Posted in Book, Book Review, Children's, Picture Book, Poetry, Reading

INSIDE THIS BOOK (are three books). by Barney Saltzberg






This book is actually three books of varying sizes inside one larger book.

Seymour, one of three children, narrates the tale: his mother made a blank book for each of her children.  They were to use it to create their own book.

Seymour draws things he sees, hears, feels, plus he writes stories.

Fiona, his sister, uses her book to write poetry, to draw colorful pictures.

Wilbur, the youngest sibling, draws because he cannot write yet so he narrates his stories to his brother and sister as they write them in his book.

Then they put their books together into one book…“Because books are better when they are shared.”

This is a delightful idea and can surely be used in the home, in the classroom, and just about any other place where children are being creative as well as literary!




Reading Level: 3 – 6 Years

Author – BARNEY SALTZBERG is the author-illustrator of the over fifty books, including Kisses series, Beautiful Oops, Crazy Hair Day, Arlo Needs Glasses, and Chengdu Would Not, Could Not, Fall Asleep.  He also writes and performs music for children.  He visits and reads his books to children as well as sings some of his songs.  He can be found @           or     

Book Information

  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Harry N. Abrams (April 7, 2015)
  • ISBN-10: 1419714872
  • ISBN-13: 978-1419714870
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 0.5 x 10.5 inches


  • Posted in Book, Book Review, Children's, Classic, Picture Book, Poetry, Reading


    I would like to introduce Jacqueline of “Deep Roots at Home” as my guest on “The Reader and the Book.”


    From her blog, she writes: “For 40 years, I have been a wife to my husband and a teacher of our children in the home. Now a new season has come, and with the blessing of my husband, I write this blog as an encouragement to myself and others. (Titus 2: 3-5) How important is this role of speaking into the lives of younger women! The habits of the home in one generation become the morals of society in the next. As William Ross Wallace said: ‘The hand that rocks the cradle, rules the world.'”

    She has a post on her site that was relinked a month or so ago to where I found it.  Being a teacher and children’s librarian who has taught reading and encouraged children to read, read, read, I am pleased to be able to share this post with you.  It is a list of some of the best books for children from Preschool through 10th grade.

    1945594 Many of you have asked for a reading list of great story books for children, the kind that contain wholesome adventure and inspire a young heart to courageous living. I have been busy and did just as you requested. What fun I had compiling it!

    If you want even more, there is Sarah Clarkson’s Read for the Heart: Whole Books for WholeHearted Families. From timeless classics to modern favorites, from picture books to adventure novels to read-aloud favorites, more than 1,000 wonderful stories for young people are recommended.

    5509905_origWe are all aware that there is a battle raging in our culture for the minds and hearts of our children, but how do we as parents prepare them to live in the world? How do we teach values and build character at home on a day to day basis to equip them for a lifetime?

    One of the best ways is to choose and read books that will champion and uphold what is noble, good, right and true. Most of these will be found at your library, or you can request they get it in for you.

    6443355_origSarah Clarkson says,

    “The first thing a young heart needs is an education in all that is good.  The classic children’s stories are a persuasive picture of beauty and goodness.  They create an inner world that is a secret world for children’s souls, showing them through thrilling stories and stouthearted characters exactly what it means to be noble, good, and even holy.”  My parents…began with the great story of Scripture, filling my mind with the hero tales of the Bible.  To this they added the innocent beauty of classic children’s books, never underestimating the power of a good story to affirm and further illuminate the truths they were teaching me form Scripture.  I was formed in my earliest childhood by an imagination filled with stories, Biblical and classic, that set my appetite for all that was righteous, true, and lovely.  “Great literature also guides children through the second and harder wakening to an awareness of what is wrong.  Insightful stories gradually confront children with the power of sin as it enters the tale of their lives and the stories they love.  Characters like brave Lucy from The Chronicles of Narnia or David Balfour from Kidnapped who value what is beautiful and defend what is right will teach children that evil is something to resist and help them perceive the choice that must be made between right and wrong.”

