Tuesday, March 27, 2007


Rau, Dana Meachen. Driving. Marshall Cavendish, 2007. ISBN 0761423168, 2007. Ages 4-6.

My name is R. and I read the book Driving. The author of this book is Dana Meachen Rau. This book is non-fiction. I liked this book because there are real cars and trucks in it. My favorite part of this book is when there are pictures of people driving. I can't wait until I can drive. I would recommend this book to a friend because you can learn a lot about driving.

Reviewed by R. in Mrs. Kale's first grade class, Milton Elementary

Monday, March 26, 2007

Guess Who Changes

Gordon, Sharon. Guess Who Changes. Benchmark Books, 2006. ISBN 0761415580, $22.79. Ages 4-7.

My name is J. I read the book Guess Who Changes by Sharon Gordon. This book was non-fiction, which means that it is real. I liked this book because I liked it when the caterpillar became a butterfly. I also liked this book because it had Spanish and English words in it. My favorite part of the book was when the caterpillar turned into a pupa. I would recommend this book to my friends because you can learn Spanish and English in it.

Reviewed by J. in Mrs. Kale's first grade class, Milton Elementary School

Ugly Fish

LaReau, Kara. Ugly Fish. Illustrated by Scott Magoon. Harcourt Books, 2006. ISBN 978-152050825 $16.00. Ages 3-7.

My name is A. and I read the book Ugly Fish by Kara LaReau. This book was fiction and I liked it! I liked this book because at the end the big fish ate all of the other fish. My favorite part of this book was when the shiney fish ate the other fish. I would recommend this book to my friends because it was really funny.

Reviewed by A. in Mrs. Kale's 1st grade class, Milton Elementary School

When Sheep Sleep

Numeroff, Laura. When Sheep Sleep; Illustrated by David McPhail. Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2006. ISBN 0-8109-5469-9 $15.95. Ages 3-7.

Numeroff describes the wonderful imagination of a child when he or she is unable to fall asleep. When Sheep Sleep is different from the other books that Numeroff has written; it is more peaceful without a whole lot of action. The result is a very soothing night time story for young children. McPhail's colors are very warm, and the pictures help expand the story. This book is meant for a young child, thus the font is large and the pictures are also close up. McPahail creates a fantastic image of what goes on when a child is trying to sleep.

Nikole Kosier, BGSU student

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Welcome to Third Grade, Gus!

Williams, Jacklyn. Welcome to Third Grade, Gus! Illustrated by Doug Cushman. Picture Window Books, 2007. ISBN 978-1-4048-2714-1$14.95. Ages 5-8.

Welcome to Third Grade, Gus! by Jacklyn Williams and illustrated by Doug Cushman is a very sweet book meant for readers as they conclude the end of the primary grades. Many parents will be able to relate to the book because they have felt the same anxiety that many of their children feel. Additionally as the book is very accurate with the sometimes stressful feelings that many children experience in their young age. The story line of the book is very simple and almost is too simple for third graders and would not qualify as an intermediate book. Gus goes through much anxiety of starting a new year and a new grade, which is very realistic, but the wording of the characters seems very out of place. “Come on Gus everything is going to be okay. You worry too much” (15). The illustrations are very cute and colorful. Cushman uses shape throughout the book with the shadows on the wall and the different animal characters. All in all the content of the book was slightly boring however the illustrations were very stimulating and made the book much more interesting.

Julia Doubrava, BGSU student

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Pumpkin Town! Or, Nothing Is Better and Worse Than Pumpkins

McKy, Katie. Pumpkin Town! Or Nothing Is Better and Worse Than Pumpkins! Illustrated by Pablo Bernasconi. Houghton Mifflin
Company, 2006. ISBN 978-0618-60569-9 $16.00. (Primary)

Pumpkin Town! Or Nothing Is Better and Worse Than Pumpkins, written by Katie McKy and illustrated by Pablo Bernasconi, is a story about Jose and his brothers. They accidentally send pumpkin seeds into a nearby town and then have to deal with the extreme consequences of their actions. A young reader would be drawn into the text, and excited to see what would happen next. The words McKy uses are simple such as; “the biggest, brightest seeds” which would helpyoung children understand important details. The collaged artwork gives the illustrations depth and gives interest to the characters. In addition, there are bright colors covering every page, which would captivate a young reader. Bernasconi’s creative collage artwork is similar to his artwork in other children’s books. Readers will like this book because the artwork is distinctive and the story teaches children to take responsibility for their actions in a fun and exciting way.

