Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A Day With No Crayons by: Elizabeth Rusch

A Day With No Crayons
by: Elizabeth Rusch
Illustrated by: Chad Camerson

Brilliant! With gorgeous pictures and a delightfully clever text, A Day With No Crayons is an excellent book, to grace any child's library.
Young Liza gets her crayons taken away, after using a blank bedroom wall as her latest canvas. Crayons are her life and what will Liza do an entire day without them?! After starting out in a black and white world, Liza soon discovers the vivid color surrounding her everywhere she goes. It doesn't take long for her imagination to kick in and she begins to create masterpieces, with all that nature has to offer. Just imagine - flower petal birds, drawings made with an old red brick along a sidewalk, a tree drawn with a stick covered in mud and leaves squished in the mud, the color of meadow green, sea green and forest green. Adults, as well as children will delight in the colorful and enormously fun story!
ages 4-8
*32 pgs*

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Werewolf of Fever Swamp by R.L. Stine

The Werewolf of Fever Swamp
Goosebumps Series
by: R.L. Stine

The Werewolf of Fever Swamp is my daughter's (as well as my) first time reading any of the books in the Goosebumps series. She just turned 6, last month, and the only chapter type books we have read, thus far, are the Magic Tree House books. During our last trip to Barnes and Noble, I told her that she could pick out a few books to kick off some great summer reading. This was one that she picked out - much to my excitement, lol.

Grady and his family have recently moved to Fever Swamp. His parents are both Scientists and his Dad has decided to do some research on South American swamp deer, thus the reason for moving to Florida - and the swamp.
It's not long before hair-raising howling, echoes through the area, bringing not only chills, but questions of a possible....werewolf?! Does the dog that suddenly shows up at Grady's house have anything to do with the horrible things happening? Or perhaps it is the swamp hermit, who has a way of showing up at odd times, when the kids are walking through the swamp area. Whatever the cause, the one thing that is without a doubt - when the moon is full, the only safe place to be is behind locked doors.

With a hint of scariness and mystery, The Werewolf of Fever Swamp is a great first exposure to the suspense horror genre for children. The author has a wonderful way of ending each chapter with suspense, leaving the reader wanting to continue until the very last page. My daughter and I read this in a very short time and each time we had to stop, she would give a groan of protest. At the end of this book, there was a teaser (first chapter) of another Goosebumps book titled It Came From Beneath the Sink. We read this and needless to say, will be making it a purchase in the very near future!
* ages 9 - 12*
**123 pgs**

Dog Den Mystery by Darrel & Sally Odgers

Dog Den Mystery
Jack Russell: Dog Detective bk 1
By: Darrel & Sally Odgers

In Dog Den Mystery, we meet Jack Russell who, along with his owner Sarge, is making a move to Doggeroo. It is not long before trouble begins, in the form of a missing treasured squeaker bone and blanket. Jack Russell realizes that he is the only one that can solve the crime and regain is stolen goods.
Though simplistic, this is a fun book and appears as though it will be a fun series. With the point of view being from Jack Russell, it is easy for the reader to view the story head on. Though I cannot say that I enjoyed the story overly well, by 6 year old daughter loved it and that is the entire purpose. Overall, it was cute and a quick read, with a few simplistic pencil drawings throughout. We will be adding the second book of the series to our library fairly soon.
ages 4-8
**76 pgs**

Monday, June 9, 2008

Gallop!: A Scanimation Picture Book by Rufus Seder

Gallop!: A Scanimation Picture Book

by Rufus Seder

What a delightful, magical and wonderful book. Each page contains a different animal, brought to life simply by turning page. The text is simple, as not to overpower or take away from main focus of the pictures. This 12 page book is sure to mesmorize children for a great block of time. I must add, however, that it will also mesmorize adults just as well. I highly recommend this one - it is truly unique and a can't go wrong addition to anyone library.

*ages 4- 8 (though I recommend for any age)

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Dinosaurs Before Dark by Mary Pope Osborne

Dinosaurs Before Dark
Magic Tree House Bk 1
by Mary Pope Osborne

This is the first in the "Magic Tree House" series. I read it to my 5 year old daughter and we both loved it. It took us only 2 nights to read and we are very anxious to read the second in the series.
In this installment, brother and sister, Jack and Annie, come across a tree house high in a very tall tree. Annie enthusiastically begins climbing the long rope later and Jack follows to be sure she ends up safe. Once they reach the inside of the tree house, they find it filled with books. One book even contains a picture of the place they are at right now. After glancing around, Jack picks up a book of dinosaurs and looks at a picture of a Pteranodon - wishing that he could see one for real. Suddenly, their surroundings have changed and they find themselves at a place 65 million years ago. Jack gets his wish - seeing not only a Pteranodon, but other dinosaurs up close and personal!
Now, the question remains - how can Jack and Annie find their way home? Can they do it before becoming lunch for a hungry meat eating dinosaur?
The characters are delightful - Jack the cautious one and his younger sister, Annie, the adventurous one. The idea of looking into a book and wishing to be in that place and finding yourself there is such a fun one! I can't wait to continue with this series!
ages 4 - 8
*68 pages*

