This category contains 31 posts

FRAMED by Frank Cottrell Boyce

Framed has been on my “To-read” list for years and I feel like doing a happy dance now that I have finally had the opportunity to read it!  Nine-year-old Dylan Hughes’ family owns the Snowdonia Oasis Auto Marvel Garage in tiny Manod.  As the economy has become more difficult families continue to move to London to find … Continue reading


The Hero’s Guide to Saving the Kingdom is now one of my new all-time favorites!  In its pages we are introduced to the Prince Charmings of several well-known fairy tales: the male leads of Cinderella, Rapunzel, Sleeping Beauty and Snow White.  Frederic was traumatized as a child by a toothless tiger which has resulted in … Continue reading

GUSTAV GLOOM AND THE PEOPLE-TAKER by Adam-Troy Castro Illustrated by Kristen Margiotta

Gustav Gloom and the People-Taker is a quirky story that is part scare-your-socks-off and part chuckle-to-yourself.  Gustav sits in the front yard of the Gloom mansion.  All who see him there are agreed that he appears to be the saddest, loneliest little boy in the world.  Neighbors are NOT pleased to have the Gloom Mansion … Continue reading

TURKEY TOT by George Shannon Illustrated by Jennifer K. Mann

Turkey Tot is a  clever re-telling of the classic story The Little Red Hen.  In this version the Little Red Hen is replaced by Turkey Tot and the three uncooperative friends are Chick, Pig and Hen.  Instead of preparing and baking bread Turkey Tot wants the sweet, juicy blackberries in the tree high above their … Continue reading

FLORA & ULYSSES by Kate DiCamillo

I’ve had this book on my to-read list since it came out and I am glad I finally had the opportunity to read it, as I usually enjoy DiCamillo’s work immensely.  Flora & Ulysses is no exception! Because the beginning is so quirky and over-the-top in its humor it took me about 20-30 pages before I … Continue reading


Tollins are not fairies.  Though they both have wings, fairies are delicate creatures and much smaller….In addition, fairies cannot sing B-sharp….Tollins regard fairies as fluttery show-offs and occasionally use them to wipe out the insides of cups.  Tollins are also a lot less fragile than fairies.  In fact, the word “fragile” can’t really be used … Continue reading

GIANTS BEWARE! by Jorge Aguirre Illustrated by Rafael Rosado

Brilliantly plotted, exquisitely illustrated, Giants Beware! is a funny, fast-paced adventure.  Recommended to me by my 11-year-old son, I thoroughly enjoyed this romp of a story. Claudette is a straight-talking, courageous young girl who is anxious to fight the Baby-Feet-Eating Giant who lives outside the protective walls of the city.  After repeatedly hearing the stories … Continue reading


Llama Llama, Bully Goat by Anna Dewdney This is an excellent addition to Dewdney’s successful Llama, Llama series.  Baby llama has grown up with his readers, make him an excellent character to model successful anti-bully strategies for young readers.  This installment of the series is exactly on point for young readers pre-school through 2nd Grade … Continue reading

MY LIFE AS A…BOOK by Janet Tashjian…LOVELACE Nominee 2014-15 Division I & II

I read the My Life As A… series because my 9-year-old daughter read them, enjoyed them and recommended them to me.  Each of the three are enjoyable to differing degrees and for different reasons.  All three are narrated by Derek.  Derek is your average 12-year-old boy.  He is basically kind, has a good heart, dreads school at … Continue reading


Walter Dean Myers is perhaps better known to older readers for his poetry and works of young adult fiction.  Some young readers will remember that Walter Dean Myers is the poet who inspired the young boy in Sharon Creech’s phenomenal Love That Dog. Smiffy Blue is a goofy mixture of Sam Spade, Batman and Sherlock Holmes.  Along … Continue reading