Awards – Reviews

The Big Book of Happy Sadness by Colin Thompson

The Big Little Book of Happy Sadness”    by Colin Thompson

“…Both the text and illustrations are quirky in such a wonderful way. The text laments that dogs can’t smile, emphasizes the hopelessness of George and the dogs at the pound, and explains the ugliness of the dog in a vivid way:  “Why would you want him?  We’ve got 87 other dogs here. They’ve all got four legs and bright eyes and a coat that doesn’t look like it’s covered in lard.”

The illustrations have depth, character and their own style.  There are so many small touches that surprise but offer a new take on life.  The grandmother’s face has some wrinkles, but the best part is that her skin is done in a cracled glaze so she looks like her paint is about to chip off.  The wallpaper at their home is not dingy, the counter at the pound covered in a lifetime of paw prints, and small pieces of newspaper go everywhere during a papier-mache project.” ~~ Kidslit Tasha Saecher

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Hannah's Winter by Kierin Meehan

Hannah’s Winter by Kierin Meehan

Hannah’s Winter by Kierin Meehan

“Gr 5-8- When Hannah’s writer mother travels from Australia to Japan to do research for a new book, she takes her reluctant daughter with her.  While Liana travels throughout the country, the 12-year-old stays with her mother’s friends, the Maekawa. Opening an old toy box, the family finds a riddle that appears to be an appeal for help from “the ocean boy,” a lost soul seeking peace.  the girls and their friend Hiro set out to solve the riddle, traveling to markets, temples, shrines, and an ancient castle and meeting people from the past who aid or hinder their quest.  Following the realistic and likable characters in their journey gives insight into the beauty of Japanese culture and tradition, and the fast-paced action as the children figure out the clues will appeal to many readers.” ~~ School Library Journal


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Minji's Salon by Eun-hee-Choung

Minji’s Salon by Eun-hee-Choung

“Minji’s Salon by Eun-hee-Choung

Minji’s Salon named a 2009 Notable Children’s Books in the Language Arts by the National Council of Teacher’s of English!

The complete list of thirty books selected will be presented at the 2009 National Council of Teachers of English and the 2010 International Reading Association conventions as well as featured in the Fall 2009 Journal of Children’s Literature Assembly website, posted on notable list serves such as ccbc-net and child_lit on blogs and otherwise promoted by members of NCTE’s ~~Children’s Literature Assembly.

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No! That's Wrong by Zhaohua Ji and Cui Xu
No! That’s Wrong by Zhaohua Ji and Cui Xu

 “No!”  That’s Wrong!  by Zhaohua Ji and Cui Xu

This book is an absolute delight to read.  It is funny and entertaining, silly yet holding a good message- that you can believe in yourself and stick to it, and find your own personal happiness, no matter what others think or what the conventions are.  And in so doing, you might even set a trend!  If you’re looking for a picture book to bring good feeling and laughter, or to encourage readers to be themselves,  this is it.  Get a copy for anyone who’s been down in the dumps and needs cheering up.  Highly recommended! ~~CherylRainfield, com


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Sophie's Big Bed by tina Burke
Sophie’s Big Bed by tina Burke

Sophie’s Big Bed” by Tina Burke

“What makes this book so sweet to read to your toddler is Sophie, a strong little character who does not throw a fit about her choice.  She just does it.  The smile on her face is always one of pure happiness and her fearful looks are the same queasy ones adults never let out.

By using a bright pastel color pallet, writer/ illustrator Tina Burke is allowing Sophie to express herself in a safe environment.  The pictures are instantly identifiable, instantly connective.  Kids will see themselves in Sophie and her animals, even if their rooms do not look like hers.

Moreover, young children will identify with her situation of changing in a new gad.  Few children really want to do it.  But with Sophie as an example that perhaps, perhaps, transition can be easier.” ~~Family Time Magazine.

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Super Duck by Jez Alborough
Super Duck by Jez Alborough

Super Duck”  by Jez Alborough

“K-Gr 2 – After reading Super Duck, Duck dons a cape and mask and tries a variety of ways to get Goat’s kite up in the air.  His friends patiently let him try his own ideas, like using a truck to fly the kite, before coming up with their own conventional solutions.  Finally the superhero comes through with an unexpected maneuver.  Alborough’s short, amusing rhyming couplets keep the text moving along fluidly, making the book a good choice for storytimes.  Each spread has several panels of illustrations, which will remind readers of other, more successful superheroes.  The characters’ movements and energy sometimes cause them to break out of the boundaries of their panels, creating a dynamic feel.  All in all, this funny book is about friendship- the protagonist is allowed his individuality, but is supported when things don’t work out.  A gem.” ~~School Library Journal

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The Wickit Chronicles, Book 1, Ely Plot by Joan Lennon
The Wickit Chronicles, Book 1, Ely Plot by Joan Lennon

The Wickit Chronicles, Book 1, Ely Plot  by Joan Lennon

      “Ely Plot” is the first book in The Wickit Chronicles.   Book Two in the series is listed as Fen gold.  Pip is an orphan who has lived at Wickit Monastery since he was a baby.  As the book begins, he meets a gargoyle named Perfect on the roof of the monastery and snuggles him down from the roof and into his room.  In London, at the same time, King Arnald, 14, has ascended to the throne upon the death of his father.  But some nobles want to put his cousin Frederick on the throne and are scheming to kill Arnald.  When Perfect and Pig learn of the plot, they try to save the king and bring him to safety.

The front of the book shows a list and line drawings of the people at Wickit Monastery, in London, and in Ely (where the plot to kill the king is set into motion).  In the back of the book are 16 pages called The World of Wickit, which pose questions and then answer them.  Some of the questions are.  Why is Ely called Ely?  and What’s a posset?

…Children who like the Spiderwick Chronicles would enjoy this, too.  Recommended for Grades 3-5.” ~~Catholic Library World

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