The One in the Middle is the Green Kangaroo By Judy Blume

The One in the Middle is the Green Kangaroo
by Judy Blume

I grew up on and always had a love for Judy Blume books, as I know many have. I don't ever remember reading this one, however, so I thought it would be a fun one to pick. The basic storyline is about little Freddy Dissel. He is the middle child with one older brother and one younger sister. It seems that he cannot find a place to fit in - he is either too young or too old. Until one day, his school is casting parts for an upcoming play and Freddy ends up with a very special part. This is Freddy's chance to shine and show everyone that he is more than just "in the middle".
This was a cute story, I thought. The illustrations are in black and white and I found it particularly intriguing that Freddy is always shaded in a bit more - making him stand out in the pictures. Perhaps this is the author's way to bring forth the fact that Freddy really does stand out and is more than just the middle sibling. I would definitely recommend this to the younger reader - it has both humor and a bit of a lesson to learn.
ages 4 - 8
*39 pages*

Nate the Great by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat

Nate the Great
by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat
We've had this one sitting around the house for a bit and one day, last wkend, while I was sitting on the couch, Nate the Great just happened to be on the table next to me, so I decided to pick it up and give it a whirl. What an adorably cute and fun book! This is the first in this Children's series and we are introduced to a young fellow named - you guessed it - Nate. He has a penchent for pancakes - any time and any where, lol. He is quite the character and envisions himself a master detective. In this first book, young Nate solves the mystery of a little girl's missing picture, that she painted of her dog - as well as another little girl's missing kitty.
While reading this, I was given the gift of many chuckles and think that this is a perfect book to share with any child who wants a fun read. We have another of the Nate the Great books - this one Nate the Great Talks Turkey and am looking forward to reading that one as well.
Tons of humor and tons of fun!
*62 pgs*

The Magic In You by Sally H. Taylor

The Magic In You
by Sally H. Taylor

First off, thanks so much to J.Kaye over at J.Kaye's Book Blog for this delightful book, which I was lucky enough to win in her weekly book raffle!
The first time that I read this, I read it to myself - meaning not to my kids, but just to myself. The concept sounded like a great one and I wanted to check it out right away. I have to say, with all my heart, I truly believe that this book should be one that graces everyone's bookshelves! If you have children, Grandchildren, nieces, nephews or even if you don't have children, The Magic In You is a truly uplifting book, for everyone of any age.
In this day and age of low self-esteem, peer pressure to fit in, and just all of life's pressures, it is reassuring to know that there is something out there that can speak to everyone and let them know that it is ok to be yourself - no matter what.
The Magic In You focuses on a little wildflower who has a bit of a disconcerting start, next to the side of a road, and all alone. She has splendid yellow petals that shimmer in the sun, yet all of the other flowers make her feel alone and like an outcast. All of this becomes worse when a Billy goat happens along and eats one of her petals, leaving her a damaged flower. Now, not only is she alone, but she is being laughed at because she is different. After another harrowing incident with a rude driver, who dashes by, running over the wildflower's leaf, life seems only to be getting crueler. Then one night, as the wildflower is weeping, a beautiful fairy happens by, asking what is wrong. The wildflower asks the fairy to make her beautiful, so that she will fit in and be liked by the others. However, the fairy refuses and instead tells the little flower that she is the one who can make herself beautiful and happy, anytime that she wants, she does not need the fairy's magic for that. At first, the little flower does not understand this, but after a bit of time passes and she learns the true gift of kindness, she discovers that real and true beauty comes from within.
You always hear that inner beauty is the most powerful and precious. No matter how true this is, it is easily forgotten in today's society. This is the perfect book to reinterate such an important lesson and serves as a wonderful reminder and pick me up. To me, it almost seems as though The Magic In You combines all of the many self-help books out there and sums them all up within a few powerfully packed pages.
Not only is the story memorable and beautiful, but the pictures are gorgous works of art. I highly recommend this to everyone - you will not be disappointed!
**40 pgs**


Welcome to A Childhood of Dreams. This is the place to read about and hopefully find some great new children's books. At my other blog, Cafe of Dreams, I blog occasionally about children's books, that I come across that really stand out, then decided why not just start a blog dedicated to just that - Children's books and perhaps YA books as well. Be warned - my children's libraries are almost as extensive as my own, so there will be several books that I will list and review. Now, just to find the time to get them all down, lol!
I am very excited about this new little adventure and hope that some fun can be had by everyone!