    ~S.C. from Read for the Heart: Whole Books for WholeHearted Families

    1814043_origI love this picture of two young boys. It captures the essence of reading – the gentle power and immense soul-stirring delight a great book can offer. I see evidence of the way a well-crafted story lights up the heart of a child. The boys’ expressions reflect the newness of deep thought, the hearty joy in discovering new horizons, the heart and soul expanded by beauty. The dappled sunlight hints that the story is opening their minds to the mysteries of the world God gave to mankind and of their own place in it.

    “Books can become powerful companions – teachers that will fan the flames of your child’s heart and mind to life! Great stories, first in the Bible and then in classic literature can tune the inner workings of the heart from which, even in adulthood, one will make decisions and form values.” ~S. Clarkson

    What follows is a listing of just a few of the beloved books that we have read over the years. These are books that our children will be reading to their own children some day:

    The age designations for this list are only approximate. A child’s listening level will often be several grades higher than their personal reading levelit is OK to choose books from an older list if you’re planning on reading aloud to your children. I began reading aloud to our children from chapter books (such as Mr. Popper’s Penguins) before their third birthdays. Often I would take one at a time until they were hooked on wonderful stories and snuggling on the couch! Don’t underestimate your child’s ability to comprehend or listen to fairly advanced material.


    Preschool (read-aloud)

    The Hat, by Jan Brett (boardbook)
    Richard Scarry’s Best Word Book Ever, by Richard Scarry (our favorite pre-reader ever)Picture
    Good Night Moon, by Margaret Wise Brown
    The Runaway Bunny, by Margaret Wise Brown
    Aesop’s Fables, illustrated by Jerry Pinkney
    The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by Eric Carle
    Storytime and the Millers, by Mildred A. Martin
    The Complete Tales of Peter Rabbit, by Beatrix Potter

    Read-aloud/Grade 1 (beginning reading)

    Grade 2 (excellent read-alouds as well as early readers)

    Grade 3

    Caddie Woodlawn, by Carol Ryrie Brink
    Sarah Whitcher’s Story, by Elizabeth Yates
    Thee, Hannah!, by Marguerite De Angeli
    The Bears on Hemlock Mountain, by Alice Dalgliesh
    Paul Bunyan and His Great Blue Ox, by Wallace Wadsworth
    Dangerous Journey: The Story of Pilgrim’s Progress, by Oliver Hunkin
    Pollyanna, by Eleanor H. Porter
    Twig the Collie, by Craig Massey
    The Borrowers, by Mary Norton
    Mountain Born, by Elizabeth Yates
    Stuart Little, by E.B. White
    Story Times With Grandma, by M.E. Yoder
    More Story Times With Grandma, by M.E. Yoder
    For more through Grade 10 and beyond, please continue reading over at Deep Roots at Home … @
    I hope you will look earnestly at these titles for your children. ~ linda
    Originally posted 2-3-2015


    Posted in Adult Fiction, Adult Nonfiction, Book, Book Review, Classic, Reading

    You Did It to Me – The Grapes of Wrath | Just Mercy

    For I was hungry and you gave Me food, I was thirsty and you gave Me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed Me, I was naked and you clothed Me, I was sick and you visited Me, I was in prison and you came to Me.’  Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink?  And when did we see You a stranger and welcome You, or naked and clothe You?  And when did we see You sick or in prison and visit You?’  And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these My brothers, you did it to Me.’   Matthew 25:35-40

    MLKquoteI have just finished reading “The Grapes of Wrath” by John Steinbeck, written in 1939.  Prior to that book, I read “Just Mercy” by Bryan Stevenson, written in 2014.  In this world today…my heart, my eyes, my ears see and sense injustice, inequality, desperation in trying to migrate or to escape across waters and harsh lands, living in war-torn countries, starvation, sex and slave trafficking, and this list goes on and on.  I also see the good and the great, but these books have focused my attention on these harder issues.

    The first of these books wraps around the issues of migrant farm work back in the Dust Bowl period and the Depression.  The misuse of land, bank loans, and then corporations getting the land of small farmers, set these families off their land.   When they saw handbills advertising workers were needed in the rich, fertile valleys of California, far too many went out there without enough work for all.  Then corruption reared its ugly head all across the state in many forms.  The circumstances of it all broke the spirits of many of these people, yet many overcame as best they could to survive.