Angela Arnold, BGSU student

The Chimpanzees of Happytown

Giles, Andreae. The Chimpanzees of Happytown. Illustrated by Guy Parker-Rees. Orchard Books, 2006. ISBN 0-439-83768-5 $16.99. Ages 2-4.

This energetic and lively fictional story follows a happy-go-lucky monkey named Chutney through his quest to bring happiness to Drabsville. Chutney’s determination to bring joy to the town is brought about by his return from traveling, where he found a seed to plant. The expressive pictures in the double page spreads allow the reader to be entranced by the vibrant colors and noticeable expressions on the characters’ faces. The in-depth illustrations that Parker-Reese uses entice the reader to look deeper into the active scenes. Andreae’s use of rhythmic text carries through the book, allowing the reader to easily read and follow the story. Andreae also uses the same rhythmic pattern in his book Giraffes Can’t Dance, where he teaches readers to embrace their differences.

Emily Bodart, BGSU student

Don't Let the Pigeons Stay Up Late!

Willems, Mo. Don’t Let The Pigeon Stay Up Late! Illustrated by Mo Willems. Hyperion, 2006. ISBN 078683746-2 $12.99. Ages 3-5.

“First of all, I’m not even tired!” Once again Mo Willems has written and illustrated another wonderful book staring his famous pigeon. In this companion to Don’t Let The Pigeon Drive The Bus! readers are bombarded with reasons given by the tired pigeon to stay up late. With excuses like what shows to watch on TV to asking about the reader’s day, the pigeon finds any reason to stay up late and eventually tires him self out. Each illustration creatively matches the pigeon’s enormous personality. This bed time book is wonderful to read to any child who, like the pigeon wants to stay up late.

Amanda Myers, BGSU student

Friday, March 16, 2007

Who is Melvin Bubble?

Bruel, Nick. Who is Melvin Bubble? Illustrated by the author. Roaring Book Press, 2006. ISBN 1-59643-116-4 $16.95 (Primary)

“Who is Melvin Bubble? Well that depends on who you ask.” His mother, his father and even his teddy bear have an opinion about Melvin. Bruel’s third picture book inspires the minds of old and young alike. As author and illustrator, Bruel knows how to choose fonts and colors that keeps the readers attention until the very last page. Bright, warm colors contrast with cool colors to get the reader wanting to learn more about Melvin. The use of extra large font throughout the story produces excitement in each of the characters “voices” as they tell about their relationships with Melvin. Seeing how others see Melvin is a wonderful look into the minds of young readers today.

Emily Harris, BGSU student

One More Sheep

Kelly, Mij. One More Sheep. Illustrated by Russell Ayto. Peachtree, 2006 ISBN 1-56145-378-1 $16.95. (Primary)

Silly Sam, the farmer, has gotten himself into another drowsy mess. In the book One More Sheep, Sam the farmer has ten sheep that he must keep safe from the ever-famous “Big Bad Wolf”. Mij Kelly, (Where’s my Darling Daughter?, William and the Night Train, and I Hate Everyone) brings the ten little sheep to life using fantastic rhyming words that allow the story to flow from the pages into the imagination. Russell Ayto’s pen and ink illustrations show a great understanding of pattern and depth in color. As the story progresses the audience is on a roller coaster of vocabulary. The deep rich colors of the illustrations emphasize and go beyond the beautiful detail of the written word. Both author and illustrator really capture the idea of a child’s imagination. The reader should be wary of falling asleep, because the sheep counting is out of this farmyard.

