Back to School Books!

I can’t believe school is starting already! It doesn’t affect me directly, but it’s fun seeing all the kids getting ready for their first day of school.

I did do a back to school theme this week for my newspaper column and I have some great book reviews to share with you all. Trying to keep with the theme, I do have a back to school specific book, but overall, all books are great reads for the back to school crowd 🙂

Do you have any young readers headed off to their first day of school?

What books did they read in their classroom on their first day of school?


time for earth school dewey dew

Time for (Earth) School Dewey Dew (2016, Boyds Mills Press, Picture Book)

Dewey Dew doesn’t want to go to school. Not on his planet, not on any planet, and certainly not on planet Earth! Earth kids aren’t like Dewey Dew and Earth words are hard to say. Dewey Dew thinks school is hard and scary, but maybe he will learn school can be fun too.

Time for (Earth) School Dewey Dew, written by Leslie Staub and illustrated by Jeff Mack, is a fantastic read for young ones starting school for the first time or just nervous about going back to school. Dewey Dew is an adorable alien facing all the normal first-day-of-school jitters in a new way. He is comically different from Earth kids and worries about fitting in, which young ones will easily relate too. With charming illustrations and fun, simple text, this is a great read for parents to share at home or teachers to share with their students.

5 stars


counting barefoot critters

Counting with Barefoot Critters (2016, Penguin Random House Canada, Picture Book)

Kids can count to twelve as they follow an increasing number of critters on an outdoor adventure. Each activity brings a new member to the group, and so the group moves on to bigger and better things each time. You can count on these critters to make counting fun!

Counting with Barefoot Critters, written and illustrated by Teagan White, teaches the numbers one through twelve to children in a fun and engaging way. Presented with fun critters portrayed in beautiful illustrations, children won’t even realize they are supposed to be learning their numbers. Love the layout of the book, and presentation of each number. More than just a book about counting, this is a lovely story book to be enjoyed by parents and children.

5 stars


girl who drank the moon

The Girl Who Drank the Moon (2016, Algonquin Young Readers, Middle-Grade Fantasy)

When the people of the Protectorate abandon a child each year, they think they are paying tribute to an evil witch in the woods. If they pay the witch with a child, she’ll leave their village alone, but Xan is a good witch. She is kind and gentle, and has no idea why the villagers leave a child in the woods each year, but she rescues each one. She delivers the babies to loving families in another village, feeding the children starlight on the long journey. But when she accidentally feeds a baby girl moonlight, a chain of events is set into motion that Xan could never have foreseen. Loving the child as her own, Xan raises the girl and learns more about the Protectorate and the real witch in the woods than she ever imagined.

The Girl Who Drank the Moon, written by Kelly Barnhill, is a lovely new fantasy for the middle-grade crowd. The story is beautifully told through alternating perspectives as each character’s story weaves into the greater story arc. While the characters lacked some depth, they are all enjoyable and the plot is mysterious and magical. This is an original tale told with a nod to traditional fairy tales as it draws on typical fairy tale features such as witches, dragons, and magic. A fun read for fans of fantasies and fairy tales.

4.5 stars


And since school days might feel like the slowest days ever to some kids, I present to you, the slowest book ever….

slowest book ever cover

The Slowest Book Ever (2016, Boyds Mills Press, Non-Fiction Middle-Grade)

From sloths to snails, this book is SLOW! If you were hoping to read about the cheetahs or falcons, this is not the book for you, but slow things are cool too. From front to back, this book is packed full of fun facts, clever narration and entertaining illustrations. Whether you read it very slowly or very fast, this book is sure to make you slow down and think about new things.

The Slowest Book Ever written by April Pulley Sayre is a refreshing book for middle-grade readers. Filled with interesting and unique facts, and presented in a clever style, readers will not feel like they are learning as they enjoy this book. The author’s writing style is lively and engaging with facts presented in clever and humorous ways. The only complaint about this book is in regards to formatting. The text runs into the binding and is sometimes difficult to read. Overall, a fantastic read for ages 9 and up.

4.5 stars

 


What was your favorite first day of school book? I would love to hear from you in the comments!

Happy First day of school to all!

 

Thank you to Boyds Mills Press, Penguin Random House Canada, Algonquin Young Readers and Net Galley for copies of these books in exchange for my honest reviews.