This is a relatively new series here at Jen Robinson's Book Page. As I travel about the kidlitosphere, encountering reviews by other bloggers (people I trust, and generally have been following for some time), I take note of those reviews in which it is clear that the reviewer really, really likes the book. I share links to those reviews on Twitter (with hashtag #KidLitFaves) and Facebook and round them up here. Hopefully over time this will become a useful resource. I welcome your feedback!
Betsy Bird from A Fuse #8 Production is pretty thrilled with Mr. Squirrel and the Moon by Sebastian Meschenmoser, calling it "truly delightful" and "delicious". She says:
"Taking a trope we’ve all seen before and then improving upon it, this is a lovely story of fur, false accusations (or fear thereof), guts, glutted field mice, and glory. Everything, in short, that a good children’s picture book should be."
Early Readers/Early Chapter Books:
When Jennifer Wharton from Jean Little Library gives a positive "verdict" to a book, you can count on it being worth a look (particularly for library purchase). Reviewing the beginning chapter book fantasy title Beasts of Olympus: Beast Keeper (first in a new series) by Lucy Coats she says:
"I enjoyed reading it and can't wait to introduce it to my patrons. Ideal for strong 2nd grade readers up through 4th grade, although older and younger kids will enjoy it as well. Highly recommended."
Karen Yingling at Ms. Yingling Reads is my go-to source for middle grade/middle school book recommendations. In a recent Middle Grade Monday post she recommends what sound like two fun titles: Masterminds by Gordon Korman and Countdown Zero (The Codename Conspiracy) by Chris Rylander. Of Masterminds she says:
"Really don't want to give away the twist in this because it was SO good, and much darker than the beginning of the book would indicate.... Korman is awesome. This book was not only exciting, but thought provoking as well. Definitely buying a copy and waiting avidly for the sequel!"
"Perfect middle grade novel ... Rylander fully embraces the joys and possibilities of being an unlikely teen spy. I have two copies of Codename Zero (the first book in the series) because it's such a popular read with so many of my students."
Charlotte Taylor from Charlotte's Library tends to be relatively understated in her reviews. And she reads a lot. So I take notice when she says:
"Stranger, by Rachel Manija Brown and Sherwood Smith (Viking Juvenile, YA, Nov. 2014)--is the most beautifully character-focused adventure set in a damaged Earth I've read in years."
Speaking of Charlotte Taylor, another great source for collected reviews is her weekly roundup of links to middle grade science fiction and fantasy reviews from around the Kidlitosphere. Here's the one from January 25th.
The ALA Youth Media Awards were announced today. There are lots of great titles among the honorees, including a good representation of diversity and poetry. Here is the official ALA press release listing the winners in the various categories. While not guaranteed to be kid-friendly in the way that Cybils honorees are, the ALA-selected titles are a good source of high-quality children's and young adult literature. I reviewed the Caldecott Medal Winner: The Adventures of Beekle: An Unimaginary Friend by Dan Santat just last month. I also reviewed Caldecott Honor winner Sam and Dave Dig a Hole by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen.
I also reviewed the Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award winner: The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus, by Jen Bryant and Melissa Sweet.
And finally, I reviewed both the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award winner, You Are (Not) Small by Anna Kang and Christopher Weyant, and the two honor titles in this distinguished beginning reader category. I loved both Mr. Putter & Tabby Turn the Page by Cynthia Rylant and Arthur Howard and Waiting Is Not Easy by Mo Willems.
But do check out the full ALA press release for all of the award-winning titles.
Two other notes about these review excerpts:
- If I have quoted from one of your reviews, and you prefer that I not do so in the future, just let me know. No worries.
- The book covers that I have included beside each blurb include my personal Amazon affiliate ID. If you don't want your reviews to be included in future because of this, just let me know.
Please let me know what you think of this new feature!
© 2015 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook. This site is an Amazon affiliate, and purchases made through affiliate links (including linked book covers) may result in my receiving a small commission (at no additional cost to you).