review#460 – The Templeton Twins Make a Scene: Book 2 by Ellis Weiner & Jeremy Holmes

Kid Lit Reviews

templeton twins make a scene book 2.

The Templeton Twins Make a Scene: Book 2

by Ellis Weiner

Jeremy Holmes, illustrator

Chronicle Books

Inside Jacket: “Professor Templeton has been hired by TAPAS (Thespian Academy of the Performing Arts and Sciences) to create another brilliant (and decidedly theatrical) device. A new school, a new invention, ad a new nanny . . . but DEAN D. DEAN and DAN D. DEAN are up to their old tricks. So Abigail and John must once again draw upon their brains, their bravery, and their hobbies (respectively, doing CRYPTIC CROSSWORDS and PLAYING THE DRUMS) to save the day.”

Opening:  “Dear Reader: I was going to start this book with a note of apology, written with my own hand. I was going to say how sorry I was if, while you are reading this book, you find yourself dismayed at having NOT read the book that comes before it, which is…

View original post 1,116 more words


A Home for Bird by Philip C. Stead: A touching story of friendship, kindness and determination.

Check out this review from Then check out Turtle and Robot’s site.

A Home for BirdDSC02042

Picture Book

Ages 3-7

By Philip C. Stead

32 pages

Roaring Brook Press


Watch the trailer!



Philip C. Stead is the author of several books, some of which he illustrated himself and some that are illustrated by his wife, Erin E. Stead. Their book, A Sick Day for Amos McGee, won the 2011 Caldecott Medal, which is awarded annually to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children.

Philip C. Stead, the writer, possesses the rare ability to convey a world of thoughts with a minimal amount of text. His stories are perfectly paced and wholly satisfying. Philip C. Stead, the illustrator, creates images that invoke warm, pleasing feelings.

His art in A Home for Bird was created with crayons and gouache (an opaque watercolor paint) producing a whimsical, child-like feel. Each illustration contains its own radiant world of…

View original post 307 more words

review#417 – Little Red Writing by Joan Holub

Kid Lit Reviews

little red writingLittle Red Writing

by Joan Holub

Melissa Sweet, illustrator

Chronicle Books

Top 10 of 2013

Inside Jacket:  Once upon a time in a pencil school, a teacher named Ms. 2 told her class, “Today we’re going to write a story.”

“Yippee!” said the birthday pencil.

“Slammin’!” said the basketball pencil.

“Sharp!” said Little Red

So begins a hilarious and exuberant retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, in which a brave little pencil finds her way through the many perils of story-telling, faces a ravenous pencil sharpener )the Wolf 3000) . . . and saves the day.

Opening:  Once upon a time in a pencil school, a teacher named Ms. 2 told her class, “Today we’re going to write a story!”

“I want to write a happy story!” said the birthday pencil.

“I’m going to do a nonfiction story about the great state of Pennsylvania,” said the state pencil.


View original post 660 more words

Island: A Story of the Galapagos by Jason Chin: A non-fiction delight.


Island: A Story of the Galapagos

Non-Fiction Picture Book

Ages 4-10

By Jason Chin

36 pages

Roaring Brook Press




Jason Chin (another Books of Wonder alum) is an unsurpassed master of presenting non-fiction to picture book fans. His first book in the genre, Redwoods (2009), followed a young boy who discovers a book about the Redwood forest and soon finds himself walking amongst the woody giants. Coral Reefs, published in 2011, is about a young girl in the New York City Public Library who soon finds the library, and the city, transformed into a marine adventure.

Chin carefully researches his subject matter and adeptly translates the information for his intended audience. Coupling his straightforward, informative text with his exquisite and detailed art, he creates compelling and beautiful books—no small feat when dealing with non-fiction, just take a look at some of the other options in your…

View original post 352 more words

The Story of Little Babaji by Helen Bannerman and Fred Marcellino: a perfect update to a classic story.


The Story of Little Babaji

Picture Book

Ages 3-8

By Helen Bannerman

Illustrated by Fred Marcellino

72 pages





Helen Bannerman (1862-1946), the author and illustrator of The Story of Little Black Sambo (published in 1899), lived in India for several years; the basis for the story came from illustrated letters she wrote to her children during her time there. Though “sambo” was a term used throughout the 1800s it seems to have risen to its now well-known racist usage in the first half of the 1900s, perhaps in part owed to this story.

The Story of Little Black Sambo has been a point of controversy for nearly as long as it’s been in print. The story itself obviously took place in India, featuring tigers and ghee, or clarified butter, but Bannerman’s art featured an offensively caricatured black child.


Despite being married to some…

View original post 922 more words