– cute, but kind of pointless

– Verdi is our “Composer of the Month” for September, and this is a perfect rabbit trail book — the illustrations are just beautiful. I have a newfound appreciation of Aida. The drama of a love triangle may not be entirely suitable for the younger set though — my kids read it, but didn’t really like it.

– studying more Shakespeare this year. 13-yo has read/listened to Macbeth. We’ll be watching the movie soon. This is a gentler intro or re-intro to the Bard, for the younger ones.

– another cute book, about Chinese culture and imagination… not much substance though, or maybe I just missed it

– get this book! if just for the artwork. Lovely!! One word of caution: there is a page where Michelangelo is dissecting a cadaver. It’s not particularly gory or indecent, but probably not for sensitive or very young children. This one’s a read aloud aimed at older kids.

– an okay book, for kids who either don’t know what a library is or have no appreciation of it yet

– I’m not usually a fan of books that remind me of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (link to the book here), but this one really won me over. It highlights the grandpa-grandchild relationship and is just endearing and sweet. I highly recommend it, esp. as a gift to Grandpa. Totally heartwarming.

– classic book to teach your kids about good stewardship of the earth — if you like/love this book, perhaps you’ll like/love the next one as well. It’s also ecology, but more fantasy-style. I love the realism of the Kapok tree book, but something about the Florentine art in the other just captures and holds my affection.

– This book, of course, would be more suitably read in February, but we are on a Clyde Robert Bulla kick these days. I love that this book goes into the different legends/origins of Valentine’s Day, and doesn’t neglect the Catholic POV. Not really a fictional book per se, but entertaining and colorful enough to hold a little one’s attention.

– I *love* this book! Sooo sweet, but not saccharine sweet. Very very respectful and honest about sibling relationships and the rivalry that sometimes may come with it, balanced with a gentle (but non-preachy) emphasis on generosity and sharing. A great gift for a new big sister. Also a great reminder for parents to be sensitive to the needs of an older child when a new sibling joins the family.

– Very nicely done retelling of Russian folklore on the seasons of the year. I like books that present basic facts in a creative manner, and asks questions of the reader, or prompts them to ask questions, and come up with their own answers. The pastel drawings would be great for an art lesson or two!

– a pity the artwork isn’t available on Amazon. It’s a rather quaint book, with a myriad of characters all taken from well-known and common nursery rhymes and Mother Goose stories. Perfect lead in to many rabbit trails…. or use as the perfect ending to tie up and finish a collection of classic read alouds. Reminds me of Jolly Postman books.

– great bio of Anna May Wong, written for kids. She was heretofore unkonwn to me. Every now and then it’s good to see new authors and illustrators tackling previously unknown subjects. Great springboard for discussing the film genre, stereotypes, racism, etc.