Welcome to Through the Looking Glass

Welcome to the May and June 2017 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 I have chosen to do a special feature about Food and Cooking. I have been an enthusiastic cook ever since I was a child, and I have made my fair share of brick like cakes and lop-sided loaves of bread. These days I really enjoy cooking with my daughter, who will soon be leaving home to study to become a pastry chef. Cooking with children can be a lot of fun, even though it is almost always incredibly messy. In this issue’s feature you will find nonfiction cook books, books about cooks, and books about food. There are also lots of fictional stories about cooking and cooks.

May and June are the months when summer finally makes itself felt. Winter coats and sweaters are put into boxes or are tucked away on high shelves, and bathing suits are tried on to see if they still fit. The sun is warm, and children are happy to spend their play time out of doors. There is a delightful collection of books about summer on the TTLG Summer Days page, with books for readers of all ages.

Summer is also a time when many people are very busy in their gardens. If you want to share your love of gardening with the children in your life, take a look at the In the Garden Feature. You will find both fiction and nonfiction titles here that will interest children and young people who are eager to try out their green thumbs.

For this month’s Editor’s Choice title, I have selected Wishtree by Katharine Applegate. I love trees and so I was naturally drawn to this book, which is told from the point of view of a red oak. The extraordinary thing about this book is that even people who are not tree fans will find this story captivating. It is magical and funny, touching, and inspirational. I have a feeling that more than a few of my adult friends will be getting copies of this book from me as gifts in the near future.

In addition to writing Wishtree, Katharine Applegate has written many marvelous books. Her writing style is unique, and it it very fitting that she should be featured on the Author Spotlight Page in this issue.  She has written a great many books, and one of them, The one and Only Ivan, won a Newbery Award in 2013. I will review this book very soon.

In every issue I spotlight a series that I am really enjoying or have enjoyed in the past. For this issue I chose the wonderful Sleeping Bear Press Alphabet Books. I started reviewing these books soon after Sleeping Bear Press opened their doors many years ago and have loved their alphabet books ever since. These book are not just for very young children. They contain so much information, and that information is presented in such an interesting way, that older readers will appreciate them too.

This issue’s award winning book was written by Candace Fleming. Her beautifully written book The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion, and the fall of Imperial Russia will delight readers who have an interest in history, Russia, and royal families. This book won the 2015 Golden Kite Award for nonfiction.  

Finally, take a look at the new Bookish Calendar. Here you will find reviews about Nellie Bly, Mother’s Day, Paul Gauguin, a horse called Seabiscuit, 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 May and June:-

May is “Get Caught Reading” Month (USA)

Children’s Book Week April 30th – May 6th (USA)

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.

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,