Children Book Reviews: On Serials, Sequels & Seconds

o no george

In the age where pop culture sequels are the norm, find out if these books following famous award-winning debuts are worth the read. Are they Star Wars quality or dismiss it as a bad Hangover?

By Jennifer Evangelista


Oh No, George!

By Chris Haughton

Ages: 2 to 5

Houghton brought us the delightful book A Bit Lost: The tender story of a little owl looking for his mommy. The next book in the collection, Oh No, George!, introduces the flawed hero – an innocent wide-eyed dog.

George is quite the endearing canine who tries his best to behave, but ingrained instincts get the best of him. George offers his puppy dog eyes, his favorite duck, and in true Haughton fashion, one dramatic tear to make amends.

There is a digital quality to the uneven lines and coordinated shades giving it a contemporary look. Signature bold and dashing colors make a splashing come back.

Expressive eyes, flouncy ears, and even the olive green colored faces are refreshingly spot-on. If we’re rating books in terms of toddler giggles, this one is a ten on the ROFL roster.

gruffalo child

The Gruffalo’s Child

Written by Julia Donaldson & Illustrated by Axel Scheffer

Ages: 2 and up

The Gruffalo, the not so imaginary character in Donaldson’s runaway hit of the same name, comes back as a dad to a daring youngling in The Gruffalo’s Child. We are introduced to the toothy and adventurous child and to the Gruffalo’s surprising fatherly protective side.

While we are reunited with Donaldson’s gift of rhyme, the characters that came alive in the first didn’t quite come together in this new book. The Gruffalo’s child’s persistent nature was not as enthralling as the mouse’s clever drive, making the journey to the end of the story a bit dull. The illustrations, however, are still vivid and captivating set during a snowy winter’s night.

This may pale in comparison to an awe-inspiring classic, but it is still a keeper. Children, my son in particular, adore the book and, typical to most children’s literature, that’s what matters.



Bear Has a Story to Tell

By Philip C. Stead & Erin E. Stead

Ages: 2 to 6

 The Steads gave us an under the weather elephant with caring friends in A Sick Day for Amos McGee. The authors are masters in telling charming tales about friendships.

 The duo comes back with their sensitive streak as it follows Bear and his friends prepare for hibernation. The feathery renderings and autumnal hues are easy on the eyes. It will be hard not to fall in love with the fluffy bear with his kind eyes and helpful manner.

The text and the conversations are naturally sweet like a baby’s kiss. It will be impossible to resist Bear with his mellow tone and gentle ways. It is a touching story with a lot of heart. It’s a testament of true friendship where patience and thoughtfulness are paramount. So, please stay a while. The bear has a story to tell.

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