Children’s Books Reviews

CHASING VERMEER by Blue Balliett

If you enjoy a good mystery and have a distinct appreciation for art, you will not want to miss CHASING VERMEER. Classmates Calder and Petra get caught up in the excitement of the greatest art heist of the century as they make discoveries about the people involved and the piece of art itself.
Chasing Vermeer (Scholastic Gold) Cover Image
By Brett Helquist (Illustrator), Blue Balliett
ISBN: 9780439372978
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days. Please note that sometimes a book is available on our website but not currently on the store shelves.
Published: Scholastic Paperbacks - May 1st, 2005

This bewitching first novel is a puzzle, wrapped in a mystery, disguised as an adventure, and delivered as a work of art.

Chasing Vermeer joins the Scholastic Gold line, which features award-winning and beloved novels. Includes exclusive bonus content!

Pre-Teen Girls Recommends

ANNE OF GREEN GABLES series by L.M. Montgomery. This series of novels set in turn-of-the-century Canada follows the joys and misadventures of indomitable orphan Anne Shirley. Kelly recommends.


Anne of Green Gables Cover Image
ISBN: 9780553213133
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days. Please note that sometimes a book is available on our website but not currently on the store shelves.
Published: Starfire - April 1st, 1982

Read the timeless classic about the beloved Anne Shirley, a red-haired orphan with a fiery spirit, before the new NETFLIX series premieres and don’t miss the forward by Margaret Atwood, author of The Handmaid’s Tale, celebrating the 100th anniversary of this children’s favorite!

Children’s Book Recommendations

Alice’s Adventures Underground: A Facsimile by Lewis Carroll. $24.95 Handwritten and illustrated version written for Alice Liddell.  It’s slightly different than the published version that came out two years later.  Girls ages 8 – 14. Heidi recommends.




Andrew Henry’s Meadow by Doris Burn.  $12.95 This is the delightful classic story of young Andrew Henry who loves to build things, but his creations get in the way of everyone in his family.  So he goes out to Burdock’s meadow and builds himself a house.  Soon, other “misfit” children come to the meadow, and he builds each of them a house that suits their interests.  Perfect for kids who like to make things and to foster creativity and resourcefulness.  Ages 4 – 9. Pat recommends.



Big Book for Toddlers by Wong and Tabori. $24.95 This book contains activities, nursery rhymes, games, songs and more, with charming old-fashioned illustrations.  Rochelle recommends.




Creep! Crawl!, Flutter! Fly!, and Wiggle! March! By Kaaren Pixton. $4.95. Each page is a simple, colorful image of an animal or bird or insect against a rich, textured background.  Great for making up your own stories.  Indestructible, chew-proof, rip-proof, nontoxic, and 100% washable.  Ages 9 months – 3 years. Heidi recommends.



An Eye for Color: The Story of Joseph Albers by Natasha Wing. $16.99.  A simple, colorful book for young artists.  It’s all about believing in yourself and what you want to create.  Ages 7 – 12. Pat recommends.




Julie Andrew’s Collection of Poems, Songs and Lullabies. $24.95. This is a lovely assortment.  It’s beautifully illustrated and includes a CD of Julie and her daughter reading the poetry. Rochelle recommends.




No Matter What by Debi Gliori. $6.95. A little board book about a baby fox who wants to know if his mother will always love him.  Sweet and reassuring, for children from birth to three years.  Rochelle recommends.




Paper Astronaut by Juliette Cezzar. $27.50.  This has great photos from the NASA archives and other space agencies.  It also has 20 punch-out spacecraft projects for space-loving children and adults.  Rochelle recommends.



Superhero ABC by Bob McLeod.  $7.99. This is a funny alphabet book: “K knows karate, he’s kind of kooky, but can he play the kazoo?” Perfect for children ages 3 – 6, especially boys.




The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats. $6.99. This is a beautiful, atmospheric, quiet, cut-paper book that describes what it’s like to be outside in the winter on a snowy day.  John recommends.




Tikki Tikki Tembo retold by Arlene Mosel, illustrated by Blair Kent. $6.95.  This is an absolute classic for kids from 2 – 10 (well, all ages, really).  The protagonist of the story is a little boy named Tikki tikki tembo-no sa rembo-chari bari ruchi-pip peri pembo.  He’s the firstborn son, and the favorite, but his ridiculous name, which is frequently repeated in the story, causes a major problem for him.  Funny and unforgettable.  Pat recommends.



