Visit Your Library!


No, this is not the title of a book I am reviewing. I am simply encouraging you to visit your local public library and take out your favourite books at least once a year. You know those discard sales that libraries hold once a year? It’s where they get rid of books that haven’t been taken out in the past year, so think of your favourite authors and audio books, quickly scan this blog again, and go sign out a pile of books! (You can bring them all back next week ;).

Clare Beaton’s Mother Goose Remembers


with singalong CD

You may or may not be a huge fan of nursery rhymes, but this collection of several dozen well-known rhymes is well-done. The book is old-fashioned in appearance, with the illustrations done in felt and embroidery, but the CD is the gem in the package. I think it was the mixture of old-fashioned instruments played in a simple, sprightly manner, that drew me and the kids in–harmonica, recorder, fiddle, and did I hear an accordian? Well worth a listen 🙂

Ages 1-8

Available from public libraries


Reviewer: Doreen

The Money Tree


by Sarah Stewart

Illustrations by David Small


This is a neat picturebook where both the illustrations and text are needed to tell the whole story. The author uses a few well-chosen sentences to tell what happens each month to the tree in Mrs. McGillicuddy’s yard (and all the people that show up looking for money), and the artistic watercolours that dress Miss McGillicuddy in another era bring to mind a cottage in the English countryside with its open hearth, quilting, gardening, and kite-flying. No moral is spelled out for the readers—kids will have to talk about the contrast they see in the pictures between Miss McGillicuddy’s simple life and those hungry for money!


Ages 5-12



Available from public libraries


Reviewer: Doreen


One Saturday Evening


By Barbara Baker

This was a fun book to read, for me and the kids! If you have a bunch of little cubs—make that kids—in the house, you will definitely relate to the bear family on Saturday evening. Saturday night baths anyone? Someone who doesn’t want to be in his crib? Mama angling to get some time in for a bubblebath of her own? And Mama and Papa’s gentle jesting with each other all combine to make it a real, but warm story. A must-read 🙂

Ages 1-6



Reviewer: Doreen

Apparently there are two more books in the series:

One Saturday Morning/One Saturday Afternoon

William of Orange: The Silent Prince  


by W.G. Van de Hulst

Here we have the story of a Protestant hero told by a master story-teller. Sure to capture older children’s interest.

Ages 7 and up.

Available from Inheritance Publications, and Reformed Book Services


Reviewer: Doreen

What in the World?


By Nancy Raines Day

This doesn’t come across as a “math” book, but it is (kind of like disguised vegetables :). A lot of “math” picturebooks have sort of ugly pictures, very flat and uninspiring (what impression does that give you of math?!). But the pictures in here are really nice as the author draws on nature to come up with sets. We had fun on our first read-through, trying to guess what in nature the author would come up with for each number—most often we were wrong!



Picturebook, Nonfiction

Ages 1-10 (that is: young counters to older guessers)

Available from: public libraries

Reviewer: Doreen


In Flanders Fields


by Norman Jorgensen

This beautifully-illustrated picturebook provides a rather unsoftened look at war. Intended for older kids, it has somewhat graphic pictures in ink (some dead bodies, a skull, rats) which give a look at real life in trenches. The story follows an act of mercy and a brief glimpse of hope is portrayed by the bright bird and the Christmas carol with which it ends.



Ages 8 and up

Available from public libraries


Reviewer: Doreen



The Further Tale of Peter Rabbit


By Emma Thomspon

The audio CD that comes with this book, is what makes it, in my opinion. The short story of how Peter ends up in Scotland, participating in the Scottish Games, is well-read by the author and has wonderful Scottish background music! It is a simple, fun tale written in the style of Beatrix Potter herself, and illustrations are very similar to the original.





Ages 4-7

Available from: Public Libraries

Reviewer: Doreen


No Two Alike


By Keith Baker

Here is a fun winter book, with attractive illustrations on the topic of uniqueness. This picture book simply goes through different things in nature that have “no two alike,” but the two little red birds that serve as our guide bring humour to each page, as their antics unfold. It is a quick fun read and recommended for how it displays the marvels of creation.


Ages 2-7



Available from public libraries

Reviewer: Doreen


The Wind in the Willows


By Kenneth Grahame

These books are well-loved for their characters and setting. Grahame does a marvelous job of drawing you into Mole’s cozy home complete with simple comforts and carolers at Christmas; Ratty’s water world of “messing around in boats” and poetry-writing by firelight; wise old Badger who lives deep in the dark, forbidding woods; and, of course, Toad. Mr. Toad, with all his pomp and pride and falls. Mr. Toad who never learns and will always go on being the foolish toad that he is–as his friends pick up the pieces.


What more could you want? The difficulties, if they are such to you, is that the sentences are not simple and the language is difficult—definitely a vocabulary-stretcher!—making it a bit of a challenge to read aloud….that is where an audio version would be great. Another thing is the white buck that appears, seeming to protect the young lost otter, and worthy of the others’ reverence. This seems to jive with a Catholic understanding of saints and worship, but I could be mistaken.


For its keen insight into characters and the fleshing out of relationships; for its dry-your-eyes humour, triumph of good over evil, and folly reaping its own rewards: The Wind in the Willows is Recommended!


Chapter book, fiction

Ages 7 and up

Available from: public libraries

Reviewer: Doreen