Hi everybody! Welcome to our Kids Book Review Library Haul post! This is where I give you quick and snappy reviews of our favorites from our weekly library haul. We read a LOT of children’s books from the library, so I don’t bother reviewing all the ones that were just mediocre. I like to keep things positive too, so books that I thought were terrible don’t usually make it into the list either… unless I just really want to rant about it for a while. Let us know in the comments which books were winners in YOUR library haul!
#1. Places In Time: A New Atlas of American History by Elspeth Leacock and Susan Buckley
Places In Time introduces children to different eras in American history through different people and the towns they lived in. It’s really a collection of short stories. Each page spread shows a different town or compound and tells just a snippet of it’s history. Certain things are highlighted all over the page with numbers and corresponding paragraphs of explanation.
To be honest, this one is on the edge of being too much for my kids to sit through, but Sophia will sit through a few pages at a time, and since each of the pages is a story in and of itself, I think it’s a fun way to work through the book. Even though her attention span doesn’t quite last the whole book, she seems interested in what we’ve read and has asked a lot of questions.
This is one of the books I’ve added to our reading haul to balance out the fluff for a couple of weeks. It will take some time to get through it, but my goal is to balance out the endless princess stories with some nonfiction.
We really liked it: 4 out of 5 stars.
Ah yes, the princess stories. This is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. There is not much that makes this retelling unique, just based off of the story itself. It is the age-old story of Beauty and the Beast, and it stays more true to the original tale by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont than the Disney version does. What really set this book apart was the illustrations. The illustrations, done by Sarah Gibb, are GORGEOUS. I don’t often read kids books and think, ‘Oh, I just love the pictures in this book’, and I’ve never really considered using pages as artwork in a nursery, except for maybe Dr. Suess, but with this book, I would. They are so pretty!
This is Sophia’s favorite book out of the haul this week.
We really liked it: 4 out of 5 stars
The Princess of 8th Street is a story about the tiny, shy, Princess Jane, who hasn’t made friends with any of the lords and ladies at the pleasure grounds, because they’re all very loud and very fast, and she can’t keep up. She doesn’t usually mind, though it can get a bit lonely with just the royal zoo and her very silent ladies in waiting for company. One day, all of that changes though. Princess Jane plays a game at the play ground and finds an eternal ally and friend in the Princess of 10th street.
I don’t know what happened between last week and this week, but suddenly all the books that we have are SO. LONG. I’m glad Sophia’s attention span has apparently made the leap to the next level, but my vocal chords are wearing out.
This is a cute little story about making friends, even when you’re anxious about it. As it is also coated in a healthy dose of princess-ese, Sophia was a huge fan.
We really liked it: 4 out of 5 stars
This easy to read, nonfiction book covers the most basic steps to building a skyscraper. It really could have covered a bit more, in my opinion. I wasn’t exactly expecting an encyclopedia on the subject, but a little more encyclopedia would have been nice. Each page only has a few words, but it’s not the sort of book that appeals to a very young child. I imagine that it is meant to be read by a beginning reader.
All that aside, it was still an addition to the nonfiction, and Sophia started drawing skyscrapers, so I consider it a win.
We liked it: 4 out of 5 stars