Review: Little Cub by Olivier Dunrea

little cub

Little Cub by Olivier Dunrea

The author of the Gossie books returns with this companion book to Old Bear and His Cub that explains the way that Old Bear and Little Cub met.  Little Cub lived all alone near the forest with ono one to take care of him.  He was often hungry and slept alone and cold outside.  Old Bear lived alone too.  He had plenty to eat and a warm place to live, but no one to share it with.  Then one day, Old Bear heard odd noises coming from a pile of rocks.  It was Little Cub, trying to sleep curled into a ball.  It was Old Bear who named him Little Cub and Old Bear who took him home, gave him food, tucked him into a warm bed, and promised to teach him how to fish.  And it was Little Cub who filled up that empty bed so that neither of them had to be alone any more.

This is such a warm story.  Showing the way that Little Cub and Old Bear came together to be a family is honey rich.  Dunrea takes him time showing the parallels between the two bears’ lonely lives.  Though they are different in age, in being able to care for themselves, they are alike at heart and searching for something new. 

Dunrea’s writing is simple but also cheery.  Though it explores a child alone in the cold wilderness, one doesn’t worry because there is a sense of safety throughout.  Children will understand the hunger and chill and also that level of joy that is clear.  A large part of this are the illustrations that show blustery winds but also have the security and solidity of Old Bear right there too.  He is the hope for Little Cub, one that radiates across the pages.

Fans of Dunrea will enjoy this new series and those who read the first in the series will cheer to see Old Bear and Little Cub return.  Appropriate for ages 3-5.

Reviewed from copy received from Philomel.

Harry Potter Beats Gruffalo


A poll to help celebrate International Children’s Book Day sees some intriguing results.  Both children and parents were able to vote:

Children selected Harry Potter as their favorite character with 38% of the kid vote.  The Gruffalo got 34% and the Cat in the Hat received 28%.

But Rowling did not get selected as best ever children’s author, Roald Dahl won that category for both children and parents.  In the children’s vote Rowling came in second with Beatrix Potter taking third.  Something I am completely charmed by.  The parental vote had Enid Blyton second with Rowling third. 

Perhaps my favorite result of the survey are that more than half of the parents polled said that their children are reading the same books as they did as children.  Now that’s a great family tradition!

TES Teacher’s Favorite Books


TES Magazine in the UK surveyed teachers to find out what their favorite books are.  500 primary and secondary teachers participated in the survey and the result is a list of 100 top books.  It’s a very intriguing mix of classics and popular fiction.

As with any list, there are ones I love and others that I sigh at in despair (Twilight is number 77).  Enjoy!  And let me know which ones you delight in or sigh at!


1. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

2. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

3. Harry Potter (series) by J.K. Rowling

4. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

5. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

6. Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell

7. The Lord of the Rings (series) J.R.R. Tolkien

8. The Book Thief Markus Zusak

9. The Hobbit J.R.R. Tolkien

10. The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald

11. The Kite Runner Khaled Hosseini

12. The Hunger Games (series) Suzanne Collins

13. The Time Traveller’s Wife Audrey Niffenegger

14. The Chronicles of Narnia (series) C.S. Lewis

15. Of Mice and Men John Steinbeck

16. Birdsong Sebastian Faulks

17. His Dark Materials (series) Philip Pullman

18. The Gruffalo Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler

19. The Catcher in the Rye J.D. Salinger

20. Life of Pi Yann Martel

21. Tess of the d’Urbervilles Thomas Hardy

22. Rebecca Daphne du Maurier

23. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time Mark Haddon

24. Lord of the Flies William Golding

25. Matilda Roald Dahl

26. Catch-22 Joseph Heller

27. Millennium (series) Stieg Larsson

28. Animal Farm George Orwell

29. The Handmaid’s Tale Margaret Atwood

30. Persuasion Jane Austen

31. One Hundred Years of Solitude Gabriel Garcia Marquez

32. Kensuke’s Kingdom Michael Morpurgo

33. Goodnight Mister Tom Michelle Magorian

34. The Grapes of Wrath John Steinbeck

35. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Roald Dahl

36. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas John Boyne

37. Little Women Louisa May Alcott

38. One Day David Nicholls

39. We Need to Talk About Kevin Lionel Shriver

40. The Twits Roald Dahl

41. Wolf Hall Hilary Mantel

42. A Thousand Splendid Suns Khaled Hosseini

43. The Wind in the Willows Kenneth Grahame

44. Frankenstein Mary Shelley

45. Great Expectations Charles Dickens

46. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin Louis de Bernieres

47. George’s Marvellous Medicine Roald Dahl

48. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Douglas Adams

49. Room Emma Donoghue

50. Anna Karenina Leo Tolstoy

51. Atonement Ian McEwan

52. Emma Jane Austen

53. Middlemarch George Eliot

54. The Shadow of the Wind Carlos Ruiz Zafon

55. The Color Purple Alice Walker

56. The Very Hungry Caterpillar Eric Carle

57. Brave New World Aldous Huxley

58. Sense and Sensibility Jane Austen

59. The Bell Jar Sylvia Plath

60. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland Lewis Carroll

61. Charlotte’s Web E.B. White

62. Dracula Bram Stoker

63. We’re Going on a Bear Hunt Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury

64. A Prayer for Owen Meany John Irving

65. The Secret History Donna Tartt

66. The Little Prince Antoine de Saint-Exupery

67. Crime and Punishment Fyodor Dostoevsky

68. The Poisonwood Bible Barbara Kingsolver

69. Jude the Obscure Thomas Hardy

70. Skellig David Almond

71. The Woman in White Wilkie Collins

72. Gone with the Wind Margaret Mitchell

73. Game of Thrones (series) George R.R. Martin

74. David Copperfield Charles Dickens

75. Never Let Me Go Kazuo Ishiguro

76. Where the Wild Things Are Maurice Sendak

77. Twilight (series) Stephenie Meyer

78. Beloved Toni Morrison

79. The Help Kathryn Stockett

80. Sherlock Holmes (series) Arthur Conan Doyle

81. Half of a Yellow Sun Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

82. Moneyball Michael Lewis

83. My Family and Other Animals Gerald Durrell

84. Memoirs of a Geisha Arthur Golden

85. On the Road Jack Kerouac

86. Cloud Atlas David Mitchell

87. Wild Swans Jung Chang

88. Anne of Green Gables L.M. Montgomery

89. Les Miserables Victor Hugo

90. Room on the Broom Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler

91. Private Peaceful Michael Morpurgo

92. Noughts and Crosses Malorie Blackman

93. Cider with Rosie Laurie Lee

94. Danny the Champion of the World Roald Dahl

95. Down and Out in Paris and London George Orwell

96. The Magic Faraway Tree Enid Blyton

97. The Witches Roald Dahl

98. The God of Small Things Arundhati Roy

99. Holes Louis Sachar

100. The Picture of Dorian Gray Oscar Wilde

I must say that it does my heart good to see Holes right next to The Picture of Dorian Gray.  I think that summarizes the list quite nicely.

This Week’s Tweets and Pins

Here are the links I shared on my Twitter and Pinterest accounts this week that you might find interesting:


Encouraging Lifelong Reading with Great Children’s Books | NEA Today

Fathers, read aloud to your kids

Librarian Nancy Pearl records first children’s audio book

Sarah Moore Fitzgerald’s top 10 books featuring grandparents | Children’s books

w00t! 30 Poets/30 Days is off and running, leading off this year with @MaryLeeHahn #poetry #kidlit


Ebooks are actually not books—schools among first to realizing this fact | Digital Book World


6 Bookless Libraries – iLibrarian

The 12 Technologies Forever Changing School Libraries | Edudemic

Civic Art Cleveland – Abandoning Our Historic Character and the South Euclid-Lyndhurst Library –

Kurt Vonnegut, Charles Bukowski, Susan Sontag, Harper Lee, and Other Literary Greats on Censorship | Brain Pickings

Libraries in Lock-Up » Public Libraries Online

Library helps local youth learn to design video games | TechSoup for Libraries

Philly Free Library Debuts Virtual Collection at Suburban Station

Will Librarians Still Use Goodreads?


California Wants Companies to Disclose Everything They Know About You


Arthur Frommer reacquires travel book brand from Google | Internet & Media|CNET News

Michael Wolff: Why Paywalls Won’t Solve Newspapers’ Larger Issues – PSFK-PSFK


Amazon snaps up book recommendation site Goodreads | Digital Trends

The Best Applications For Creating Free Email Newsletters | Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

Blogs still more influential than Twitter, says study | The Wall Blog (Chart below)

Delicious Becomes A Bit More Social Again, Adds Twitter And Facebook Logins | TechCrunch

Free Technology for Teachers: Create Your Own iPad Magazine on Flipboard

Google’s Secrets Of Innovation: Empowering Its Employees – Forbes

In South Korea, wifi movie posters offer the connectivity to access extra content | Springwise

I’ve Been Using Evernote All Wrong. Here’s Why It’s Actually Amazing

Music Fans Aren’t Owners? Court Finds Redigi Music Resale Service Infringes Copyright | EFF

The Simple Reason Why Goodreads Is So Valuable to Amazon – Jordan Weissmann-The Atlantic

Stop Reacting to Robots: A Path to Mindful Work – 99U – How distracted are you by your own digital habits?


The Guardian – My transgender novel is too personal to be propaganda | Books

Michael Grant’s top tips for writing YA | Children’s books

The tide swings toward #middlegrade at #Bologna13: via @publisherswkly