Blog Archives

Big Words for Little People (written by: Jamie Lee Curtis, illustrated by: Laura Cornell)

Good for toddler-5 year olds

3 out of 5 stars

This is an okay rhyming book. Definitely below the best of Seuess (maybe even below like mediocre Seuss), but better than a lot of what’s up there. It’s well-intentoned and some parts are definitely stronger than others.

Read more ›

Posted in Children's/Young Adult

Because Dragons Love Milk (Chinese and English Editions)

It’s bedtime and Tycho is worried about the monsters in his room, particularly the dragon, a T-Rex, and an alligator. But his wise and loving father knows just how to handle the scary monsters and make sure that Tycho’s sleep is sweet and peaceful. Introduce your young precious ones to Because Dragons Love Milk, a new classic book they’ll hold in their hearts forever. Book is written to read smoothly in both languages, so that it’s a bilingual book for children.

There are three versions: English only, Traditional Chinese and English, as well as Simplified Chinese and English.

Like Unwell, this is a book that’s by one of the friend’s of our site, and also edited by friends from this site.

Posted in book promotion, Children's/Young Adult

Counting by 7s (Holly Goldberg Sloan)

4 out of 5 stars

Cut to the Chase:

Well-written, middle-school-appropriate story about a genius outcast/orphan who has to deal with the grief of losing her beloved adoptive parents and struggles to find a new home situation. There’s a lovable cast of side characters (the underachieving school counselor, the dictator-like Vietnamese matron, etc), a nice progression from super sad (the parents die in the first opening scene) to happy equilibrium/resolution, and lots of fun/quirky moments in-between. I’m not a big fan of the genius-protagonist thing, but this was fairly well-conceived and mostly believable.

Read more ›

Posted in Children's/Young Adult

The Book with No Pictures (B.J. Novak)

(great for 2, 3 year-olds and up)

I love it, my 3.5 year old loves it, even my 2 year old loves it.

As long as you’re an adult who can have a good sense of humor about reading lines like “My head is made of blueberry pizza,” it’s hard to go wrong.

Yes, it’s one long-running-meta-ish joke about being a nonsense book that’s all about “tricking” adults into saying their best friend’s a hippo named “boo boo butt” and yes, it may get old hearing your children repeat certain lines from the book, but even despite that, I think it’s a huge win.

This is the book we hand to our friends when they visit. It’s the only book that can reliably tear my toddlers away from the legos almost instantaneously. It’s one where the adults can’t help but make funny voices (to match the funny, nonsensical words), and it really is a must-have.


Tagged with:
Posted in Best of, Children's/Young Adult

Some Bugs (Angela DiTerlizzi, Illustrated by Brendan Wenzel)

Recommended, Repeatable

(great for 2-4 year olds)

This is a charming book — it’s one of those books that’s fun to read, that makes you just want to keep flipping the pages to finish the rhyme, and there’s just so much going on in every page that it’s sure to keep your kids completely entertained.

It’s a short, quick read, but one that my toddlers have asked for time and again.The words are fun and memorable (it quickly made it onto my son’s “completely memorized” list), the drawings are bright and whimsical, and there’s a last couple of pages of just bugs and bugs and bugs (that your kids will pore over and really, really concentrate on…)

Posted in Children's/Young Adult

Dillweed’s Revenge (Florence Parry Heide)

Not Recommended, Not Repeatable 

It’s almost impossible to write a review without spoilers explaining my stance. So, fair warning: LOTS of spoilers ahead.

This is a book about a neglected child whose only friend is his pet. His parents leave him alone (never taking him with them on their vacations and adventures) with the servants, who are mean to him, and make him do all manner of chores (ones they should, themselves be taking care of).

So… Dillweed plots his revenge (via evil spirits/ghosts) and both of the evil servants are killed (one eats poison that the other was planning on serving to Dillweed, for example).

Afterwards, when his parents come back, he realizes he would be better off without them as well (they try to get rid of Dillweed’s pet) and it’s strongly implied that his parents, also, meet with a terrible end.

While I can see certain adults enjoying this book, it’s definitely not one I want to read to my kids…

Posted in Children's/Young Adult

Mr. Wuffles (David Wiesner)

Somewhat Recommended, Somewhat Repeatable

This was actually a split decision in our family… one kid kind of loves it, and another kid isn’t interested at all. The “story” is told through truly wonderful and very creative illustrations — in an almost comic book like style, we see tiny aliens land, get tortured/played with by a household cat, and then we see how the aliens are befriended by the ants of the household, etc. For adults who like to improv/tell stories, it’s pretty fun, but it’s definitely not for everyone.

Posted in Children's/Young Adult

How Do Dinosaurs Say Happy Birthday (Jane Yolen, Mark Teague)

Not Recommended, Not Repeatable

My toddler loves dinosaurs, and generally likes dinosaur books, but this one was a miss It’s a bit preachy in terms of what’s good/acceptable party behavior, and the rest of it is just… okay. It’s getting to be a pretty long series now, and while I still generally like the art and storylines, I think there are high points and weak points…

Posted in Children's/Young Adult

Encyclopedia Prehistorica Dinosaurs: The Definitive Pop-Up

Recommended, Repeatable

This is the best pop-up book we’ve ever owned. The details are wonderfully rendered, and the individual pages have small, book inserts, that are also pop-ups. In terms of actual knowledge/facts, there are probably better books out there, in terms of just illustrations, detail of pop-ups, I don’t think I’ve ever seen its equal. If your kid like dinosaurs… this is a must-own.

Posted in Children's/Young Adult

Delta the Fussy Dog


Recommended, Somewhat Repeatable

This was a cute book in terms of both illustration and drawings. My kids were interested during the tell of it (though not necessarily eager to repeat it right away). The message (eat your veggies kiddos) is not uncommon, but telling it through the story of a fussy dog did actually make it more palatable for my kids.

Posted in Children's/Young Adult