Posts contained in the “Early Literature” category:

Books written for and/or marketed to early elementary students, generally people 4-8 years of age. May include both picture books and chapter books.

April is National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month. I know I’m getting this out a bit late, but better late than never (a clich√© that I’m sure all aspiring poets will be careful to avoid in their work). If you don’t know what National Poetry Month is, it was inaugurated in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets …read more…

The Surprise by Sylvia van Ommen

This completely wordless book presents us first with a mystery: what is Sheep doing? After taking some measurements, Sheep finally shears off all her wool, dyes it red, and takes it to Poodle, who spins it into yarn. She (or he?) then works late into the night, knitting a special surprise. I won’t ruin the …read more…

Lawn Boy by Gary Paulsen

Worried about finding enough money to buy a new inner tube for his bike, a twelve-year-old boy gets an old riding mower from his grandmother for his birthday. Soon he is mowing his neighbors’ lawns, and making more money than he thought possible. When he meets Arnold, a stockbroker who teaches him about managing money, …read more…

Brothers by Yin

In this sequel to Coolies, Shek and Wong’s younger brother Ming arrives in San Francisco from China to stay with his brothers and work in their store. Although he is admonished not to leave Chinatown, he eventually does, making his way to the local school. He meets the irrepressible Patrick, an Irish immigrant his own …read more…

Coolies by Yin

As this book opens in modern times, a young unnamed boy hears the story of his ancestors, Shek and Wong, as they came to the United States from China and worked on the railroads in California, experiencing long hours, hard work, and over racism, while at the same time managing to hold on to their …read more…

Attack of the Growling Eyeballs by Lin Oliver

I’ve reviewed the Hank Zipzer books twice, and while I’ve had plenty to say about Hank Zipzer and Henry Winkler, I said nothing about Mr. Winkler’s cowriter, Lin Oliver, because I had never heard of her until I encountered the Hank Zipzer books, and knew nothing of her writing. So I did what I always …read more…

Hank Zipzer Revisited: A Tale of Two Tails by Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver

A while back, I wrote a less than favorable review of Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver’s first book in the Hank Zipzer series, Niagara Falls, or Does It? I have since learned that they have recently published the seventeenth novel in the series, A Brand New Me! (a title which is as off-putting as I …read more…

Hank Zipzer: Niagara Falls, Or Does It? by Henry Winkler & Lin Oliver

Hank Zipzer isn’t your average fourth-grader. He’s intelligent, creative, and incredibly likeable. Yet he does terribly at school because he’s dyslexic. Although the “d-word” doesn’t appear anywhere in this book, Hank mentions his brain and his “learning differences” enough for it to become annoying. I’m starting to feel as if I should get a rubber …read more…

Meet Kaya: An American Girl by Janet Shaw

There are times when the most you can hope for a book is that you can read it, set it aside, and not completely hate it. So I must provide a caveat: I thought this would be one of those books. It was with some dismay that I found myself faced with the prospect of …read more…