Hi there... This is the first page of the Letter "W" 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 -- "W" By Title
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"Waiting For Baby"
Written by Harriet Ziefert
Illustrated by Emily Bolam
(Henry Holt & Company, 1999)

Some friends of ours are expecting their second child, so I've been on the watch for good "baby books" to help prime their first kid. This book, by the amazingly prolific Harriet Ziefert, is one of the best. A young boy named Max is wildly curious about the little one living inside his ever-expanding mother. He asks all kinds of questions and talks to her tummy all the time. When Mom tells Max she thinks the baby is going to come out soon, he gets super-excited and increasingly impatient as each day passes. After about a week, Max gives up and decides to go play by himself -- after which, of course, Mom goes to the hospital and delivers the baby. This book primes future siblings well, cutting through potential anxieties or jealousy, and making the whole process seem like fun. Recommended! (A)

"Wake Up, City!"
Written by Alvin Tresselt
Illustrated by Carolyn Ewing
(William Morrow & Co., 1990)

The rhythms of life in a big city are captured in this pre-dawn tone poem... Rosy-fingered dawn comes creeping an the city awakens, first clouds, then birds, then buildings and children and cars... The text is a teensy bit stilted, but that's okay -- it gives a great introduction to the mechanics of city life, the street cleaners and small markets, the traffic and transit. A clear, simple presentation that celebrates big-city life, based on a text originally written by Tresselt in the late 1950s. Recommended! (B+)

"Wake Up, City"
Written by Susan Verlander
Illustrated by Susan Verlander
(Chronicle Books, 2004)

A stylish, vibrant wake-up book, set in urban environs. This shows shopkeepers and subway cars, stalled commuters and school buses, all setting off to greet the day, already afire with loud noises and dazzling color. The artwork is cartoony and a little too stylized, and the text a bit thin, but if you're in the right mood, this could be a lot of fun. Beep, beep! Make way for the big city!! (C+)

"Wake Up, Engines!"
Written by Denise Dowling Mortenson
Illustrated by Melissa Iwai
(Clarion, 2007)

In this companion to Good Night, Engines, Ms. Mortenson again explores the world of things with wheels and engines that go vroooom. Cars, trucks, school buses, helicopters and planes all go zipping by, both in the outside world and in the playtime of a pre-preschool boy with a lot of cool toys. There are a couple of places where the text seems a bit too technical (For example, I have no idea what half of this passage means: "Traffic chopper, rooftop nest./Rotors spinning, preflight test./Volume heavy, morning glare./Cleared for takeoff. THUMP! THUMP! Air." But then again, we read a lot of books about ballet shoes and bunny rabbits, so we might not be the target audience... ) Anyway, I imagine for those who are cog-crazy and wild about wheels, this colorful book might be a real wowzer. Worth checking out if big machines are your thing. (B)

"Wake Up, Dad!"
Written by Sally Grimes
Illustrated by Siobhan Dodds
(Doubleday, 1988)

This is a hilarious book... written more for parents, perhaps, than for kids... But a child with the right sense of humor will enjoy is as well... Here's the story: a little girl bounds into her parent's bedroom at 6:30am and chatters away, trying to wake her oh-so-tired dad up. She opens the curtains, jumps on the bed, lets the cat in, and wonders aloud if that big spider on the floor is going to make a nest in Daddy's shoes... The details -- particularly the pained looks on the beleagured parents -- are quite amusing, and the infectious, bubbly personality of the irrepresible little girl comes through loud and clear. You can't help loving her, even if you feel sorry for the sleepy parents, too... This book rings true and never hits a false note. (B+)

"Wake Up, Engines!"
Written by Denise Dowling Mortenson
Illustrated by Melissa Iwai
(Clarion, 2007)


"Wake Up, Farm!"
Written by Alvin Tresselt
Illustrated by Carolyn Ewing
(William Morrow & Co., 1991)

