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A Minute With Mandy: June Children's Book Reviews

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June Books: The good, the not-so-good, and the helpful. We've been reading a lot this month. The bedtime routine is quite drawn out with these long days. Our first stop on the June book list is Mail Harry to the Moon by Robie H. Harris.

This tale of learning to adjust and finding out what's important in life is charming and insightful. Michael Emberley (famous father, Ed) does a fantastic job illustrating and you can't help but smile at the poignant expressions he captures in the lead character's face.

You empathize with the (nameless) older child and remember what it'??s like to have to share your toys- and the frustrations that come with learning to be patient. Even if you're an only child, you still know what it felt like to have to forfeit your time and possessions for the enjoyment of someone else. This book is a perfect gift idea for someone who's adding or has recently added a new addition to the family. If your family already has multiple children, this story may inspire them to be a little nicer to least until you finish reading!

Mandy Gives it: Four Fish!

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You've probably heard the story of the 3 Little Pigsa million times-- so many times that you can recount the tale yourself, no reading materials required. But Steven Guarnaccia's version is a little different. He illustrates the entire book out of famous buildings and houses- from exterior to interior.

Guarnaccia also takes you on the usual journey- 3 pigs leave home and each build their respective houses out of unusual materials, save the last pig. The big bad wolf comes and chases the first 2 pigs to the last pig's house, the Falling Water estate. Here's where the twist: After the wolf can't blow down the 3rd pig's house, he invites him to a farmer's market to look at a tomato greenhouse. (...What??) When the pig outsmarts the wolf by arriving early, the wolf invites him to an orchard. Bested again, the wolf asks the pig to a flea market where the pig rolls himself in a rug and escapes the wolf yet again. Angry as ever, the wolf goes to the pig's house again and instead climbs down the chimney only to get his tail burned. He retreats into the forest and the story is over.

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Now, I understand the yearn to spice up an old story- but this is one spice that doesn't add any flavor. The idea of the illustrations conceptualizing the story is fine, but save the money and splurge for a ticket to the Guggenheim.

Mandy Gives it: Two Fish!

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Sometimes kids get scared- boogie men under the bed, noises in the hall, going to a strange place. In Robie Harris's other submission, I am NOT Going to School Today, the author attempts at putting a new twist on an old idea. While her characters are cute, there'??s no depth to anything in the writing. If you want your little one to be encouraged about starting school, this book won'??t do anything for them. This is the type of book you flip through while spending time in the bo
ok store- but don'??t spend your money.

Mandy Gives it: One Fish!

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1 fish= not worth your time

2 fish= reading it once is enough

3 fish= borrow it, don't buy it

4 fish= worthy to add it to your collection

5 fish= classic! buy it for every child you know

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