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Beyond the Tree House and the Fairies: The Wide World of Chapter Books

You’ve read each and every Magic Tree House in the series (49 and counting!). You never leave the library without a stack of sparkly Rainbow Magic Fairy books. And your patience for Captain Underpants is wearing thin. Sometimes it seems like only a few chapter book series dominate the green dot section at our library. [...]

October 2nd, 2013
frog and toad

Frog and Toad Together 1971

Frog and Toad Together by Arnold Lobel When I was six years old, my family and I flew from Buffalo, New York to Pasadena for a visit with my grandparents. All these years later, I still remember the glossy, fantastically large palm fronds outside the apartment building; a square pool glittering under the blank California [...]

July 6th, 2011
amanda pig school girl cover

Amanda Pig, School Girl 1997

Amanda Pig, School Girl by Jean Van Leeuwen; illustrated by Ann Schweninger Books about children starting school usually have a common trajectory: before the big day, the kid worries about some specific aspect(s) such as missing parents, not making friends, not knowing where the bathroom is etc. They start school, maybe have a wobbly few [...]

June 29th, 2011
The Cat in the Hat Comes Back

The Cat in the Hat Comes Back (1958)

As any moviegoer can tell you, a sequel is hardly ever as good as the original and the same often goes for books. So why did I choose to write about The Cat in the Hat Comes Back over the much more popular The Cat in the Hat? Well, quite simply, because the cat came [...]

February 21st, 2011