Welcome to Through the Looking Glass

Happy New Year! Welcome to the January and February 2018 issue of Through the Looking Glass Children’s Book Reviews. I have put together a wonderful collection of reviews for you for this issue, and I hope you enjoy reading the reviews as much as I have enjoyed writing them.

As always, the books reviewed on TTLG are carefully chosen by the editor. We only review books that suit the scope of TTLG, and that we feel have something to offer readers. Therefore, all our reviews are positive ones. We hope this will help you to find excellent books for the young people in your lives. If you are looking for books for yourself, we hope you will find books that you will enjoy reading. Please consider buying books through this website. Your purchases help to support our work, and give us the means to improve this online resource.

For this issue’s Special Feature I have chosen to focus on books about Dragons. I have always had a soft spot for dragons. Ever since I read Kenneth Grahame’s The Reluctant Dragon, I have been drawn to books that feature these splendid and often magical creatures. Some of the dragon books in this collection feature dragons that are fierce and dangerous, while others contain dragon characters who are friendly and lovable. The books in this feature will suit readers of all ages because there are board books, novelty books, picture books, beginner readers, and novels.

Where I live, January and February are the coldest months of the year. Winter has a tight hold on the land, and crackling fires in the fireplace are welcome. This is the perfect time of year to read lots of books, and you might find that some of these seasonal wintery books hit the spot. If you live in a place where snow falls, then these Snowy Days  titles will be a perfect fit. If you don’t get snow in your region, then you might enjoy being able to experience snow through the pages of a good book.

For this issues’ Editor’s Choice title, I have selected The Glass Swallow. This beautifully written story takes readers on a remarkable adventure. In it we meet a strong-minded young woman who finds herself in a terrible situation, and we also get to know a young man whose life changes because of her. Together they have to figure out how to survive when the country they are in faces a disaster of epic proportions.

In every issue of the journal I spotlight a series that I am really enjoying or have enjoyed in the past. This time I chose to feature the The Little House Books, which were written many years ago by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Many thousands of people all over the world have enjoyed these stories since they came out. The first book in the series, The Little House in the Big Woods, was published in 1932, and the last book, The First Four Years, came out in 1971. In the books we follow the adventures and misadventures that the author and her family had as they traveled west across the American plains as pioneers.

To tie in with this issue’s series spotlight, my Author Spotlight looks at the life and accomplishments of the series’ creator, Laura Ingalls Wilder. I have read all of Laura’s books, and I have also read quite a few biographies that other people have written about her. One of these biographies was reviewed in this issue. Laura’s story is one that has fascinated and delighted readers of all ages for years, and her writing brings a time in the past to life in a truly special and memorable way.

This issue’s award winning title greatly moved me when I read it not long ago. Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans, written and illustrated by Don Brown, was selected to be a Robert F. Siebert Honor title in 2016. Presented in a graphic novel format, this book serves as a tribute to the people who survived Hurricane Katrina, and it tells the story of the disaster with great honesty and pathos.

Don’t forget to look at the new Bookish Calendar. Here you will find reviews about Paul Cezanne, Valentine’s Day, Buffalo Bill, the discovery of gold in California in 1848, and much more. This calendar is a great tool to use at home and in the classroom to help children incorporate books more fully into their lives.

-:Bookish Events for January and February:-

February is National Black History Month – Find reviews that suit this event here.

February is also Library Lover’s Month – Find reviews of books about libraries here.

I hope you find a way to celebrate some, if not all,  of these bookish events. If I have missed an important bookish event, please drop me a line to tell me about it.

In September of 2012 I launched a project that I would like to tell you about. It is a story blog  called Talon Diaries, and it is written by a colorful and very unusual character who is called Gryf. I hope you will come and read Gryf”s blog posts.

For those of you don’t know already, I also publish a blog about children’s books and the children’s book world. On the blog I post reviews, interviews with great authors and illustrators, I offer book giveaways, and I tell you about interesting contests and bookish events. Do visit the blog and sign up for the feed. In the coming year, I will be posting new picture book reviews on Mondays and poetry book reviews on Fridays. I will also be posting articles and award notices on the TTLG Facebook page throughout the year. Do come and Like the page.

Some of the titles I reviewed several years ago are now out of print. Though you cannot buy these books in every bookshop, many of them are still available for purchase on websites like Amazon.com.

I hope you enjoy this new issue, and I look forward to hearing from you.

All the best,