Welcome to Through the Looking Glass

Welcome to the June  2020 issue of Through the Looking Glass Children’s Book Reviews. I have put together a wonderful collection of much loved and classic reviews for you in this issue, and I hope you enjoy reading the reviews as much as I have enjoyed writing them.

Goodness how I have missed you all! Soon after I posted the January and February issue I had a major surgery and it took a while for me to get back on my feet. I had just about recovered when I got Covid 19. It has been quite an ordeal I can tell you, and I have only just got to the point where I can breathe normally – most of the time. It has been a very rough year so far and I am really hoping that things start to get better. I know that all of you have also been living under the shadow of the dread virus and I hope that you are all safe and well.

While I was recovering from my various ailments I read a lot. Often I turned to old and new friends for solace and they helped me find peace in what was, and still is, a very stormy world. When I started feeling well enough to work again  I decided that I would look through the library of reviews (there are 9,613 of them) and pick out some of my favorites to create a Classics and Favorites Collection. Many of these titles were my ‘medicine’ during my recovery. Some of these are titles that I grew up, some are titles that I read to my daughter (she adored Maisy Mouse), and some are titles that I have had the privilege to discover through my work. There are many memories tied up with these books. Some have traveled around the world with me and they sit on my shelves with battered spines and faded covers. A few even survived a civil war with me!

June is the month 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.

For this month’s Editor’s Choice title, I have selected Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren. I adored this book when I was young, and even wore my hair in braids to emulate my bookish hero. It was a great source of disappointment to me that my hair was a boring brown instead of a wonderful flaming red. I loved how unconventional Pippi was and how she took on the ‘baddies’ in the stories without fear. For my shy little girl self she was an inspiration.

I have chosen the author of this book to be this issue’s author spotlight. Astrid Lindgren was not only a wonderful author whose works have been translated into many languages. She was also an activist who fiercely pushed for changes that she felt would improve the lives of her fellow Swedes.

For this issue’s Series Spotlight I have decided to spotlight a trilogy that absolutely blew my socks off when it come out.  The WondLa trilogy is not only exciting, unique and beautifully written, but is also full of stunning illustrations that the author, Tony DiTerlizzi, created.

The award winning title featured in this issue is Ruby Holler, which was written by Sharon Creech. The title won Britain’s Carnegie medal award in 2002. For those of you who are not familiar with this award, the Carnegie Medal is a British literary award that annually recognizes one outstanding new English-language book for children or young adults. It is conferred upon the author by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP). CILIP calls itself “the UK’s oldest and most prestigious book award for children’s writing.” The Medal is named after the Scottish-born American philanthropist Andrew Carnegie (1835–1919), who founded more than 2,800 libraries in the English-speaking world. It was established in 1936 by the British Library Association, to celebrate the centenary of Carnegie’s birth and it was inaugurated in 1937. Arthur Ransome was awarded the medal for his book for Pigeon Post .

Don’t forget to look at the new Bookish Calendar. Here you will find reviews about Anne Frank, Father’s Day, Helen Keller, Fairy Day, 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.

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.

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.

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





All the best,