Hi there... This is the sixth 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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"Tucking Mommy In"
Written by Morag Loh
Illustrated by Donna Rawlins
(Orchard, 1987)

A sweet story about two girls whose mommy gets so tired at bedtime that she falls asleep before they do, while the big sister is telling a story. They rouse her from the little sister's bed, walk Mommy to her room, help her get undressed (a panel showing the mother's bra may be objectionable to some readers) and tuck her in so she can sleep. When daddy gets home they tell him the whole story, and he helps tuck them in goodnight. A nice, realistic slice-of-life story that will ring true for any overtired, semi-comotose parents out there. (Though, perhaps there are some of us won't be willing to admit our weakness to our kids... We are gods! We never tire!) The part where the kids order pizza and break out the Nintendo is not shown in this book. (A)

Written by David Wiesner
Illustrated by David Wiesner
(Clarion, 1991)

An early Wiesner book, in which frogs fly on enchanted lily pads, having a grand old time buzz-bombing unsuspecting humans across the landscape... The magic fades away as mysteriously as it began, leaving pond algae and lilly pads aplenty for the bewildered populace to puzzle over. It's goofy, mostly just a lark and an extended visual gag... But if you like flying frogs, this is the place to be! (B-)

"Turtle Bay"
Written by Saviour Pirotta
Illustrated by Nilesh Mistry
(Farrar, Strauss & Giroux, 1997)

A nice nature-loving story about a young boy who hangs out with an old man who teaches him respect for the sea and the animals that live in it. The other kids think old Jiro-San is a kook, but Taro and his sister help him pick trash up off the beach, in preparation for his "friends" making their return. It turns out Jiro-San's friends are a flock of sea turtles who come to the beach to lay their eggs, and the children not only get to see the magical egg-laying and hatching rituals, they help make them possible. (The book leaves unexplained how the eggs survive the depredations of the other beachgoers, who keep leaving trash on the beach, and presumably are tromping over the eggs nests the whole time...) A nice environmentalist narrative that evokes the wonder of nature and of this mystical ritual of reptilian rebirth. Probably best for slightly older kids, but smaller readers might like it as well. (B)

"William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night"
Retold by Bruce Coville
Illustrated by Tim Raglin
(Penguin/Dial Books, 2003)

A nice picturebook introduction to the works of the Bard, ideal for preteens and possibly younger readers... Purists may object, but Coville ably compresses Shakespeare's work into concise prose, lifting choice passages of dialogue, but mainly sticking to the contours of the plot, and leaving much of the archaic language, etc., aside. He's adapted several Shakespeare classics, but this one is particularly accessible because it isn't a tragedy or even particularly violent or dark, and thus easier for younger, more sensitive readers to get into. Wonderful artwork, too, with a woodcut-like quality, and yet a great deal of detail and depth. If you're looking for an entry point into the Shakespeare ouvre, this is a wonderful option. (B+)

"The Twin Princes"
Written by Tedd Arnold
Illustrated by Tedd Arnold
(Penguin/Dial, 2007)

A fairytale-style story about two young princes -- one nice, one sneaky -- who are given a challenge to see which one will succeed their father as the next king of Chickenlandia. Since they are both chickens, there are a lot of poultry-related puns woven into the text. The book's other gimmick is that it poses a riddle at the end: how can the two princes have a who-goes-slowest race, if both one wants to win? Not surprisingly, the good brother comes up with the answer, and the wicked one's sneaky deeds prove to be his undoing. The morality lesson is nice, although I found the artwork to be blocky and the punning a bit egregious. It's an okay book, though -- best for a kids who are on the older end of the picturebook spectrum. (B-)

"Two Dog Biscuits"
Written by Beverly Cleary
Illustrated by DyAnne DiSalvo-Ryan
(William Morrow & Co., 1961/1987)

The oddest of the "Jimmy and Janet" books, in which the two children are each given a dog biscuit by a neighbor, but since they don't have a dog of their own, they can't decide what to do with them. Their mom indulges their fancy, and takes them in a walk all across twon, looking for just the right critter to give the treats to... This one is pretty goofy, but if the series appeals to you anyway, it's another chance to find something complicated but un-upsetting and uncontroversial to read... Not the first book I would recommend, though. (C+)

"Two Girls Can"
Written by Keiko Narahashi
Illustrated by Keiko Narahashi
(Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2000)

I like this one. A lot. A pleasant, simple celebration of friendship (and girl power, though in a subtle, understated way..) Pairs of girls go through various everyday activities together -- playing games, reading inside, dressing up, hanging out -- and in the end, all the girls gather for a big dance party. The book is multicultural (again, without making a big deal of it...), life-affirming, and models many aspects of friendship, including negative emotions such as yelling at your friend, and then making up later. The artwork is joyful and appealing, with details that are easy to grasp and fun to talk about with little people. Nice! (A)

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