Hannah Martin, BGSU student

Plenty of Petals

Dahl, Michael. Plenty of Petals. Illustrated by Zachary Trover. Picture Window Books 2006. ISBN 1-4048-1317-9 $7.95. Ages 4-8

This fun story with numbers hidden in the images sends readers on a quest guessing where the next number is hiding. Finn, a young bear starts his exciting journey home from the hospital with “ONE HUNDRED petals in the vase” and counts down by tens giving them away. Trover uses digitally created illustrations to show the texture and color of the ONE HUNDRED petals along with each of the characters fur, compelling the reader to reach out and touch the pictures. Trover does a superior job arranging this story in repetition for young students, along with his use of quirky vocabulary to keep their interest. As the story comes to an end, and Finn gives away his last daisy, he realizes that “From now on, I’ll only skateboard outside.”

Britnie Allen, BGSU student

An Egg is Quiet

Aston, Dianna. An Egg is Quiet Illustrated by Sylvia Long. Chronicle Books, 2006. ISBN 0-8118-4428-5. $16.95. Ages 9-12.

An Egg is Quiet is a non-fiction piece for children ages 9-12. It describes the process that an egg goes through until it hatches, giving the physical features, geographic locations and various types. Aston uses attention-grabbing adjectives to describe the egg while also providing factual information. Aston and Long’s text and illustrations blend seamlessly together in a clever and creative fashion. The font, a larger sized cursive, is written at varying angles across the page, allowing the reader’s eye to move seamlessly across. Similar to Long’s Waddle, Waddle, Quack, Quack, Quack the painted illustrations are intense, extremely detailed and patterned. Her illustrations are inspired by being in the outdoors and are quite realistic because of this. This story is informative and delightful. An Egg is Quiet provides a wonderful addition to any library and is educational but still fun; the perfect combination.

Courtney Watson, BGSU student

I Am I

Fitzpatrick, Marie-Louise. I Am I. Roaring Brook Press, 2006. ISBN 1-59643-054-0 $16.95. Ages 5-10.

I Am I, by Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick, is a wonderful, colorful book about two young boys who are competing to be king of the world! In this exciting book, Fitzpatrick effortlessly presents the concepts of warring, and the consequences of one’s actions along with beauty, and the power of an apology in a flawless context for young readers. Through earth tone acrylics, and powerful texture, Fitzpatrick creates images of a wide, vast, natural world, untouched by man (or boy!) and ripe for the taking. The text and artwork cooperate in every page. Fitzpatrick’s imaginative use of rough-sketchy font not only expresses emotions, shapes, sizes, and volume, but she creatively turns the boys’ words into images which represent the meaning and effect their words have on each other and the world they are fighting for.

Maria Spiess, BGSU student

The Mouse Who Braved Bedtime

Baum, Louis. The Mouse Who Braved Bedtime Illustrated byy Sue Hellard. Bloomsbury Children’s Books, 2006 ISBN 1-58234-691-7 $16.95. Ages

Hellard complementes her collection of animal picture books by adding a delightful and heroic story about Milo the Mouse, who would do anything to have just one peaceful night’s rest. Like many young children around the world, Milo has repeating nightmares of dark shadowy shapes and scary monsters. No matter what soothing method Milo tries, he cannot get these creepy aberrations out of his dreams. Hellard uses a brilliant application of texture, warm colors, and complementary colors to give each illustration a comforting and approachable feel. However, when the story reaches the point of Milo falling asleep, the illustrations make a 180 turn. Hellard’s illustrations drastically become a blend of cool colors that will draw any reader into the horrifying significance and quasi-reality sphere of these nightmares. With the dual levels of colorful entertainment and meaningful rationality, this childhood story is a wonderful addition to any child’s bookcase.

Amy Overman, BGSU student

Thursday, March 15, 2007

My Very Big Little World

Reynolds, Peter H. My Very Big Little World. Illustrated by the author. Atheneum Books, 2006. ISBN-13: 978-0-689-87621-9. Ages 3-7.

