Dillard, Sarah. Mouse Scouts Camp Out. (Mouse Scouts series.) Random House Children’s Books, 2016. $6.99. ISBN 978-0-385-75608-2. 144 Pages. Ages 5-8. Q8P7
This is the third book in the Mouse Scouts series and focuses on teamwork and friendship through an overnight camping trip. I liked the Mouse Scout Handbook which gives helpful tips to being a successful camper throughout the book. The tips, while from a mouse’s perspective, are valid tips for a successful camping experience, such as how to make a compass and various wilderness dangers from poisonous plants to bugs and snakes. The outdoors is not a comfortable place for everyone and this book shares tips to make outdoor life bearable for those who don’t come by it naturally.
Verdict: A simple story of friendship and perseverance through teamwork with lots of tips and tricks for happily experiencing the outdoors.
June 2017 review by Terri Lippert.
Martin, Emily Winfield. The Littlest Family’s Big Day. Random House Children’s Books, a division of Penguin Random House, 2016. $17.99. ISBN 9780375974311. UNP. Ages 2-5. P9Q8
A family of tiny bears go for a wander in the woods. After encountering many whimsical woodland characters, the little family gets lost…and found. The Littlest Family’s Big Day is another art-driven book for children by Portland artist Emily Winfield Martin. Each landscape and creature is painterly rendered in Martin’s recognizably old-fashioned style. The text is a loopy script with mostly familiar words. New readers may have difficulty with the font choice.
Verdict: Martin’s books are stylized and have a popular “vintage” quality. This one is best for reading aloud or for more advanced young readers.
March 2017 review by Lillian Curanzy.
Look, Lenore. Allergic to the Great Wall, the Forbidden Palace, and Other Tourist Attractions. (Alvin Ho series, book 6) Pictures by Pham, LeUyen. Random House Children’s Books, 2014. $15.99. ISBN 978-0-385-36972-5. 163 pgs. 6-10 years of age. Includes glossary. P9/Q8
Another story in the Alvin Ho series. This time Alvin is heading to China and dealing with his fears of flying, heights, being crowded (China has a huge population), and the fear of the unexpected being in another country. The Alvin Ho series is funny and authentic. The story shares about the Great Wall, the Clay Soldiers and references Chinese foods and some Chinese words as well. In the back is a glossary that explains what some of the words mean. Readers will be entertained and also be exposed to Chinese culture.
October 2016 review by Helyn Layton.
Price, Ben Joel. In the Deep Dark Deep. Random House Children’s Books, 2015. Unp. $16.99. 9780385373135. Ages 2-8. P7 Q9
The modern artist and author of Earth Space Moon Base has composed a new expedition into another frontier: oceans. Readers join a few familiar faces to solve a maritime mystery. Price uses a compelling combination of alliteration, rhyme, and literalistic representations of sea life— rubber-nosed clown fish to gleaming sea stars— to subtly suggest the recent plight of starfish to children. The impressive illustrations are distinctly designed. Dramatized by black backgrounds, the eye-catching images keep readers’ attention as the heroes dive deeper into the dark. With In the Deep Dark Deep, Price has effectively attracted attention to a significant environmental anomaly by providing a whimsical primer for parents and educators teaching the impacts of climate change.
December 2015 review by Lillian Curanzy.
Edwards, Karl Newsom. Fly! Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House LLC. 2015. Unp. $15.99. 9780385392839. Ages 1-5. P7 Q8
This delightful children’s book explores the kinetic characteristics of our favorite backyard insects. The goal is to help a young fly discover his euonymic locomotion. Each new insect we meet is depicted in a child-friendly, wide-eyed style. The book’s layout has a generous use of white space and the limited vocabulary is strengthened by interesting fonts. Young children will enjoy acting out these distinctive activities as they identify each member of this friendly cast of enthusiastic insects.
September 2015 review by Lillian Curanzy.