children's book review

Delacorte Books for Young Readers

This is Logan, here to tell you about Going where it’s Dark, a book for young adult readers written by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor.

Going where it’s Dark by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor is a very exciting book, and I couldn’t put it down once I started reading it. The main character is Buck Anderson, a thirteen-year-old boy who struggles with problems, including bullying and stuttering. He overcomes the bullying problem but instead of learning how to not stutter, he learns how to not fight it and be able to stutter more easily.

Desert Dark by Sonja Stone is kind of a scary book. Nadia is a smart, adventurous and witty young girl who gets chosen for a special school. She is really good at math, coding, and programming. Her new school turns out to be a special spy training school and she eventually trains to become a spy for the CIA. At school she learns how to program and stuff, but I can’t say anymore because it would give too much away.  She’s pretty thrilled at first, but then with the dangers it brings, she’s forced to make decisions that she normally wouldn’t have to make.

Random House for Young Readers

Wonder Woman at Super Hero High, by Lisa Yee takes place, unsurprisingly, at Super Hero High, which is a high school for young super heroes. It is basically a typical high school except for the fact that they are super heroes who are pretty much just meeting each other. At the end we meet Super Girl. She isn’t mentioned through the rest of the book, though. This book was fun and even though I’m not really big on super heroes, I was surprised I was interested in it. I liked it because it offered some back story on some of the evilest villains and best superheroes of all time. For example, it offers back story on Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn (like harlequin, get it?!), Wonder Woman, and there is also Beast Boy, which is interesting, I have to admit.

"Hello, Hippo! Good bye, Bird!" is fun picture book written by Utah author Kristyn Crow and illustrated by Argentinian artist Poly Bernatene. The book is intended for children ages 3-7.

Bird wants to be friends with Hippo, but Hippo wants to be left alone. Bird tells Hippo jokes. Hippo wants Bird to go away. Even though Bird makes himself into an umbrella and keeps bugs off of Hippo by eating them, Hippo still wants Bird to leave him alone. But then, after Bird is gone and a thunderstorm comes, Hippo starts to think he has made a mistake.

Jessixa Bagley / Roaring Brook Press

The main character in Before I Leave is a young hedgehog, Zelda, who must leave her best friend Aaron, because her family is moving away to another town.  Her parents, and her friend Aaron, assure Zelda that everything will be okay, but she feels scared and doesn’t know if she will be alright. The author/illustrator, Jessixa Bagley, uses very few words. Yet she creates a distinct mood of loss and then lifts that mood with the potential of a new beginning.
 
In the first pages of the book, we see the two friends, Zelda and Aaron playing. There are scenes showing them playing together in all four seasons, but the most  poignant are the scenes of their last day together.  Jessixa Bagley's illustrations set a wonderful tone for this book, which, it turns out, is about creating a life-long friendship.

Review by Logan H. Wilson

A Dragon’s Guide to Making Your Human Smarter by Laurence Yep and Joanne Ryder is fun to read and I would recommend it to people of all ages, as long as they are able to handle suspense. It is the second book in the series, and even better than the first. The main characters are Winnie, which is short for Winifred, and Miss Drake. Miss Drake is a dragon but Winnie is a 10-year-old girl. The way Miss Drake thinks of it, Winnie is her pet, but from Winnie’s point of view, Miss Drake is her pet.

Macmillion Publishers

The first line sets the tone for this lovely story: “Buckley and his mama lived in a small wooden house by the sea. They didn’t have much, but they always had each other.”

Boats for Papa is a story about a young boy longing for his father. It is also the story of how that boy deals with his grief and the ways in which his mother supports his emotional process.

Ruffleclaw

by Cornelia Funke

Random House Books for Young Readers, 2015

Ruffleclaw is the third in a series of books by Cornelia Funke which includes Emma and the Blue Genie and The Pirate Pig. This story tells the tale of an earth monster who lives under the shed in Tommy's family's yard. Unlike his neighbor earth monsters, whose burrows are filled with wood-lice and trash, Ruffleclaw loves all things human, and lines his home with sweaters and other trinkets stolen from humans over the years.

Vincent and the Night

by Adele Enersen

Dial Books for Young Readers, 2015

Vincent is an infant, portrayed in color photographs on every page of this delightful picture book. His surroundings are depicted in pen and ink drawings.

“One evening, Vincent decided he didn't want to go to bed. The night was rolling in like a woolly black blanket, ready to tuck him in...”

And as it does, Vincent takes hold of a thread of that woolly blanket that is the night and begins to unravel it! He uses the thread to construct new images: a cat, a violin, musical notes that transform into flies...

Too little? There's no such thing! Featuring die-cut holes, There's No Such Thing as Little is a heartwarming picture book from author and illustrator LeUyen Pham. This book will encourage readers of all ages to think about what being "little" really means. With each turn of the page, a very big idea emerges, with cleverly placed cutouts on each page that help to dispel the readers' perception of which ideas or images are important.

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