A Visitor for Bear by Bonny Becker. $16.99. This is a funny, sweet story about a bear who thinks he doesn’t like visitors coming to his nice home, and the friendly mouse who causes him to change his mind.  It’s perfect for ages 4 – 8. Rochelle recommends.



Stephen Johnson Event: MY LITTLE RED FIRE TRUCK

OCTOBER 4 Sunday 3PM @ THE LAWRENCE PUBLIC LIBRARY Co-sponsored by The Raven READING, SIGNING AND FUN EVENT Stephen Johnson MY LITTLE RED FIRE TRUCK Award-winning artist and author Stephen Johnson has created a new movable board book, My Little Red Fire Truck. Stephen will read the book and talk about how it was created.
My Little Red Fire Truck Cover Image
ISBN: 9781416925224
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days. Please note that sometimes a book is available on our website but not currently on the store shelves.
Published: Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books - September 8th, 2009

Caldecott Honor artist Stephen T. Johnson's new multiconcept novelty is a book and a toy in one. My Little Red Fire Truck gives practice telling time while its sturdy moving parts provide hours of fun -- and allow readers to see how it would be to work on a real fire truck!


LOOKING AT PICTURES by Joy Richardson is a grand introduction to art appreciation for the older child. It’s filled with great illustrations from London’s National Gallery and pointers about how to "read" a painting as well as basic fun facts about historical origins, genres, and artists of many pieces. (Hardcover, $21.95). Recommended by Kelly.
Looking at Pictures Revised Edition: An Introduction to Art for Young People Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780810982888
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Harry N. Abrams - October 1st, 2009

A Couple of Classic YA Titles

THE WITCHES by Roald Dahl The story is great, but it’s the writing and imagery that will stick with you for the rest of your life. Dahl’s depiction of the thoughts, actions, and appearance of the witches is chilling! It’s tricky how he does it, too, since the book is also really, really funny.  Recommended by John.  Softcover, $11.95. FIVE NOVELS, by Daniel M.
The Witches Cover Image
By Roald Dahl, Quentin Blake (Illustrator)
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ISBN: 9780142410110
Availability: Special Order
Published: Puffin Books - August 16th, 2007

From the bestselling author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The BFG

This is not a fairy tale. This is about real witches.


WHEN THE MOON FORGOT by Jimmy Liao is a sweet, dreamlike story about a lonely boy who finds the fallen moon in a field.  People miss the moon and factories crank out moons for them on assembly lines.  The boy has adventures with the moon, then gently helps it remember its home in the sky.  A lovely story of love and courage.  Recommended by Rochelle.  Hardcover, $17.99.
When the Moon Forgot Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780316113908
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - April 1st, 2009

One night the moon never rises...

A lonely boy finds the fallen moon in a field. He takes it home and cares for it, slowly helping it heal. They become inseparable companions, exploring the world together both day and night.

Pet and Nature Books for Children

Looking for books for kids, maybe 4 and over?  We have a number about animals that  should appeal to most children and all lovers of animals.  BAD DOG MARLEY by Grogan and KATJE, THE WINDMILL CAT by Woelfle, are about pets who get into trouble,and then find a deeper love and secure home after performing heroic acts.  A HOME FOR DIXIE by Jackson, and TWO BOBBIES (a dog and a cat) by Larson are wond
Bad Dog, Marley! Cover Image
By John Grogan, Richard Cowdrey (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780061171161
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days. Please note that sometimes a book is available on our website but not currently on the store shelves.
Published: HarperCollins - July 26th, 2011

Make way for Marley!

Mommy, Daddy, Cassie, and Baby Louie welcome Marley, a lovable puppy, into their home. But Marley doesn’t stay a pint-sized pup for long. He grows and grows, and the bigger Marley gets, the bigger trouble he gets into. Big, bad-boy trouble. Will this family have to find a new home for their misbehaving pooch, or will he prove he can be a good boy?


Bethany College English professor Kristin Van Tassel has written a beautiful children’s book about the importance of eating locally and how many people around the world do just that.
Together We Eat This Earth Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780615249346
Availability: Special Order
Published: Kristin Van Tassel - February 3rd, 2012