Amy’s Book Reviews
Here I share my expertise and knowledge in the area of Reading, Language Arts and Writing. I’m giving you my (and my kids’!) honest, unvarnished opinions on the books we’re reading, on a 1-to-5 star scale (1 = lowest, 5 = highest).
We love trying new books. You’ll notice a wide range of titles and genres, including emergent/early level books, non-fiction, biographies, young adult fiction, and historical fiction.
I truly hope you enjoy this series. Please be sure to offer us your suggestions in Comments below, or on social media.
Happy Reading! :)
Good Night, Baby Animals You’ve Had a Busy Day
Author: Karen B. Winnick
Illustrator: Laura Watkins
Karen B. Winnick’s website
@karenbwinnick on Instagram
Reading Level: Grade 1 | Fountas & Pinnell Level I-J | Lexile 190L-530L | DRA Level 16-18 | Reading Recovery 15-17
Amy’s Rating: 4 stars
Little Mermaids’ Rating: 4.5 stars
What Little Mermaids 1+2 love most about this book is Karen B. Winnick’s dazzling use of onomatopoeia – words making the sounds they represent in spoken form. The sing-song melodic cadence coupled with action words keeps young readers engaged. Captivating prose has me giggling as I act out animal sounds while reading this story aloud to children. The illustrations are gorgeous. The artwork compliments the story’s words and displays how brilliant a children’s book can be when an author-illustrator combo is in sync. I highly recommend this book for those interested in stories with animals, easy-to-read repetitive prose, and beautiful, lifelike illustrations.
Disclosure: A special thank you to author, Karen B. Winnick and Henry Holt & Company Publishers for offering me an Advance Review Copy of this book to share with my family.
Watch Amy read an excerpt here:
Dork Diaries 11: Tales from a Not-So-Friendly Frenemy
Author: Rachel Renée Russell
Illustrator: Nikki Russell
Rachel Renée Russell’s website
Reading Level: Grade 4 | Fountas & Pinnell Level R | Lexile 740L-940L | DRA Level 40
Amy’s Rating: 3 stars
Little Mermaids’ Rating: 3.5 stars
In a home brimming over with young females, Dork Diaries reigns supreme. Despite my initial hangups about this series, I’ve grown to love watching teenage protagonist, Nikki Maxwell’s epic engtanglements and silly solutions. Tales from a Not-So-Friendly Frenemy doesn’t disappoint if you can’t resist the lure of teenage angst and peer issues, fun illustrations and a quirky sense of humor.
Becoming Naomi Leon
Author: Pam Muñoz Ryan
Reading Level: Grade 4 | Fountas & Pinnell Level S | Lexile 740L-940L | DRA Level 40
Amy’s Rating: 4.5 stars
Little Mermaids’ Rating: 4 stars
Pam Muñoz Ryan is hands-down one of my favorite young adult authors. It goes without saying her character development is superior. What I love most about this ageless story is how Muñoz Ryan deftly handles sensitive subject matter with an expert, caring hand while speaking from the point of view of a teen. If you are comfortable doing so, I recommend reading this book together with your teen and taking time to discussing some of the arcane “adult” themes throughout the book. You just might discover new things about your child you didn’t realize. ;)