children's books, fiction, reviews

Mini-Reviews: Children’s Books

Immi’s Gift

Karin Littlewood

32 pages

Publication Year: October 1, 2010

Publisher: Peachtree

Source: Publisher

Summary: Immi is a young lonely girl living in an icy land. One day as she goes fishing, she finds a little wooden bird. The bird is just one of several mysterious presents that she starts to find and changes her world into a place that is less lonely.

My Thoughts: I thought the book was okay. It didn’t offer anything different or memorable. The illustrations by the author are beautiful, perfectly showing readers Immi’s cold winter world as how it goes from being a place of loneliness to one of comfort and friendship. The colors are brilliant and give young readers pages they can easily look at over and over again.

My Havana: Memories of a Cuban Boyhood

Rosemary Wells and Secundino Fernandez

65 pages

Publication Date: August 10, 2010

Publisher: Candlewick

Source: Library

Summary: Secundino “Dino” Fernandez is a young artist who loves his city, Havana. He loves the architecture, the vibrant colors, and its history. As a child, he spends hours drawing Havana over and over again. But at the age of six, his family moves to Spain where everything is different – the food, the culture, even the colors which aren’t vibrant but drab. To get through his homesickness, Dino makes a miniature version of Havana. It helps and eventually, his family moves back to Cuba. But when Fidel Castro takes over the Cuban government, Dino and his family leaves Cuba for good and move to the United States.

Thoughts: I thought this was a great story. I don’t think I’ve read many books about Cuba, so reading My Havana was a great introduction. Wells, Fernandez, and illustrator Peter Ferguson do a great job helping readers to “see” Havana for themselves. My only problem with this book is that I wished this book was at least two hundred pages longer so I could know more about Fernandez’s life in Cuba and Spain.  After reading this book I want to read more books about Cuba.


The Horned Toad Prince

Jackie Mims Hopkins

32 pages

Publication Date: September 1, 2010

Publisher: Peachtree

Source: Publisher

SummaryThe Horned Toad Prince is a retelling of the Brothers Grimm fairy tale. Set in the southwest, the main character, Reba Jo is a cowgirl who loves lassoing anything she can find. But when she loses her brand new hat in a well, she makes a deal with a horned toad to get it back. But will she stick to her end of the bargain?

My Thoughts: I thought this was a really cute retelling. Reba Jo is a girl with a lot of spunk even though she doesn’t always do what she promised. In the end a deal is a deal, but this ending has a little twist to it. This is a book that young readers will really enjoy.

5 thoughts on “Mini-Reviews: Children’s Books”

  1. I love children’s books. I was drafting a post about the Monarch award, given in Illinois for the best ‘picture’ book for grades kindergarten through third. The children vote on it, and it’s so fun to see their choice. I didn’t think many of ‘my readers’ would pounce on children’s books, but I enjoyed reading your post. Maybe I’ll forward the Monarch list to you. 😉

  2. Out of all of these I think The Horned Toad Prince sounds the most interesting. I’m glad someone else is interested in children’s books besides me! You shared just the right amount of information for these.

  3. I love children’s books. I just recently read The Sleeping Beauty and loved it. I would love to read My Havana. I’ve never read any book set in Cuba.

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