Posts tagged with kids-books

Dec 19 2022

The Creepy Case Files of Margo Maloo, Vol. 1, by Drew Weing


If you are shopping for any middle-grade readers this year, I highly recommend the collected volumes of Drew Weing's webtoon The Creepy Case Files of Margo Maloo. It boasts all the joys of an 80s kids movie (distracted parents! loads of adventure! legit brushes with danger!), but—thanks to being a comic—no worries about cheesy special effects or wooden acting...

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Dec 19 2022

Weekly Book Giveaway: The Creepy Case Files of Margo Maloo, Vol. 1, by Drew Weing


Our current Book Giveaway is the first collected volume of Drew Weing's excellent middle-grade webcomic The Creepy Case Files of Margo Maloo. I sent a copy of this to some 10-year old cousins, but first I read it aloud to my preschool-age kid (with some light editing) and my retirement-age mother, both of whom listened with interest, so suffice to say it appeals to a wide variety of ages. A full review will follow shortly...

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Dec 15 2022

Holiday Gift Idea 9: Can You See What I See?


Walter Wick is best known for the I Spy books, which featured text by Jean Marzollo, but has also produced a line of very similar books by himself called Can You See What I See?. If you're celebrating Christmas this year, there's a "Night Before Christmas"-specific book (and several more that would be suitable for other holidays)...

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Dec 14 2022

Holiday Gift Idea 8: Read With Us print


Gifting people artwork can be dicey, but this print from artist Jon Klassen feels like a safe bet. It's cute and creepy (my aesthetic sweet spot!) and should work for a book lover of any age. Plus, even if the recipient hates it, all profits...

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Mar 5 2019

Respectable move, Netflix


According to The Mary Sue, Netflix has ordered a ten-episode adaptation of The Baby-Sitters Club, and put it in the capable hands of Rachel Shukert, the showrunner of G.L.O.W....

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Jun 25 2018

Weekly Book Giveaway: A Barrel of Laughs, a Vale of Tears, by Jules Feiffer


This week's Book Giveaway is Jules Feiffer's 1995 children's book A Barrel of Laughs, a Vale of Tears. You'd be forgiven for thinking this is one of those deeply weird, self-published books (because that's what it looks like), but I promise that is only half true. A full review will follow shortly.

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Jun 14 2018

So pretty~


Publishers Weekly just posted an article about a bunch of booksellers' picks for promising summer books for kids and teens. I'm excited about the final book of the Penderwick Chronicles, The Penderwicks at Last, by Jeanne Birdsall, and...

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Apr 30 2018

The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip, by George Saunders


The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip is a fable written by George Saunders and illustrated by Lane Smith. It's a story about the tiny village of Frip—consisting of three families and a bunch of goats—which is infested with gappers: tiny, orange, goat-loving puffballs. Every night the gappers crawl out of the sea and terrorize Frip's goats with their screams of affection, and every morning the children of Frip spend hours picking them off and tossing them back into the ocean...

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Apr 30 2018

Weekly Book Giveaway: The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip, by George Saunders


This week's Book Giveaway is The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip, a children's fable (...sort of) written in 2000 by George Saunders, and featuring the artwork of the inimitable Lane Smith. Don't let that eyeball-y thing on the middle of the book cover scare you: it's actually a very wholesome story. A full review will follow shortly...

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Nov 1 2017



I know The New York Times is infamous for their out-of-touch "trend" stories, but I'm going to have to take their word on this: according to the paper, Arnold Lobel's classic 'Frog and Toad' stories have become a popular meme. I'm...

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Oct 31 2016

The Secret-Keepers, by Trenton Lee Stewart


Trenton Lee Stewart's The Secret-Keepers features loads of classic children's literature tropes: secret places, magical devices, traps, puzzles. I appreciate what Stewart was going for, but I'm way past the age of his target audience, and this is even more of a kid-specific effort than his previous series...

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Sep 12 2016

Weekly Book Giveaway: The Creeping Shadow, by Jonathan Stroud


This week's Book Giveaway is Jonathan Stroud's The Creeping Shadow, the fourth book in his delightfully creepy Lockwood & Co. series. Trust me, dear readers, this is pretty much the perfect way to kick off the fall season. Our review will follow shortly...

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Jun 23 2016

I do remember how terrible the covers were.


The website Lenny recently posted novelist J. Courtney Sullivan's gushing tribute to Ann M. Martin's Babysitters Club books. As a book-loving woman in my 30s, I'm definitely in the same demographic as Sullivan, but my parents tended to be a little dismissive of "series books"...

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Jun 15 2016

Politeness costs nothing


Today, The Ugly Volvo posted an Open Letter to the Female Hat-Wearing Dog From Go Dog, Go that's pretty much perfection. Even as a small child, I remember being appalled by the hat-rejecting dog's rudeness. Didn't his parents ever teach him about the value of a polite redirect? Those conversations should have gone like this...

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Apr 8 2016

Expanded (but not enough)


The more I think about Common Sense Media's list of 50 Books All Kids Should Read Before They're 12, the more I quibble with it. They chose a lot of great books, sure, but others range from flawed (Ender's Game) to age-inappropriate (The Fellowship of the Ring) to straight-up unworthy (The Bad Beginning: A Series of Unfortunate Events)...

