Book review: Boris and the Worrisome Wakies, by Helen Lester, illustrated by Lynn Munsinger

Lester, Helen. Boris and the Worrisome Wakies. Illustrated by Lynn Munsinger. Houghton Mifflin, 2017. Unpaged. $16.99. ISBN 978-0544640948. Ages 4 and up. P9 Q8

Boris the badger just can’t get to sleep at night. Every night he gets the wakies, and then, when he gets to school, he always falls asleep and misses all the fun things the class does. Boris figures out how to solve his sleep schedule because he really wants to do things with his friends at school. This is a good book about getting to bed and sleeping with a schedule. The illustrations by Munsinger, who does most of Lester’s books, are full of fun.

VERDICT: Children who can’t get to sleep, and parents who want that more than anything, will find a fun story and a good lesson for this challenge. Very enjoyable.

December 2019 review by Lynne Wright.

Book review: Pookins Gets Her Way… A Story About Being Considerate, by Helen Lester, illustrated by Lynn Munsinger

Lester, Helen. Illustrated by Lynn Munsinger. Pookins Gets Her Way… A Story About Being Considerate. HMH Books for Young Readers, 1987. $8.99. ISBN 978-0-544-32406-0. Unp. Ages 4-8. P8/Q8

Lester PookinsPookins is spoiled little girl. She does terrible things like throwing food and making messes. She goes on a walk and runs into a magic gnome who grants her three wishes. She wants to turn into a flower and then she realizes she can’t throw apples or yell if she is a flower. She has to agree with the gnome to put all her bad behaviors in his magic hat then he will let her out of the flower pot. This is one of other books that teach good manners to young children. There is also a website for more resources with downloadable audio which could make for a fun story time.

December 2015 review by Melinda Dye.

Book review: Tacky and the Haunted Igloo, by Helen Lester, illustrated by Lynn Munsinger

Lester, Helen. Tacky and the Haunted Igloo. Illustrated by Lynn Munsinger. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 2015. Unp. $16.99. ISBN 9780544339941. Ages 4-1st grade. P8 Q7

Lester Tacky Haunted IglooTacky and the Haunted Igloo is the latest addition to the Tacky the Penguin series by Helen Lester and illustrator Lynn Munsinger. It’s Halloween in Nice Icy Land and Tacky still refuses to follow the crowd. Each penguin acknowledges his or her greatest fear and embodies that fear as a Halloween costume. Of course, after eating most of the treats, Tacky falls asleep; but, does he wake up in time to save his waddle from an old menace? The unusual vernacular and onomatopoeia found in the text make it fun to read aloud. Munsinger uses familiar sketchy watercolors to illustrate Tacky’s spooky spectacle. Fans of The Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, another unlikely champion with an affinity for treats, will enjoy this new tale of a bumbling penguin with a Halloween twist.


October 2015 review by Lillian Curanzy.

Book review: Princess Penelope’s Parrot, by Helen Lester

Lester Princess PenelopeLester, Helen. Illustrated by Lynn Munsinger. Princess Penelope’s Parrot. Houghton, Mifflin, Harcourt, 2014. $8.99. 978-0-544-10606-2, 32 pgs. 5-8 yrs. P.9, Q. 9

Princess Penelope is very spoiled. Her birthday is coming, she wants a parrot. After screaming and screaming at the parrot it still will not speak. When the richest prince in the land comes to call the parrot finally does, screaming all the things that the Princess as been screaming at him and chases the prince away. As the prince runs away the parrot follows leaving the spoiled princess on the doorstep.

The prince and the parrot live happily ever after while the princess gets ready for the second richest prince in the land. Many lessons can be learned from this story.

January 2015 review by Patty Dodson.

Book review: The Loch Mess Monster, by Helen Lester.

Lester, Helen. The Loch Mess Monster. Munsinger, Lynn, ill. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014. $16.99. ISBN 978-0-544-09990-6. 32 pages. Ages 7-10. P8Q10.

The story starts by challenging the legend that a monster lives at the bottom of Loch Ness to claiming that there are three monsters-Nessie; her husband; and the wee laddie, Angus. They follow basic monster rules: picking up after themselves and never going to the surface of the loch. Little Angus loves to make a mess. His parents give him an ultimatum that if he does not clean up his room he will have to stay in it to keep everything from spreading. Despite the ultimatum, Angus continues to throw his things on his bedroom floor. Soon, he runs out of room and has to toss them on his bed. The pile soon grows to a mountain that exposes Agnes to the lake’s surface. Once curious bystanders see him, messy Angus decides he must take action to clean up the situation. The watercolor illustrations are bursting with detail, liveliness, and humor. Youngsters will enjoy Angus while adults will appreciate the lesson Angus learns about disorderliness. A glossary of Scottish terms is included at the front of the book. November 2014 review by Penny McDermott.