Sunday, September 5, 2010

Sunday Salon: Three Children’s Books

When I think of children’s books, I tend to group everything into one category and that is completely wrong.

Children’s books, like adult books, are available in various genres. Not having children (and it having been some time since I was a kid), I never gave it much thought. This week I received three children’s books to review and realized this point. While the majority of children’s books are written to teach youngsters, they can still be put in different genres or maybe it’s just different styles of writing.

Here are my three reviews. Each one has a lesson to teach children. Are they in different genres or is it just different writing styles?


David is a young boy living during the time of slavery. Jenkins is a teenage boy and a slave owned by David’s Pa, who is a brutal man that beats him.

Even though David is small and considered a sissy by his father, he is determined to help Jenkins to freedom. Despite the consequences of his actions, David enlists the help of a Quaker (whites that didn’t believe in slavery) to obtain Jenkins’ freedom.

This delightful and inspiring book tells the story of the Underground Railroad that helped many slaves to freedom. The beautiful illustrations by K.C. Snider enhance THE GOLDEN PATHWAY. This book is geared toward youngsters ages 8 to 12 years old.

Donna M. McDine’s website is and her blog is

The Golden Pathway by Donna M. McDine, Illustrations by K.C. Snider, Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. @2010, ISBN: 978-1-61633-088-0, Paperback, 24 pages

FTC Full Disclosure - This book was sent to me by the author in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.
NURSE VACCINE by Justin Noble

The cooler temperatures will bring relief from the heat and humidity, but will also lead to the dreaded flu season.

Parents with small children may want to pick up a copy of NURSE VACCINE before telling their youngsters they have to have a flu shot. The book helps explain why children need a flu shot rather than ‘just because.’

In this enjoyable book, Raymond Brain informs his fellow Body Village residents that they are getting a flu shot. He receives groans and complaints from them. However when he reminds the residents what they all suffered last flu season, they begin to think differently.

The attractive illustrations by Ann Cannom introduce youngsters to Larry Lung and his twin sister, Rosey; Steve Stomach; Betty Bladder; Lyle Liver; Kelly Kidney; Beri Bicep; and Harry Hamstring.

This is the second installment in the Body Village series. The first book is ARTIE’S PARTY featuring the Vita-men. I would say this book is geared toward youngsters under age 10.

Justin Noble’s website is

Nurse Vaccine by Justin Noble, Illustrated by Ann Cannom, The Body Village series,, @2010, ISBN: 978-0-557-28875-5, Paperback, 32 pages

FTC Full Disclosure - This book was sent to me by the author in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.

This is a wonderful story of courage, understanding, gratitude, and acceptance when the animals of the rain forest come face to face with man for the first time.

Zalvator is a black panther and the most respected animal in the region. He keeps watch over the rain forest and its animals from his lookout post atop a pyramid.

One day a red parrot flews to Zalvator’s post exhausted and unable to speak. When he regains his strength, the parrot tells of men coming into the jungle where he lived and of a great fire that followed destroying his home.

Zalvator puts the animals on alert for any unusual activity. Days later a boat arrives. While observing the boat, Zalvator sees a small boy fall overboard. Without thinking of his own safety, Zalvator springs into action to save the child. The results lead to a better understanding between the people and the animals of the rain forest.

The rich and lovely illustrations by Helen Luzgin transport the reader to the rain forest. This book is geared toward youngsters ages 9 to 12 years old.

Bruno Gonzalez’s website is

Savior of the Rain Forest: An Adventure of Zalvator the Black Panther by Bruno Gonzalez, Illustrated by Helen Luzgin, Trafford Publishing, @2010, ISBN: 978-1-4269-3185-7, Paperback, 40 pages

FTC Full Disclosure - This book was sent to me by the author in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.

All three of these books would be an entertaining and informative addition to any youngster’s library collection.


  1. Nice reviews in your Sunday Salon. Wish I had some small ones to give those book to.... Have a great day.

  2. I don't know about genres in children's writing (for for that matter, 'children' covers a huge set of ages too (everything before the 14 to 21 of YA), but there are distinct types of books, and if you mix them up, you can be sure the kids would not read. The first two of the books you reviewed fall in the category of educational, but there are animal stories, fantasy, graphic, adventure, mystery, etc, etc.

