Review: Yours Sincerely, Giraffe

Giraffe is bored and decides to write a letter to anyone who Pelican can find over the African horizon. In fact, Pelican is pretty bored too and can use some excitement. Giraffe’s letter makes its way into the hands (or flippers) of Penguin who immediately writes back. Commence an endearing pen pal relationship as the two animals attempt to better understand each other and grow a new and comical friendship. Geared toward high-level first grade readers to lower-level fourth grade readers, Yours Sincerely, Giraffe is a sweet and playful story about friendship, connection, differences, and learning. I laughed out loud as Penguin tries to find Whale’s neck and as they attempt to look like each other. Littler kids can enjoy the human-like and relatable qualities of the animals. Takabatake’s illustrations are simple and clean, helping to support Iwasa’s endearing text. Unfortunately I empathized with Giraffe, finding myself slightly bored. While…

View Post
Share:

Book Review: Star-Crossed By Barbara Dee

Eighth-grader Mattie is struggling through the school year. Unlike her friends, Tessa and Lucy, she is not invited to Willow’s party. In an act of rebellion, Mattie disguises herself as Darth Vader and decides to attend anyway. Even though the night ends in disaster, Mattie begins to realize that she enjoyed her time with a girl, Gemma, more so than if she was with a boy. Mattie begins to spend more time with Gemma as they are cast together in the school’s production of Romeo and Juliet. Although Mattie initially tries out for the part of Paris, she eventually finds herself as Romeo with Gemma as Juliet. The play as well as the upcoming Valentine’s Day dance forces Mattie to reconcile the unease she feels about her sexuality and decide whether or not to come out to her friends and Gemma. With heartfelt, realistic characters, Star-Crossed is a well-written and…

View Post
Share:

Review: Liam Takes A Stand

Lister and Lester are identical twins, who like typical brothers, copy and compete with each other. Their younger brother, Liam, is of course left out and just wants to play. The first day of summer, Lister and Lester open rivaling lemonade stands and spend all of their earnings on gimmicks to appeal to their respective customers. The twins eventually go into debt, even owing their parents money. Although little, Liam is an opportunist and opens a cost efficient, specialty apple juice stand. In exchange for playtime, Liam hires his twin brothers to come work for him to help pay off their debt. Opening a business is tough. Suitable for kindergarten to third graders, Liam Takes A Stand is a picture book about family and hard work mixed in with a little youth entrepreneurship. Although I am not a huge fan of the disproportionate body parts—big ears, overly skinny legs, too…

View Post
Share: