Book review: Peg Up a Tree, by Jennifer Oxley and Billy Aronson

Oxley, Jennifer and Billy Aronson. Peg Up a Tree. (Peg + Cat series.) Candlewick Entertainment, 2019. $14.99. ISBN 9781536209686. 31 pages.  Ages 4-6. P6 Q7

Peg has a problem! She is stuck in a tree, but Cat does not see her. While she is stuck, she plays with her yo-yo and hits Cat on the head. He tries to get her out with a ladder that he makes, only to find himself stuck up in the tree with Peg. Ramone comes to the rescue and describes how a ladder should be built. Can they work together to get Peg and Cat out of the tree? Typewriter style text with a nice amount of space between each word helps the reader read the book by themselves. This level one reader is based on the TV series Peg + Cat on PBS Kids. The illustrations of Cat + Peg and their adventure will keep readers engaged while giving them a sense of what is happening at the same time. This beginning chapter book is broken into three chapters.

Verdict: The style of writing is conducive to helping children read, however, this would not make a good read-a-loud since the sentences are a bit choppy. I recommend the book for emergent readers.

November 2019 review by Tami Harris.

Book review: Meet the Team, by Summer Greene

Greene, Summer. Meet the Team. (Rainbow Rangers series.) Imprint, 2019. $4.99. ISBN 9781250190314. 30 pages. Ages 3-6. P7 Q6

Do you know all the Rainbow Rangers and their super powers? The Rainbow Rangers are nature’s superheroes who live on a magical land on the other side of the rainbow. Through the Mirror of Marvels, they are able to see what is happening on earth. When there is trouble, the Rangers come to the rescue. This thin paper book introduces all the characters, their superpower, and what makes them unique. Since they live on the other side of a rainbow, it adds imagination to rainbows. The colorful rainbow illustrations will keep the emergent or beginning reader engaged. This is a good companion book to go along with the other Rainbow Rangers books since it introduces each character in-depth. The title, Meet the Team, describes the book perfectly.

Verdict: If your reader is a fan of the Rainbow Rangers animated series on Nick Jr. they will enjoy this book, introducing the characters. The thin pages and paperback cover may not hold up to a classroom or library, but would be good for a reader’s personal library.

November 2019 review by Tami Harris.

Book review: To the Rescue, by Summer Greene, illustrated by Joshua Heinsz

Greene, Summer. To the Rescue. Illustrated by Joshua Heinsz. (Rainbow Rangers series.) Imprint, 2019. $4.99. ISBN 9781250190253. Unpaged. Ages 3-6. P7 Q6

A baby polar bear has floated out to sea away from its mother and the Rainbow Rangers set out to save it. Will the Rainbow Rangers be able to save the polar bear before the ice melts? For those not familiar with the animated Nick Jr. Show, there is a short introduction featuring each rainbow ranger, its name, color and power. One page shows the rangers transforming into their ranger outfits. Each page has a background of blue, pink or yellow. Colorful illustrations are in boxes or circles with the text above, beside or under them. This thin, paperback version includes a punch-out wearable Kaleidocom which is made out of firmer paper.

Verdict:  The quality of the book may not hold up in a classroom or library. Children will love the Kaleidocom to wear around their wrist, but if the book is in a classroom or library, I imagine the first child checking it out will make the Kaleidocom and others will be disappointed they don’t have one as well. That being said, I recommend it for children to have in their own personal libraries. This colorful adventure is a quick and to the point and will hold the interest of small children.

November 2019 review by Tami Harris.

Book review: The Quest for the Confetti Crystal, by Summer Greene, illustrated by Joshua Heinsz and Maxime Lebrun

Greene, Summer. The Quest for the Confetti Crystal. Illustrated by Joshua Heinsz and Maxime Lebrun. (Rainbow Rangers series.) Imprint, 2019. $17.99. ISBN 9781250190338. Unpaged. Ages 3-6 . P7 Q7 

What is more fun than rainbows, parties, balloons, crystals and friends working together? Floof, a prismacorn, usually goes on missions with the other Rainbow Rangers, but this time he has his very own mission. He has to guard the Confetti Crystal while the rangers go on their 100th mission. When Floof realizes the Kaleidocove does not look festive, he makes bubbles and strings bright streamers. Unfortunately, the crystal rolls away, sending it on an adventure full of Fluttercups, Rainbow tunnels, Rainbow halls and a Bunnysus. Will Floof lose the crystal and fail his mission? This picture book was inspired by the animated series on Nick Jr. The Rainbow Rangers names are alliterations and some of the words are filled in with rainbow colors. The background colors are soft, which allows the bright Rainbow Rangers vibrant colors to stand out.