  3. Mason - Thanks for these reviews. You're absolutely right that children's books (YA, too) fall into lots of different genre categories. I think it's important to be aware of that, because like adults, children have different tastes in books. They're more likely to read if there are lots of books available that appeal to those tastes.

  4. I agree with the above! My grandkids and my kids and step-kids before them liked all sorts of types of books - that is why library meandering is so worthwhile. These books look great and I think I have some young ones that would like them!
    Jan Morrison

  5. Lou, thanks for the kind words.

    Rayna, saying 'children's books' does cover a huge range that I never considered before. This morning I was thinking that when it comes to that in-between age (tween, I think) that's another category I hadn't thought about.

    Margot, I can see where selecting good books for one's children could have a direct impact on whether they love or hate reading on into adulthood.

    Jan, since I'm not around youngsters that much I sometimes forgot they are just like us in the fact that they wouldn't want to read the same type of books all the time. They need variety too.

    You ladies are the best. You give me more insight into books for youth. That helps me greatly. Thanks so much.

  6. Great reviews. These books look informative as well as entertaining. And the covers are so beautiful. I wonder sometimes if that's what draws me to a cover. it the title? That might be one of those chicken or egg first questions.

  7. The last one's a book I might've read as a child. However, I don't have kids either and assumed kids books were all one thing.

  8. Teresa, I'm with you on trying to decide which draws me first. Thanks for the kind words.

    Alex, that's the same way I've been looking at children's books too. As I've started checking into children's books more I've been amazed at what is available for them to read.

  9. These are all unique, aren't they? They sound wonderful and not only do they teach some lesson, but they sound as though they tell a wonderfully colorful story.

    Here's my salon:

    Click my name for the URL.

  10. Having three nieces and two nephews, I used to have a tough time choosing books for all of them. Each had/has a different taste.

    I had to hunt through all kinds of genres. I still YA. However, I seldom read YA. Children's book were fun!

  11. Hi Mason
    I came over from Karen's to say 'Hi'. *waves*

  12. Hmmm good question. I never really thought how children books were categorized- aside from young to YA. But I think it would be more of what are they teaching to categorize, sure they are always different styles to writing, but having read a great deal of children books to my two girls, I often just thought it was more labeling as a "drugs" "being brave", "school" type labels rather than any genre or writing style related. :)

  13. I'd say they're different genres, but I'm by no means any kind of expert. They all sound like great books! Have a great week.

  14. I'm in your category- no children, but I still can appreciate a great children's book. I tend to lump them into 2 categories- young children and YA, but you're right to point out that there are genres for children's books as well as for adults.

    Great post! And wish I had children to share these great books you reviewed here today, but Nurse Vaccine might just be up my alley- I hate needles! :-)

  15. I think the rain forest one would be a great addition to my classroom - thanks! :)

  16. I found your blog via Sunday Salon.

    I'm a new follower!

    I hope you will stop by my blog,
    if you can.

  17. Oooh I would have LOVED that panther book as a child - I used to make-believe I could turn into a panther as a kid *grin* cause the Phantoms daughter could do it

  18. Enjoyed the reviews. I read a lot of YYA novels, but not a lot of children's books. These actually sound like ones I would enjoy. These represent some genres or categories for sure - historical, contemporary, animal. But I don't know if those are labels used by publishers or bookstores.

  19. Pamela:

    Thank you for the wonderful review of my book The Golden Pathway. I appreciate your interest and support.

    Best wishes,

  20. I absolutely LOVE children's books and I have four grandchildren to buy them for! Thanks.

    (Plus I write an illustrate kids' books--which I hope to publish soon!)

  21. Thanks for the lovely review of Donna McDine's book. A video trailer was recently posted on YouTube if your readers are interested. It can be found at

    Thanks again for hosting Donna. I appreciate you taking the time to review her book.



I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.