Reynolds invites his readers to come play with a creative, imaginative girl named Sugar Loaf, whose spunky personality allows her to express herself by sharing what she likes to do with her family and her neighborhood. Throughout the story, readers learn about Sugar Loaf’s hobbies through the pictures that are done in warm water colors. Reynolds also incorporates font by emphasing specific words that allow readers to connect to the storyline. This use of color and font can be found in the previous picture books such as The Dot and Ish. Reynolds is able to make his pictures pop off the white background by outlining in black ink. Finally, Reynolds is able to put Sugar Loaf’s world into perspective which allows his readers to make a connection with their own lives.

Lauren Hoffman, BGSU student

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The Secret Science Project That Almost Ate the School

Sierra, Judy. The Secret Science Project That Almost Ate the School. Illustrated by Stephen Gammell. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2006. ISBN 1416911758 $ 16.05.

Sierra’s playful use of language and rhyme bring to life yet another children’s story. She is an expert at weaving rhyme into her story plot. This time, readers will enjoy finding out what happens when you buy a science project off of the Internet. Gammell’s masterful use of watercolors and colored pencils only enhance the tale by incorporating the text making the story almost jump off the page and into your lap. Young and old readers alike are sure to love this cautionary tale about a science project.

Nicole Bolden, BGSU student

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

No Dessert Forever!

Lyon, George Ella. No Dessert Forever! Illustrated by Peter Catalanotto. Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2006. ISBN 978-1-4169-0385-7 $16.95. Ages 5-9.

The complexities of a young child’s life come alive in this vividly illustrated work of literature. Lyon’s use of warm fiery colors and delicate watercolor strokes allow the preschool audience to relate with the frustration resulting from being constantly antagonized by an annoying older sibling. Initially communicating to the reader through pictures, the story intensifies as the girl’s emotions come alive as she imagines herself an adult and her doll a child. In control, she disciplines the doll with heated emotions animated through precise captions and vibrant images. This enables the reader to explore her mind, as her physical size and anger increase at the same rate then subside after her emotions settle. Children identify with the character and explore the process of understanding independence and acceptance, more-so then similar books at this level, such as Catalanotto’s Matthew ABC, which puts emphasis on humor to highlight values.

Reviewed by Sherry Zajec, BGSU student

Monday, March 12, 2007

The New Girl...And Me

Robbins,Jacqui. The New Girl… And Me. Illustrated by Matt Phelan. Atheneum/Richard Jackson Books, 2006 ISBN – 13: 978-0-689-86468-1$16.95. Ages 4-7.

This engaging story of a typical kindergartener highlights the conflict behind making new friends. Mia, who tells her story through the first person, has many doubts about becoming acquainted with the new girl in school. She finally realizes that even though it may be hard or scary to get to know someone new, it is worth it in the end. Phelan’s use of watercolor helps to create a cartoon-like image that is charming and enjoyable to read. Creative pictures allow readers to feel involved in the story, and the text is nicely incorporated into the white space. The New Girl… And Me is Robbins debut book, and demonstrates the potential for more great pieces of writing in the future. Although this book is for younger children, it makes a wonderful addition to any book collection because of its well written style and the lesson within.

Aimee Calevch, BGSU student

Thursday, March 08, 2007


Karma Wilson and John Segal. Sleepyhead. Illustrated by John Segal. McElderry Books, 2006. ISBN 1-4169-1241-X $15.95. Ages 3-7.

Wilson and Segal capture the innocence of the sweet struggle between parent and child preparing for bedtime. The story covers all of the excuses a young one can come up with for just one more moment awake. Simple phrases play into the soft, subtle illustrations, creating a flowing movement of words and dreamlike pictures. These same components are found in Wilson and Segal’s other picture books, such as Bear Snores On, which also incorporates a balance between playful text and pleasant illustrations. Readers will relate to the charming bedtime contest between parent and child while young readers will enjoy the imaginative pictures as they drift off to dream.