    200px-JohnSteinbeck_TheGrapesOfWrathThe second book is about a lawyer who meets prisoners on death row.  These men come together when Bryan Stevenson goes to the South for a month-long class while attending Harvard Law School.  He meets men who have been locked up in solitary confinement for years upon years.  Eventually, the ones in the book are found to be innocent, yet never had the council necessary to have a fair trial.  People in authority used their powers unjustly to lock up innocent people to keep the guilty out of prison or to keep their own name from coming under ridicule when they did not arrest a guilty party.

    9780812994520_p0_v3_s260x420Although one book is fiction, it is based on events over years and of many that actually did occur.  It is like a composite of the times.  The other is nonfiction.  My heart strings have been pulled immensely these weeks.  I am sad for the injustice that took place so long ago in many situations, and still takes place to this very day.

    Jesus calls us to feed the hungry, to visit prisoners, to welcome a stranger.  When we look around, there seems so very much that needs to be done.  Overwhelming, indeed.  And we often sit still, doing nothing because we don’t know where to begin or it seems like too daunting of a task.  Bryan S. thought such thoughts, but he began with one prisoner.  Casy, in Steinbeck’s book, stood up for the downtrodden who were being underpaid, overworked, and betrayed because someone else was willing to do their job for less so the wealthy landowners hired the new ones for half the price and forced the others to take that same pay or get out.  Tom Joad, a main character, planned to take up that mantle after Casy was killed in trying.  Tom was willing to risk it all.

    Risking is hard.  Yet…can we lift a hand to help another?  Can we offer a drink of water?  Can we feed the starving?  Can we bring Jesus to the hearts of the lost?  Will we?

    Helping-Others-Quotes-No-one-is-useless-in-this-world-who-lightens-the-burdens-of-another.Father, I ask Your forgiveness for all of the open doors I have walked passed, missing the golden moments to offer help.  And thank You for giving me an opportunity to feed one from Cuba recently when he asked for money for food.  We were just outside a cafe so I invited him in and bought his lunch. He was most grateful.  You blessed me, LORD, for this man truly wanted a meal.  My cynicism creeps in when so many have a hand out with looks of drug and alcohol abuse.  My trust in their request is zero for I judge them and think I know what it is they really want.  Guide me to those who You want me to help.  I trust in You and You alone.  Then I will know.  Father, take me by the hand and teach me Your ways that I will see Jesus in these with a need.  I don’t want to get to Heaven and find out just how many, many times I have missed Him here on this earth.  I know I will have missed many, but I don’t want to add to that number now.  I lift this prayer to You in Your Son’s Name. Amen. 


    Martin Luther King, Jr. photo:

    Charles Dickens’ Quote:


    Originally posted on “Being Woven” June 16, 2015.  It is less of a book review than it is a statement yet I want this to be on this book review site as both books were powerful books and ones to be read.

    Posted in Book, Book Review, Children's, Picture Book, Poetry, Reading



    SUBTITLE:  Very Short Stories to Read Together

    This book has been around for a little while yet it has not lost its delight to new generations of young readers.  I tutor primary-aged children in reading and math.  For those struggling with reading, this book helps to bring reading to a fun level, encouraging those children to read and be a part of a team of readers.  I, the tutor, read part and the child reads the other part.  The sentences are colored so that one chooses to read the purple and the other gets the red.  Both then read the blue together.  Each double-page spread is a poem or a play that gives the child confidence and a taste of fun that can be had while reading.  The sentences or phrases are short with plenty of repetition, rhythm and rhyme.

    I am working with a child right now who loves to read “I Like” every time she comes to a tutoring session.  It is the first thing she wants to do.

    The artwork is so full of detail.  You want to look everywhere to see what may be hiding behind a window’s edge or on the shelf.  Michael Emberley used a ballpoint pen, watercolor paint and pastels.  His artwork adds to the delight of this book for both the young and the older reader.

