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Middle-school librarians Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan prove that two heads are better than one when it comes to discussing YA and children's books

Archive for the 'PreS-Gr. 2' Category

Mon, April 14th, 2014
Here Comes the Easter Cat by Deborah Underwood
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Cindy: The Easter Bunny had better watch out…Cat just might take over in Here Comes the Easter Cat (Dial 2014). Cat is jealous that everyone loves the Easter Bunny. Bah humbug (wrong holiday, but you get the idea). Cat communicates wordlessly with the narrator through drawings he holds up and his facial expressions as he […]


Thu, April 10th, 2014
Cheers for a Dozen Ears by Felicia Sanzari Chernesky
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Cindy: What a perfect title for this book. When our farmer’s market finally opens, I will be cheering! Cheers for a Dozen Ears: A Summer Crop of Counting (Albert Whitman 2014) is the perfect tonic for we who are weary of winter…children included. In fact, I have to disagree with the final line from the Booklist […]


Mon, April 7th, 2014
Handle with Care by Loree Griffin Burns
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Lynn:  For many years our family has enjoyed a wonderful rite of spring that fortunately doesn’t depend on the outside temperature in Michigan.  We are lucky to live close to the outstanding Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids.  I could go on and on about the wonders of the Gardens but today […]


Thu, April 3rd, 2014
Babies, Babies, Babies
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Cindy: We recently received a 30th Anniversary edition of 101 Things to Do with Baby (Groundwood/House of Anansi 2014) and I looked at it, thought, “cool, glad to see this adorable book is still around,” and set it aside. This picture book classic illustrating 101 ways you can interact with a baby was first published […]


Thu, March 20th, 2014
Stella’s Starliner by Rosemary Wells
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Cindy: My grandparents hauled a silver Starliner across the country year after year to visit the relatives. They would park the trailer behind our house for the month of June and I would sit on a bench at the small kitchen table and play Scrabble or dominoes with my grandmother every night after dinner. I […]


Sat, March 8th, 2014
Tea Party Rules by Ame Dyckman
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Lynn:  We strive for diversity here at Bookends so when I saw Tea Party Rules (Penguin/Viking 2013) I thought it would be good to review a picture book that focused on something besides cars, trucks, robots or dinosaurs.  What could be better than a sweet story about a tea party?  Ha!  This is a good […]


Fri, February 21st, 2014
Out the Window by Cybele Young
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Lynn:  I used to think board books were mostly rather badly done versions of good picture books but I have changed my mind!  We’ve been seeing some really wonderfully designed board books lately and a great example is the innovative Out the Window (Groundwood 2013).  Award-winning illustrator Cybele Young has created a surprising and delightful […]


Fri, February 14th, 2014
Baby Penguins!
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Lynn:  We’ve had so much snow here in Michigan this winter that I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see penguins hopping around on the snowbanks!  So Melissa Guion’s two charming books about baby penguins and their mother seem like the perfect books to review.  We’ve been wanting to review the first book, Baby Penguins […]


Mon, February 10th, 2014
The Animal Book by Steve Jenkins
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Lynn:  It isn’t unusual to have a new book from Steve Jenkins to rave about.  His list of award winning kid-pleasing books is impressively long.  They’ve always been favorites with the older members of the focus group and with me too.  I believe that he outdid himself last year however with The Animal Book: A […]


Wed, February 5th, 2014
Celebrating the Opposite Side of the Pond
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Lynn:  Cindy and I recently discovered two new books created  by European authors and published by small presses.  We love them both and are excited to share them with Bookends readers.  One of the truly nice things about publishing of late is that we are getting to see more books from authors and illustrators outside […]





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