Book Review: Goddess Power

Goddess Power by Yung In Chae  PhD
Goddess Power: A Kids’ Book of Greek and Roman Mythology: 10 Empowering Tales of Legendary Women
by Yung In Chae PhD

4 out of 5 stars


These tales of Greek gods are rewritten and simplified for children, giving a broad overview of the legends that made Greek and Roman myths famous throughout the world. The stories of both Greeks and Romans are combined, instead of being told twice with different names.

The stories include the legends of Gaia, Rhea, Hera, Artemis, the Fates, Demeter, Athena, the Muses, Aphrodite, and Circe. Of course, the male gods and heroes are included as part of the stories too, but the main focus is on the ladies. Continue reading

Book Review: Doctor Dolittle’s Return

Doctor Dolittle's Return by Hugh Lofting
Doctor Dolittle’s Return
by Hugh Lofting

5 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


Doctor Dolittle finally returns to Puddleby after having spent a year on the Moon. Tommy Stubbins has been struggling to keep the Doctor’s household running in his absence, caring for the animals and the Doctor’s beautiful garden. The Doctor returns with pages and notebooks full of scientific notes and information which he wants to use to write his great book about his experiences on the Moon.

Every book in this series just gets better and better! I am always fascinated by the Doctor’s character. He is so energetic and intelligent and kind. Tommy is just adorable, and a very capable assistant for the Doctor. The story is hilarious, and I loved all the funny situations the animals get into. Each plot line is so imaginative and interesting!

Book Review: The Big Six

The Big Six by Arthur Ransome
The Big Six (Swallows and Amazons, #9) 
by Arthur Ransome

5 out of 5 stars

Joe, Bill, and Pete are fixing up their boat, the Death and Glory, with bunks, cupboards, and a little stove, so that they can camp out on the river all winter long. When someone starts casting off boats in the middle of the night, it gets blamed on the boys, and they have to prove their innocence. With the help of Coot Club members, Tom, Dick, and Dorothea, they start their own detective agency to track down the real culprits.

As always, I adore this interesting story, full of nautical knowledge and adorable characters. The plot really keeps the mystery moving as each clue comes to light, and the desperation and anxiety of the characters keeps the tension high, even if some of the plot points are a little predictable. The story is not so much about the mystery, as it is about how the characters follow the mystery. Continue reading

Book Review: Strawberry Girl

Strawberry Girl by Lois Lenski
Strawberry Girl 
by Lois Lenski

3 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

I liked this book about a family who moves to a new farm in Florida, during the pioneer days, determined to make the farm a success with a beautiful orchard and strawberry grove.
Birdie is excited to become a Strawberry Girl, but is worried that the disgruntled neighbors will make trouble for her family. When the neighbor’s pigs and cows trample over the new strawberry plants, Birdie’s father is outraged and vows to fence in his property to keep them out. This begins a feud between the two farmers, but the farmer’s children are eager to make friends. Only Birdie and her forgiving mother can make peace between the warring neighbors, and make both farms a success! Continue reading

Book Review: IS Underground

Is Underground by Joan Aiken
Is Underground (The Wolves Chronicles, #8) 
by Joan Aiken

5 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


I love this 8th book in the Willoughby Chase series! Dido’s little sister, Is, vows to find her long-lost cousin, and ends up looking for a missing prince too. All the children in London are being snatched up and sent to “Playland”, where they are promised treats and games and fun. But the horrible reality is a dark mine where they are forced to work as slaves, and Is has to go underground to continue her search. Is gets unexpected help from some unique and interesting characters, but it is only her fierce determination and street-smarts that will save her cousin and the other children from the horrors of the mines.
Continue reading

Book Review: Nurse Matilda

Nurse Matilda by Christianna Brand
4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


The Brown children are the most ill-behaved, mischievous, naughty little children in all the world, and the only nanny who can possibly control them or teach them any manners is Nurse Matilda. With her magical walking stick, Nurse Matilda teaches important lessons like going to bed when you’re told, not chomping your food, closing doors after yourself, and putting on your best clothes when you’re told. Only the insane magical situations the children find themselves in could possibly teach them to say please and thank you!

I started rereading this one as a way to de-stress and help me fall asleep at night, but then I got so interested in the story that I stayed up late reading it!

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Book Review: Granny’s Wonderful Chair

Granny's Wonderful Chair by Frances Browne
Granny’s Wonderful Chair 
by Frances Browne

5 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


This is one of my favorite books from when I was a young girl. Fairy tales at their best!

Young Snowflower’s grandmother leaves her alone in the cottage with only an enchanted chair for company. The chair tells wonderful stories and takes Snowflower on a journey to the court of King Winwealth. Each evening Snowflower is called to the court after their feasting, and she asks her magical chair to tell the company a story. The King rewards Snowflower for each story that is told.

In each chapter a different fairytale story is told, and although they follow the classic fairytale structure, they are not common or well-known. Each one is a delight to read!

Book Review: Coot Club

Coot Club by Arthur Ransome
Coot Club (Swallows and Amazons, #5) 
by Arthur Ransome


5 out of 5 stars on GoodReads
Dick and Dorothea are determined to learn how to sail on the Norfolk Broads while they are visiting a family friend with a small yacht. Since local boy Tom is getting into trouble with a shipful of rude “Hullabaloos”, they invite him to join them on a journey to southern rivers and teach them to sail on the way. The friends are kept busy dodging the Hullabaloos, racing against the tides, exploring through the broads and rivers, and protecting the delicate birds’ nests that the Hullabaloos are threatening.

Even better the second time (or third time) you read it! Somehow I always come back to this book as one of my favorites; although in this series, they are ALL my favorite really. Every time I read it, I can barely put it down, because there’s always something interesting happening in the plot.

I just adore Dick and Dorothea, and the addition of the intrepid Tom makes for an exciting adventure, along with the redoubtable twin girls, Port and Starboard, and a host of young Coot Club members dedicated to protecting the local bird population. I love every character so much! They are each so original and likeable, and I enjoy seeing how they meet and make friends and immediately plunge into adventures together.

Book Review: Aunt Jane’s Nieces at Work

Aunt Jane's Nieces at Work by Edith Van Dyne
Aunt Jane’s Nieces at Work (Aunt Jane’s Nieces, #4) 
by Edith Van Dyne (Pseudonym)L. Frank Baum


3 out of 5 stars on GoodReads
In this fourth book in the series, Kenneth is getting involved in politics and is sadly losing the election to become a State Representative. The three nieces decide to help him in his campaign, and they fight against dirty politicians, ignorant country voters, and shady political dealings that threaten to overwhelm the campaign. Along the way, they befriend the country people, and help a farmer to find his missing daughter.

I get bored with politics, so I didn’t especially enjoy the plot, but I liked how the mysteries were surprising and interesting. I loved how the girls help Kenneth to set up a rally that throws their opponent’s arguments out the door, how they discover the underhanded political deals, and they aid in solving the mystery of the missing farmer’s daughter. Continue reading

Book Review: Brave Red, Smart Frog

Brave Red, Smart Frog by Emily Jenkins
5 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


This delightful collection of familiar fairy tales is told with a fresh voice and enchanting writing!

Including new versions of Snow White, The Frog Prince, Little Red Riding Hood, Hansel and Gretel, and several others that are less well-known, this book provides a crisp new look at these old tales while still remaining true to the main stories.

While the basic plots remain the same, it’s the sparkling dialogue and little inside jokes that make these fairy tales so enjoyable to read and reread.

The lovely illustrations bring the stories to life and give a nod to classic fairy tale illustrators like Arthur Rackham and Walter Crane. I love how elegant the illustrations are! Continue reading