    Reading Level:  4 – 8 Years

    Fifteen weeks on the New York Times Best Seller List
    Notable Book, American Library Association
    A Best Book, 2001, Chicago Parent

    Mary Ann Hoberman is a former Children’s Poet Laureate and a winner of the National Book Award. While the Children’s Poet Laureate, Ms. Hoberman visited numerous classrooms and libraries, introducing both children and adults to the joys of reading and memorizing poetry. She is the author of more than forty books for children, including All Kinds of Families! and this award-winning “You Read to Me, I’ll Read to You” series which includes these other one:“You Read to Me, I’ll Read to You Very Short Scary Tales,” “…Very Short Tall Tales,” “…Very Short Fables,” “…Very Short Fairy Tales,” “…Very Short Mother Goose.”  Her website is
    She can also be found @

    Michael Emberley is the creator of the highly acclaimed picture books Ruby and its sequel, Ruby and the Sniffs;Welcome Back SunDinosaurs!; and Mail Harry to the Moon!   Having grown up in a family of writers and artists, he is an avid reader and comic book fan. A native of New England, Mr. Emberley now lives in Ireland.  He can be found @

    Book Information:  

    • ISBN-13: 9780316363501
    • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
    • Publication date: 9/1/2001
    • Edition description: 1 ED
    • Pages: 32
    • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 11.50 (h) x 0.50 (d)

    Originally reviewed 3-5-2015.


    Posted in Book, Book Review, Children's, Picture Book, Reading


    1431814266Subtitle: Listen While You Learn About the Instruments, the Music and the Composers Who Wrote the Music!

    This really fine book would make a great learning tool for families homeschooling and for anyone who wants to introduce their children to classical music and an orchestra’s instruments.  The CD coincides with the book by sharing the type of music discussed as well as samples of each instrument.  I come from a musical background of playing the clarinet and bassoon in high school along with learning piano during my early elementary ages and guitar as an adult.  I don’t play any of them now but I love music so this book delights me.  To know that such a tool exists made my day when I found it.   If I were homeschooling or teaching a classroom full of young children, I would use this great book and CD.

    The colorful illustrations are a delight.  Each page is filled with a variety of pictures.  Searching and discovering brings a different kind of fun while learning so much.

    I will give you some of the inner workings of this book…BUT not all, I promise!!  There is just too much!!  The Table of Contents gives me a board from which to jump off into this sea of music:

    Table of Contents
    Orchestra Bob is a “classical music expert,” as he calls himself, and is our “guide to the wonderful world of the orchestra.”  He shows up throughout the book to let us know when to play each track of the accompanying 70-minute CD.

    A short history of each composer and a history of the particular period from which that composer lives dovetails throughout this section of the book.  A few funny stories of some of the composers are interspersed here.  The book does not touch on every composer we might wish had been included, but there are so many and this is a book for children.  The idea is to keep their interest.  This book is an excellent starting place from which to leap into other well-known composers.

    Each period has music (on the CD) to illustrate the type composed during that era.  I list only a few of the many that the CD offers:

    Baroque Period
    Vivaldi – a part of “Four Seasons”
    Bach – “1st Prelude from ‘Well-Tempered Clavier'”

    Classical Music Era
    Haydn – “Symphony No. 101” or “The Clock”
    Mozart – “2nd Movement of ‘Eine Kleine Nachtmusik'”
    Beethoven – “1st Movement of 5th Symphony”
    “Last Movement of 9th Symphony”

    Romantic Era
    Diagram of Orchestra seating arrangement
    Wagner – “Ride of the Valkyries”
    Brahms – “Hungarian Dance”
    Mahler – “Symphony No. 4”

    Modern Era
    DeBussy – “Arabesque No. 1”
    Stravinsky – “The Rite of Spring”
    Schoenberg, Gershwin, Copland, Bernstein – no track but brief information

    Details of each instrument include names of each part of that instrument and what the instrument is made from with an illustration alongside.  Music of each particular type of instrument are featured on the CD.  Again, this is only a partial listing:

    String Section

    Examples: Bartok’s “Concerto for Viola and Orchestra,” Rossini’s “William Tell Overture,” and Saint-Saens “Carnival of Animals”

    Woodwind Section

    Examples: Bach’s “Suite No. 2 for Flute, Strings and Basso,” Albinoni’s “Sinfonia in G Major for Two Oboes,” and Dukas’ “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” (bassoon)

    Brass Section

    Examples: Haydn’s “Concerto for Trumpet in E Flat,” Mozart’s “Horn Concerto No. 1” (French Horn)

    Percussion Section

    Examples: Schedrin”s “Carmen Suite, Section Changing of the Guard,” Tchaikovsky’s “Symphony No. 4”

    Keyboard Instruments

    It is explained that there is usually not a keyboard section in an orchestra, but a piano, an organ, or an harpsichord are often featured in one or more pieces in a concert.
    Examples: Bach’s “Toccato and Fugue in D Minor” (for organ or harpsichord), Beethoven’s “2nd Movement – Pathetique Sonata” (piano)

    The Conductor
    The conductor is introduced as the person who leads the orchestra.  “Most composers were also conductors.”  In this section, the patterns of directing the various beats are given to encourage  practicing and getting to know how music is written.  Some fun may be had here.

