Monday Children’s Book Reviews for November 16

Naomi’s Tree by Joy Kogawa

“A young couple leaves Japan for the coast of Canada, bringing a cherry seed to plant in their new garden. During the years that follow, the little cherry tree watches over the family as the couple have children, and then grandchildren. Young Naomi makes the cherry tree her special friend, and the tree’s branches shelter her as she plays. But one day, war breaks out between the two countries, and the family is sent to an internment camp away from the coast. And though Naomi often dreams of going home, the dream fades as the years go by. The little tree is left behind to mourn its loss.

For many years the cherry tree sends out a song of love and peace that reaches Naomi only in her dreams. But the insects and small animals hear the song, and on the wind they send back their own messages to the tree, assuring it that Naomi is safe and that one day she will return. And when she does, the tree will be waiting for her.”     [JPB KOGAWA]

Tyrannosaurus Math by Michelle Markel

“He’s a number-crunching dinosaur who chews on math problems as easily as he thunders through the trees. When his little sister is in terrible danger, T-Math even saves the day by using his measurable math skills. Is there anything he can’t figure?”              [JPB MARKEL]

The Magician’s Elephant by Kate DiCamillo

“Augustus Duchene, a ten-year-old orphan…receives an unbelievable piece of information from the local fortuneteller. Peter learns that his fate is tied to an elephant that has inexplicably fallen from the sky when a magician’s trick goes terribly wrong. Why did it happen? And, how can an elephant possibly change the course of Peter’s life? This darkly atmospheric, yet hopeful tale, demonstrates that when the answers to life’s big questions are opaque or unforthcoming, all is not lost.”     [J DICAMILLO]

The New Children’s Encyclopedia

“This easy-to-use, richly photographed encyclopedia puts the wider world in context and allows young readers to explore to their hearts’ content. Great for visual learners and ESL students, and for any child who loves pictures and words, The New Children’s Encyclopedia is sure to become a classic for home and school use.”     [J032 NEW]

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