All posts in Book Reviews

Penderwicks at Point Mouette

Top 10: Best Middle Grade Chapter Books by my 8yold Daughter (grades 3-7)

Best Books for 4th Grade

My middle daughter is so picky that she started her own blog on the things that she likes. Getting her a book she likes for me is an education in getting reluctant readers to engage. Tonight at dinner she asked me to blog on her blog to drive traffic to it. Smart kid. I told her that she needs to put up 4 posts first so that readers will know what her blog is about. This is her second post but I changed the book descriptions. If you want her opinion on why she likes these books, please read her post at Picky Kid Pix. (She’d be delighted with some traffic and she doesn’t mince words!). Read more…

Funny Novel That Teaches Poetry to Kids

Hate That Cat? No! Love this Novel in Verse for Kids

It’s a poem.

It’s a novel.

About Jack who hates cats but finds he loves kittens. Read more…

Dr. Seuss’ Unfinished Manuscript and Other Finds

Celebrating Dr. Seuss!

It happened AGAIN this year. I forgot Dr. Seuss’ birthday so I am updating my post from last year and will try harder this year. I did spend the last year reviewing the really excellent iPad/iPhone ebooks by OceanHouse Media who has the exclusive license for Dr. Seuss. Here are my son’s favorites (he’s six but started playing on these apps since he was 4). Read more…

best chapter books for kids, best books for 4th grade, 4th grade reading list, 5th grade reading list

Best Books for Grades 3-5, Recommended by Kids

Best Books for Kids in Third Grade Through Fifth Grade (by kids)

My 4th grader helped to compile this list of favorite books she recommends for 3-5th graders. I have also vetted this list for content. I feel that some topics such as death, cruelty, poverty, when dealt with a heavy hand are best suited for when kids are a little older, say Middle School. These books, even though they cover these heavy topics, are still uplifting. Read more…

best asian easy reader, grace lin, pragmaticmom.com Ling and Ting Not Exactly the Same Grace Lin Asian American voice pragmatic mom

Asian in America (Amy Chua, new Asian KidLit, dumpling recipe!)

Asian in America and Tiger Mom Amy Chua’s Influence

There is no doubt that Amy Chua’s “Tiger Mom” book sparked a reaction fanned, no doubt, by the incendiary article by the Wall Street Journal. I read somewhere that when people bother you, it’s because they reflect something inside yourself that you are trying to suppress. They are a foil into your own “dark side.” So it’s not surprising that an extreme parenting style that produces a child that appears to be obedient, talented, and smart is an end result we all to achieve. Read more…

Art and Max, best picture book of 2010, Caldecott potential winner, David Weisner, Pragmatic Mom, best books of 2010

Top 10 Best Children’s Books: My Kids’ Favorites of 2010

Our Favorite Children’s Books of 2010

Oh, how the year flies by.  My favorite parenting quote from a Mom Friend:  the days are long but the years are short.  I know that I should have posted this around the first of the year, even New Year’s Eve but I am not that together.  But as I look back on the year and think about all the books my kids and I read together, it brings back warm, fuzzy memories of snuggling, laughing, and just enjoying a shared experience that loving the same book brings.  So I asked my kids to each give me their three favorite books from last year and then I added a few more of my own, though I have to say that I loved their picks as much as they did.  I hope you enjoy these books, should you need book recs, as much as we did! Read more…

Best Baby Parenting Books

Great Parenting Books for New Parents

I remember when my first child was born and both my husband and I were panicked at the daunting task of keeping her alive. I thought the key would be to educate myself and I read every baby parenting book I could get my hands on including books from friends that were 10-years-old and out of print.  I made myself crazy.  I read, like, 15 books.  The books gave conflicting advice.  Advice from “experts” also flip-flopped from decade to decade.  I almost made up a spreadsheet to track the different opinions on the issues.  OK, I’m anal-retentive, but not that anal-retentive.  But only by a hair. Read more…

Easy Harry Potter Series: Ghostville Elementary

Easy Chapter Books for 2nd Grade

My middle daughter wanted to post on this series and this is what she says:

” This is kind of like a Harry Potter for kids in first or second grade. Maybe even Kindergarten if a parent reads aloud to their child. It’s about these kids in third grade and they get moved down to the basement classroom, and they start to think that there are ghosts in their room (and it’s true!). This is a series that I highly recommend. There are eleven or twelve books. Read more…

NYTimes Best Seller Picture Book Sequel

The Pout-Pout Fish in the Big-Big Dark Delights

It is a rare occasion when my husband raves about a picture book.  He’s read his fair share of picture books to our three children but bedtime stories is my favorite time of the day, not his.  And while he will read a book over and over again, there aren’t too many picture books in our house that he is excited to re-read.

The Pout-Pout Fish in the Big-Big Dark, Deborah Diesen, http://PragmaticMom.com, Pragmatic Mom

So when he told ME to blog about this book because it’s GREAT, I have to say that I stood up at attention (figuratively as I was reclined in bed), and took note.  This is why I think he liked it so much:

  • It rhymes.  And it rhymes beautifully without losing its cadence somewhere in the story which is my pet peeve in life.
  • It has a particular part that repeats several times — when the Pout-Pout fish admits he is scared of the dark.  My husband and youngest LOVED to say the first three lines loud and strong, and the scared-y cat part high and squeaky.  They are just like that!  But it cracked them up to no end!  And this book helped my son because he, too, is afraid of the dark.
  • There are several great messages woven into the book:  being a good friend, overcoming your fears, and being helpful.
  • There is also an oceanography lesson built in.  (My husband grew up in Monterey, California and though I actually took Ichthyology (the study of fish!) in college, he knows way more about marine biology than I do just from osmosis).  He noticed that the sea creatures changed appropriately as the fish swam deeper into the ocean.  I actually learned about the different levels of the sea from Dr. Seuss’ Wish on a Fish:  All About Sea Creatures myself and also appreciated the weird and crazy looking fish at the bottom of the ocean in the trench.
  • His only criticism was that he didn’t love the illustrations by Dan Hanna.  They are ok; not terrible but just not Caldecott worthy.   That’s a shame because this a New York Times best selling author!

This is the first book that I’ve read by Deborah Diesen but I am so impressed that I’m going to find her other books.

The Pout Pout Fish, Deborah Diesen, http://PragmaticMom.com, Pragmatic MomWish on a Fish, Dr. Seuss, http://PragmaticMom.com, Pragmatic Mom

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