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Thursday Book Review: “Q&A a Day for Moms,” “The Only Child,” “All I Want for Christmas” and “Crenshaw”

November 26th, 2015

This sweet little journal, “Q&A a Day for Moms,” showed up for review. (Potter Style, 2015, $16.95, unpaged.) It’s a five-year journal, with “365 questions and 1,825 answers.” Well, good. Ex: January 11: When was the last time you were at the library?

I like it already. Great gift for any of the moms in your life. Next?

Mariah Carey, an author! Exciting :) “All I Want for Christmas is You” is a lovely book, illustrated by Colleen Madden and based on Carey’s hit song. (Disclaimer: i love that song because i love “Love Actually,” yes I do.) (Doubleday, 2015, unpaged, $17.99.) The little sweetie who stars in this book doesn’t want a boyfriend, she wants a puppy. Ah, who can blame her? (I think they made this book for Wacky Girl.)

“Crenshaw,” by Katherine Applegate (“The One and Only Ivan” and the Animorph series, among others) is one of a kind, and that’s too bad. We need lots more children’s books like this one. Jackson, a 5th grader, is worried that his family is heading toward homelessness again. He’s protective of his little sister, he’s about as anxious as a kid can be, and even though he’ll tell you he’s “not an imaginary friend kind of guy,” here comes a big cat named Crenshaw, who no one else can see.

This book thoughtfully and concisely deals with the topics of poverty and homelessness. I hope it finds its way onto library shelves, and into kids’ hands, around the world.

“The Only Child,” by Guojing, is in the same vein. (Schwartz & Wade Books, 2015, $19.99, 112 pages.) Guojing, like many, grew up as the only child in her Chinese family. From the intro:

“The story in this book is fantasy, but it reflects the very real feelings of isolation and loneliness I experienced growing up in the 1980s under the one-child policy in China.”

The book is wordless, but with illustrations this lush, no words are needed.