Early/Young Readers

This category contains 124 posts

DEAR JUSTICE LEAGUE by Michael Northrop Illustrated by Gustavo Duarte

Dear Justice League would be an enjoyable independent read for young readers already interested in the heroes of the DC Universe. There over-arching storyline is an invasion of Insectoids from the planet Molt-On. Interwoven in this storyline, each hero receives a fan mail text or email asking a question about some facet of their superhero … Continue reading


Sam Wu is Not Afraid of Ghosts was a solid 3-star read for me. It is the first in a series about Sam Wu. The book begins with Sam’s ‘Unfortunate Incident That Will NEVER Be Mentioned Again’ during a school field trip. This results in Sam being christened ‘Scaredy-Cat Sam’ by his classmate Ralph Philip … Continue reading

FALLING FOR RAPUNZEL by Leah Wilcox Illustrated by Lydia Monks

Lately I have been completely occupied with directing a couple of fractured fairy tales for the stage with young actors (6th – 9th grade). Fractured fairy tales or interesting fairytale retellings are one of my favorite things so I thought I would share one of my long-time favorites today. Falling For Rapunzel is one of … Continue reading

CAN I BE YOUR DOG? by Troy Cummings… 2020 MN STAR OF THE NORTH nominee

I confess, I am a dog person all the way! I love stories about dogs and Can I Be Your Dog? is a sweet addition to my picture-books-with-dogs-as-featured-characters list. Arfy the dog wants to belong to someone.  He writes a letter to every house on Butternut Street with all kinds of reasons why he would be … Continue reading

WE DON’T EAT OUR CLASSMATES by Ryan T. Higgins…2020 MN Star of the North nominee

Penelope Rex (a young T-Rex) is starting school.  She is surprised to find her classmates are human children.  Unfortunately for her classmates, T-Rexes love the taste of children so Penelope is continuously eating her classmates.  In the true tradition of broad, cartoon-like humor the other students are unhappy–but otherwise unhurt–when Penelope spits them out, having … Continue reading


Starring:  Action Clam Also Starring: Cow Your Host: Mr. McMonkey Before I start this review I need to acknowledge that I love Bob Shea’s work.  I love his sense of humor–both in its cleverness and its broadness of scope. So I was prepared to love this book before I read it.  I was not disappointed.  … Continue reading


I was excited to come across Straw Into Gold on the library shelves. I have loved fairytales since I was a little girl. By the time I was six years old I had read through the huge volume The Complete Fairytales of the Brothers Grimm multiple times.  I am thrilled to find clever new retellings of classic … Continue reading

THE HONEYBEE by Kirsten Hall Illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault…2020 MN STAR OF THE NORTH nominee

The Honeybee is a picture book that tries to detail the annual cycle for a honeybee. The illustrations have a watercolor feel without the washed-out effect that can sometimes happen with that medium.  Everything is in shades of yellow set off by dark black and occasional pinks, which definitely stresses the topic of the book … Continue reading

THE IMPORTANT THING ABOUT MARGARET WISE BROWN by Mac Barnett Illustrated by Sarah Jacoby

I’m pretty sure I’m in the minority in my opinion of this book, but here goes…I found it included with a list of books readers thought should be considered for the Newbery Award this year. As I loved Brown’s work as a child and still enjoy Mac Barnett’s picture books when reading to children, I … Continue reading

ALMA AND HOW SHE GOT HER NAME by Juana Martinez-Neal…2020 MN STAR OF THE NORTH nominee

Alma Sofia Esperanza Jose Pura Candela Alma thinks her name is too long.  Her father tells her the story behind each part of her name, telling her after she has heard the stories she can decide for herself if her name really is too long. As her father tells her about each of the people … Continue reading