Marathon County Public Library

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Kids' Corner

Staff Reviews: For Children

Check out these reviews written by the staff of the Marathon County Public Library, featuring books and DVDs for children! (For reviews of books for all ages, visit our main Staff Reviews webpage.) Staff book reviews are also published at Goodreads.com; follow us for the latest updates.


'Rooftoppers' by Katherine Rundell

"Rooftoppers" by Katherine Rundell

★★★★★ Charles, an eccentric, erudite bachelor with a heart full of love finds a baby floating in a cello case in the middle of the English Channel. He takes her home, names her Sophie, and notifies the proper authorities who reluctantly agree to let him keep her.  Charles and Sophie have a wonderful life together until she turns 12 when the National...

Audience: Children, Tweens | Genre: Fiction

'Building Our House' by Jonathan Bean

"Building Our House" by Jonathan Bean

★★★★★ This cozy picture book shows the year-and-a-half long construction process involved in building a house, from moving into a trailer to live until the house is done, picking out the site, consulting the blueprints, digging the basement, raising the frame, and working in all types of weather.  Mom and Dad both work on the house while the children play...

Audience: Children | Genre: Fiction, Picture Book

'The Museum' by Susan Verde, Peter H. Reynolds

"The Museum" by Susan Verde, Peter H. Reynolds

★★★★★ A little girl takes a tour of a museum, and each work of art gives her a different feeling. The rhyming lines help to evoke the feelings each work of art is meant to express. Featuring colorful re-creations of works by Edgar Degas, Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, and Auguste Rodin, this book also serves to introduce your child to the work of great artists...

Audience: Children | Genre: Fiction, Art

'What’s Your Favorite Animal' by Eric Carle

"What’s Your Favorite Animal" by Eric Carle

★★★★★ This book is a wonderful compilation of artwork depicting the favorite animals of famous children’s authors and illustrators.   Of course it’s no surprise that Nick Bruel’s favorite is the infamous Bad Kitty;  but wait a minute, oh no, I think it really is octopuses;  sorry Bad Kitty.  Beautiful artwork by well-known children’s...

Audience: Children | Genre: Nonfiction, Picture Book

'Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy' by Karen Foxlee

"Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy" by Karen Foxlee

★★★★★ Opehlia Jane Worthington-Whittard is an extraordinary 11 year old girl; she just doesn’t know it yet.  Accepting a last-minute job offer to curate a sword exhibit at a museum in a foreign city, Ophelia’s father believes that this is just the change of scenery his daughters need after the recent death of their mother.  The plan is for Ophelia and...

Audience: Children, Tweens | Genre: Fiction, Fantasy

'Superworm' by Julia Donaldson

"Superworm" by Julia Donaldson

★★★★★ “Hip, hip hooray for SUPERWORM”, repeatedly chant the animals and insects in the forest as their hero Superworm saves them from many disasters.   But in the midst of their happiness the evil wizard lizard captures Superworm with his servant crow and puts an evil spell on him, forcing him to find treasure in the soil.  Will his friends rescue him,...

Audience: Children | Genre: Fiction, Picture Book, Read-Alouds

'Patti Cake and Her New Doll' by Patricia Reilly Giff

"Patti Cake and Her New Doll" by Patricia Reilly Giff

★★★★ Patti Cake is facing two new life challenges:  a new room and a new big bed.  When she goes to bed the first night, it seems “greatly dark” and lonely with one else in bed, not even her dog Tootsie. The next morning her babysitter takes her to a store where she decides to get an “on-sale “ doll that she names On-Sale.  During the day she and...

Audience: Children | Genre: Fiction, Picture Book

'A Tale of Two Castles' by Gail Carson Levine

"A Tale of Two Castles" by Gail Carson Levine

★★★★★ Twelve year old Elodie is forced to leave her family and her island home of Lahnt, to sail to the town of Two Castles and begin a new life.  Stuck in Two Castles without any money to immediately follow her dream of being an actor, she is transported into the lair of a brilliant dragon, Meenore, who offers to employ her as his paid assistant, even...

Audience: Children, Tweens | Genre: Fiction, Fantasy, Dragons

'If It's Snowy and You Know It, Clap Your Paws!' by Kim Norman

"If It's Snowy and You Know It, Clap Your Paws!" by Kim Norman

★★★★ Go on an adventure and find out all the fun things you can do in the snow! The book follows the rhythm of the children's song "If You're Happy and You Know It," so the book can be sung to the classic tune. Go skiing, sledding, and drink cocoa with a walrus, caribou, polar bear and other arctic creatures. Recommended for preschool children and families....

Audience: Children | Genre: Fiction, Picture Book

'First Big Book of the Ocean' by Catherine D. Hughes

"First Big Book of the Ocean" by Catherine D. Hughes

★★★★★ Do you know what a leafy sea dragon is? Find out in this ocean-filled book put out by National Geographic Kids. This books is a great read for any school-aged child that is curious about biology or the ocean. Split up into ocean sections, each section details the animal life one will find in the Pacific, Atlantic, Indian and Arctic oceans. Each animal...

Audience: Children | Genre: Nonfiction, Animals, Nature

'What Does the Fox Say?' by Ylvis

"What Does the Fox Say?" by Ylvis

★★★★★ Dog goes woof and cat goes meow, but what does the fox say? If you loved the YouTube sensation "What Does the Fox Say?" you will love the children's picture book version! The book is filled with the zany lyrics to the popular song and kooky illustrations of the animals mentioned. Recommended for children and adults who are fans of the song, or anyone...

Audience: Children | Genre: Fiction, Picture Book, Read-Alouds

'Santa Claus and The Three Bears' by Maria Modugno

"Santa Claus and The Three Bears" by Maria Modugno

★★★★★ The three bears weren't expecting company when they went for a walk on Christmas Eve. But who should appear but the merry old gentleman himself - Santa Claus! Santa tries out the Christmas pudding, the chairs and then the beds. Find out what happens when the three bears come home from their walk. Wonderful pictures and whimsical prose make for a lovely...

Audience: Children | Genre: Fiction, Picture Book, Holiday

'Handbook for Dragon Slayers' by Merrie Haskell

"Handbook for Dragon Slayers" by Merrie Haskell

★★★★ 13-year-old Tilda is not your average fairytale princess. Born with a twisted foot, she knows that people in her kingdom don't respect her and she's bored with being a princess. Her boredom, however, comes to an abrupt halt when her evil cousin steals the throne. She is suddenly thrust into a once-in-a-lifetime adventure -- complete with magical horses --...

Audience: Children, Tweens | Genre: Fiction, Fantasy, Dragons

'Thomas Jefferson Builds a Library' by Barb Rosenstock

"Thomas Jefferson Builds a Library" by Barb Rosenstock

★★★★★ Thomas Jefferson’s love of books and reading is wonderfully portrayed in this short children’s book.  Amusing illustrations of books on the roof of the White House, books used to spell out the word “BOOKS” on his fireplace mantle, and a picture of Jefferson being so engrossed in reading a book that they had to wait for him to sign the Declaration of...

Audience: Children | Genre: Nonfiction, Picture Book, History

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