Penguin Problems by Jory John and Lane Smith

Kathy Ellen (who knows all the good books!) told me I would like this book if I liked walruses that waxed philosophical.


Of course I had to read it.

Admittedly I didn’t actually know that my life was missing philosophical walruses before I read about Penguin Problems

And no, there is no title on the front, just penguins. Which confused me because sometimes I’m, apparently, overly conventional.


Would I recommend it? Yes! I laughed out loud the first time I read it and the girls keep returning to it for a bedtime book. The only drawback is when they went to bed tonight they tried to tell me they had “penguin problems” and they couldn’t possibly go to sleep!

You Don’t Want a Unicorn by Ame Dyckman and Liz Climo

Maybe you, like the mistaken boy in this story, think you want a unicorn  – but you don’t. 

We read all about those rotten unicorns, and trust us, you really don’t.

Would I recommend it? Well, if you are unconvinced and still want a unicorn you better read it so you can save yourself from the housebreaking woes, the shedding and the jumping…. oh the jumping…


Mother Bruce by Ryan T. Higgins

I admit, I feel a kinship for this grumpy bear.

I am not so grumpy that I dislike sunny days and cute little animals (well at least not always), but like Bruce the bear I am rather fond of looking up recipes on the internet, I harvest local honey and I never eat my eggs raw.

And, like Bruce, I once thought that I didn’t want goslings.

And I, like Bruce, have also been followed around by ridiculously, stinking cute goslings until I loved them… even when they became grown up geese.

Bruce might be a grump, but I like him too.


Would I recommend it? Yes! One of those pictures books that kids and adults will enjoy reading. (And the goslings really are ridiculously, stinking cute!)

Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs by Mo Willems

Once again there is a picture book in the house that has me pulling books out of unsuspecting visiting grandmother’s hands in order to replace it with this one. Because if you are visiting this week and you are only going to read one book to the girls, this is the one you want to read.

Of course this is a retelling of the classic Goldilocks story.  I’m sure you remember her, she’s that blond girl that never “listened to anyone or anything.” And while I can practically guarantee adults and children alike will enjoy this book, if you can work on your evil Norwegian Dinosaur laugh you’ll really bring extra life to the story.

Would I recommend it? Yes! Mo Willems has many good books but I think this is one of his best.

Monkfish Maggie and the Bungalow Stairs by CatchphraseDan and Berg Norcross

Me: “… The End.”

Clara (6): “Can you read it again?”

I read this aloud to all three of my girls: ages 9, 6 and 4. The lack of princesses and other glittery creatures meant the four year old was only listening so she could put off bedtime. My nine year old was convinced it was too scary, but in the words of my six year old, “It’s not scary, it’s exciting!” It was also funny (at least I thought it was funny) and I’m pretty sure my nine year old would have thought it was funny but she was too busy avoiding us in case it was scary and then demanding a run down of everything that happened because she really wanted to know even though she couldn’t quite admit that she really wanted to know. (Insert eye rolling mother and indignant child noises here.)

Would Ivy (9) recommend it? “I would recommend it because I think it’s like an imaginary story and people who like fiction and magic would like it.”  (Ha! I knew she liked it!)

Would Clara (6) recommend it? “Yes, I already tried to tell my friend about it… because it’s really funny!”

Would Jane (4) recommend it? “No. Cause I think it’s too boring.” (Sorry guys, you needed more sparkle to get this little girl’s attention!)

Would I recommend it? I would! All my girls listened to the story, even if some were more spell bound than others, and I loved the humor. Lines like, “Before you ask, a dictionary is a large dusty book that people kept around before the internet was invented” made me giggle louder than my kids.

Rosie's Book Review team 1

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I discovered this book because I’m a proud member of Rosie’s Book Review Team!

A Knock at the Door by Helen Yeomans

When I stop to think about it, the sheer volume of children’s books that move through our house is fairly impressive. The bookshelves are already overflowing with books we own, but that’s hardly enough variety. For that we take, at least, weekly trips to the library, where we always seem to have in excess of thirty books checked out at a time. And, because more books is never a bad thing, I’m happy to report that the two older girls now get to bring home a few books from the school library as well.

It’s a lot of books.

Some of them are bad, most of them are good and a few stand apart from the rest. Those special few that all the kids love and that we, the parents, don’t mind reading repeatedly.  Those books that seem to be written by the authors who really know the mind of a child.

They are the books that have a little something extra in them. That slightly intangible bend to the writing that kids adore. An aside that’s un-necessary. Little bits of information you don’t need. Silly words thrown in to make them giggle. A Knock At The Door has it all.

(It also has, if you want to be all adult-like about things, quite a lot of learning opportunities. After reading this book a few times I doubt my kids will ever misspell “half.” But, to be honest, I loved it for the same silliness that my kids did).

A week or so after we finished reading the book out loud together, I asked my daughters what they thought of it.

“I loved  it!” Ivy gushed.

I wish I could have written down what Ivy (8) and Clara (6) said next, but it came out in such a babbling enthusiastic mess of “Because letters are silly and don’t really talk!” and “I love the G wizard” and “Remember when…” and “Wasn’t that letter funny…” that I missed most of it.

But no matter what they said, I think their vote was definitively cast when Ivy went and got the book and we sat down to re-read two stories out of it before bed.

Would we recommend it? Yes! A most enthusiastic yes! Even Jane (4) giggled at things like L’s being stinkers, but then again, so did I!

Rosie's Book Review team 1

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I discovered this book because I’m a proud member of Rosie’s Book Review Team!