Saturday, March 6, 2021

Winter Reading 2021 The Little Butterfly That Could


This seems to be a year for picture book follow-ups. Ross Burach fans will be thrilled to see that The Very Impatient Caterpillar now has a companion book. This time the title character is in search of the other migrating butterflies. As the length of the migration is revealed by a helpful whale, the butterfly despairs of ever completing the journey. "Can I take a plane?" "No." "A hot air balloon?" "No." "A blimp?" "No." Our friend the butterfly is worried about all sorts of obstacles - getting lost, storms, being eaten, etc. But with some pep talk from the whale, the migration is resumed.

The comments and antics of the butterfly are made even more humorous by the illustrations. Readers will see the butterfly attempt to set up housekeeping in the whale's stomach, chugging from a water bottle and wearing a headband like a marathon runner, even standing in a puddle of its own tears. They will also learn a few facts along the way about migration, dormancy, predators, and perseverance.

Those who have already met The Very Impatient Caterpillar will delight in this new story and end it with the hope for yet another sequel. Readers new to this feisty protagonist will be just as entertained and amused. Perfect for preschool and early elementary readers.

Expected to publish on April 6th.

Winter Reading 2021 Chicken Little and the Big Bad Wolf

What do you get when you combine a character known for panicking and a character that instills fear in others? A bunch of secondary characters running around like, well...chickens. "I am SO not scared of any wolf," Chicken Little declares on the title page and then proceeds to explain that it doesn't matter because there are no one but chickens around. "Wham!" A wolf out for a jog crashes into Chicken Little and sets off a flurry of activity when the news reaches the barnyard. Wolf didn't eat Chicken Little, but does that prove anything?

Plenty of clich├ęs are worked into the story and used to great comic effect. The chickens argue over what to do and break into "Team Fight" and "Team Flight" as they debate their options. Chicken Little channels Nancy Sinatra declaring, "These boots aren't made for running!" When everyone decides their best option is "to fly the coop," they all don aviator goggles and caps. (They do look very charming.) And one chicken even blurts out that the wolf "will huff and puff and blow our coop down!" Readers will be curious to see how the story ends.

This is a great read for classes studying folktales or fractured fairy tales. It is also a good story to start a discussion about judging people on appearances or preconceived notions. The dedication "For anyone who's had to look for a place to belong and for all the flocks that welcomed them in" offers a clue to the books' theme of welcome and inclusion. Fans who enjoyed Wedelich's  Chicken Little: The Real and Totally True Tale will be delighted at this second book, and new readers will want to search out the first book as soon as they finish this one. 

Just released and sure to be a hit among elementary and preschool readers.


Monday, March 1, 2021

Winter Reading 2021 Walking Toward Peace: The True Story of a Brave Woman Called Peace Pilgrim

Stories of pacifists are not always told in a way that captures the interest of young readers. This picture book uses details like Peace Pilgrim's goal of walking twenty-five thousand miles, preparing for her trip by learning to forage for food,  and the fact that she never carried any money to arouse curiosity. The illustration of a giant crayon tracing a path across the United States is the perfect image to show how she visualized her journey. The ways she immersed herself in "good thoughts and good actions every day" offer examples for others to follow. Illustrations of the areas she traveled through and the people she met help to show how large and varied our country is. The diversity of the children and families she visits also help to underscore the universality of her message. 

Great for classes looking for positive role models or parents looking for strong female heroes. 

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Winter Reading 2021 My Very Favorite Book in the Whole Wide World

Need a book to offer a reader who loves Mrs. Brooks Loves Books (And I Don't)? Try the story of Henley who still has not found a book that he loves. It is not that he doesn't try.  He visits the library and the book store. He has even tried books about "cats chasing mice up a mountain while aliens eat pickles with monsters." Henley has taken books to the pool to see if they can swim (yikes!), is tempted to use others as pillows, and would "rather see how many grapes" he can fit into his mouth than read recipes to help fix dinner. With all his efforts, he has not found a single book that can be called a favorite. Then his mother makes a comment that gives him a wonderful way to complete his assignment and share the book with his class.

Illustrations show Henley offering books to dinosaurs in the museum, stuffing his face with grapes, and frowning as his teacher gives the assignment for the class to bring in their favorite book to share. Adults will laugh at the titles shown in the bookstore's front window like Dial "B" for Boring or ZZZZZZZ and a sign that reads "SALE on boring books." And Henley's classmates are a diverse group that will allow readers to see themselves within the pages.

Written by Super Bowl champ and literacy crusader Malcolm Mitchell, his author note explains that "this book offers the true story of my life as a reader." What better way to encourage others who have not yet stumbled upon the book that cements their love of reading? 

Winter Reading 2021 The Thingity-Jig

Bear finds a perfect thingity-jig to play with, but his friends are too busy sleeping to help. What can Bear do except put his tinkering skills to work and build a contraption to get the thingity-jig home? This book shows how someone with maker-space skills can solve a variety of problems using materials at hand. There are examples of onomatopoeia - "Bingity. Bing. Boing!" Although it is not a rhyming text, it has a Seussian quality with its descriptions of "... a springy thing. A bouncy thing. A sit-on-it, hop-on-it, jump-on-it thing." The pencil, ink, and digital illustrations show a bear about the size of a small child who has a grand time bouncing and jumping and building, taking "matters into his own paws." Fox, Rabbit, and Raccoon aren't so enthusiastic in the middle of the night - perfectly showing a situation where one friend's enthusiasm is not appreciated or acted upon by the rest of the group. And, of course, once the thingity-jig is available, those reluctant friends monopolize it as poor Bear stands by and waits for his turn.