The rural companion to Wake Up, City! (reviewed above). (-)

"Wake Up Me"
Written by Marni McGee
Illustrated by Sam Williams
(Simon & Schuster, 2002)

The follow-up to Sleepy Me, this has a similar feel, but is a little more interesting because it celebrates morning and wake-up rituals... Of the two, this was our favorite. Again, the artwork is really appealing and easy to comprehend, and the tone is really sweet. Too sweet for some, I'm sure, but if you're up for it, this is a nice little book. (B)

"Waking Beauty"
Written by Leah Wilcox
Illustrated by Lydia Monks
(Penguin/G.P. Putnam, 2008)

The sequel to Wilcox's delightful fairytale spoof, Falling For Rapunzel, this book recreates some of the loopy charm and tart, clever rhyming of the first, although it's not quite as punchy or crisp. Here, a hapless prince comes across a sleeping princess, but every time the three fairies that guard her bed try to tell him what to do, he interrupts them and tries something else. When he finally realizes they expect him to kiss the girl, his reaction is decidedly six-year-oldish: yucko! Prince Charming does as he's told, though, and just as he's starting to enjoy the kiss, the princess wakes up and decks him. (Then she has to wake him up.) The sensuousness of the kiss and the thematic emphasis on her punching the prince may be a little worrisome to more overprotectivoid parents, but on the whole this is a fine, fluffy treat. I absolutely love Lydia Monks' artwork, and once again she delivers on this one. A nice twist on the fairy princess genre. (B)

"Walk On! A Guide For Of All Ages"
Written by Marla Frazee
Illustrated by Marla Frazee
(Harcourt, 2006)

A tongue-in-cheek how-to guide for babies who want to become toddlers... Told, with great earnestness, from the baby's point of view, this actually is a functional primer on how to learn to walk, taking the process step by step and encouraging little ones to be brave and move forward. This book probably has a pretty short shelf-life, though: if your kid has already been walking for a while, this stuff is old news... But if you read and talk a lot to your pre-toddler, and believe that they are basically "getting" everything you say to them, this could be a prefect book for a kid on the cusp of taking off... This doesn't quite have the lightness of touch and universality of Frazee's Everywhere Babies, but it's still awfully cute, and a pretty good peptalk. Worth checking out. (B)

"Way Down Deep In The Deep Blue Sea"
Written by Jan Peck
Illustrated by Valeria Petrone
(Simon & Schuster, 2004)

A young boy's bathtime is filled with fantastical encounters with octopi, turtles, starfish and whales -- even a bit of buried treasure can be found inside the world of imagination. The rhyming scheme which is a little clunky here is used to better effect in the follow-up book, Way Up High In A Tall Green Tree, which features a female heroine. (B)

"Way Up High In A Tall Green Tree"
Written by Jan Peck
Illustrated by Valeria Petrone
(Simon & Schuster, 2005)

The follow-up to Peck's Way Down Deep In The Deep Blue Sea, this features a young girl meeting numerous jungle animals as she climbs higher and higher into a seemingly limitless tree. When she sees the moon through the uppermost leaves, it's time to come back down, and that's when we discover that was actually climbing to the upper tier of her bunk bed, and that all the animals are her bedtime toys. Nice images of an active, athletic, fearless little girl -- Deep Blue Sea is the male version of the same basic format. (B+)

"The Way To Wyatt's House"
Written by Nancy White Carlstrom
Illustrated by Mary Morgan
(Walker & Company, 2000)

An exploration of sounds. Two siblings tramp through the forest to visit their friend Wyatt at his farmhouse... They hear the crinkle of the leaves, the clicking of beetles and -- at Wyatt's house -- a dog barking, a goat bleating, etc. There's also the squeal of childish laughter and eventually the beep-beep of their parent's car when it's time to go home. I wasn't totally wowed by this book, although there's nothing wrong with it, per se. It's functional, if a bit bland. (C)

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