Children's Picture Books Reviews

Book Review by Ann Jonas, Tradebook Buyer - CSB/SJU Bookstores
this review was published in the St. Cloud Visitor

My Sister, Alicia May by Nancy Tupper Ling, illustrated by Shennen Bersani, published by Pleasant St. Press, 2009

Based on the lives of two real sisters, My Sister, Alicia May is written from the point of view of Rachel, whose younger sister Alicia May has Down syndrome. Rachel lovingly expresses the joys and challenges of growing up with a special needs sibling. The book is written with humor and compassion, and has authentic descriptions of all its characters. The illustrations are beautiful and realistic. The target age group listed for My Sister, Alicia May is age 5-7, but it is an educational and delightful book for readers of all ages. 


Miss Little’s Gift by Douglas Wood, illustrated by Jim Burke, published by Candlewick Press, 2009

Local author Douglas Wood’s newest book is the true story of Wood, who, as a second grader, struggles with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and learning to read. His teacher, Miss Little, keeps Douglas after school—to his dismay—to practice reading. Miss Little takes the time and effort to help him to not only learn to read, but to love books. She finds books that Douglas is interested in reading and patiently helps him to learn how much fun reading can be. The book is beautifully illustrated and is a wonderful tribute to a teacher who gave extra time and care to an appreciative student.


Llama Llama Misses Mama by Anna Dewdney, published by Penguin, 2009

This colorful picture book is the third “llama” book by author and illustrator Anna Dewdney, following Llama Llama Red Pajama and Llama Llama Mad at Mama. This tale is about Llama Llama’s first day of school. Llama Llama has a hard time getting through the day—by lunch time he misses his mother and feels alone. As the day goes on his teacher helps him to find new friends and enjoy the day. The infectious rhyming in the book makes it a fun read-aloud book for children entering nursery school through first grade.