    I know this is a lot of information.  As a music-loving person, I think that this book is a wonderful teaching tool because of its layout, the fun and colorful illustrations, and the way the CD brings each composer and instrument to life in ways that just reading about the instruments or type of music could not duplicate alone.  This is a $20.00 book with CD, but there are discounted copies available across the internet.

    Reading Level: 8 – 13 Years

    Robert Levine is an internationally known classical music and opera critic, a writer whose work has appeared in dozens of publications. He was the co-editor of Tower Records’ Classical Pulse! Magazine.   He has been Senior Editor of, a worldwide web-site devoted to classical music. He is the author of many of the texts in the Black Dog Opera Library, as well as Maria Callas – A Musical Biography, and Weep, Shudder, Die – A Guide to Loving Opera. He lives in New York City.

    Meredith Hamilton
    From Mrs. Hamilton’s website:
    “My illustration tools include everything from copperplate pen nibs and French sepia ink to Photoshop. My work revolves around conveying information visually, whether it be in the form of a mobile app or an illustration for a children’s book.
    “In 2012 I co-founded BumpBump Books, which makes apps for mobile devices.  My ongoing series “A Child’s Introduction to…”
    (Black Dog & Leventhal Publishing) has received both Moonbeam and Parent’s Choice Awards. Formerly an Art Director of Information Graphics at Newsweek, I have an MFA in Visual Journalism from the School of Visual Arts, and an AB in Comparative Literature from Brown University ….and oh yes, three children.” 
    You can find her wonderful art @

    Book Information

    • ISBN-13: 9781579121488
    • Publisher: Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, Inc.
    • Publication date: 10/1/2000
    • Edition description: Book & CD
    • Pages: 96
    • Product dimensions: 10.31 (w) x 10.31 (h) x 0.58 (d)

    On 5-16-2015, I originally reviewed this especially fine book!

    Posted in Book, Book Review, Children's, Picture Book, Reading


    7167855_origThe zookeeper makes a difficult announcement…the zoo would be closing.  To the animals, this was their home.  What would happen to them?

    They wondered if there was something that would keep the zoo open.  What could each one do to “spruce it up a bit?”  Every animal had some ability that they used to clean up the zoo…that is, all but Ellie, the elephant.  But one day, the zookeeper left a paint brush out with orange paint still in the bristles.  Ellie tried using it.  She found that she could paint…flowers, rainbows, animals, people.  And she painted everywhere.  All around the zoo!  Everywhere!

    Word got out that Ellie, the elephant, was very creative.  People from the city came to see what Ellie had done and what she could do.  Reporters showed up to get the word out.  Then, people from around the world visited the zoo to watch Ellie painting.  They visited her gallery.  They saw the clean and colorful zoo.  The animals home was saved and more beautiful than ever.

    This is a delightful story.  It has a happy ending.  The art is gracefully done and peaceful to look upon.  “Ellie” reminds us that each one of us has something special to give to the world.  Sometimes, it takes a bit of seeking to find that talent, that ability, that specialty.  Ellie found hers after much dismay, but she becomes an happy elephant and the reader becomes happier once the tale is told.

    Reading Level:  ages 3-5

    This is Mike Wu’s first book, but he is an animator at Pixar.  He has worked on The Incredibles, Ratatouille, Up, and Toy Story 3, among other movies.  He has a BFA in Character Animation from the California Institute of the Arts.  Mike lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his family.  You can find him online at

    Original review I did was on 7-5-2015
    See the trailer from Disney Hyperion:

    Posted in Book, Book Review, Children's, Picture Book, Reading


    3555996_origA boy waits as a plane arrives.
    He searches for one, his special one.
    He notices reunions of others, some in uniform, some not.
    In an expression that tells it all, the boy’s face lights up and we, the participant in this homecoming, this reunion, know that his special one is in his sight.
    A pair of boots and camo pants are in view.

