children

Out of a Dark Winter’s Night


Author & Illustrator: Flora McDonnell
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
Genre: Children
ISBN: 978-0-500-65195-7
Pages: 40
Price: $16.95

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A child is facing a very dark period in his life. He knows something is wrong, and he sets about trying to fix it. He struggles, gets tired, rests, but continues to hope. And finally, he finds the sun again.

Out of a Dark Winter’s Night was created as a gentle expression of the author’s own experience with anxiety and depression. However, kids may need some guidance in interpreting the images they see. Without understanding the subtle message, it’s very easy to take this book literally and see only a dark night. Children facing similar dark periods in their lives will find comfort in this book.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

children

Snowy Race


Author: April Jones Prince
Illustrator: Christine Davenier
Publisher: Margaret Ferguson Books
Genre: Children
ISBN: 978-0-8234-4141-9
Pages: 40
Price: $18.99

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Illustrator’s website
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A little girl is waiting for someone special to arrive today, but realizes it’s snowing outside. Good thing Dad drives a snowplow! The two make their way through drifts and flurries, arriving at the train station, just in time to meet her. They’ve won their snowy race!

Any child who loves the snow will enjoy this sweet rhyming story.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

children, nature, science

Bright in the Night


Author & Illustrator: Lena Sjöberg
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
Genre: Children / Science / Nature
ISBN: 978-0-500-65219-0
Pages: 48
Price: $17.95

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Even though it’s dark outside, there are many things with features that are bright at night. Either through reflected light or UV light, these shine brightly all around us. Bright in the Night shares some of these unusual objects and creatures with us.

Beginning with the night sky, Sjöberg shows us the moon, stars, and planets, as well as the northern and southern lights. Next are mysterious lights, and glowing stones and mushrooms. We also see animals’ glowing eyes and body surface areas that shine in UV light. Lights on land include lighthouses, neon signs, and safety reflectors.

Bright in the Night is written for serious science-minded kids, as the topic is covered in quite a bit of depth. Anyone who wants to learn more about the bright objects around them at night will enjoy this interesting and informative book.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

children

The Luckiest Snowball


Author & Illustrator: Elliot Kreloff
Publisher: Holiday House
Genre: Children
ISBN: 978-0-8234-4105-1
Pages: 40
Price: $17.99

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Izzy is playing out in the snow when he decides to make a snowball. Before he can toss it, the snowball tells him to stop. Once Izzy realizes it’s alive, they make snow angels and build a fort and snowman together. But when Izzy brings it inside the house and introduces his new friend, Larry, to his mom, the snowball yells for help. Larry is melting!

Over the course of the year, Larry meets all kinds of interesting food in the freezer where he lives. And as each season rolls around, Izzy takes him out to see the scenery outside. Larry keeps reminding Izzy that he’s melting, and back into the freezer he goes. Finally, it’s winter, and Larry can play outside again. This time, he decides to stay outside when Izzy goes back into the house. Winter is his home.

Larry considers himself the luckiest snowball because he’s had the opportunity to see all of the seasons. Children can learn about the seasons also, as they explore the information provided in the appendix. The Luckiest Snowball is a fun read for kids.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

children, self improvement

How Did You Miss That?


Author: Bryan Smith
Illustrator: Lisa M. Griffin
Publisher: Boys Town Press
Genre: Self-improvement / Children
ISBN: 978-1-944882-45-7
Pages: 32
Price: $9.99

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Braden has a list of things to do before bed, and he’s sure he accomplished everything in record time. But when his mom checks his work, she shows him all the things he didn’t do. How could he have missed them all? Then his mom shares a four-step process to self-monitoring to be sure he doesn’t make the same mistake again.

At school a few days later, Braden is reminded of this problem when he misses a whole page on a test. His teacher goes over the process with him again, and this time he’s sure he’ll remember. He soon has opportunities to share his learning with his younger brother, and even with his parents!

Self-monitoring is an important skill for kids who want to live successful and productive lives. It helps them identify what they want to accomplish, stay focused, double-check everything, and ask for assistance when they need it. How Did You Miss That? shows kids these steps in action and also provides tips for parents and educators. I highly recommend it.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

children

The Thank You Letter


Author & Illustrator: Jane Cabrera
Publisher: Holiday House
Genre: Children
ISBN: 978-0-8234-4250-8
Pages: 34
Price: $23.99

Authors’ website
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Grace is celebrating her birthday and receives a bunch of really great gifts. So the very next day, Grace sits down to write Thank You letters to everyone who gave her a present. But when she’s finished, she keeps writing Thank You letters to other people she knows. Everyone who receives a letter feels really special.

One day, Grace comes home to find Love letters written to her. Her Thank You letters have sparked a lot of love in the community, and everyone wants to share how good they’re feeling. Grace had no idea how her letters would impact the community in such a wonderful way.

The Thank You Letter is a terrific book for kids on the power of gratitude in their lives. By showing her gratitude with others, Grace has opened up a flood of positivity all around her. I highly recommend it.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

children

Herring Hotel


Author: Didier Lévy
Illustrator: Serge Bloch
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
ISBN: 978-0-500-65212-1
Pages: 40
Price: $14.95

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There once was a very nice hotel called the Sherrington Hotel, but some time ago, it lost a few letters, so now it’s the Herring Hotel. But along with the missing letters, it’s also fallen into disrepair. Water leaks through the ceiling in dozens of places, but the guests don’t seem to care. They’ve been there forever, and they really don’t want to leave.

Gabriel lives there with his parents, and he likes to spend time with their unusual guests, especially Mrs. Kettle, also known as Tina the 23rd, exiled Queen of Kettlippia. One day the damage to the hotel is much too bad, and they will all need to pack their things and find someplace else to live. But Mrs. Kettle has a big surprise for them all.

The guests of the Herring Hotel are an eccentric bunch, but they form a lovable family. When forced to leave, they struggle to control their tears. Kids will love Gabriel’s interactions with them all, especially Mrs. Kettle. I highly recommend Herring Hotel.

Reviewer: Alice Berger