Sara Mowcomber, BGSU student

Not Afraid of Dogs

Pitzer, Susanna. Not Afraid of Dogs. Illustrated by Larry Day. Walker & Company, 2006. ISBN 0-8027-8067-6 $16.95. Ages 4-8.

Pitzer once again uses a dog as one of the characters in thisbook. Brave little Daniel isn’t afraid of anything, even dogs.His struggle with fearing nothing and facing the adorable but“scary” dog Bandit definitely brings together a cute story. Theuse of both cool and warm colors throughout the book fit nicelyas the story progresses. Pitzer uses warm colored clothing andsurroundings with the daytime and transitions to cool colors asthe book enters nighttime. On top of that, the real life back andforth comments between the brother and sister draws the readerinto this story, and creates a very believable, everyday family.

Ross Whitaker, BGSU student

Cloud Boy

Rhode Montijo. Cloud Boy. Simon & Schuster Books, 2006. ISBN
1-4169-0199-0 $12.95. Ages 3-6.

In the book Cloud Boy, Rhode Montijo creates a character for
preschoolers who seek inspiration and companionship. Simple yet
elegant artwork connected to a simple writing style allows
readers to focus on cloud boy’s creativity. Montijo only uses
three colors, yet still manages to use detail and texture quite
vividly. This fiction book is depicted in a cartoon like way,
and the expressions on “cloud boy’s” face explain his feelings
and allow the reader to wonder what is going to happen next.
Rhode Montijo also created a comic series called Pablo’s Inferno,
throughout which he uses a cartoon like manner. Montijo uses
his imagination creatively through his artwork and writing styles
by simply stating that using imagination can avoid loneliness.

Jessica Phillips, BGSU student

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Teeny Weeny Bop

MacDonald, Margaret Read. Teeny Weeny Bop. Illustrated by Diane Greenseid. Albert Whitman, 2006. ISBN 0-8075-7992-0 $16.95. Ages 4-8.

MacDonald has done it again, with another exciting folktale, but this time she mixes it up a bit by writing a story that deals with many folktales instead of just one. Greenseid’s pictures keep the reader wanting more, with bright colors, expressions, and detail. It all starts with Teeny Weeny Bop finding one gold coin, then going to market to buy a fat pig. Readers will travel with Teeny Weeny Bop “To market, to market!” and back to her home. The reader will fall in love with Teeny Weeny Bop and all of her animals. After going through five animals, will Teeny Weeny Bop find the perfect pet, or will she finally learn her lesson? Sing along with Teeny Weeny Bop and see how the story goes!

Reviewed by Allison Decker, BGSU student

Bringing Asha Home

Krishnaswami, Uma. Bringing Asha Home. Illustrated by Jamel Akib. Lee & Low Books, 2006. ISBN 1-58430-259-3 $16.95.

Continuing with Krishnaswami’s unique subject of India and Hindu culture, Bringing Asha Home, is a delightful narrative story about family. Eight-year-old Arun impatiently waits for the international adoption of his new baby sister, Asha. This is a heart-warming fictional story of how a little boy is longing for his new little sister to come home. The realistic double-spread chalk drawings make it seem comfortable and create a soothing tone for the readers.

Reviewed by Emily Klear, BGSU student

Do Turtles Sleep in Treetops?

Salas, Laura Purdie. Do Turtles Sleep in Treetops? Illustrated by Jeff
Yesh. Picture Window Books, 2007. ISBN 1-4048-2232-1. Ages 4-7.

Although the title, Do Turtles Sleep in Treetops? may be
misleading, this book is not just about turtles. Laura Purdie
Salas describes all different types of animals and each of their
habitats. The use of digital photography captures attention
effectively through bright and vivid colors. With little white
space, and the contrast between warm and cool colors, each page
is stimulating. Young children will appreciate the repetition
throughout the book, which also makes it very easy to follow.
The text is bold, and stands out against the contrasting
background of the pictures. Many of Salas’s other books follow
this same pattern of repetition and also use bright colors, such
as Do Crocodiles Dance? and Do Lobsters Leap Waterfalls? This
book is clever yet educational for children.

