Tag Archives: raina telgemeier

Top Children’s Books of 2016

Published / by SarahE / Leave a Comment

I read over eighty books this year, but that number does not include the children’s books I read with my niece. If I had included those, my total book count of 2016 was well over 200. Norah and I love picture books (I think I love them slightly more). We also love Captain Underpants and Junie B. Jones. And we love animal books. And farting and pooping books. We have eclectic taste. So here’s the best children’s books I read this year!

This wonderfully illustrated book features an overwrought grandma, more than a handful of grandkids, some bears, goats, moon aliens, and wormholes. Also some beautifully knitted sweaters. If all these things sound swell, please pick it up at your local library and read it to the nearest child. They’ll thank you, and you’ll thank you.

I just think Carson Ellis is perfect. This book doesn’t even need to be read(it’s hard to read, because Ellis made-up her own language for the bugs). I gave it to my niece and she could figure out what was going on without the words. But here’s another thought: this would be great for phonetic practice, and less frustrating to read for kids who have a hard time memorizing sight words! But the illustrations make this book, so read it or just look at the pictures, either way Carson Ellis is a true master of her craft.

Must be read out loud with feeling! This would be a great book for a kid with a new baby brother or sister. I love Kate Beaton’s books. Have you read Hark, A Vagrant? No? Read it! I follow her on twitter, and she has an adorable little Scottish Terrier, which just adds to her over-all aura of fun. Here’s a link to her website:


Like Carson Ellis, I think Raina Telgemeier is perfect. This was just one of like ten of her books that I loved this year. Catrina and her family have to move to a new town because her little sister is sick. This is a fun book, but it deals with hard, sad topics. Recommended!

Umm, yeah. Sarah and Norah love this lots. Each page has a small illustration of an animal and one sad animal fact. Like, wolves without a  pack lose their howl. It’s adorable and was a Christmas present for Norah this year.

Do you remember those really good cartoons they used to make in the nineties when we were kids, but they don’t make anymore because…? I’m talking like- Rugrats, Doug, Bobby’s World, Hey Arnold, Chip and Dale Rescue Rangers, CatDog just to name a few of my favorites. They had those crisp blue skies, well groomed shrubbery. They always lived in quaint suburban homes that had big fenced in backyards (well not all the ones I listed fit this description, but I think you know what I’m talking about). That’s what this book reminded me of: a nineties cartoon, and I loved it.

This is just one in a series of many bug books by Elise Gravel. They’re short, cute pictures, and have an appropriate amount of facts for a young age group.

One of three Emily Brown books. They’re all adorable, and by the author who wrote the How to Train Your Dragon series.

Reimagining Greek heroes and monsters through board books. Yeah, Medusa’s got her own book. In case you’re wondering.

A biography of the story of the real Winnie that became Winnie the Pooh. Winnie started his journey in Canada right before WWI. It’s a really engaging read.

This was my favorite picture book of 2016. We lost our Golden Retriever at the end of 2015. Tuesday is a therapy dog for Luis who was a soldier and suffered from PTSD. It’s endearing, sweet, touching, and made my heart feel a lot of things.





March Reading Madness

Published / by SarahE / Leave a Comment

Okay I’ve been on a reading spree, and have neglected writing about a single thing I’ve read, so here’s my massive end of holiday reading recap:


Blacksad & The Isle of 100,000 Graves

Isles of 100,000 Graves is beyond anything that I have ever read. It is soooo strange, but in a good way. I liked it. A girl goes looking for her missing father and stumbles upon a school for hangmen, hence the 100,000 graves. The hangmen candidates put treasure maps that lead to the island in bottles and throw them in the ocean, which lures all kinds of ships to the island, so the hangmen students can practice their torturing and killing techniques. That’s where our heroine tracks down her father. Simple drawings, good story.

Blacksad has wonderful drawings. Blacksad is a cat P.I., but he’s not really a cat, he’s a human, but looks like a cat. Everyone else is also a type of animal. Like, the police are dogs, and there’s a bad guy frog, but they’re not frogs and dogs; they’re humans, essentially. It’s a great read, very reminiscent of the old hardboiled noir type mystery novels, i.e. Raymond Chandler. Just imagine Philip Marlowe as a cat…


Baba Yaga’s Assistant

By: Marika McCoola

Illustrated By: Emily Carroll

Baba Yaga is a witch from Russian fairytales. No one is really sure if she’s a good witch, or bad.. well, maybe people know, but I don’t know! Her role in fairytales is rather ambiguous, but in this graphic novel ‘ole Baba Yaga came off rather well. For a lot of people, Baba Yaga may be unknown. So here’s a picture:

and here’s a description: old, ugly, really long nose, rides around in a mortar with pestle, her house has chicken legs, and she eats children. In this story Masha’s mother and grandmother have died. Now she is left with only her father and new stepmother and stepsister. She feels misunderstood by her father, and her stepsister is awful and angry, so Masha runs away to find Baba Yaga and become her assistant. Baba Yaga is not an easy witch though, and makes Masha perform a series of tasks to prove she’s worthy. It’s a really solid YA graphic novel.

Sisters and Drama

By: Raina Telgemeier

I’m late to the game on this author. I’ve had her books on my to- read shelf for a while, but I’m not big on the whole YA genre, so I wasn’t in a big hurry to read them. Thank God there was little to no romance. Why, oh why, do people, and when I say people I really mean adults, enjoy YA romance? Anyway, Drama was all about theater design, art and identity, and Sisters was a refreshingly simple memoir about growing up with a sibling you don’t really get along with. I loved both novels, and read them in one sitting.

Beetle Boy

by: M.G. Leonard

I challenge you to read this novel and not want one of these when you’re done:

I loved this book! It’s a middle grade reader, so the kids are 10 or 11-ish, which I love because they’re not old enough for the much loathed YA romance. The story moves fast, and you’ll learn a whole bunch of crazy things about beetles and how totally cool they are! Plus, this is the first book in a trilogy, which is really exciting! Oh yeah, and it’s a mystery with a  Cruella Deville type villain (only, she wants beetles, not Dalmatians), can it get much more awesome than that?

Here’s some more beetles to get you in the mood:

That’s it for now, ciao.