, he is ready to compete. The winner will receive $10 and the honor of determining the place to build a bridge between the U.S. and... Continue Reading →

The Coffee Can Kid

Little Annie wants her dad to tell a story.  So she pulls down the blue coffee can, curls up on his lap, and listens to the story about the coffee can kid. Her father tells her of a baby born to a very poor mother in a land far away.  This mother, and grandmother could... Continue Reading →

The Man with the Violin

"Dylan was someone who noticed things.  His mom was someone who wasn't." Ouch.  How many times am I guilty of that?  Focusing on my to-do list while ignoring everything around me? This day, Dylan noticed music.  He asked his mom to stop to listen, but she was too busy.  The music captivated Dylan - he... Continue Reading →

A Dance Like Starlight

All children have dreams, hopes and wishes.  One little girl's wish feels unrealistic - she cannot find a star to wish upon in the bright night sky of New York City. But her mother finds a way to nurture her daughter's dream - reminding her that hope is hard work, and demonstrating that fact by... Continue Reading →

Anna & Solomon

I love to read stories about family history, whether it is mine or someone else's.  Lucky for me, Elaine Snyder tells the story of her grandparents who immigrated from Russia to New York City around the 1900's in Anna & Solomon. This is a sweet story - one with a sad beginning, but a happy... Continue Reading →

A Walk in Paris

Paris is a beautiful city (I'm told - I've haven't been there yet), one that people of all ages can enjoy.   Children and parents alike will enjoy A Walk in Paris by Salvatore Rubbino, a beautifully illustrated picture book which gives an overview of the city from a little girl's perspective. Even though I've... Continue Reading →

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