    This beautifully illustrated children’s book has very few words.  The art tells this story.

    With so many parents deployed these days, the children of those parents miss that one and so look forward to their return.  This special book honors the families as well as the men and women who serve this country in our armed forces.

    As a Navy child, myself, I understand some of what these children go through, although my Daddy did not go off to war during my childhood.  He had fought in WWII before my birth.  But he was deployed to other duty stations without us.  We always looked forward to him coming home, like this young boy.

    Greg Ruth wrote about his creation of this book.  He felt like he sculpted in the dark and then turned on the light to see what he’d made.  His last words in the book are “I hope this book works for you.”   He wanted his audience to know he wanted this book to make a difference.  I can honestly say, “Mr. Ruth, it works beautifully for me.  Thank you.”

    Thank you to each of you who protect this country through your service in the armed forces of the United States of America.  I wish we did not have to have military defenses, but we do.  I am sorry that you have to leave your families to go fight wars.  But I am always so grateful to you.  I hold you in my prayers.  Truly, I do.

    Reading Level: 4 – 7 Years

    Greg Ruth
    Greg Ruth has illustrated many graphic novels and books for children, including A Pirate’s Guide to First Grade and A Pirate’s Guide to Recess by James Preller.   He is also the author/illustrator of The Lost Boy, a New York Times bestseller, as well as Red Kite, Blue Kite.  He lives Ashfield, Massachusetts, with his family.  You can find his amazingly varied portfolio of illustrations @

    Book Information

    • ISBN-13: 9781250055477
    • Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
    • Publication date: 11/4/2014
    • Pages: 32
    • Product dimensions: 10.30 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 0.40 (d)

    Original review was 5-6-2015

    Posted in Book, Book Review, Children's, Picture Book, Reading



    • Toddlers in, around, under, and on books of every size, width, and height.
    • Books imagined as a hat, a chair
    • Places where books can be read, can be found
    • What can be done with books
    • When books can be read
    • Toddlers with animals reading and thoroughly loving books
    • Animals with animals reading and enjoying books
    • Illustrations are cute
    • Illustrations are easy to look at
    • Illustrations are fun to find other things amongst
    • Illustrations and the story make for a book-reading activity

    What more can I say? 
    …a together reading moment
    …will ignite the love for books and reading

    Reading Level: 3 – 7 Years

    Jane Blatt is a primary school teacher.  As one myself, I know that the love of teaching reading and getting children to love books is where she gets her desire to write such a book.  Ms. Blatt is an accomplished violinist, making her musical background evident in her lyrical writing.  You can find her great website and her @

    SARAH MASSINI worked as a designer at several major children’s book publishers before devoting herself to illustration full-time.  Her illustration work is “a blend of the hand-drawn, painted, photographed and collaged, which is then tweaked and twiddled digitally. It is always very character-driven, with a spontaneous line and feel.”
    She lives in the United Kingdom with her husband, young son, and terrier Tess.  One place to find her is @

    Book Information

    • ISBN-13: 9780385375061
    • Publisher: Random House Children’s Books
    • Publication date: 5/27/2014
    • Pages: 32
    • Product dimensions: 10.00 (w) x 10.80 (h) x 0.50 (d)

    Originally reviewed 1-11-2015

    Posted in Book, Book Review, Children's, Picture Book, Poetry, Reading




    How do animals of the frigid north survive and “brave” the long and cold winters?

    Not only is this book interesting and insightful, but it is artistic and poetic.  It brings the science of animal survival in harsh winters of earth’s northern hemisphere into focus with a delightful poetic flare and extremely beautiful artistry.  This is a book not to be missed.

    Ms. Sidman creates a poetic picture about animals of the tundra on one side of each double-page spread.  On the page across, there are scientific facts about that particular animal living and surviving in the harsh winter climate.  Fine artistic renderings of each animal in its wintry habitat spreads across the open two pages.  The vocabulary is rich with a fine glossary at the end to broaden one’s understanding of the many words that may be new or of special interest for the young reader.  Plant life is introduced to allow the reader to know that the harsh winters do open to spring eventually.

