Book Review #303: Miss Brooks’ Story Nook #bookaday

Miss Brooks' Story Nook coverby Barbara Bottner; illustrated by Michael Emberley
Picture book
Interest level: K-3
Reading level: 2.4
4 out of 5 stars


This second Miss Brooks book is a very delightful story about the writing process. I think a read-aloud of this story would be a fun way to kick off a year of creative writing! When the lights go off during Miss Brooks’ story time, she has the children make up their own stories. She introduces many writing conventions and shows the characters going through the process from creating a setting and characters, to adding and editing plot. The characters in this story of quirky and fun. Overall a good story!

Book Review #302: Hi, Koo! #bookaday

Hi, Koo! coverby Jon J Muth
Picture book/poetry
Interest level: K-3
Reading level: 3.0
4 out of 5 stars


This beautiful watercolor picture book featuring a delightful panda would make an excellent companion to a poetry lesson. The haiku takes us through the sensations and special moments of the four seasons. The author’s note in the beginning of the book is very educational and interesting. Jon Muth talks about the origins of haiku and common misunderstandings about the form of the poetry. He also shares his thoughts, “For me, haiku is like an instant captured in words — using sensory images. At its best, a haiku embodies a moment of emotion that reminds us that our own human nature is not separate from all of nature.”

Book Review #301: So Few of Me #bookaday

So Few of Me coverby Peter H. Reynolds
Picture book
Interest level: K-3
Reading level: 1.7
5 out of 5 stars


How appropriate to read this book on Christmas eve! SO FEW OF ME features a young boy who was extremely busy. He tries to make a list to help him get organized, but there always seems more to do. So he makes the offhand comment that it would be nice if there were two of him, and suddenly a second him appears at the door. The message in the story is that we will always make more busy, no matter how much help we have, but we need to remember to stop and dream as well. I love when Leo makes this discovery, “What if I did less — but did my BEST? Then one Leo is all I need. Just me, just one…with time to dream.”

The timing of this book was perfect to remind me to enjoy life, not just exist. Peter Reynolds is one of the most inspiring authors out there, and this book is a gem!

Book Review #298: The Scrambled States of America #bookaday

The Scrambled States of America coverby Laurie Keller
Picture book
Interest level: 3-6
Reading level: 5.5
4 out of 5 stars


This is a fun introduction to the geography and culture of the United States. Kansas is bored always being stuck in the middle of the USA, so along with his best friend Nebraska, they convince all the states to switch places and have different experiences. Very fun and exciting at first, the states start to miss their homes. This is a very creative story that includes a nice lesson about enjoying new experiences, but also longing for home sweet home, and it includes a social studies lesson! Enjoyable.

Book Review #297: Draw! #bookaday

Draw! coverby Raúl Colón
Wordless picture book
Interest level: K-3
Reading level: everyone
4 out of 5 stars


I absolutely love wordless picture books! They allow all readers, no matter reading level or age, to create their own story as they read the pictures. This amazing book focuses on a young boy who loves to draw and has a passion for African animals. The images tell the story about the beauty of books and imagination.

The cover in itself is an amazing work of art and beckons the reader into the pages with the directive, “Draw!” This is a very creative book which can be read over and over, with new details being discovered each time.

Book Review #296: The Lion and the Mouse #bookaday

The Lion and The Mouse coverby Jerry Pinkney
Wordless picture book
Caldecott Medal winner, 2010
Interest level: K-3
Reading level: everyone
5 out of 5 stars


The illustrations in the wordless picture book are amazing!! The richly detailed images retell the classic Aesop fable of the lion and the mouse. I read this aloud to 4th-graders and they marveled and kept discovering new aspects of the story as we went along.