Wednesday, December 19, 2012

(4) Good Children's Books

(Megan Tingley Books - Little Brown & Co. 2001)
5/5 stars
A book that celebrates being happy and feeling good about yourself no mater how different you may look or feel.  A story about diversity for the very young readers.
Brightly colored illustrations show how different children can be and appear to others, from very small to extra large, all colors, some with glasses, others in wheel chairs, and ever others who have different moms and different dads.  No matter how different you may feel or look, the message is the same for all --- "you are special just because of who you are".
Really well done.

(1st published as a Golden Book in 1959)
(Sept 2012 - Golden Baby).
 3.5/5 stars

I liked this book for it's simplicity and illustrations, but not so much for the message it sends.  In my opinion, this books seems all about presents, and not about the spirit of Christmas or about giving rather than receiving.  Looking at the pages, with stacks of "presents" everywhere, it's obvious that not all babies and children will be as lucky as the baby pictured in the book on Christmas morning. This one has received an over-abundance of presents on Christmas morning from Santa.
The illustrations are lovely though, but this one would not be at the top of my recommend list for children.
(Random House Young Readers)
June 2013
You know how sometimes a scarf can feel too itchy, be the wrong color or just not right? Well, even a little owl can have the same problem. But, in this sweet story, Little Owl, tries to lose his itchy, too long and too orange scarf, but mommy owl always seems to find it.  One day Little Owl thought it was lost for good when after a trip to the zoo, the scarf disappeared once again. 
This time mommy owl couldn't find it, so she works with little owl to find justthe perfect yarn, in justthe right color and knits him a new scarf -- real soft too, but on their next trip to the zoo, the too-long old scarf reappears, wrapped cozily around the neck of a very long necked animal.
This story about compromise is cute, and the simple with colorful pencil style illustrations are sweet as well.
Random House Young Readers 
May 2013
4.5/5 stars
Why is Astrid seen as a "bad"? Well, for starters she wears a bike helmet with a skull and crossbones on it, she acts mean, she's rather new in town, she teases birds, and breaks the heads off the stems of flowers.  No one is brave enough to ask her why she is so mean.  One day things change when Astrid finds herself in a jam and needs help.  Confronted about her meanness after she's given the help she needs, she learns to be be "nice".
Love the funny, descriptive illustrations, they tell it all.


  1. This is a great selection of children's books Diane. Thank you!

  2. I wish all kids would realize it's okay to be different.

  3. I agree that Christmas books for children should be about the spirit and not about presents.

  4. I'd dislike the emphasis on things as well. Bad Astrid sounds charming.

  5. First - I will get a copy of It's Okay to be Different for Each of my grandchildren - thank you for the recommendation.

    Second - OHOHOH - seeing the book illustrated by Eloise Wilkins brought back so many memories!! I have been looking for that name all year in connection with The Books That Made Me Love Reading Challenge

    I have a picture in mu mind of a little girl in or near a bathtub, and the bar of soap slipping away. I know Eloise Wilkins drew it, and I'm pretty sure the book was in rhyme. Now I have to find it. Thank you for giving me the name!

  6. I had Baby's First Christmas in the mid 60's. What a fun memory. Thanks for reviewing it.

  7. it's amazing hte messages that get sent through children's books. as adults we can see the social programming of it all, but kids are so vulnerable to that stuff!

  8. Three out of four look pretty darn good!

  9. I really want to give the book about being different to my nephew. He would be the perfect age for it now, and I want him to be able to absorb that message and take it with him through life. Great picks today!

  10. I want the last two and I'm far from a kid!! Just a kid at heart I guess!! These look adorable!!!!

  11. I LOVE the book cover and theme of the first book! Books are such a good vehicle for teaching.

  12. I want to get my son the "Its OK to Be Different!"

  13. I'm going to have to get It's Okay to be Different. Gage really likes The Mommy Book by the same author.


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