Review: Peace, Baby! by Linda Ashman

peace baby

Peace, Baby! by Linda Ashman, illustrated by Joanne Lew-Vriethoff

So many children’s books about strong emotions come off as mini-lectures about proper behavior.  This one has a stirring call for people to not react with violence or anger, but instead with peace and understanding while continuing to be understanding about those negative emotions that can overwhelm.  The rhyme helps make the book fun and jaunty while offering the idea of just saying “Peace, Baby!” when you get upset.  This is the most basic of conflict resolution, yet it is also the start of something bigger, taking responsibility for your own reactions and controlling them.  This cheery book invites others to be happy and peaceful.

Ashman’s rhyme is at the heart of this book, carrying the entire idea of being peaceful and calm forward with a jolly rhyme.  Thanks to the playful nature of the rhymes and the “Peace, Baby!” the book does not lecture but instead recommends hugs, conversations and compromise. 

Lew-Vriethoff’s illustrations add a lovely softness to the book.  With their pastel shades, the book continues to feel playful but also has a lightness to it that keeps the message from feeling heavy handed at all. 

A strong addition to library collections, this will be a great way to talk about emotions as a group and also the proper responses to when you feel angry.  Peace out!  Appropriate for ages 3-5.

Reviewed from copy received from Chronicle Books.

Review: Red Hat by Lita Judge

red hat

Red Hat by Lita Judge

This picture book is a companion to Red Sled.  It features that same red hat that was in the first book, but here it is no longer winter and the hat is washed and hung up to dry on the line.  That’s when it is spotted by an eager bear, who snatches it off the line and runs off with it.  But he is not alone, as he dashes, other animals pull and tug, freeing the white pompom and unraveling the bright red yarn as they play.  They leave the mass of yarn hung on the line in place of the hat!  But don’t worry, a happy ending can be knit from the most tangled yarn.

Told almost entirely in sounds rather than words, this book is filled with a wonderful silliness that makes it hard not to giggle from the first longing glance of the bear to the final pages where the animals are pretending innocence at what happened.  The center of the book is a wild chase scene as the hat unravels, adding a great rush of fast pacing into the story.

A great book, even better when read with the first one too.  Appropriate for ages 2-4.

Reviewed from library copy.

2013 Crystal Kite Awards

crystal kite

The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) has announced the winners of the 2013 Crystal Kite Awards.  Winners are selected by the members in two rounds.  There is one winner for each regional Division.  Here are the 2013 winners:



The Magyar Conspiracy by Neil Malherbe


Ten Tiny Things

Ten Tiny Things by Meg McKinlay, illustrated by Kyle Hughes-Odgers


The One and Only Ivan

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate


Glory Be

Glory Be by Augusta Scattergood


The Dark Unwinding

The Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron


Samurai Awakening

Samurai Awakening by Benjamin Martin


Creepy Carrots!

Creepy Carrots by Aaron Reynolds, illustrated by Peter Brown


How to Babysit a Grandpa

How to Babysit a Grandpa by Jean Reagan


See You at Harry's

See You at Harry’s by Jo Knowles


Capture the Flag

Capture the Flag by Kate Messner


Boy and Bot

Boy + Bot by Ame Dyckman, illustrated by Dan Yaccarino



Chained by Lynne Kelly


The Stamp Collector

The Stamp Collector by Jennifer Lanthier


15 Days Without a Head

Fifteen Days without a Head by Dave Cousins


Pickle: The (Formerly) Anonymous Prank Club of Fountain Point Middle School

Pickle by Kim Baker, illustrated by Tim Probert