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Children's Book Reviews



Kate Marley

Pi-Shu by John Butler. c 2001, Peachtree. This beautifully illustrated story about a little panda is an excellent introduction to very young listeners about one of the most endangered and most appealing of Earth’s mammals.

Bug Faces by Darlyne A. Murawski. c 2000, National Geographic. Stunning close-up photography by the author is the best part of this fascinating look at some interesting insects. Some are pretty common, and it’s neat to find out that grasshoppers have five eyes, that mosquitos drink nectar, and moths smell with their antennae.

Clever Cat by Peter Collington. c 2000, Knopf. As the cat of a busy family, Tibs seems to spend a lot of time waiting…waiting to be fed, waiting to be let inside, and so on. One day Tibs has had it, and dishes up his own cat food. Amazed by his cleverness, his family rewards each new step of his independence with a house key, then a bank card…until Tibs reaches full circle with a hilarious ending. Clever illustrations are by the author.

Spiderology by Michael Elsohn Ross. c 2000, Carolrhoda Books. An interesting book, filled with all sorts of facts and pictures about spiders sure to attract kids. Activities, experiments and an index are also included.

Ribbiting Tales

Lucky Lizard by Ellen A. Kelley. c 2000, Dutton. Bima is a lucky lizard – his owner, eight year old Todd, treats him well, and the rest of the human family are OK too. But when Todd starts to believe that Bima is his lucky charm as well, Bima knows he has to find a way to get Todd to believe in himself instead. Told from Bima’s point of view, this neat little novel has lots of lizard lore scattered throughout, as well as funny pictures by Baltimore artist Kevin O’Malley.

Ribbiting Tales edited by Nancy Springer. c 2000, Philomel. Here’s a great colleciton of original stories about frogs, by such noted authors as Bruce Coville, Jane Yolen, and Brian Jacques. Mostly humerous, sometimes thoughtful, and always entertaining, it’s enhanced by black and white drawings by Tony DiTerlizzi.

Chomps, Flea, and Gray Cat (That’s Me!) by Carol and Bill Wallace. c 2001, Simon & Schuster.

Mr. Beans by Dayton O. Hyde. c 2000, Boyds Mills Press.

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