Reviewed by Aimee Hamulak, BGSU student

Monday, March 05, 2007

Banjo Granny

Busse, Sarah Martin and Jacqueline Briggs Martin. Banjo Granny . Illustrated by Barry Root. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2006. IBSN 0-618-33603-6 $16.00. Ages 3-5.

In a collaborative debut, Sarah Martin writes Banjo Granny, a whimsical, uplifting story about the bond between grandparent and child. When Owen’s grandmother learns that he goes “wiggly, jiggly, all-around giggly, and tip over tumble for bluegrass music,” she packs her banjo in its trusty old case with the taped-up handle. Granny puts on her “thousand-mile shoes” and sets out on her magical journey to her grandson. Undaunted by the obstacles she encounters, she crosses a river, a mountain, and a desert smoothing the way with her magic melody. In the meantime, Owen is kept abreast of her progress by a little bird that visits. Root’s warm, earth-toned illustrations are the perfect accompaniment to the rhythmic text presented in this heartwarming story. Banjo Granny, a wonderful story about family members separated by distance, is a wonderful addition to Martin’s other fine books, which include Snowflake Bentley, a Caldecott Medal winner.

Emily Giermann, BGSU student

The Wishing Ball

Kleven, Elisa. The Wishing Ball. Farrar Straus Giroux, 2006. ISBN 0-374-38449-5 $16.00. Ages 3 - 6.

The Wishing Ball is a story about friendship, trust, and courage. Nellie is a poor lonely cat who just wants a friend. She gets a star ball that grants her three wishes and they can all come true if she bounces and catches the ball. This book teaches children to go and explore because if they stay in one place they might not always find what they are looking for. Kleven (The Whole Green World) illustrates her books with much love. She has passion for what she is doing and it is noticeable through her colors that she uses, the expressions on the faces, and through patterns that she has throughout the book. Her pictures make the reader want to look more closely so that they can get every detail.

Ashley Cross, BGSU student

Friday, March 02, 2007

Oh No, Not Ghosts!

Michelson, Richard. Oh No, Not Ghosts! Illustrated by Adam McCauley.
Harcourt, 2006. ISBN 978-0-15-205186-0 $16.00 Ages 3-7.

Michelson’s second picture book brings a different perspective
of children than his first book, Happy Feet. Michelson rhymes
his way through a sister being afraid of the dark; her brother
ends up making her more scared. Michelson also does a great job
of expressing how much brothers love teasing their sisters,
while McCauley incorporates color to bring this funny and
rhyming book to life. An expert use of perspective adds a scare
factor to the illustration, but they are not too scary for
children. Michelson and McCauley give readers the feeling that
they are really experiencing what the little sister is feeling.
It is a fun and exciting Halloween story for children to enjoy!

Robyn Oliver, BGSU student

Mammoths on the Move

Lisa Wheeler. Mammoths on the Move. Illustrated by Kurt Cyrus. Harcourt, 2006. ISBN 978-0152-04700-9 $16.00. Ages 4-8.

Imagine tromping through the snow every winter. Fourteen thousand years ago big, hairy mammoths had to travel south in search of warmer weather and a place to survive. Wheeler, with her passion for animals as seen in her famous Fitch the Wolf and Chip the Pig series, does a good job portraying the lives of wooly mammoths and describing in detail the hardships of moving south for the winter. She creates a poetic mood throughout the text making it appealing to young readers. Cyrus uses scratchboard to create texture of the mammoths’ fur and cool watercolor to show movement of the snow and water. Thus, readers can get a deeper understanding of what it would be like to live during a mammoth’s time. Bundle up while jumping into this book and traveling back to the time when mammoths ruled the world.

Allyson Harris, BGSU Student