Picture Books to Young Adult:

Welcome to the March edition of Bookmarks, our monthly shortlist of mini book reviews. We have had a TON of picture book reviews come in from families. I am still uploading the cache to the Reading Tub website, but you can see what we’ve added so far on our 2012 Books We’ve Read Page. Book reviews on the Reading Tub website will have the requisite link.

Each Bookmark has basic info and an original blurb / overview. You’ll meet the key players, we’ll add our reader reaction, and then we’ll ask the author and/or illustrator a question or two.

Noteworthy March Bookmarks

Nabeel’s New Pants: An Eid Talewritten
by Fawzia Gilani-Williams
illustrated by Proiti Roy
Marshall Cavendish Children’s Books, 2010
preschool through elementary audience
fiction picture book, cultures and traditions, humor, boys

WorldCatGoodReadsLibraryThingShelfariGoogle BooksBookFinder•IndieBound•Amazon

It is the evening before the Muslim holiday of Eid. On his way home from work, Nabeel buys gifts for his wife, mother, and adult daughter. He also purchases a new pair of pants for himself, but they are four fingers too long. The shopkeeper does not have time to shorten the pants; and his wife, mother, and daughter are busy with preparations. When Nabeel decides to shortens the pants himself …  what could possibly go wrong on this most important day?

Who are the key players?
Nabeel is the center of the story, both in his generosity to his family, and as the man admired by mother, wife, and daughter alike. In the story, each reflects on how they feel about Nabeel, adding a ‘coziness’ to the story.

A Reader’s Thoughts
My boys (ages 2,4, and 6) LOVED this book. They laughed out loud as the events unfolded. The story is written in a delightful, lighthearted manner that is both accessible to kids and gentle in its approach. This book will appeal to both Muslims and non-Muslims (We are non-Muslims). There are a handful of words in the book that were new to our family — mosque, burqa (dress), biryani (a food), dupatta (long scarf), etc. — that we can use to discover different cultures. If the words are new to you, the amount of vocabulary is just right — it’s not overwhelming for the parent or the child, and the illustrations help a lot by showing what the items look like.

Question for Fawzia Gilani-Williams
How did you come to write Nabeel’s story? Is it based on a folk tale?

You have written more than 25 books. Do you have a favorite among them?

Where did you get this book? The publisher donated a copy for review.
African Vet by Dr. Roy AronsonTales of an African Vet
by Roy Aronson
Lyons Press, 2011
upper elementary to young adult audience
nonfiction chapter book, short stories, biography

Born in South Africa, Roy Aronson came to Veterinary Medicine in a most unusual way … via the South African navy. After discovering and monitoring a stranded seal, he found a passion for helping animals. These are vignettes of his life during veterinary school and later as a doctor of veterinary medicine.

Who are the key players?
The animals. Although Dr. Aronson narrates the events, each of the stories is really about the animals. Through his descriptions you get a sense of “who” these animals are and the conditions of their lives and care.

A Reader’s Thoughts?
I am plowing through this one at breakneck speed and can’t wait to settle in each evening and read a story or two. Could I read more every night? Yes. But I want to “savor” each story and let it soak in. I’m not finished yet, but this is HIGHLY recommended … particularly for anyone who is interested in caring for animals or who likes reading books with stand-alone chapters.

Question for Dr. Roy Aronson
How did you narrow down the various stories to just this set?

Could you foresee transforming any of these events into picture books for younger children?

Where did you get this book? The publisher donated a copy for review.

 What We’re Reading

middle grade mystery for boysCeltic Run by Sean Vogel (MB Publishing, 2012)
Reaction so far: I checked out the first page, and then the next thing I knew I was at chapter 3! Great, action-packed adventure!
Audience: upper elementary to middle grade
book source: publisher – we are reading an ePub galley
[cover used with permission]

A Gift Of Two Silver PistolsThe Gift of Two Silver Pistols by Nan Coleman (CreateSpace, 2012)
Reaction so far: I’m not sure what I like more … the girl hero, the ghost story, or the fact that the book is set in my neighborhood (literally!)


Click here to see other Reading Tub book reviews this month. Use these links to take you to your favorite children’s and young adult book categories.


Note: Book covers and titles link to Amazon.com, with which the Reading Tub has an affiliate relationship. We may earn income from purchases made through these links. They are offered for convenience and do not represent an obligation to buy from this vendor.