Media Reviews: Good Books for Kids

Ellie Perry

GLAD, GLAD BEAR!, by Kimberly Gee

This delightful picture book follows a bear cub on his first day of dance class. Bear has new leggings, slippers and even a tutu, all of which make him very glad. But once he gets to class, he feels shy and afraid. This short, simple text explores emotions from a toddler’s perspective. The sweet illustrations are filled with recognizable expressions, familiar surroundings and environmental print, and the large, colorful words offer excellent letter recognition practice. FOR AGES 1-4

A NORMAL PIG, by K-Fai Steele

Pip is a normal pig who does normal things. When a new pig calls her lunch weird, she starts to feel different, even though she hasn’t changed. After she asks her parents for a normal lunch, the family takes a trip into the city, where they hear many languages and try lots of new foods. When Pip returns to school the next day, she feels like herself again and even shares her lunch with friends. This book celebrates our differences and challenges the idea that there’s just one “normal.” FOR AGES 4-8

A MILLION DOTS, by Sven Völker

In this impressive visualization of numbers large and small, Berlin-based designer Sven Völker takes readers from one to 1 million using simple multiplication. The growing numbers are represented by dots, which take the form of freckles, raindrops, pixels and more. A sure hit for budding mathematicians of any age, this book conceptualizes large numbers for young audiences and looks good doing so. FOR AGES 6-10

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MERCI SUÁREZ CHANGES GEARS, by Meg Medina

This Newbery Award-winning coming-of-age novel follows Merci Suárez as she navigates sixth grade at the prestigious Seaward Pines Academy. Merci benefited from the Sunshine Buddy program when she was new to school, and this year she’s paying it forward as a Sunshine Buddy herself. Unfortunately, her pairing with the tall new student from Minnesota complicates an already strained relationship when he catches the eye of queen bee Edna. Meanwhile, unexplained behavior from her grandfather has everyone in her family concerned. Her thoughtfulness and determination will win over young readers in this touching story with a big heart. FOR AGES 10-13

THE MIDNIGHT LIE, by Marie Rutkoski

Nirrim has never left the Ward, but countless others have traveled beyond the limits of their half-kith status with her skillfully forged documents. She’s had to be quiet to survive in a world where pleasures are reserved for the high kith and punishment is quick. But her mysterious past threatens her fragile foothold when illusions that feel like memories cloud her vision, and a chance encounter with a stranger tempts her with stories of magic that feel both familiar and unknown. This gripping, mysterious novel will draw readers into a world where, despite what you’ve been told, nothing is as it seems. FOR TEENS

Ellie Perry is an information services specialist at the Hilliard branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library.

This story is from the Winter 2020 issue of Columbus Parent.

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