Hi there... This is the first page of the Letter "T" in an alphabetical list 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 -- "T" By Title
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"Tails"
Written by Matthew Van Fleet
Illustrated by Matthew Van Fleet
(Red Wagon Books, 2003)

Probably the ultimate lift-the-flap book of 2003, this one's a real doozie, featuring all kinds of animal tails, fuzzy, rubbery, bumpy, scaly... The rhyming scheme ain't bad, but the pictures and all the bells and whistles -- lifting flaps, a scratch'n'smell skunk, a climactic four-page fold-out of a whale -- make this irresitible to little hands and eyes. It's a fun book. I'm not sure, but I think I saw that in a second edition the glittery peacock tail is now a dull blue... I could be wrong, though... Anyway, this one's highly recommended. (A)


"The Tale Of Tricky Fox"
Written by Jim Aylesworth
Illustrated by Barbara McClintock
(Scholastic Books, 2001)

An Aesop-ish story, apparently from New England, about a wily fox who comes up with a complicated scheme for stealing a pig from a farmer. There are some mildly disturbing elements -- the foxes wanting to eat other animals, and the big bulldog that viciously bites the foxes at the end -- that may make this unsuitable for littler readers. And, again, Aylesworth puts on some folksy rhetorical airs that can distract from the story. Overall, though, this book flows well, and thoughtful adults can read around the violent stuff. Although McClintock's artwork is not the most magical she's ever done, it's still quite nice, and serves the story well. (B-)


"Talk, Baby!"
Written by Harriet Ziefert
Illustrated by Emily Bolam
(Henry Holt & Company, 1999)

In this follow-up to Waiting For Baby, young Max loves his little sister, but is impatient for her to learn to speak. A common situation, no doubt, although the almost-bullying tone of some of Max's attempts to get the baby to talk may be a little more aggressive than some parents would like. Mostly good, although for another book dealing with the same subject, I greatly prefer Fred Haitt's Baby Talk, which has a sweeter tone overall. This one's worth checking out, but you might want to preview it before reading it to that excitable older sibling you have on your hands, just to make sure if it's the right emotional tone you want to explore... (B)


"Tangerines And Tea -- My Grandparents And Me"
Written by Ona Grines
Illustrated by Yumi Heo
(Harry N. Abrams, 2005)

An offbeat, kooky alphabet book -- the letters aren't placed in the foreground here, but rather each page features a short sentence with three or so words starting with that letter... "A nap at noon in a noisy room... The perfect friend for playing pretend..." Artist Yumi Heo's graphics include some of her more restrained, relatively conventional work... This one didn't wow my little girl, but older kids might enjoy it more. It's a new approach, for sure, and if that's what you're looking for, this is a nice, artsy option. (C+)


"Tanya And Emily In A Dance For Two"
Written by Patricia Lee Gauch
Illustrated by Satomi Ichikawa
(Philomel, 1994)

In this followup to the initial Tanya books, our heroine is older and has been taking dance lessons for a while. A new girl joins her class and Tanya is envious of her skill and elegance... The two eventually form a friendship and dance together, each getting something new and valuable from the friendship. The ballet instructor notices how well they work together and gives them a solo number in the class recital. A nice story, with exuberant, evocative dance images. Recommended. (A)


"Tanya And The Magic Wardrobe"
Written by Patricia Lee Gauch
Illustrated by Satomi Ichigawa
(Philomel, 1997)

One of the most complex and compelling of the Tanya stories... During her first trip to a real, professional ballet performance, Tanya wanders backstage and meets the wardrobe manager, an older woman who shares her love of dancing and imaginative play with Tanya. As she brings out various costumes, they play roles from "Sleeping Beauty," "Cinderella," "The Nutcracker" and other favorites, including "Copellia," the ballet Tanya came to see... The story explores the artistic impulse from a variety of perspectives, and is joyful and playful throughout (with none of the anxieties or darkness of some of the other Tanya titles...) Recommended! (A)


"Tanya And The Red Shoes"
Written by Patricia Lee Gauch
Illustrated by Satomi Ichikawa
(Philomel, 2002)

One of the more negative of the Tanya books... Here, Tanya yearns to learn to dance on point, but is told she is too young for that, and will have to wait. She practices at home, but when she finally gets pointe shoes and is allowed to try them out, she discovers how painful and difficult actually dancing en pointe can be... This is one of those bummerific ballet books that might be true to life, but it's kind of a downer, and may discourage kids who are interested in taking up dance. This is one that I leave at the library, if I can get away with it. (C)


"A Tanya Treasury"
Written by Patricia Lee Gauch
Illustrated by Satomi Ichikawa
(Philomel, 2002)

This handsomely bound volume gathers three of the best Tanya books, Dance, Tanya, Tanya And Emily In A Dance For Two and Presenting Tanya, The Ugly Duckling. Often reprint collections like this shortchange readers as far as the layout and artwork, but not this one... The pages lay perfectly flat, the reproductions are true to the originals, and the books is quite easy to read. As noted above, the Ugly Duckling story is a little hard to track, but overall, this edition is a great introduction to the series and certainly worth picking up. (A)


"Tatty Ratty"
Written by Helen Cooper
Illustrated by Helen Cooper
(Farrar Straus Giroux, 2001)

When a little girl named Molly loses a beloved stuffed rabbit named Tatty Ratty, her parents soften the blow by spinning a long story imagining how Tatty had all kinds of wonderful adventures after he got off the bus that Molly left him on. By the time Tatty Ratty has sailed on pirate ships and been to the moon, they find a suitable replacement, which the girl obligingly decides is the "real" Tatty Ratty, all cleaned up and back at the toy shop. Although Cooper's pages tend to be a bit cluttered, the panels showing the parents and child together are full of nuanced emotion and familiar warmth. The ongoing dialogue concerning the fate of the stuffed animal, and Molly's flexibility in dealing with a minor disaster, demonstrates the power of imagination to help children adapt and cope with disappointment. A long, involved narrative that rings true and will charm parents and kids alike; slightly clumsy artwork. (B)




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