Verdict: Readers who have watched the animated series as well as readers who enjoy rainbows and unicorns will enjoy this adventure. With the theme of teamwork, creativity and inclusivity, this book is on the reader will look at over and over. I recommend it.

November 2019 review by Tami Harris.


Book review: Daniel Tiger’s 3-Minute Bedtime Stories, various authors, poses and layouts by Jason Fruchter

Daniel Tiger’s 3-Minute Bedtime Stories. Poses and layouts by Jason Fruchter. Simon Spotlight, 2018. $12.99. ISBN 9781534428591. 137 pages. Ages 3-7. P7 Q7

In twelve previously published stories, Daniel Tiger introduces children to his friends and neighbors. Each story features qualities that friends have, such as taking turns, helping you when you are mad, exploring with you, helping you feel brave, and much more. One story highlights strategies to calm down, “When you feel so mad that you want to roar, take a deep breath, and count to four.” Children will think they are listening to fun stories, but in reality, they are learning how to get along, calm down, be themselves, and much more. The illustrations are of Daniel Tiger and his friends, doing activities together. The illustrations enhance the story. The book can be read straight through or adults can read chapters of interest to children. According to the blurb on the back of the book, “each story is timed to be read aloud in about three minutes, so it’s the perfect solution for little tigers begging for ‘just one more story’ before bed.”

Verdict:  With quick, three-minute chapters, friendship themes and inviting illustrations, this book will be a favorite that children will want to hear repeatedly. It celebrates both individuality and working together while exploring what makes friendships successful. I highly recommend this book for young children.

September 2018 review by Tami Harris.

Book review: Competing for The Cup, by Bobbi J.G. Weiss

Weiss, Bobbi J. G. Competing for The Cup. (Ride series.) Candlewick Entertainment, 2018. $7.99. ISBN 9780763698553. 267pages. Ages 12-16. P7 Q5

Based on the Nickelodeon series: Ride. In Competing for the Cup, Kit’s father is injured by falling timbers in the barn. Will and his friends put a dummy (from the first book) in a loft in the barn, causing the accident. Kit’s interest in Will continues from the first book but is threatened when she finds out that Will is to blame for her father’s accident. Someone leaves her clues on how to successfully ride her horse, TK, using sticky notes. She thinks the person is Will, but is it? Meanwhile, her friend Anya has a secret and she thinks she knows what it is. A sequel for Ride: Kit meets Covington, Book 2 in the Ride series as seen on Nickelodeon. This book can stand alone, but you will miss the past rival between Kit and Elaine along with other details that leave the book incomplete. Without the first book, some of the actions of the characters do not make sense.

Verdict: If you have watched the television series, you may be interested in the book. With the incomplete story line and lack of fully developed characters, this book is an easy read, but pointless.

April 2018 review by Tami Harris.

Book review: Agent of Chaos, by Kami Garcia

Garcia, Kami. Agent of Chaos. (X-Files Origins series, book 1). Imprint, 2017. $17.99.  ISBN: 978-1250119568. 320p. Gr. 9-adult.  P8 Q7

I was so excited to read the backstory of one of my favorite shows, as I have been a fan of the X-Files for years.  I like the fact that this book wasn’t a retelling of plots from the series, but a ‘how Mulder became an obsessed agent.’ It was pretty cool to find him the same age as me (almost 18) and in high school.  Even then, he is driven to investigate everything, though he doesn’t believe in the supernatural at first.  The book doesn’t follow a storyline like the shows do, but it makes it more believable, almost like a biography.  Even then, there’s enough suspense and investigative drama to satisfy most hard-core X File fans.

May 2018 review by NHS student.