In the Tree Top
By Candide Jones
REVIEWED BY VONDA HENDERSON
Age Range: Pre-School
In the Tree Top, written by Candide Jones and illustrated by Steve Emery, is an excellent bedtime storybook for babies and toddlers. The story is a spin on the traditional “Rock-a-bye Baby” nursery rhyme, with a new twist to it. This version encompasses the world of the child, the environment, and animals. The overall theme is love, safety, and protection. The illustrations are beautifully created with a contemporary, abstract vibe, but not so much as to distort the imagery. The coloring has a watercolor effect and warm tones. A unique aspect of this book is the section at the end, which has interactive questions to ask the child. The questions are designed to engage a child’s attention to detail to find all the people and animals in the pictures. Recognition and relationship of words and images, as well as counting, are incorporated in this exercise.
By Victoria Aveyard
REVIEWED BY REBECCA OLSEN
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Age Range: 13−17 years old
Mare is just a normal “Red,” jobless and awaiting conscription when she turns 18 in a few months. She steals to survive—with three brothers away at war and a crippled father, it’s not like she has a choice. She’s not special like the “Silvers” that run the Reds’ lives. She isn’t supernaturally strong, can’t conjure fire, read minds, or control water. She’s as plain as the red blood running through her veins—until a spectacularly public and unfortunate accident proves she does have unaccounted-for powers. All of the sudden Mare is left straddling the line that divides Reds and Silvers, caught between two worlds, but belonging to neither. And everyone seems to have a plan for her future: the king wants her dead, the queen wants to use her as a pawn, the prince’s motives remain to be seen, and Mare just wants to come out of this alive. A fast-paced read, Red Queen is Hunger Games meets fairytale, and will have you holding your breath till the very end!
I Love You, Grandpa
By Jillian Harker & Daniel Howarth
REVIEWED BY EMILY EILEEN CARTER
Age Range: Toddler/Child
A special gift from his Grandparents, I Love You, Grandpa is a favorite of my 2½-year-old Lucas. He is a “Papaw’s Boy” through and through, and after visits with his doting grandfathers, he always seems to gravitate towards this book. This sweet story follows “Little Bear” and his Grandpa Bear as they traverse through the woods. As they tromp through field and stream, Little Bear exerts and demonstrates his physical skills while Grandpa Bear remembers his younger, agile self, then imparts the wisdom he has gained as his physical prowess has waned over time. This sound story shares many lessons of life, love, and learning, perfect for any toddler or child.