Children's Book Reviews

Book reviews by elementary school teachers Kate Glinsmann and Jennifer Sykes.
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The Kissing Hand

Since September signifies the beginning of a new school year in many areas, I thought it would be nice to review one of my very favorite children’s books that I would read during the first few days of kindergarten. What I love most about this book is that it is intended for children involved in difficult situations, including, but not limited to, starting school. [Read more...]

Telephone by Mac Barnett

by Mac Barnett

One of my favorite games to play as a child was the “pass it on” game of Telephone.  You whisper a simple statement to the person sitting next to you, they whisper what they heard to the person sitting next to them, and so on.  The thing you whispered inevitably evolves into something more colorful, often on purpose.  By the time the person at the end of the line blurts out what they heard, which should be what you said, it’s some crazy, messed up version… and instant childhood hilarity.  I remember sitting with anticipation and giggling, just waiting to hear the difference between what I passed on and the end result.  So it was with great nostalgia that I picked up Mac Barnett’s Telephone. [Read more...]

Cute Farm Books Part 2

Here is the second installment of my favorite farm books. As I mentioned in my previous blog, I have so many favorite farm books that I needed to make this a two-part blog. These books were published after my sons grew up, but many of them came out while I was teaching kindergarten, and they are the ones that my students loved and wanted to read over and over again. [Read more...]



by Obert Skye

Obert Skye’s The Creature from my Closet series features mashups of popular fictional creatures/characters.  There’s Wonkenstein (Willy Wonka/Frankenstein), Pinocula (Pinocchio/Dracula), and Katfish (Katniss/Ariel, the Little Mermaid).  The second book in the series is the Potterwookiee, which is a miniature Chewbacca with Harry Potter’s lightning bolt scar and accessories.  Yes, a small wookiee wizard with a British accent!  Now you’ve heard everything. [Read more...]

Holiday Gift Guide: Chapter Books

While the slightly older set may have dreams of gadgets and devices, the gift of a great book cannot be overlooked.  They’ll thank you when they curl up with their new diversion and a cup of hot cocoa.  Here are twelve great texts, ranging from chicken mysteries to comics to survivor fantasy.  I’ve put them in order so that books for the younger kids are first, with books for kids in upper elementary and middle school at the end of the list.  Like with the picture book roundup, all the texts here are available from Amazon Prime, so you’ll get them in plenty of time for your holiday celebratin’.   Happy shopping! [Read more...]

Holiday Gift Guide: Board Books & Picture Books

Why, yes!  The clock is ticking.  Hanukkah begins on Wednesday night, and Christmas is right around the corner.  If you are still hunting down the perfect gift for a toddler, preschooler, emerging reader, or anyone who enjoys picture books, you have come to the right place!  Forget trying to figure out which Lego set or which character toys they already have (hint: they don’t need more Elsas).  No need to know sizes.  Do they already have every toy and game known to mankind?  Well, it’s impossible to have too many books for children to enjoy.   Here are eight wonderful board books and picture books that any child (and family) will love… and, of course, everything listed is currently available via Amazon Prime to make your shopping quick and easy.  Tuesday, I’ll share a gift guide of chapter books for school-aged children.  Get your pretty wrapping paper ready! [Read more...]