‘The Midnighters’ by Hana Tooke is a delightful middle grade historical fiction romp with a soupçon of the supernatural

Many children know the feeling of not fitting in and in "The Midnighters," author Hana Tooke explores that feeling through her main character, Ema, whose fantastic, incredibly dangerous journey in this novel finally leads to her finding acceptance and respect. Ema was born into a family of scientists, and while she absorbed much of their … Continue reading ‘The Midnighters’ by Hana Tooke is a delightful middle grade historical fiction romp with a soupçon of the supernatural

‘Christmas in Blue Dog Valley’ by Annie England Noblin is a charming story of small town values, friendship, and finding love where you least expect it

Author Annie England Noblin brings us the Christmas spirit with her newest novel, "Christmas in Blue Dog Valley." As in her other novels, she offers not only a sweet story of a woman trying to find her place in the world, but also the joy of having a companion animal by her side as she … Continue reading ‘Christmas in Blue Dog Valley’ by Annie England Noblin is a charming story of small town values, friendship, and finding love where you least expect it

Cats, a pigeon (THE pigeon), and troubled pugs star in these picture books

These four picture books all feature animals, but the messages they impart are all quite different. However, in all of them, the animals are clever and open to new ideas, and isn't that an important message we want to teach our children? The Pigeon Will Ride the Roller Coaster by Mo Willems Everyone knows the … Continue reading Cats, a pigeon (THE pigeon), and troubled pugs star in these picture books

‘Must Love Dogs: Lucky Enough’ by Claire Cook is the latest entry in that popular and charming series

Must Love Dogs: Lucky Enough by Claire Cook Some books you read because they teach you something, some books are read for lengthy book club discussions, and some books, like "Must Love Dogs: Lucky Enough," the eighth book in this engaging and humorous series, you read simply to escape from reality and jump into the … Continue reading ‘Must Love Dogs: Lucky Enough’ by Claire Cook is the latest entry in that popular and charming series

‘Funny Farm: My Unexpected Life with 600 Rescue Animals’ by Laurie Zaleski is touching, charming, and humorous

Funny Farm by Laurie Zaleski "Funny Farm: My Unexpected Life with 600 Rescue Animals" by Laurie Zaleski is not what I was expecting at all. We know from the first page, the Prologue, that it's about how Zaleski rescues animals, but what is unexpected is that more than half the book is about her childhood, … Continue reading ‘Funny Farm: My Unexpected Life with 600 Rescue Animals’ by Laurie Zaleski is touching, charming, and humorous

Two cat picture books about the joys — and the problems — of the cats we love

Cats. Can't live with them; can't live without them. At least some of us feel that way. I adore my black cat, Blacky, yet my other black cat Natty is a big pain in the neck. He jumps on us, delights in knocking over things on our nightstands, and eats any flowers I bring into … Continue reading Two cat picture books about the joys — and the problems — of the cats we love

Three important nonfiction picture books teach about wildlife and conservation

Nonfiction picture books for children are an essential way of emphasizing the importance of reading informational text to learn about the world around us. Most children are fascinated by animals and the environment they see every time they venture outdoors, whether it's a city environment, like the cougar encounters in "Cougar Crossing: How Hollywood's Celebrity … Continue reading Three important nonfiction picture books teach about wildlife and conservation

‘Big Kibble: The Hidden Dangers of the Pet Food Industry’ is the book that Purina and other huge manufacturers don’t want you to read

Big Kibble by Shawn Buckley and Dr. Oscar Chavez If after reading this new exposé of the pet food industry, "Big Kibble: The Hidden Dangers of the Pet Food Industry and How to Do Better by Our Dogs" by Shawn Buckley and Dr. Oscar Chavez, you don't decide to try to change how you feed … Continue reading ‘Big Kibble: The Hidden Dangers of the Pet Food Industry’ is the book that Purina and other huge manufacturers don’t want you to read

Three wonderful nonfiction picture books about dogs and cats and shelter animals

With COVID-19, many families have adopted needy shelter pets. But there are still many, many animals in shelters across the country who are in need of a loving home. These three picture books will not only share why it's rewarding to rescue a pet but also share how to train your new dog or cat, … Continue reading Three wonderful nonfiction picture books about dogs and cats and shelter animals

‘I Found a Kitty!’ by Troy Cummings — Touching and brilliant sequel to ‘Can I Be Your Dog?’

In the adorable picture book "I Found a Kitty!" by Troy Cummings, there's a new cat in town, and he needs a home. And Arfy, the pooch who charmed everyone in "Can I Be Your Dog?" is determined to help. The sweet kitty can't live with Arfy and his friend who delivers the mail because … Continue reading ‘I Found a Kitty!’ by Troy Cummings — Touching and brilliant sequel to ‘Can I Be Your Dog?’

‘Catalyst’ by Sarah Beth Durst is just the middle grade summer fantasy adventure your kids need

Sarah Beth Durst loves fantasy, and she loves cats. In "Catalyst," she combines those loves to create a kitten that grows and grows and grows. When almost twelve-year-old Zoe finds the tiny kitten, she knows her mother won't let her keep it. She knows because she wasn't able to keep any of the other animals … Continue reading ‘Catalyst’ by Sarah Beth Durst is just the middle grade summer fantasy adventure your kids need