Once upon a while ago, I wrote a book review blog. Actually, I’ve written two in my day – the first was called Paper Diet Books, the most recent was called book:thirty. (*yes, I know I tend toward abstract names!*) I closed both blogs, but absorbed the reviews into this site – you can browse through them by rating or genre in the “Categories” widget in the sidebar.
As a book reviewer, I got to work with several different publishing houses on reviews for new and upcoming titles. If you’re an avid reader, there’s nothing quite so thrilling as being sent a catalog of galleys and told to pick anything you’d like to try.
While I was writing book:thirty, I secured a contact at Hyperion Books/Disney Press and was able to request several books for new and young readers. Here are some titles I was recently sent:
This book has lovely, traditional illustrations, and a sweet message about the everlasting (and ever-forgiving!) qualities of a mother’s love. A timeless book.
My 2yo son is a huge fan of most Disney/Pixar movies, especially Cars. This sticker activity book briefly tells the story of Lightning McQueen’s visit to Radiator Springs and his big race in Los Angeles. It’s really less about story, though, and more about letting kids use the included re-usable stickers to place on the pages and tell their own story. There are a TON of stickers with this book, the graphics are great and the stickers stay in place well. This has been an excellent “quiet book” for my 2yo to play with during church.
I love when my 2yo asks for this book – hearing his version of the word “cupcake” is adorable! This book is pretty adorable, too. It’s the story of a Cupcake who wonders if being plain, white, and vanilla makes him just a little too ordinary. I love the colors in this book, and the drawings are very cute. It’s a sweet message as Cupcake and his new friend, Candle, explore what “ordinary” really means, and if it’s really so bad after all.
It’s an absolute crime that I didn’t know about Mo Willems before now. How could I not have heard of him?: he won 6 Emmys as a writer for Sesame Street, was a Caldecott Honor winner for his books Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! and Knuffle Bunny (both books which my CHILDREN knew about and loved, though I was clueless), and won the Theodor Suess Geisel Medal in 2008 and 2009 for his Elephant & Piggie book series. I’m a reader, I have kids, I should know these things! Well, I’m just glad I found him in time for my 2yo (and likely the last reader I will grow) to enjoy his witty drawings and brilliant characters. I cannot explain how delightful this sparse, yet fully expressive book is. The story of two friends and their little miscommunication is so simple, yet I find it very funny and the illustrations are so engaging. We love, love, LOVE this Elephant & Piggie book and will set out to find more to add to our collection!