Evergreen by Matthew Cordell (Feiwel & Friends, February 2023) features a highly loveable but timid and scared squirrel sent on a journey to take Granny Oak an acorn full of soup. With this “Little Red Riding Hood”-esque story and Matthew Cordell’s striking ink and watercolor illustrations, Evergreen becomes a truly delightful story to read as

Read Post

The Dark Frigate by Charles Hawes (originally published 1923) features pirate action as well as a slightly multifaceted adversary in the pirate leader Tom Jordon, with much the same attitude I found in Treasure Island, but a passionless main character and a series of bloody battles gave the overall book a jolt of boring reality

Read Post

The bright, engaging middle grade nonfiction book How Does Chocolate Taste on Everest? by Leisa Stewart-Sharpe (Charlesbridge, September 2023) highlights the most extreme places around the world. With a vacation guide book feel, How Does Chocolate Taste? emphasizes what you see, smell, taste, hear, and touch when you visit the highest, best, deepest, hottest, and coldest

Read Post

The children’s novel The Great Quest by Charles Boardman Hawes (Atlantic Monthly Press, 1921) has a nice beginning, with an adventurous tone similar to that in Treasure Island. But for the modern reader, that wholesome, adventurous spirit becomes much more sinister about a quarter of the way through the book, with a tone that feels

Read Post

In Julieta and the Diamond Enigma by Luisana Duarte Armendariz (Tu Books, 2020), nine-year-old Julieta is caught in a scandal when she and her father witness the Regent diamond being stolen. When Julieta accidentally lets the thief out of the building and she and her father are suspected, she is determined to free themselves from

Read Post

The Left Behinds series so far contains two different historical fiction novels with time travel adventures in which preteens must save the day. In The iPhone that Saved George Washington, three kids travel to 1776 to discover that George Washington has been shot. Can they reverse this alternate history before history is changed forever? In Abe

Read Post

We recently listened to an amazing audiobook that surprised me by its depth and language. Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin is a Newbery Honor book for good reason. By weaving Chinese traditional folktale into a modern story about a girl living in poverty, Ms Lin creates a fairy tale odyssey that

Read Post

The Baby Santa stories by M. Maitland DeLand are both clever and also cheesy so of course, my almost 4-year-old daughter, Strawberry, loved them. A few years ago, I had the chance to review a copy of Baby Santa and the Lost Letters. This is the Christmas story my daughter still enjoys reading every year. Although

Read Post

Walk on the Wild Side by Nicholas Oldland (Kids Can Press, 2014) is a delightful story about three friends (a bear, a moose, and a beaver) who love to have adventures together. The cartoon illustrations show the humor of these particular friends hiking together, but ultimately the message of “enjoying the journey” is a memorable

Read Post