Hi there... This is the second page of the Letter "L" in an alphabetical listing of children's books reviewed on ReadThatAgain.com... All these books are also listed by Author in another section of the site.

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Kids Books -- "L" By Title
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"Library Lion"
Written by Michelle Knudsen
Illustrated by Kevin Hawkes
(Candlewick, 2006)

A great book about a big, gentle lion that wanders into a local library and becomes a favorite friend of the head librarian and all the kids who come to storytime. He runs afoul of the persnicketty circulation manager, Mr. McBee, who doesn't think that lions belong in libraries -- especially not his library. But as long as he doesn't break any rules, like running or roaring, then Miss Merriweather (who's a stickler for rules) doesn't have any problem with it. One day, when Miss Merriweather has an accident, the lion has to roar to get her some help, but he thinks he'll be in trouble for making noise. Turns out it's alright, though -- one of the lessons of the book is that there are times it's okay to break the rules. Eventually, even mean old Mr. McBee comes around, and becomes the lion's friend. Great story, easily understood and full of wry humor -- the artwork is delightful and perfectly supports the text... This one is a real winner, and also has the durable, timeless feel that will make it a classic. Check it out! (A+)

"The Line-Up Book"
Written by Marisabina Russo
Illustrated by Marisabina Russo
(Greenwillow, 1987)

This is an adorable story -- the first children's book written by illustrator Marisabina Russo (also known for her work with The New Yorker magazine). When a little boy named Sam (who's maybe three or four years old?) gets called to lunch, he's in the middle of a "big project" and keeps procrastinating until Mom starts to count, "ONE.... TWO...." Sam starts with his blocks, lining them up to the edge of his room, then he gets some bath toys and adds them to the line, then some toy trucks, then some shoes... until finally the line stretches all the way from his bedroom to the kitchen door. Mom, who was getting kind of grumpy, yelling for him to come and eat, melts when she sees what Sam has been up to... As do we! This is a lovely, simple story that perfectly captures the intensity and introversion with which little kids can gets into their made-up games, and also shows how the adult world and the kid world have to negotiate a little to let each one work. This one's a favorite! (A+)

"The Lion And The Little Red Bird"
Written by Elisa Kleven
Illustrated by Elisa Kleven
(Dutton, 1992)

A sweet story about art and creativity, told in Kleven's dense yet joyful graphic style. An inquisitive little songbird sees a lion with a green tail, and follows the lion around, trying to figure out where the color came from. Each day the tail's color changes, and the bird becomes more and more curious... It turns out the lion is painting a beautiful mural in its den, and when the bird is invited in, and sees the pretty pictures, she adds her own art to the project by singing a beautiful song. A lovely, magical story with a relatively complicated plot and thoroughly entrancing artwork. Nice introduction to this delightful storyteller's work. (B+)

"Lisa And The Snowman"
Written by Coby Hol
Illustrated by Coby Hol
(North South, 1989)

Translated from German, this is a sweet story about a girl who builds a snowman after the first big snowfall and then notices it looks glum without the right kind of hat on it... She tries out a few different chapeaus until she hits on the right one, and then old Snowy smiles at last... Nice magical thinking and delightful artwork, skillfully made from torn-up shreds of colored paper... Surprisingly expressive and full of life! (B+)

"Lisa's Airplane Trip"
Written by Anne Gutman
Illustrated by Georg Hallensleben
(Hachette Jeunesse/Alfred A. Knopf, 1999)

Lisa misbehaves (but not too badly) on a trans-oceanic flight from Paris to New York... Considering that she was flying alone, she actually wasn't that bad at all! The mishaps (she stands on her food tray in order to see the in-flight movie) are unfortunate, but compared to other books in this series, pretty negligible... That aside, this book is a nice, friendly introduction to the idea of plane travel, and one you might like to use in preparation for an upcoming trip. As ever, Hallensleben's artwork is delightful, pulling you in instantaneously while imparting a sense of playfulness and delight. Recommended. (B)

"Lisa In New York"
Written by Anne Gutman
Illustrated by Georg Hallensleben
(Hachette Jeunesse/Alfred A. Knopf, 2001)

The continuation of Lisa's Airplane Trip, (reviewed below) in which an adorable-yet-vexing little French wabbit-girl runs amok in the Big Apple. She sees the sights, gets lost for a while, then is retrieved by her uncle, who she has come to visit. Of the books in the series, this one seemed to have the least purpose -- there was no real bite to it (for parents of a bold disposition) and it's another showcase for misbehavior (ruling it out for the more nervous caretakers...) I suppose if you've read the Airplane Trip trip book, you may want to follow up and she what Lisa does when she gets there... But I decided not to bring this one home and find that life continues along just fine without it. (C)

"Lisa's Baby Sister"
Written by Anne Gutman
Illustrated by Georg Hallensleben
(Hachette Jeunesse/Alfred A. Knopf, 1999)

Uh-oh. Lisa, the queen of chaos, with a baby sister? Look out! With a new sibling on the way, Lisa is unhappy and jealous, and vows never to speak to it or play with it after it's born. She changes her mind, though, once she gets to spend time with the baby, and decides it would make a pretty cool toy. This book is an honest (and genuinely funny) exploration of some deep negative emotions, and may be of use to parents whose kids are, indeed, upset by having to share the nest with a new sibling. If, however, your child seems okay with the whole situation, don't expose them to this story -- it may raise issues and feelings that would be otherwise best left well enough alone. (These are some pretty funny sequences in here, though, that adults may get a kick out of; great artwork, too. But adults may get more out of this than little kids...) (B)

"A Listening Walk"
Written by Paul Showers
Illustrated by Aliki
(Harper Collins, 1991)

A nice book about and girl and her daddy who like to go on "listening walks," where instead of talking, they try to hear as many sounds as they can. Ideal for reading aloud, this gives lots of opportunity for creative special effects, doing jet planes, rattly old cars, bicycle bells and pigeons in the park. A nice touch is that, rather than have the duck at the pond go "quack, quack," they go "gahnk, gahnk," which is truer to life. Neat idea for a book, and possibly more accessible than similar nature-oriented hiking books. This is a revised edition -- the story was first published in 1961, with different artwork. (B)

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