Welcome to Through the Looking Glass

Welcome to the September and October 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 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 focus on books about Monsters! Readers of all ages are drawn to books about monsters. Some of the books in this feature will give readers chills, while others will delight them with tales of bumbling and ineffectual monsters, or monsters that are actually rather lovable. There are books in this feature that will suit all kinds of readers of all ages.

Since September is the month when many children go back to school, I have added book reviews  to the School Days feature page. In this feature, there are titles about school life that will suit readers of all ages.

September is also the month when summer starts to unwind and when many people experience the first signs of fall. Leaves start to turn red, gold, and yellow. Frosts begin to nip at the plants in the garden, and in October farmers and gardeners start to harvest the fruits and vegetables that they have tended for many months.

For this month’s Editor’s Choice title, I have selected A Tower of Giraffes: Animals in Groups, which was written and illustrated by Anna Wright. This beautifully illustrated book will introduce children to the collective nouns that are used to describe groups of animals. The text is full of animal facts and the artwork is a delight to the eye.

In every issue I spotlight a series that I am really enjoying, or have enjoyed in the past. For this issue I chose The Dinotopia BooksI first encountered these books some years ago and fell in love with them the moment I saw them. On the pages the author illustrator tells the story of a father and son who are shipwrecked and who end up on an island inhabited by humans and intelligent, creative, and highly evolved dinosaurs. The dinosaurs have a fascinating culture and history, and together the father and son build a life for themselves on the island. The stories in the books are delightful and engaging, but it is the artwork that really makes them stand out. Throughout the books detailed and beautifully colorful paintings bring the world of Dinotopia to life. This is a series that both adults and children will enjoy.

Clearly I am a fan of the man who created this series, James Gurney, so it should come as no surprise that I chose to feature him on the Author Spotlight for this issue. In these books James Gurney combines his artistic and storytelling skills to give readers a unique bookish experience.

When I choose the award-winning books that I want to feature on TTLG, I seek out books that are unique and that perhaps will help readers to better understand their world. In One Good Thing About America by Ruth Freeman, we meet a young girl who has to leave her home in Africa when the lives of her family members are threatened.  The girl, her mother, and her little brother come to America looking for refuge and they find that there is a lot that they do not understand about their new home. This book won the 2018 Golden Kite Honor award for Middle Grade Fiction.

Finally, take a look at the Bookish Calendar page for reviews about Elizabeth I of England, Pablo Picasso, the Great Depression, 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.

There are several bookish events taking place in September and October that I would like to tell you about. They are:

September 23rd to September 29th is Banned Books Week

October is National Book Month (USA)

October 7th to October 13th is Teen Read Week (USA)

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,