The ACB with Honora Lee by Kate De Goldi


The ACB with Honora Lee by Kate De Goldi (Tundra Books, 2012; originally published in New Zealand) focuses a child’s relationship with her grandmother, who suffers from dementia. Perry is an only child, and I love how her budding relationship with Gran teaches her parents a bit about priorities, family, love, and friendship.

Perry’s parents over schedule her days, so when her mother finds a weekly lesson canceled and she struggles to find a replacement class, Perry knows just want she wants to do. She wants to visit her grandmother in her nearby nursing home each week.  Her parents are not sure: does Perry understand that Honora Lee cannot remember from day to day? Nevertheless, they allow her to go. Continue Reading

Julia’s House for Lost Creatures by Ben Hatke


The cartoon-like illustrations in Julia’s House for Lost Creatures by Ben Hatke (First Second Books, September 2014) perfectly match the child-like imaginative story.  It begins with fantastic personification:

Julie’s house came to town and settled by the sea.

And Julia is obviously not a normal girl, for when she decides to open her home to lost creatures, she finds herself welcoming not just “patched up Kitty” but a sad troll and all sorts of other monsters.Continue Reading

The Other Bears by Michael Thompson

The Other Bears by Michael Thompson (Star Bright Books, October 2013) is a simple tale of prejudice being overcome by friendship, except this is a somewhat silly picture book about bears!

The koala bear family (who technically are not bears at all but marsupials) are busy enjoying their day at the beach when other families arrive.

First comes the panda bear family, with Chinese dress and food. Then there is the polar bear family (with snow shoes and coats) and the black bear family (with American parade regalia). Finally, the brown bear family (with German/European outfits) and the sun bear family (with Southeast Asian clothes) join the crowd on the beach.Continue Reading

Pig and Small by Alex Latimer


It’s always fun when picture books play on words to get your attention.

When my son first started reading Pig and Small by Alex Latimer (Peachtree, August 2014), he commented, “The author should have called this book Big and Small because Pig is big and the bug is small! They are opposites.”

He really liked this story about friendship. The two friends were quite different, and at first they decided they could not be friends because they were too different. The pencil illustrations are playful, with plenty of amusing mishaps when they try to do certain things together, such as playing ball (Bug didn’t like that one) and playing hide-and-seek (Pig was not a fan of that one).

A change of heart helps them see how they could be friends. Raisin was very pleased to find that the two creatures could compromise, and we all loved the twist at the end! Pig and Small was a book the kids definitely enjoyed rereading!

Note: I received a digital review copy of this book from the publisher for review consideration.