Welcome to Through the Looking Glass

Happy New Year! Welcome to the January and February 2020 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.

I want to apologize for releasing this issue so late. I have been very unwell for three years now, and the last few months have been particularly trying.  In a few days I will be having surgery and I have every hope that I will soon be fighting fit again and ready to share the world of children’s book with you.

For this issue I have decided to review books that feature fairies, elves, goblins and other magical folk. For hundreds of years people have been writing stories about fairies, elves, tomte, gnomes, goblins, and other beings. Since 1925 Cicely Mary Barker’s Flower Fairies have charmed countless little girls, and more recently Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Blacks’s Spiderwick Chronicles have thrilled and delighted many young readers. Some of the fairies one encounters in books as pleasant creatures, while others, for example the ones who appear in the Artemis Fowl books, are very tough. You will find books for readers of all ages in this collection.

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 month’s Editor’s Choice title, I have selected The Innkeeper’s Apprentice by Allen Say In the book a magical story is told that takes readers to the steppes of Asia. They will meet two young women who live in difficult times and who have to struggle to survive. The writing in this wonderful title absolutely delighted me. Shannon Hale truly has a gift for creating word magic.

In every issue I spotlight a series that I really enjoy or have enjoyed in the past. For this issue I chose The Borrowers books. To tie into this Series Spotlight, my Author Spotlight looks at the life and accomplishments of Mary Norton, who wrote to Borrowers titles.

The award winning title featured in this issue is Giant Squid, written by Candace Fleming and illustrated by Eric Rohmann.  In this unique nonfiction book, which was a 2017 Siebert Medal honor title, we get to meet a rarely seen sea creature that has captured the imaginations of scientists and non scientists alike for hundreds of years.

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,