Connie’s Winter Reading List. What Are You Reading?

Our snowy winter here in Indiana is slowing me down and providing an opportunity to make a dent in the pile of titles stacked on my nightstand.   Canada by Richard Ford.  Besides the author’s credentials (he won a Pulitzer for his novel Independence Day), the first sentence has me hooked:  “First, I’ll tell about the… [Read More]

Etched in Clay Reviewed by Connie Nordhielm Wooldridge

Etched in Clay; The Life of Dave, Enslaved Potter and Poet by Andrea Cheng; illustrated with woodcuts by the author; Lee & Low, 2013.  143 pages; $17.95 (hardcover); reading level:  ages 10 and up. Born into slavery in 1801, Dave should have lived an invisible life and died unknown.  That he didn’t is due to an almost… [Read More]

Revolutionary Friends – Reviewed by Connie Nordhielm Wooldridge

Revolutionary Friends; General George Washington and the Marquis de Lafayette by Selene Castrovilla; illustrated by Drazen Kozjan; Calkins Creek, 2013.  40 pages; $16.95 (hardcover); reading level:  ages 7-12. The story of the reserved George Washington’s initially reluctant friendship with the young French officer whose heart “enlisted” in the American struggle for independence from Britain, is… [Read More]

The Year of the Book – Reviewed by Connie Nordhielm Wooldridge

The Year of the Book by Andrea Cheng; illustrated by Abigail Halpin; Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012. 148 pages; $15.99 (hardcover); reading level: ages 7-11. Anna Wang is just beginning fourth grade and the word of the week is “perseverance.”  “It’s when you don’t give up,” her best friend, Laura, tells the class.  Both girls will… [Read More]

Mom, It’s My First Day of Kindergarten! – Reviewed by Connie Nordhielm Wooldridge

Mom, It’s My First Day of Kindergarten! Written and illustrated by Hyewon Yum; Frances Foster Books/Farrar Straus Giroux, 2012. 32 pages; $16.99 (hardback); ages 4-6. The five-year-old hero of this tale is well-adjusted, brimming with energy, and ready for his first day of kindergarten. His mom? Well…not so much. As the illustrations (literally!) make clear,… [Read More]

The Elijah Door – Reviewed by Connie Nordhielm Wooldridge

The Elijah Door; A Passover Tale Written by Linda Leopold Strauss; illustrated by Alexi Natchev; Holiday House, 2012.  32 pages; $16.95 (hardcover); reading level:  ages 6-10. Long ago, in a small village that was “sometimes Poland and sometimes Russia,” the Lippas and the Galinskys lived in “side-by-side houses.”  They were fast friends whose children, Rachel… [Read More]

A Pocketful of Posies; A Treasury of Nursery Rhymes – Reviewed by Connie Nordhielm Wooldridge

  A Pocketful of Posies; A Treasury of Nursery Rhymes Illustrated by Salley Mavor; Houghton Mifflin, 2010. 64 pages; $21.99 (hardback); reading level: ages 2-6. The artwork for this nursery rhyme collection is stunning. Mavor has lovingly stitched a variety of materials (acorn caps, stones, driftwood, buttons) onto wool felt to create scenes which were… [Read More]

Where’s Walrus? – Reviewed by Connie Nordhielm Wooldridge

Where’s Walrus? Written and illustrated by Stephen Savage; Scholastic Press, 2011.32 pages; $16.99 (hardback); ages 2-5. The gates to the zoo are open but, alas, there are no visitors. While the zookeepersnoozes, walrus sneaks away. In wordless two-page spreads, walrus eludes thezookeeper (belatedly awake) by donning various hats and blending in with a statue ona… [Read More]

Preschool Day Hooray! – Reviewed by Connie Nordhielm Wooldridge

Preschool Day Hooray! Written by Linda Leopold Strauss; illustrated by Hiroe Nakata; Cartwheel Books/Scholastic, 2010.  22 pages; $8.99 (hardback); ages 2-5. A simple, rhyming text follows a little boy through a day at preschool from the rush to get there (“Tick-tock clock/Makes Mommy scoot”), to various activities (“Painty hands and/Gooey glue”), to a tumble on… [Read More]

Where’s My T-R-U-C-K? – Reviewed by Connie Nordhielm Wooldridge

  Where’s My T-R-U-C-K? by Karen Beaumont; illustrated by David Catrow; Dial Books for Young Readers, 2011.  32 pages; $16.99; reading level:  ages 4-7. When Tommy loses his (don’t say the word or you’ll set him off!) t-r-u-c-k, the whole family’s day goes haywire.  Tommy refuses help from Mom, Dad, sister, brother, and Grandma:  “I… [Read More]