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Saturday Book Review: Books for the Littles

August 5th, 2023

my tulip

(Photo by Rawley/use with permission only, please.)

What’s on the dining room table today? Hmm… Good books!

“Girls on Wheels,” written by Srividhya Venkat, illustrated by Kate Wadsworth (Kokila/Penguin Young Readers, 2023, $18.99). Three fictional skater girls, Anila, Sana and Damini, take part in the modern day female skateboarding revolution in India. Yes! Empowering, cool picture book for ages 4 and older.

“You Can(‘t) Be A Pterodactyl!” by James Breakwell, with illustrations by Sophie Corrigan (Nancy Paulsen Books/Penguin Random House, 2023, $18.99). Super sweet book about a little guy who is living his best life — and best dreams — in spite of what anyone has to say about it.

“Sometimes I Am Furious,” written by Timothy Knapman, with art by Joe Berger (Penguin Workshop, 2023, ages 3 and up, $18.99). “Small girl… BIG feelings!” I can relate.

“If You Get Lost,” by Nikki Loftin, with illustrations by Deborah Marcero (Anne Schwartz Books, 2023, $18.99). A sweet girl loses her stuffed bunny. Will he find his way back to her? His forest friends will help. Lovely book.

“The World’s Best Class Plant,” by Liz Garton Scanlon and Audrey Vernick, with pictures by Lynnor Bontigao (G.P. Putnam’s Sons/Penguin Random House, 2023, $18.99). Scanlon and Vernick collaborated on a very funny book, “Bob, Not Bob!” and Bontigao wrote (and illustrated) “Sari-Sari Summers,” an ode to the Philippines, and grandmothers.

In this new creation, we are introduced to Arlo, his teacher, Mr. Boring (not his real name) and the students of Room 109. They do not have a class cockatiel, or chinchilla. They have a… plant. And it just kinda sits there. They name him Jerry, because he looks like a Jerry. And then… things change. Sweet book, great info about plants, with detailed, superb illustrations. This is a cool story about what happens when the unexpected happens.

“Testing the Ice: A True Story About Jackie Robinson,” was written by the daughter of the famous and talented baseball player. (Scholastic, 2009, all ages.) Sharon Robinson’s story about her brothers, herself, her dad and the neighbor children is full of smiles. Kadir Nelson’s art, brilliant as always, was made with oil, watercolor and pencil. Two thumbs up.

Ahhh, I like when people write what they know. Before she illustrated the popular “Fancy Nancy” books, Robin Preiss Glasser was a dancer, a ballerina, a beautiful and gifted ballerina, in fact, with the Pennsylvania Ballet. She is also an alumna with the American Ballet Theatre’s scholarship program. Her sister, Jacqueline Preiss Weitzman, is also a big deal. She wrote “You Can’t Take a Balloon into the Metropolitan Museum,” a very awesome kids’ book, and its sequels. She created them with her sister! And I bet they didn’t even have one fight while they worked together on them.

Their newest book, presented by American Ballet Theatre, is a delightful picture book called “Gloria’s Promise: A Ballet Dancer’s First Step” (Random House Studio, 2023, $18.99).

All for now, friends! Talk soon. Keep reading and enjoy your August.


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