    The hand-colored linoleum block prints can only draw the reader’s eyes right into this wintry mix of animals, plants and snowflakes.  The texture of the art is incredible, but texture is wrapped around the words and the air one imagines breathing while in such cold winter environs.  From the fox pouncing to the moose and vole looking straight at the reader from the page, you cannot help but feel you are right there.

    We read:
    Dream of the Tundra Swan
    Snake’s Lullaby

    Snowflake Wakes
    Big Brown Moose
    Winter Bees

    Under Ice (beavers)
    Brother Raven, Sister Wolf
    Vole in Winter
    What Do the Trees Know?

    Chickadee’s Song
    The Whole Wide World is Melting
    Triolet for Trunk Cabbage

    Ms. Sidman’s poetry takes two-dimensional words and turns them into three-dimensional art as in “Winter Bees”“Born with eyelash legs/and tinsel wings/we are nothing on our own./Together, we are One….Deep in the winter hive,/we burn like a golden sun.” 

    In “Big Brown Moose,” the large animal chants, “I’m a big brown moose,/I’m a rascally moose,/I’m a moose with a tough shaggy hide…” 

    Reading Level:  6 – 9 Years

    School Library Journal Best Book of 2014
    Kirkus Best Book of 2014
    Starred reviews in:
    Publisher’s Weekly
        School Library Journal

    “Newbery Honor winner Joyce Sidman is simply one of the best poets writing for children today. Her accolades include a Lee Bennet Hopkins Award, winner of the Cybil Award, Texas Bluebonnet Master List, two Caldecott Honors, winner of the Claudia Lewis Award, and many stars and notables and best of lists. For her award-winning body of work, she recently won the Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children. She lives in Wayzata, Minnesota.”  She can be found @

    Rick Allen creates.  He creates prints by pressing original linoleum cuts, wood engravings, broadsheets, and more with his wife and creative partner, Marian Lansky, and their assistant, Janelle Miller.   Mr. Allen can be found @

    Book Information

    • ISBN-13: 9780547906508
    • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
    • Publication date: 11/4/2014
    • Pages: 32
    • Product dimensions: 9.60 (w) x 11.30 (h) x 0.60 (d)

    Original Review on 12-11-2014

    Posted in Book, Book Review, Children's, Picture Book, Reading



    Having just landed his spaceship from Planet Tickle, Tickle Monster is silly and fun, loving to tickle young children, even children of all ages!

    The rhyming text leads you to each place this Tickle Monster will attack next throwing in a bit of anticipation when a page end with “…” and you must turn that page to find the spot.

    The illustrations are large and colorful and, as you can see by the pictures above, there is absolutely NO fear involved with this “monster.”  This is an easy book to enjoy!

    When you purchase the “Laughter Kit” version, it comes with two soft Tickle Mitts that fit on the hands of the reader.  Your fingers stick out from the main part of the mitts and are prepared to tickle!  The book can be bought separately as can the mitts.

    The outside of the box of this kit says, “There is no better childhood memory than time spent laughing together.” 











    Reading Level: 4 – 8 Years

    Josie Bissett is a children’s author of Tickle Monster and Boogie Monster, plus the compiler for Little Bits of Wisdom: A Collection of Tips and Advice for Real Parents and for Making Memories: A Parent’s Guide to Making Childhood Memories that Last a Lifetime.  Ms. Bissett was the 2008 Celebrity Mom of the Year.  Josie is an actress and first gained international notoriety for her role as Jane Mancini on the hit TV show, Melrose Place. She has appeared on more than 40 magazine covers.  She lives in Seattle with her two children, Mason and Maya.

    Kevan J, Atteberry
    Kevan is an illustrator/writer living in the Seattle area. He illustrated Josie Bissett’s Boogie Monster as well as other children’s books.  He created that “Clippy the paperclip helper” in Microsoft Office.  Remember that big-eyed paperclip?  He says it still “annoys millions of people every day.”  You can find Mr. Atteberry @! and

    Book Information

    • ISBN-13: 9781932319835
    • Publisher: Compendium, Incorporated, Publishing & Communications
    • Publication date: 9/1/2009
    • Pages: 36
    • Product dimensions: 11.00 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 3.00 (d)

    Original review 12-11-2014