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Dec 29 2015

Warren the 13th and the All-Seeing Eye, by Tania del Rio and Will Staehle


Warren the 13th and the All-Seeing Eye is a tribute to three people: Will Staehle, who created the title character, provided the illustrations, and designed the book, Tania del Rio, who wrote the story, and the unknown Quirk Books employee who agreed to publish such a detailed, gorgeous, labor-intensive work...

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Dec 28 2015

Weekly Book Giveaway: Warren the 13th and the All-Seeing Eye, by Tania del Rio and Will Staehle


This week's Book Giveaway is Warren the 13th and the All-Seeing Eye, written by Tania del Rio and illustrated by Will Staehle. I have no idea what this book is about (our review will follow later today, after I've actually read it), but with such A+++ art design, I'm not sure the story even matters...

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Nov 9 2015

Hilo: The Boy Who Crashed To Earth, by Judd Winick


According to the press materials for Hilo: The Boy Who Crashed to Earth, series creator Judd Winick set out to create a genuinely kid-friendly superhero comic. School librarians rejoice: the end result is perfect for your 9-year-old reluctant readers (even the ones with super-conservative parents)...

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Nov 9 2015

Weekly Book Giveaway: Hilo: The Boy Who Crashed to Earth, by Judd Winick


This week's Book Giveaway is Judd Winick's graphic novel Hilo: The Boy Who Crashed to Earth. Winick set out to write an action comic that's 100% all-ages-appropriate, and I want to let him know that my mother (who works in a small, conservative, private school library; the kind of place where she occasionally has to tell kids that their parents won't allow them to check out the Harry Potter books) is...

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Oct 5 2015

Weekly Book Giveaway: Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: The Sword of Summer, by Rick Riordan


This week's Book Giveaway is the first book in Rick Riordan's new Norse mythology series, Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: the Sword of Summer. (Riordan is not afraid of a cumbersome title, you guys.) I'm so excited about this story—between my well-documented rage over both the Thor movies and the well-written but utterly dour...

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Aug 17 2015

Goodbye Stranger, by Rebecca Stead


This is going to sound a little random, but Rebecca Stead's Goodbye Stranger reminds me of a young-reader take on Jennifer Crusie's wonderful romance novel Bet Me. Both books focus on the various forms of love (familial, platonic, romantic), and both are simultaneously incredibly sweet and unexpectedly profound...

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Aug 17 2015

Weekly Book Giveaway: Goodbye Stranger, by Rebecca Stead


This week's Book Giveaway is Rebecca Stead's Goodbye Stranger. I'm only a few chapters in, but I'm already impressed by Stead's ability to capture the overwhelming emotional messiness of being a middle-schooler...

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Jul 8 2015

So, not Dead House, then?


The theme for this week is apparently "confusion". Yesterday, I didn't understand the Shel Silverstein/World Cup connection, or why anyone might want another Pinocchio film, and today I'm bewildered by the new trailer for the upcoming Goosebumps movie...

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Oct 22 2014

The Secrets of Tree Taylor, by Dandi Daley Mackall


If you, like me, feel a pang of sadness whenever you remember that Wendelin Van Draanen's Sammy Keyes series has really and truly ended, I have good news: Dandi Daley Mackall's coming-of-age novel The Secrets of Tree Taylor hits a lot of the same notes, and hits several of them even better...

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Sep 10 2014

Sammy Keyes and The Kiss Goodbye, by Wendelin Van Draanen


After eighteen installments, Wendelin Van Draanen is ending her award-winning Sammy Keyes series. The final book, Sammy Keyes and The Kiss Goodbye, was released this week, and it's a creative and genuinely sweet send-off...

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Aug 11 2014

Frostborn, by Lou Anders


While I doubt Lou Anders's Thrones & Bones: Frostborn will attract much of an adult audience, it's the kind of novel parents will love to read out loud to their kids. Anders divides his story between Karn, a human boy destined to inherit his father's farm (and the countless mind-numbing responsibilities that come with it), and Thianna, a half-giant, half-human girl who feels like she'll never fit in anywhere...

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Aug 11 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: Frostborn, by Lou Anders


This week we're giving away Lou Anders's debut novel Frostborn, the first installment of his "Thrones and Bones" series. I'm only a few chapters in, but so far it seems like a brisk, enjoyable read, carefully constructed to appeal to young readers of both genders. It definitely feels like a kid-specific story (unlike, say, Jonathan Stroud's Heroes of the Valley), but budding fantasy fans...

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Jul 28 2014

The Glass Sentence, by S.E. Grove


Several people have compared S. E. Grove's debut novel The Glass Sentence to Philip Pullman's The Golden Compass. I understand the comparison, but, uh, like hell: Grove is a promising writer, but she doesn't have Pullman's skill (at least, not yet). Instead, I was put in mind of a child-friendly version of Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell—a truly impressive effort, but...

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Jul 23 2014

Harriet the Spy: 50th Anniversary Edition, by Louise Fitzhugh


Before I get started, I should make something clear: this is a review of a specific edition of Louise Fitzhugh's Harriet the Spy, not the book itself. I am constitutionally incapable of saying anything about the actual story beyond “If you haven't read it, seriously, drop everything and do so IMMEDIATELY...

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Jun 24 2014



Roald Dahl's official website recently posted an announcement about the upcoming film adaptation of Dahl's 1982 novel The BFG. According to the site, the movie will be co-produced by DreamWorks and Disney, directed by Steven Spielberg, and released on July 1, 2016...

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