Parents and Grandparents.....

Kids books are among some of my favorite books. There are so many creative authors out there who have learned how to engage the young mind for more than five minutes - a challenge, for sure! In my review of these books, I include books that are written for pre-schoolers up to tween ages (3 years old to 8 years old). There will be picture books but also books that have a story that a 3 year old could follow. And I also include chapter books that aren't too complex for an 8 year old to understand. If there are any books in this age range that you would like a review for, just send me an email and I will be happy to provide my review.

A parable of sorts, Messenger by Lois Lowry tells the story of a Village where people live a productive and happy life. But when they start going to Trade Mart to trade either something they own or something inside them, such as kindness or tolerance, everything starts to change. Matty came from a hard life to the Village and now lives with a blind man. He thinks he is missing something and is curious about Trade Mart. He begins to notice how people are changing and are not as kind and helpful as they once were. Over time they become ill and decide they need to ‘build a wall’ to prevent others from entering the Village, believing that they won’t have enough resources to feed everyone.

The blind man, Seer, wants his daughter to join him in the Village, particularly if the wall goes up which will close it to others forever. Matty who has always been able to move through Forest without harm, says he will go for her. But Forest has changed and on their way back to Village they are scarred and injured by the trees and vines along the way. Near death, the one they call Leader meets them and tells Matty his true name, Healer. It is at this point that Matty realizes his power and that Forest really is just ‘an illusion…a tangled knot of fears and deceits and dark struggles for power that had disguised itself and destroyed almost everything’. He is then able to heal himself and Kira, along with the entire Village, and everything once again becomes as it was.

I give "Messenger" 4 out of 5 stars.

Buy "Kinsman Falls" painting by DJ Geribo

burro's turf painting by dj geribo

I Saw Esau, edited by Iona & Peter Opie, Illustrated by Maurice Sendak was a great find. Every year we attend a fair that has tents set up that are full of great deals on books, linens, clothes, white elephant items, jewelry, frames, furniture, and a variety of other items. Of course, I always visit the book tent and always find several books to purchase (it is a fundraiser, after all, so I feel good about helping and I get my book fix satisfied).

Fall Marshes painting by DJ Geribo

The End of the Beginning by Avi, illustrations by Tricia Tusa, is a tiny book, small only in its size, with a big-as-life story that teaches many lessons given by the main characters, a snail named Avon and an ant called Edward. Avi is my new favorite children’s book author, and he has more than 70 books to his name! These stories will entertain me for many months to come.

maple syrup for sale

Ragweed by Avi, illustrations by Brian Floca, is my 4th Avi book and, as with the first one I read, I love this book and I've become a big Avi fan.

In the first Avi book I read, Poppy's Return, Ragweed was mentioned several times. Not just because Poppy named one of her sons Ragweed but because he was named after his uncle Ragweed, a mouse who was independent and left his home in Dimwood Forest to find his way in the world.


Poppy's Return by Avi, illustrations by Brian Floca, is a wonderful book.  I absolutely adored this book. And when I finished it, my husband, Jim, read it and loved it just as much as I did. Of course, now I want to read all of his other books, too! Apparently, there are many books about Poppy, her beloved Rye, and many of the other characters in the "Tales from Dimwood Forest" series of books. I guess I have my summer reading list now!