Great for young kids who enjoy playing with friends, tinkering and building, and books full of phrases fun to read aloud. Sure to be a bedtime or story time favorite. Publication date April 1st.

Winter Reading 2021 Spi-ku: A Clutter of Short Verses on Eight Legs

Perfect for spider enthusiasts and teachers looking for mentor texts to encourage students to respond to science units in creative ways. Each spread includes a block of text about a topic (mealtime,  movement, senses, etc.), one or more poems about the topic, and illustrations that showcase spiders carrying out the actions described. Readers will see spiders peeking from beneath a chef's hat, diving underwater, and building trapdoors among a variety of other activities. Nonfiction features include a table of contents,  glossary, spider identification guide, suggestions for further study, a size comparison chart, and a guide to poetic forms used in the book. There is also an explanation of how to go on a spider hunt to find and observe spiders.

Whether readers are looking for details about spider anatomy (there is a full-page diagram), or which creatures in the arachnid family are true spiders, there are plenty of facts to be explored. Each spread has a heading referenced in the table of contents and some of them are quite funny, such as "Worldwide Webbers" for the spread about spider web creation. The variety of poetic forms is also excellent for classroom use - with examples of haiku, tanka, cinquain, dodoitsu, concrete, and other forms. 

Recommended for upper elementary/middle grade classes or spider enthusiasts.

Monday, February 22, 2021

One Jar of Magic Awareness Tour

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Enter for a chance to win a set of books by Corey Ann Haydu, including One Jar of Magic.

One (1) grand prize winner receives:

  • A hardcover copy of One Jar of Magic

  • A hardcover copy of Eventown

  • A hardcover copy of The Someday Suitcase

  • A hardcover copy of Rules for Stealing Stars

Four (4) winners receive:

  • A hardcover copy of One Jar of Magic

The giveaway begins February 9, 2021, at 12:01 A.M. MT and ends March 8, 2021, at 11:59 P.M. MT.


One Jar of Magic

Written by Corey Ann Haydu

Publisher’s Synopsis: Magic is like a dream. Delightful. Terrifying. Unreal.

Rose Alice Anders is Little Luck. Lucky to be born into the Anders family. Lucky to be just as special and magical as the most revered man in town—her father. The whole town has been waiting for Rose to turn twelve, when she can join them in their annual capturing of magic on New Year’s Day and become the person she was born to be.

But when that special day finally comes, Rose barely captures one tiny jar of magic. Now Rose’s dad won’t talk to her anymore and her friendships have gotten all twisted and wrong. So when Rose hears whispers that there are people who aren’t meant for magic at all, she begins to wonder if that’s who she belongs with.

Maybe if she’s away from all the magic, away from her dad telling her who she’s meant to be, who she has to be, Rose can begin to piece together what’s truly real in a world full of magic.

Ages 8-12 | 352 Pages | Publisher: HarperCollins | ISBN-13: 9780062689856







Corey Ann Haydu is the author of Eventown, The Someday Suitcase, and Rules for Stealing Stars and four acclaimed books for teens. She grew up in the Boston area, earned her MFA at the New School, and now lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her dog Oscar.

Find out more at


What is it like to be a child about to reach your 12th birthday and have impossible expectations thrust upon you by your father and, by extension, your hometown? Rose Alice Anders was born on New Year’s Eve the year that her father captured the most jars of magic anyone had ever heard of. Since that time he has called her Little Luck and continually told her that she will be just as magical as he is.

But is magic such a good thing? Should all life’s problems be solved by applying a magical bandaid? Worried about football tryouts? Open a jar of magic. Want a different hair color? Open a jar of magic. Yet, with all the jars crowding their house, Rose isn’t sure that their family is happy. If magic is so important and special, she wonders why things aren’t easier.

As Rose and the reader learn, magic isn’t a cure-all. It can’t help you hold onto friends that are growing up and growing apart. It can’t keep loved ones from dying. It can’t hold families together. But maybe there is something better than magic. Maybe human efforts and skills that have gone unappreciated in the town of Belling Bright are more important than the townsfolk have been willing to admit. And maybe one jar of magic is enough.

This is a great story for anyone who is feeling the pressure of conforming, meeting unreasonable expectations, or questioning all the books about magic that don’t show a downside. Without giving away a big spoiler, I just want to say that there are young readers who are going to identify strongly with Rose and will appreciate the additional information in the author’s note.


February 9

The Children's Book Review

Book Review

February 10

Crafty Moms Share

Book Review

February 11

The Children's Book Review


February 12

Lisa's Reading

Book List

February 15

Barbara Ann Mojica's Blog

Book Review

February 16

The Children's Book Review

Book List

February 17

Tales of A Wanna-Be SuperHero Mom

Book Review

February 18

J.R.s Book Reviews

Book Review

February 19

Library Lady's Kid Lit


February 22

Word Spelunking

Guest Post

February 23

Fairview Elementary School (Library)

Book Review

February 24

Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers

Book Review

February 25



The Fairview Review is participating in the tour in partnership with The Children’s Book Review and HarperCollins Publishers.