Cardboard Kingdom by Chad Sell (Knopf, 20218) is a delightful romp in a neighborhood full of imaginative children during the course of one summer. This graphic novel shows the stories of more than a dozen children with a variety of unique personalities who live on a couple blocks, and to the discerning reader, it gives

Read Post

The Death of Caesar: The Story of History’s Most Famous Assassination by Barry Strauss (Simon & Schuster, March 2015) examines the traditions of the assassination of Julius Caesar, clearing up the myths (such as Shakespeare’s play) from reality. Analyzing such a historic event from 44 B.C. is not easy since eyewitness accounts are few and far

Read Post

I am a mother that is not comfortable with mess. I don’t like noise or chaos either. And yet, I’m learning to adapt. In fact, when I read Recipes for Play by Rachel Sumner and Ruth Mitchener (The Experiment, September 2014), I started actually getting excited about trying out some of the activities and crafts mentioned.

Read Post

It’s always fun when picture books play on words to get your attention. When my son (age 5) 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

Read Post

The Enchanted Castle by E. Nesbit (published 1907) is a tale of modern magical enchantments. Three children, Gerald (Jerry), Jimmy, and Kathleen (Cathy), stumble upon a large estate that reminds them of a castle; in their play-acting, they stumble upon a sleeping girl they decide must be a princess. Despite her later declaration that she

Read Post

The Simples Love a Picnic by J.C. Phillips (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, May 2014) is so much fun! It is a story of a family going on a picnic in the park. But of course, parks have lots of undesirables…squirrels, ants, and too many people playing sports. This was a picnic trip that I could relate to:

Read Post

I had hoped that by waiting a week or two I’d know what I want to say about Love’s Labour’s Lost, but after all this time I still have very little to say. I worry that I feel this way because I read a free Project Gutenberg version of it, and as I read in

Read Post

I’m Bored by Michael Ian Black and illustrated by Debbie Ridpath Ohi (Simon and Schuster, 2012) is simply fantastic in every way. I’m Bored kind of defies all description. In this book, a bored little girl begins a conversation with a potato, in which she finds she must convince the potato that no, kids are

Read Post

Stuck by Oliver Jeffers (Philomel Books, 2011) is one silly book. A boy gets his kite stuck in a tree and so he throws his shoe up to knock it loose … which also gets stuck. He tries to think of other things to throw into the tree to get the shoe out, and then of

Read Post