Friday, April 12, 2013


Hayes, Geoffrey. The Bunny’s Night-Light: A Glow-in-the-Dark Search. New York: Random House, 2012. ISBN: 978-0-375-86926-6. $11.99.

In this sweet story, Bunny can’t go to sleep because “There’s too much dark at night.” Papa is determined to find the right night-light that is especially for Bunny, so the two set off on a walk through the woods and town on a quest for the perfect illuminating source. With options that are too bright, too twinkly, too busy, too small, or too tall, will Bunny ever find that special light? The rich illustrations are timeless and beautiful, and the attention to detail and glow-in-the-dark accents make Bunny and Papa’s cozy little world come to life. This tale will certainly appeal to any reader who is, or has been, afraid of the dark, and the pages are a work of art that will be cherished by both youngsters and parents. Comforting and reassuring, The Bunny’s Night-Light will surely become a classic bedtime story.

Jenny Weisenborn

Thursday, April 11, 2013


Eversole, Robyn. East Dragon, West Dragon. Illus. Scott Campbell. New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers (Simon & Schuster), 2012. ISBN: 978-0-689-85828-4. $16.99.

“West Dragon thought East Dragon was a snob. East Dragon thought West Dragon was a slob... they were a little afraid of each other because they didn’t know who was bigger, who was fiercer... so they kept a world between them, just in case.”

In this classic tale of clashing cultures, East Dragon, West Dragon artfully weaves a story of two contrasting dragons -- one who lives in a land of palaces, emperors, and geishas, and one who lives in a land of caves, kings, and knights. The dragons have never met before and happily live in their own worlds, until one day when everything goes wrong and their sides of the sea meet. What will happen when these fierce forces come face-to-face? With intricate and whimsical watercolor illustrations that will enchant you, East Dragon, West Dragon is filled with action that will take you on an adventure!

Jenny Weisenborn

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A GOLD STAR FOR ZOG by Julia Donaldson

Donaldson, Julia. A Gold Star for Zog. Illus. Axel Scheffler. New York: Arthur A. Levine Books (Scholastic Inc.), 2012. ISBN: 978-0-545-41724-2. $16.99.

In Madam Dragon’s school, young dragons learn all the skills necessary to become a great dragon -- how to fly, roar, breathe fire... even how to capture a princess! “Zog, the biggest dragon, was the keenest one by far. He tried his hardest every day to win a golden star.” Klutzy and endearing, Zog tries his best to be the best and encounters many mishaps along the way. Throughout his years of school, Zog makes a special friend, a friend who may be the key to his success one day.

The text flows through fun and humorous rhymes, and the rich illustrations are bold and vibrant, filling every square inch of the page. An uplifting story that makes you want to read it again and again, A Gold Star for Zog is a whimsical tale with a twist!

Jenny Weisenborn

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

! by Amy Krouse Rosenthal & Tom Lichtenheld

Rosenthal, Amy Krouse and Tom Lichtenheld. ! Exclamation Mark. New York: Scholastic, 2013. ISBN 978-0-545-43679-3. $17.99.

An exclamation point, after all, stands out, doesn’t it? So, if you’re a little exclamation point kid, you have to find your mojo, which is just what this little one does. Surrounded by friendly but markedly different periods, the little point can’t fit in. In fact, he’s “flummoxed” (I would recommend this book if only because the authors used this word!). Ah, but exclamation boy meets a question mark as unlike the others as he is, and voila. The charming “Who am I?” story is told in energetic prose and illustrated by personified punctuation drawn with a lot of dash. Both satisfying and funny, ! is a grammar tale that exemplifies the continuing collaborative excellence of Rosenthal and Lichtenheld.

Alida Allison

Monday, April 8, 2013

LOOK...LOOK AGAIN! by John O'Brien

O’Brien, John. Look … Look Again! Honesdale, PA: Boyds Mills Press, 2012. ISBN 978-1-59078-894-3. $18.95.

Brilliantly John O’Brien’s pen-and-ink and watercolor cartoons surprise the eye and the mind. Each panel leads one to a visual conclusion changed by the very next illustration, until the last leaves one deeply amused and appreciative of O’Brien’s sense of humor and graphic genius. The reinforced cut-out cover opening onto endpapers that draw upon yet contradict it, the very original iteration of the “Waiter, there’s a fly in my soup” joke, the Three Ring Circus, the cows, pizzas, knights, and much more are packed in a hilarious book certain to be repeatedly enjoyed by readers of all ages, especially older ones.

Alida Allison