children's book reviews
Book Reviews,  Homeschool

What We’re Reading Wednesday – Kid’s Edition!

Last week, I posted some books I have read recently (you can read that here). I shared the good, the bad and the ugly. I thought it would be fun to share some recommendations on some children’s books Claire and I have read lately!

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Picture Books

Dragons Love Tacos (Adam Rubin)

Okay, so Dragons Love Tacos is not a new book. In fact, it’s not even truly new to us. I had read it to Claire when we lived in Indiana (that would put her around 3 or 4). I remembered enjoying it, but she didn’t remember it, so we got it again. This book is hilarious! Read all about why dragons love tacos so much … but make sure you don’t give them any spicy salsa! You know it’s a good book when you hear your 6 year old giggling from the other room. The sequel is really funny too.

Geraldine, The Music Mouse (Leo Lionni)

I’m a huge Leo Lionni fan. One of my favorites is called Frederick, about a mouse who stores up memories and colors to last through the long winter months (If you haven’t read it, you should get that one too!). When I saw Geraldine, the Music Mouse at the library, I was intrigued. I had never heard of it, but anything by Lionni promises to be good. Sure enough, this book was a sweet tale of a mouse who has never heard the sound of music and grows to love its beauty. I’d say the illustrations were the best part, but the story was pretty adorable as well. Ever since we read this book (weeks ago), Claire loves to pretend we are mice.

Ocean Meets Sky

Written by the same author as The Night Gardener, Ocean Meets Sky is a fantastical tale of a young boy who goes on a voyage to find the place his grandfather has told him about, where the ocean meets the sky. This is one of the most beautifully illustrated books I’ve ever read. The illustrations draw you in and you don’t simply flip through the pages, but soak in the pictures before turning to the next page.

The Mermaid (Jan Brett)

Who doesn’t love Jan Brett? Our library has so many Jan Brett titles I’d never heard of. This was our latest find. We loved this lovely spin on Goldilocks and the Three Bears. It’s one Claire has asked to read again and again.

I Really Like Slop! (An Elephant and Piggie Book)

This is yet another book that is probably not new to any of you. We have loved Mo Willems since Claire was an infant, thanks to the pigeon books, Knufflebunny, Edwina the Dinosaur Who Didn’t Know She Was Extinct and Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs (by far, my personal favorite). Elephant and Piggie books are early readers, which is why we hadn’t read any of them yet. Claire is growing in confidence (and desire) in her reading, so I picked this up at the library. As usual, Mo Willems doesn’t disappoint! He combines colorful pictures with simple text that kept us laughing. We can’t wait to pick up more of these for Claire to read to me.

Chapter Books

The Borrowers (Mary Norton)

As I was browsing the shelves of our local library, I stumbled across this book. I remembered a movie version of this from when I was a child. I decided to pick it up for an afternoon read aloud. If I’m being truly honest, this book was boring. Claire would bring it to me to read, but she would be done after one chapter. This is the child that ALWAYS begs for one more chapter, so it was a clear indication that she didn’t like it that much either. I tried to power through it, but I was reading Sarah Mackenzie’s Read Aloud Family and she says that if a book isn’t bringing joy to your family, you should ditch it. That was all the permission I needed! We got about 3/4 of the way through before we stopped reading it. It wasn’t a bad book, just a little wordy and not all that interesting. Claire said she gives it a 4/10.

Sleepover Sleuths (Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew 1)

Right now, the Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew books are some of Claire’s favorites. She picks out a new one every time we go to the library. These books are about Nancy Drew and her friends Bess and George when they are 8 years old. It’s more modernized and obviously less intricate than the originals, but they’re still enjoyable for Claire’s age range. I started reading the original Nancy Drew books when I was in third grade, but I know that those would be too intense for Claire at this age, so this is our stand in until then.

The Bobbsey Twins in the Country (Laura Lee Hope)

The Bobbsey Twins series is about two sets of twins (Bert & Nan are the older twins, Freddie & Flossie are the younger set of twins) who solve mysteries. I had several of these books from when I was a kid. I remember loving them. They’re very old fashioned (written in the early 1900s, I believe) and the mysteries aren’t riveting to an adult, but Claire still really enjoyed it and is begging me to start a new one. We have 7 of the books, so we will likely read the rest of them.

Mr. Popper’s Penguins (Florence and Richard Atwater)

We are currently re-reading this book as part of our language arts curriculum. We’re using Brave Writer’s Quiver of Arrows (you can read more about my thoughts on that here). If you haven’t read this book, it’s a sweet tale of Mr Popper, a man who is obsessed with anything regarding Antarctica. Imagine his surprise when he receives a penguin of his very own! We read this book last year and absolutely loved it. Claire is so happy to be reading it again. I never read it as a child, but I have thoroughly enjoyed reading it to Claire and I am sure it’s one we will come back to time and time again. What child doesn’t love imagining what it would be like to have your very own penguin?


I could share many more books, but I think I will stop here (for now). Our library has a policy that limits new library card holders to 3 books for the first 3 months. They took Claire and I off the probationary period early (perks to going to the library multiple times a week), so we have been getting at least a dozen books every trip. In addition to library books, I have had some amazing book hauls from thrift stores. You can expect to see more kid’s book reviews soon! What are some of your favorite children’s books? We’d love recommendations – especially for a first grader!

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