Books to Borrow … Books to Buy

  • By Kendal A. Rautzhan Special to The Herald
  • Friday, November 2, 2007 3:11pm
  • LifeGo-See-Do

Helping a child to develop a love of reading is one of the greatest and easiest gifts you can give. Just set aside 15 minutes every day to read to a child. The habit will become one you’ll both look forward to, and soon a love for reading will develop that is genuine.

Few people have time to preview every book they contemplate borrowing or buying. That’s where I come in. I read more than 1,000 children’s books every year, selecting the best and reviewing one “book to borrow” and two “books to buy” every week.

Make sure to take note of “Librarian’s Choice.” Your local librarians have carefully selected children’s books available to borrow from their libraries. My reviews, along with recommendations from your librarians, provide you with six titles of quality reading material every week.

Whether you take our suggestions or not, what’s most important is to read to the child in your life every day. A love of reading will become the wings your child needs to soar as high as he or she can, and you have the power to make that happen. Begin today. Age ranges are suggested for reading aloud to the children and for children who can read to themselves.

Books to Borrow

The following book is available at many public libraries.

“Book! Book! Book!” by Deborah Bruss, illustrated in color by Tiphanie Beeke, Arthur A. Levine-Scholastic Press, 2001, 32 pages, $15.95 hardcover

Read aloud: ages 2 to 3 and older

Read yourself: ages 7 and older

Down on the farm, everything was wonderful until the children went back to school. Suddenly, the farm animals were bored, sad and lonely. Finally, the hen resolved to do something about it. She announced that she was heading into town to find something to do, and the rest of the farm animals decided to join her.

When the group arrived at the library, the hen knew this was the place they’d been looking for; everyone who came out of the library had a happy face! One by one, the other farm animals insisted on entering the library to see what they could do there, but it wasn’t until the hen had a chance to inquire that the librarian understood just what the animals needed — books!

Charming illustrations grace this fun book that delivers one very important message: there’s nothing quite as entertaining as a good book!

Librarian’s Choice

Library: Everett Public Library, 2702 Hoyt Ave., Everett

Library director: Eileen Simmons

Children’s librarian: Jody Davis

Choices this week: “Animal Grossology” by Sylvia Branzei; “Another Day in the Milky Way” by David Milgrim; “On the Wings of Heroes” by Richard Peck

Books to Buy

The following books are available at favorite bookstores.

“Backbeard: Pirate for Hire,” written and illustrated by Matthew McElligott, Walker, 2007, 32 pages, $16.95 hardcover

Read aloud: ages 5 to 6 and older

Read yourself: ages 8 to 9

Backbeard was the hairiest, smelliest and best dressed pirate there ever was. He and his crew did the usual pirate things, but they didn’t wear pirate clothing. One day Backbeard was summoned to appear before the Pirate Council, and there he was told he would have to dress like a pirate or they would kick him out.

Since Backbeard would not change his colorful clothes, he was no longer a pirate. But Backbeard needed a job, and he set out to find one, but that proved to be much more difficult than he thought!

Kids will love this colorful, hilarious story of the smelly ex-pirate and his search to be accepted for who and what he was.

“Dodsworth in New York,” written and illustrated by Tim Egan, Houghton Mifflin, 2007, 48 pages, $15 hardcover

Read aloud: ages 4 and older

Read yourself: ages 7 and older

Dodsworth decided to go on a big adventure, but before he left, he went to his favorite breakfast place for pancakes. Unfortunately, the owner’s crazy duck was there, tossing pancakes through the air. Once Dodsworth finally had a sit-down breakfast, he hopped on his motorbike, boarded the train for New York City, only to find the nutty duck inside his suitcase. Now what was he going to do?

Readers are certain to love this selection that boasts loads of funny illustrations and a hilarious story of Dodsworth and a zany duck in New York and beyond.

Nationally syndicated, Kendal Rautzhan writes and lectures on children’s literature. She can be reached by e-mail at

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