Saturday, December 8, 2018

I’m really suspecting there is no CM Surrissi. It’s Quinnie Boyd who is writing these mysteries. After all ,how else could the 13 year-old voice be so true? Quinnie Boyd in A Side of Sabotage has grown up, now dealing with friends who both want to be her special friend, the upcoming departure of her first boyfriend and now a sabotage at her Dad’s restaurant. That’s a lot for her to deal with, but she does, in the same funny, insightful way I expect from her. By the way, I guessed wrong when I figured out who was sabotaging Gusty’s. I was tickled to see, when I looked back, that the answer was there all along. That’s what good mysteries do, don’t they?

Sunday, September 16, 2018

When I worked as a children’s bookseller, I steered kids away from fantasy for a simple reason: I thought I didn’t like the genre. Then came His Dark Materials by Phillip Pullman. The Golden Compass, the first in the series, blew me into fantasy land. Children are disappearing in 12 year old Lyra’s world. Scrappy Lyra, decides to solve the mystery and rescue them. That’s enough of the plot to start.But what I can tell you is thatWhat drew me into to this parallel universe were the daemons. In this world, souls take the form of animal companions. Besides being help mates, they reflect one’s character. The diabolical Mrs. Coulter, Lyra’s mother, has a vicious golden monkey. Lyra’s on again off again father has a snow leopard for his daemon.If you want to go somewhere else, this is the series for you. I’d recommend it for good upper elementary readers and above and of course, us. 

Saturday, May 26, 2018


Mr. Puffball: Escape from Castaway Island is full of magic. It’s not just the slyly adorable artwork or the tongue in cheek narrative. The magic is in the details. Kids will read every word, not wanting to miss details like adding a bucket of butter for cake batter or the chattering of dolphins, written as “cute dolphin noises.” As a reformed cat-hater, (yes, Mr. Puffball brought me to the other side), I was sad to see the story end. Maybe cutie pie Pickles will carry on the adventure. I hope so!

For Upper Elementary and up!

Monday, April 2, 2018


The Rabbit Listened
Take a child’s ordinary catastrophe…
add a murder of crows…
an inquisitive chicken…
and a bunch of other animals…
(You’ll recognize them grownups in disguise.)
You’ll have a story about disappointment
and what it really takes to mend a heart.
#how to heal a broken heart


Wednesday, February 21, 2018

For the quiet and shy







The Blue Songbird
Vern Kousky
The quiet child looks around and sees but says little. 
Perhaps it’s because everyone else’s talents are louder, more easily noticed.
This book is for anyone who has felt shy..




A Poem that Heals a Fish
by Jean-Pierre Simeon
Il. by Oliver Tallec




Arthur’s goldfish looks like he’s going to die of boredom (according to Arthur, that is).
“Give him a poem,” says Mom.
Arthur goes off in search of one. A baker says it’s hot like fresh bread, his canary says it’s when words beat their wings. It’s odd, a poem means something different to everyone. 

My favorite comes from the goldfish. His poem is…silence.
On a Magical Do- Nothing Day
Beatrice Alemagna





Finally a story about the dreaded iPhone! 
But don’t worry, it gets what it deserves. 
The author knows an iPhone might hide what is really interesting.

After it meets its untimely end that our heroine discovers the magic of a rainy backyard.