Children’s Book Reviews, Vol. 6

Our Children’s staff keep current on all the new children’s book releases. And, to help each other out, they write short reviews of new titles to share with each other. Now, we want to share them with you! All of these titles are staff approved and available in the Clevnet catalog. Happy Reading! Read past reviews here:

Miss Sam, Eastlake 

Willow and Bunny – by Anitra Rowe Schulte ★★★★★ 

An absolutely beautiful story about the quiet relationship between a bunny and the willow tree he calls home. The tree provides shade & shelter, but after a tornado rips through the area, the bunny and other animals do their part to help the tree recover. Throughout this gentle story, the characters don’t actually have real dialogue. We simply get to see the relationship between animals and nature, and how there is a symbiosis between them. This would be a terrific preschool choice for Earth Day, or storytimes featuring animal relationships, survival, weather, or seasons. 

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A Letter for Bob – by Kim Rogers ★★★★ 

Sometimes the family car is more than just a machine – it’s a part of the family! This Native American family is paying tribute to all of the things their car has been through with them as they say a tearful goodbye before they buy a new car. This sweet story is a terrific choice for themes like family, accepting change, and glimpses into daily Native American life. 

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Miss Rachael, Willowick 

Grandpas are the Greatest by Ben Faulks ★★★★★ 

Beautiful illustrations tell the heartwarming story of a little girl and her Grandpa.  When she asks him if he had a Grandpa, he tells her about his and how Grandpas are all unique.  Some are Inventors, and some are fisherman or Builders.  No matter what a Grandfather does, they are always there to share stories and give lots and lots of hugs!  

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Are You Mad at Me? By Tyler Feder ★★★★ 

Opal the Ostrich always worried that somebody was mad at her.  She would get the noodles and feel worried inside.  Her mom gave her the big responsibility of picking up the pie for their big Feather Family Soiree.  Along the way she met a lot of her friends and was convinced that each of them was mad at her.  When she arrived at the bakery, she told Ms. Peanut about it, and she assured Opal that she used to be like that too, but she realized that they really were not mad at her.  She agreed to accompany Opal back home to make her feel more reassured.  Opal brought home the pie and felt so proud of herself that she had not it on her own.  

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Miss Jennifer, Eastlake 

Cape by Kevin Johnson ★★★★★ 

The striking cover with a beautiful red cape blowing in the wind doesn’t prepare you for following a young child through a journey of loss and grief. He doesn’t want the memories of the person who gave him the cape to bubble up. He tries his best to block them out with his cape and push them far away but the memories bubble up anyway and he remembers. He remembers the happiness, the laughs, and the love and care he felt. He realizes he never wants to forget that. This would be a beautiful story to share with any child but this book would be very helpful for a child experiencing a loss.  

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Sometimes I Cry by Jess Townes ★★★★★ 

There are many situations that could bring on the tears. A tumble off your bike or a tickle session that makes you laugh so hard you cry. Tears aren’t always brought on by sadness but also frustration, disappointment, and happiness. This beautifully illustrated book reminds us that tears are perfectly okay in all of these situations. The last page sums it up all so beautifully 

“ Sometimes 

My feelings fill me up  

Like a water balloon 

That stretches 

           And stretches 

And stretches 

Until I think I might burst 

But when I let my tears out 

My feelings fit perfectly inside my body 

All my feelings together 

And I know it’s okay that 

I cry. “ 

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Miss Cara, Willoughby 

Where Wonder Grows by Xelena Gonzalez ★★★★★ 

A grandmother and her three granddaughters spend the day in the garden looking at and talking about the rocks and stones they find. Grandmother explains the traditional meanings behind the items and encourages her granddaughters to use their imaginations to imagine where the rocks might have come from. Breathtaking illustrations by Garcia enhance the words written by Gonzalez in a way that makes you feel like you’re sitting in the garden with this family.  

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A Crown for Corina by Laekan Zea Kemp ★★★★ 

As Corina prepares for her birthday fiesta, her grandmother teaches her how to make a flower crown to celebrate. Each flower she chooses must represent something about her family or herself, abuela says. Each page shows Corina choosing a flower to represent someone or something that she loves, and her grandmother tells her how that history and the love of her family will stay with her throughout her life. With Spanish words intermixed with the English, this is a beautiful story of the importance of family and staying connected to our ancestors. This would be a great picture book to use with older elementary students with an activity to make a collage to include things that represent themselves or things/people they love.  

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Miss Khin, Eastlake 

My Proudest Moment by Lindsey Achtman★★★★ 

This inspirational story portrays two characters, a young man, and a young lady side by side. They both work very hard to follow their passions and the readers get to see how dedication and determination can help someone achieve their dreams. There’s a pleasant surprise at the end of the story. The illustrations are vivid.   

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In The Night Garden by Carin Berger★★★ 

A good bedtime story book with beautiful artwork. The characters wander through the night garden looking at fireflies, shooting stars, swooping bats, and foxes. Listening to the howling winds and hooting owls through this story will help kids fall asleep quickly.   

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Miss Ruth, Willowick  

The Hockey Skates by Karl Subban ★★★★★ 

PK and his dad like to watch hockey on TV. He wants to skate, so his parents promised him some skates.  His mom orders the skates, and they will be delivered to him.  He is very excited when a box arrives, only to find they are the wrong color.  They are sent back, and he waits for another delivery.  He continues to get boxes that don’t have the correct order and must be sent back.  Eventually he gets the skates he has been waiting for and enjoys being out on the ice.  

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Scaredy Cats by Jeff Mack ★★★★ 

What is in the brightly wrapped package that some cats see?  One of the cats think it may be a cake.  The other cats aren’t so sure and come up with other suggestions including some wild animals.  The cats become more afraid  as you can see by their expressions.  At the end of the story one of the cats is brave enough to lift the lid, but the reader is still left to wonder what was in the box.  

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Miss Diane, Willowick 

Shine Like a Unicorn by Shelli R. Johannes ★★★★ 

How to become a beautiful unicorn in nine easy steps. Since step one is to choose a unicorn name, I shall call myself Periwinkle Prancer for purposes of this review (sadly, Glitter Poop was already taken). Additional steps include “Be curious,” “Stand Out in a Herd” and “Find Your Fun.” Step 9 is the most Unicorny step of all, only to be undertaken when completely ready: “We Make Our Own Magic.’ Exuberantly illustrated, with lots of brightly-colored, zany unicorns. Fun! 

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Boo-Boos of Bluebell Elementary by Chelsea Lin Wallace ★★★★★ 

A rhyming book honoring school nurses everywhere. The endpapers show bandages of all colors, reflecting the school’s diverse population. Miss Peatree, Bluebell Elementary’s school nurse arrives on a bicycle, kicking her heels as she walks in. She enthusiastically wipes down the counters, checks supplies, and sanitizes the bed. Then the little patients begin swarming in, with all manner of ailments: runny noses, a loose tooth, homesickness, a bloody nose, and lice. Even the Principal comes in with a paper cut. The visitor log on the left-hand side lists each patient, their ailment, and their status. Miss Peatree tends to them all with compassion, then jumps on her bike and heads home to a joyous reunion with her dog. Adorable! 

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