The Bookbag, Books for Ages 4 to 8, July/August 2007

Given that it’s back to school time, in addition to the usual bookbags, we added a short post with some great get-ready-for-school stories! (Look for the posting called School is in the Bag!)

Here are some of our favorites from those lazy days of summer. There have been lots to choose from … with nearly 50 reviews these past two months!

1001 Things to Do in Fairyland by Gillian Doherty. There are 14 themed pages filled with the things that little girls love … and plenty of fairies and princess paraphernalia, too. This is a seek-and-find book for discerning objects and counting. “This is I Spy in pink! and perfectly suited for the Kindergarten set.” (Usborne, 2005)

Courage the Monkey by Mark Jordan. Jonathan is a spider monkey who is about to turn 11. When you’re 11, you can climb a tree … but Jonathan is scared. He was so embarrassed about it that he stopped playing with his friends. Can he overcome his fear? (Decere Publishing, 2006)

Growing up Grizzly by Douglas H. Chadwick. Emmett (a grizzly) seemed to be lost. He spent his days in this remote cove in Alaska, mostly looking lonely. He needed friends. Then one day, he happened upon Baylee (a momma grizzly) and her three new cubs. This is a photo-journey that follows Baylee, the cubs, and Emmett (the adopted bear) through two years. (Falcon Guide, an Imprint of Globe Pequot Press, 2007)

Molly and the Sword by Robert Shlasko. When Molly’s family needs water, she volunteers to go to the village square to get some. Except that this is a time of war, and she is mistaken for a spy. But fate steps in and she returns home. Many years later, as she is about to play her violin at a great performance hall, she is trying to muster all of her courage again. Can she do it? This is a story that shows that bravery, courage, and friendship show themselves in different ways. (Jane & Street Publishers, Ltd, 2004)

Now Caitlin Can: A Donate Organ Helps a Child Get Well by Ramona Wood. Freddie Pendzinski has all kinds of feelings. He is happy to have a new baby sister, but frustrated because she is sick all the time. He tries to be a good big brother, but it’s hard, and he is sad. When he learns that she needs to have a kidney transplant, he worries if it will really help. This picture book follows the life of Caitlin Pendzinski and her need for a kidney tranpslant. “This an excellent book to enlighten children about children whose lives may not be like their own. It is not bogged down in detail, but it does explain things; but neither does it gloss over the facets of a organ donation.” (ABC Press, 2004)

Party Princess (Teach Your Children Well Series) by Vanita Braver, MD. Madison wants to look beautiful for her birthday party, so she decide to borrow Mom’s makeup … without asking. Instead, she ended up looking and feeling terrible about herself. Throughout the story’s events she learned that beauty comes from the inside not the outside. This is a picture book with life lessons for little girls. (Child and Family Press, 2005)

Tell me a Story: Timeless Folktales from Around the World by Amy Friedman. This collection of eight folktales lets children explore the qualities we hope they learn (wisdom, wit, compassion, generosity) as well as those we don’t (selfishness, greed, theft). This is an eBook collection of folktales from around the world. (Friedman & Danziger, 2006)