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Children's Book Reviews

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

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Llama Llama and the Bully Goat by Anna Dewdney

If you aren’t familiar with Anna Dewdney’s Llama series, you are missing out!  My children, nieces, and nephews have all enjoyed Llama and his drama.  Each book highlights a common early childhood problem and, more importantly, how to resolve it.  My daughters especially enjoy Llama Llama Mad at Mama, featuring a very grumpy Llama who is none too pleased to head to the grocery story with his tired, overworked mother.  [Read more...]

Doug Unplugged by Dan Yaccarino

When I first saw the title Doug Unplugged, I was able to guess the moral of this story.  On the cover, there was an adorable young robot boy holding the plug of his cord and smiling.  I have so often had to lecture my young girls about walking away from devices that I made a very simple rule for video games or computers:  If it’s not for school, no electronic devices may be used from Monday to Friday, and may only be used during limited hours on weekends… unless there’s a storm, blizzard, or robot invasion.  [Read more...]

Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra Stein

Last year, I was volunteering in my daughter’s first grade class when a little boy told me a knock-knock joke.

Knock knock!
Who’s there?
Interrupting Cow!
Interrupting Cow, wh–
MOOOOOOOO!

This was cute  — the first 32 times, at least — so when I saw Interrupting Chicken on the shelf at our library, I thought of that joke and how much fun it was for the miniature comedian.  [Read more...]

Lifetimes by Bryan Mellonie

Explaining death to young children is such a touchy thing.  It’s usually something parents don’t want to do, so we put it off until we are grappling with difficult loss and in no position to be mature, thoughtful creatures.  And then we desperately turn to books to help us choke out a few reassuring words. [Read more...]