Danny and the Dinosaur

Syd Hoff was a well-known cartoonist for The New Yorker magazine before he began writing “I Can Read” books for children. Danny and the Dinosaur, Hoff’s first book for the series, was published in 1958, the year after Harper & Row (now HarperCollins) began the series. I discovered Syd Hoff in our school library when…

A Tree for Peter

“…Some of you have steady jobs now. Most of you work off and on…there is not one among you who is not a man after me own heart. Kicked around by life you were, sure. Only, I am the cop on the beat and I know that there is not one among you who has…

Billy and Blaze

I have a cowboy kid. You know, a little guy who loves horses, dreams of living on a cattle ranch, and who believes that the wild untamed West is still out there, waiting for him to put on his boots and spurs so he can saddle up to that special kind of man’s work. I…

The Water Horse

“Writing my books is like handing out presents. Giving children pleasure gives you a wonderful sort of Father Christmassy feeling.” – Dick King-Smith, October 1995 Dick King-Smith was a gift to children. A beloved English children’s author, King-Smith grew up in a sort of well-to-do existence. His family owned a quality paper company and King-Smith…

Cobble Street Cousins

In this review I lamented that it was a shame that Cynthia Rylant did not restrict her Mr. Putter and Tabby book series to three or six well-crafted stories.  I am so glad to be able to tell you that that is exactly what she did with this series. Perhaps because of her restraint, this…

Grandma’s Attic Series

Several years ago this book started popping up in my Amazon recommendations because I was buying Caddie Woodlawn, Understood Betsy, What Katy Did, and Betsy-Tacy for my little girl. The cover art, however, was so off-putting to me that I resisted any inclination to even consider the book. I thought, for sure, that this book was…