Book reviews: Picture Books reviewed by ECEL (Special Needs) Students

Thanks to the Newport High students in the Education for Community Employment and Life group and library staff for these reviews.

December 2018 Picture Book reviews by ECEL (Special Needs) Students:


Kheiriyeh, Rashin. Saffron Ice Cream. Arthur A. Levine Books, 2018. $17.60. ISBN 978-1338150520. Unpaged. PK-3. ECEL popularity: 8.

Rashin had to move from Iran to Brooklyn. She had to leave behind friends and everything she knew, including her favorite ice cream. Her family and friends went on a picnic at the beach on Coney Island. She tried a new ice cream and made a new friend.  There was no curtain on the beach in America, so she could swim with her whole family.  I liked this book; it was interesting and believable.  The book talked about different places and the beach/ocean, and had colorful illustrations.  It made us laugh out loud at times.

Taylor, Sean. I Am Actually a Penguin. Illustrated by Kasia Matyjaszek. Templar, 2018. $16.99. ISBN 978-1536202786. Unpaged. PK-1 ECEL Popularity: 9. 

A little girl liked to dress up. She got a penguin costume and wore it everywhere.  She believed she was a penguin and when her parents made her take the costume off to go to school she found an alligator costume to wear, instead. This was a very fun book that was easy to read.


Foster, Travis. Take a Hike, Miles and Spike!  Illustrated by Ethan Long. Chronicle Books, 2018. $16.99. ISBN 978-1452164717. Unpaged. K-3. ECEL popularity: 9.

This book is about 2 friends who are heading somewhere and saying goodbye to all their friends. I really liked this book, it makes fun use of words and has very cute illustrations.

Shories, Pat. Squeak the Mouse Likes his House. Holiday House, 2018 $15.99. ISBN 978-0823439447. Unpaged. PK-3. ECEL popularity: 9. 

Squeak the mouse tells us he likes his house and the toys, fresh water, books, and free snacks that are in his house.  The book is very cute, I liked how the book was written from the mouse’s perspective.


Murray, Dianna. One Snowy Day. Illustrated by Diana Toledano. Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, 2018. $17.99. ISBN 978-1492645863. Unpaged. PK-1. ECEL Popularity: 8.

Puppy wakes up and goes through his day, including playing outside with all the kids.  The book counts to 10 and back, so it helps really young kids learn how to count. It’s a cute book that rhymes and is fun to read.

Fergus, Maureen. The Reptile Club. Illustrated by Elina Ellis. Kids Can Press, 2018. $16.99. ISBN 978-1771386555. Unpaged. PK-2. ECEL Popularity: 10.

Rory started a new school and there were lots of clubs to join. None of the clubs interested Rory, so he decided to start one of his own, called the Reptile Club.  None of the kids wanted to join right away, but 3 reptiles (an alligator, anaconda, and a gecko) came to the meeting.  Once the kids saw the reptiles at the meeting, they all wanted to join them.  This book was really funny and really easy to read, the pictures made us all laugh out loud.


Boldt, Mike. Attack of the 50-Foot Fluffy.  Margaret K. McElderry, 2018. $17.99. ISBN. 978-1481448871. Unpaged. PK-3. ECEL Popularity: 6

This is the story of how different emotions run through us.  Claire’s “bad day” started with not having the “right” breakfast cereal.  Her best friend, Fluffy is a big stuffed rabbit and when Claire is in a bad mood, so is Fluffy.  As the day gets worse, Fluffy starts having a fit, and they both have a hard time getting control of their anger.  Somehow, they do and it all turns out ok.  It’s a little preachy at times, but maybe younger kids will get the message, because it is easy to read and the pictures are great.


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