Sarah’s Children’s Book Reviews

Sarah’s Book Review by Ms. Katy 4/5/21

The Lights & Types of Ships at Night by Dave Eggers, art by Annie Dills

Can you imagine anything more beautiful than a ship at night? Try imagining all the different kinds! Dave Eggers dazzles the reader as he introduces us to the many kinds of ships and what makes them so special. He uses captivating prose and humor to engage the reader while also delighting the reader in beautiful illustrations by Annie Dills. Dills captures the magic of color and water and night with feeling. Find this book and delight in it with others, today and tonight! 


Sarah’s Book Review 3/29/21

How to Find a Bird by Jennifer Ward
I’m guessing I’m not the only one who has clued in more to local birds over the past year so this book, with its beautifully painted illustrations, would be a welcome read for anyone. The text is pretty minimal but engaging and would be fun to read aloud. I love the main point of this book: the birds are there, all around us, but we have to become more aware with all of our senses to find them. A worthwhile effort, especially in a time that calls for stopping and appreciating what’s wonderful in our lives. Bonus! It includes information on birdwatching and citizen scientist opportunities.



Sarah’s Book Review 3/22/21

Every Little Letter by Deborah Underwood
What a sweet book! In a world where each letter in the alphabet is separated by walls, one lowercase h dares to peek through a crack and meets a lowercase i. They immediately hit it off but the uppercase letters are having none of it. The lowercase letters enlist others and they all persevere and eventually win over the stubborn uppercases and, suddenly, everyone’s world becomes more loving and wonderful. This is a simple idea done well, with adorable illustrations and a lovely message.




Sarah’s Book Review 3/15/21

Glow in the Dark: Nature’s Light Spectacular: 12 Stunning Scenes of Earth’s Greatest Shows by Katy Flint
Any science book that inspires you to immediately do further research is a good one. Nature’s Light Spectacular led to a Google search of all sorts of natural light phenomena I had never heard of. Our planet is so amazing. Light pillars?! Yosemite Firefall?! WOW. The book illustrates and describes twelve different natural phenomena. The science is easy to grasp and the drawings are beautiful. A good one for any age group. The only reason I’m not giving this five stars is I think there was a missed opportunity for an appendix with photographs. The illustrations are great but the actual images are awe-inspiring.





Sarah’s Book Review 3/12/21

Lift by Minh Le
The illustrations by Dan Santat in this picture book are so spectacular it would be easy to overlook how perceptive and nice the story is. Iris is a young child who lives to press the elevator button in her family’s apartment building; it’s her job and she takes it very seriously. One day her world comes crashing down when her parents let her toddler sibling press the button before Iris can. (They seem nice enough but, wow, was it ever an act of horrible betrayal.) When it happens a second time Iris loses it and presses so many buttons the elevator breaks which has a silver lining because she retrieves the button from the trash and tapes it to her wall and then she gets to go to a space station. This book is excellent in how it matter-of-factly describes Iris’s pain and reaction and ultimate redemption. And it is one of those rare reads in which both kids and parents most likely will identify with the character’s mistakes and then reflect with compassion on both the people in the book and themselves.




Sarah’s Book Review 2/10/21

Fauja Singh Keeps Going by Simran Jeet Singh

Oh my goodness, I loved this book. It’s the inspirational story of Fauja Singh, a 108 year old marathon runner who didn’t start running until he was 81. Singh was born with a weakness in his legs that led people to believe he would be unable to walk. With daily encouragement from his mother he worked at it until, at five years old, he was able to. He grew up to have a farm and family and was happy. After his children were grown his wife passed away and he moved in with family in England but was lonely and depressed there as he didn’t speak English. After seeing people running a race on TV he decided he needed to run and he hasn’t stopped. This man is amazing! He found a coach and ran his first marathon at 89! A great book about running, determination, and even how difficult a move to a new country can be, this book is so uplifting it would be a great addition to any upper elementary school classroom.



Sarah’s Book Review 2/5/21

Zatanna and the House of Secrets by Matthew Cody

This is a really fun graphic novel for fans of magic, monsters, folklore and rabbits.  Zatanna is a young teenager who lives with her widowed father. She can sense something is up with her house and family but can’t quite sort it out until she’s suddenly thrust into the world of magic. The book is gripping and fast-paced and manages to incorporate adventure, grief, friend drama, and folklore into 146 pages without any of it feeling forced. It’s also beautifully illustrated. I’m hoping this will become a series as I truly enjoyed it and can’t wait to recommend it to our patrons.






Sarah’s Book Review 1/26/2021

When You Look Up by Decur

I just read this and I can’t even wait to read it to my kids. What a strange and wonderful book. This graphic novel uses drawings and cut paper illustrations to tell the story of Lorenzo, a young boy attached to his phone who is adapting to a new house after moving with his mother. He finds a notebook in an old writing desk and becomes more and more intrigued with the stories in it and their author. The stories are vague but disquieting and Lorenzo sets out to discover more about what had happened to the notebook’s owner. The illustrations are striking and surreal and even border on frightening at times and the book continually surprises the reader. Aside from the notebook, When You Look Up gently suggests that staring at a screen all day can cause missed connections and experiences but does it in such a unique way maybe it will be taken to heart. I would recommend this for any age as there is so much happening narratively and visually it will have something to offer every reader.



Sarah’s Book Review 1/11/2021

Thanks to this book I just learned what an AU, or astronomical unit is; that it sometimes rains diamonds on Jupiter; and that in 1991 America launched a jellyfish into space. I love infographics and I think they’re a terrific tool for young visual learners. Solar System: By the Numbers is concise and interesting and the graphic design works well with the facts. To keep it sparse, words highlighted in blue are defined later in a glossary.  A perfect book for anyone interested in facts about our solar system.


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