Only My Dog Knows I Pick My Nose
Written by Lauren Tarshis
Illustrated by Lisa Bronson Mezoff
Age Level: 3 – 5
Grade Level: PS – K
Ha ve you ever met a child who appears to be perfect? He does all the right things. He EVEN shares with his baby sister, but only the dog knows the truth. That the boy does things that are just plain wrong, like picking his nose.
I loved this story from the first line, to the last one. That’s when the author reveals the truth. That the dog knows everything and still loves the boy. That . . . IS the best kind of love 😊
Review of The Next President
The Next President
Written by Kate Messner
Illustrated by Adam Rex
Age Level: 8 – 12
Grade Level: 3 – 7
This is the most unusual book about presidents I’ve ever read! It begins with a page of text, then one of pictures. It continues the pattern until you reach the back matter at the end of the book. That’s where you’ll find a map. It shows the state each president came from, the requirements to become president, and the resources where you can learn more.
The story starts at George Washington’s inauguration. Then it takes off in a new direction. Kate Messner and Adam Rex did the research. They discovered where the next ten presidents were in 1789 and what they were doing. A few – weren’t even born yet!
The story ends with Donald Trump. In March of 2020 when this book was published, we didn’t know who our next president would be, let alone the next ten. Now in 2023, we know Joe Biden was next, but we don’t know who will follow him – in 2024, 2028, and beyond. We’ll have to wait to meet them. Here’s to the future!
Review of Stink: Hamlet and Cheese
Stink: Hamlet and Cheese
Written by Megan McDonald
Illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds
Age Level: 6 – 9
Grade Level: 1 – 4
I loved Stink, and so will kids, especially boys. Stink is all-boy, and that’s the hook – a boy taking on Shakespeare camp. Acting, using weird words in sentences? YUCK! But . . . if you told Stink that there are silly curses, sword-fighting, making faces, and acting out, I bet he’d go! The only downside – Riley Rottenburger. She is not boy friendly, but, boys could overlook her . . . because farting is!
I Campaigned for Ice Cream: A Boy’s Quest for Ice Cream Trucks
Written by Suzanne Jacobs Lipshaw
Illustrated by Wendy Leach
Age Level: 5 – 9
Grade Level: K – 3
What do you do when something’s not right? Don’t scream . . . Campaign! Ask Joshua Lipshaw who fought city hall for ice cream and won. This is his true story and a great way to learn about local government. The back matter includes a glossary of civic terms, but don’t get lost in vocabulary and forget the most important thing . . . Ice Cream!
Nancy Drew Clue Book #4: Big Top Flop
Written by Carolyn Keene
Illustrated by Peter Francis
Age Level: 6 – 9
Grade Level: 1 – 4
This set of 18 chapter book mysteries is great! When Nancy’s friend George wins the Junior Ringmaster whistling contest, her prize whistle is stolen and replaced with a dud. Can Nancy, George, and Bess solve the mystery before the circus leaves town?
The best part – the Clue Crew and You page. That’s where the case is summarized, and the last two clues repeated. Then it’s your chance to solve the mystery before the last chapter begins. I did, and I got it right!
Review of The Seekers
Written & Illustrated by Hari & Deepti
Age Level: 4 – 8
Grade Level: PS – 3
This book is as beautiful as the cover, and it tells the legend of the silver fox and the fire wolf. The illustrations might tell the story better than the words, but it’s definitely worth a look.
The story - in the valley of Krum, there’s a legend that the land is guarded by fire and ice. Everything changes when Nao, the wonderer, finds a shell where the river slows. Mio the storyteller senses something’s wrong, but he’s sure when the river dries up. Together Nan and Mio must figure out the problem, then fix it. You’ll have to read the story yourself to find out how it ends, but I can share the theme – how man fits in with nature.
Review of Dreamers
Written & Illustrated by Yuyi Morales
Age Level: 3 – 9
Grade Level: PS – 3
I loved Yuyi’s story, of how she and her baby came to the US as immigrants. In the beginning she couldn’t understand or speak English. She learned from books. They gave her a new language, and a home. They taught her how to read, how to speak, even how to write. Books are amazing!
In return she gave us the chance to experience coming to America through her eyes. The back matter includes Yuyi’s story, the books she read to learn English, and how she told her story in this one.
Review of The Remember Balloons
The Remember Balloon
Written by Jessie Oliveros
Illustrated by Dana Wulfekotte
Age Level: 5 – 10
Grade Level: K – 4
When this book came out, I wanted to read it. Then I saw it in my local library, and I wasn’t disappointed. It’s a quiet story about a boy, his grandfather, and Alzheimer's. Grandpa uses the balloons as a way to keep track of time, and memories. But when he starts losing them, his grandson James learns how to share his own balloons, and it helps. I’m a daughter of Alzheimer's, and this is a lovely book to help children understand it, to find ways to cope with it.
Review of The Heart Changer
Written by Jarm Del Boccio
Age Level: 9 – 12
Grade Level: 4 – 8
Have you ever wanted to know more about a Bible story, the back story? That’s exactly what Jarm did with Naaman and his leprosy, the Naaman from 2 Kings Chapter 5 in the Old Testament. In second Kings, we don’t know anything about the maidservant except for the important part . . . that she believed in Yahweh and that her faith helped Naaman into the River Jordan.
Jarm started there, by giving the servant a name and a story based on historical details from this time period. For me it made the story richer, and it gave me a greater appreciation of the journey Naaman took. He didn’t want to get into the Jordan River. He said it was polluted, but he did it because of the faith of a servant.
The Friendship Garden: Pumpkin Spice
Written by Jenny Meyerhoff
Illustrated by Eva Chatelain
Age Level: 7 - 10
Grade Level: 2 – 5
This is the second book in a series of three about the Friendship Garden. These mysteries are great for young readers. Clues are left along the way to help them solve it, without giving away the ending.
In Pumpkin Spice, Anna, Kaya, and Reed are sure that their pumpkin is going to win first prize at the festival, but two days before the contest their pumpkin disappears. The girls must solve the mystery in time for the festival if they’re going to have a chance at winning. Kids who are into chapter books and easy middle grade reads will love this book, and this series.
Whenever I read or write, I find a comfy chair with a great view. I get my favorite drink, stretch out, and let the words take me away.