Tag: Children’s

Children’s Book Review: Can I Call 9-1-1 NOW? by Theresa Carcioppolo

This is a children’s picture book written by a local ‘to me’ author and 911 Dispatcher.  An interview with her will appear tomorrow!

Can I Call 9-1-1 NOW?
Author: Theresa Carcioppolo

Illustrator: Christa Mabrey
Published: April 9, 2022
24 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Date Read: May 21, 2023
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars

Book Description:

Join Turbo the tortoise as he learns when and when NOT to call 911.

Jessica’s Review:

This is an entertaining and enlightening children’s picture book that helps to show young children when and more importantly when to not call 911! It is a short book at just 24 pages that accomplishes what it sets out to do and with the colorful pictures, it will keep young readers attention AND help them to learn some important things too!

Each page has just a couple of sentences to it which is simple enough for the littlest reader to understand. And the pictures go well with those sentences! The pictures are bright and colorful and Carcioppolo has taken her love of reptiles and bring them in as characters in the story.

The book gives great examples of things all young children (and yes adults as well) should know such as their address and their parent(s) phone number.  Examples are also given of what is and is not an actual emergency of calling 911.  We see Turbo wanting to help others and call 911 when he shouldn’t.  We even have one instance where he did call 911 when it wasn’t needed: When there was a cat stuck up in a tree!( And you know this has actually happened!). Of course, we also see Turbo save the day by calling 911 when it actually was needed.

This is a book that all young children should read and learn from. Carcioppolo has done a great job with a short book sharing what small kids and big kids need to know!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Middle Grades Book Review: Mary Bowser and the Civil War Spy Ring by Enigma Alberti

Mary Bowser and the Civil War Spy Ring
: Spy on History #2
Enigma Alberti
Tony Cliff

Published: April 2, 2019
96 Pages

Reviewed By: Cristina

Book Description:

Your Mission: Find Mary’s secret diary using spycraft stools to uncover hidden codes!

It’s a true story of bravery: Mary Bowser was an African American spy for the Union who worked as a maid in the mansion of Confederate Jefferson Davis. From hair-raising close calls when she almost gets caught to how she uses her photographic memory to “steal” top secret documents. Mary’s story reads like a gripping novel.

It’s a mystery to solve: There are clues embedded in the story’s text and illustrations, and Spycraft materials—including a replica Civil War cipher wheel—come in an envelope at the beginning of the book. Use both to discover what happened to Mary Bowser’s secret diary.

Cristina’s Review:

What would you do if you had the opportunity to be a spy where it would really matter? Your skills: a photographic memory, ability to read, and blending into the background. If you succeed, your people have a chance at freedom. If you fail, you’ll be hung. Are you in?

This book is a historical fiction with a fun interactive spy riddle to solve as well. A reader can just enjoy the story, or they can try to solve the case that’s embedded in the real story. Mary Bowser was a real person. She was a free African-American, but went undercover as a maid in Jefferson Davis’s mansion to spy for the Union. Because no person of color was expected to be able to read at that time in the South, Mary was able to read many valuable documents in Davis’s office while she dusted or polished lamps. She had to pretend to be illiterate and a little slow to avoid suspicion. It was a job filled with danger, but Mary proved to be invaluable to the Union. She was able to get critical information to the Union army and it helped save lives and win battles.

This book is written in a very engaging style. Lots of action, a few narrow misses that have you holding your breath, and insights into what the Civil War was like for the non-soldiers who still wanted to help fight for freedom and the Union. The interactive riddle–a search for Mary’s secret diary–is engaging as well. There is help at the back of the book if the reader gets too frustrated, but it’s fun to try and find the diary without any assistance. Spy on History is a series, so if historical fiction sounds appealing, come to the library to choose your spy adventure!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK


Book Review: Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein

Where the Sidewalk Ends
Author: Shel Silverstein

Published: 1974
187 Pages

Reviewed By: Cristina

Book Description:

Come in… for where the sidewalk ends, Shel Silverstein’s world begins.

Shel Silverstein, the New York Times bestselling author of The Giving Tree, A Light in the Attic, Falling Up, and Every Thing On It, has created a poetry collection that is outrageously funny and deeply profound.

You’ll meet a boy who turns into a TV set, and a girl who eats a whale. The Unicorn and the Bloath live there, and so does Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout who will not take the garbage out. It is a place where you wash your shadow and plant diamond gardens, a place where shoes fly, sisters are auctioned off, and crocodiles go to the dentist.

Shel Silverstein’s masterful collection of poems and drawings stretches the bounds of imagination and will be cherished by readers of all ages.

Cristina’s Review:

Poetry often gets overlooked for young readers, but it can be a great stepping stone from picture books to chapter books, or comprehension practice for older readers. And, you know, poetry can just be fun to read!

Shel Silverstein is a very popular poet for children. This happens to be my favorite collection of his works. With poems about ice cream, pirates, doing chores, going to school, Silverstein’s poems are something children can relate to in their own lives. Some of them are just plain silly, some are very thoughtful, and some have a little lesson in them. He also draws illustrations to go with them. (The crocodile in the dentist chair is one of my favorites!) If your reader is thinking they are getting “too old” for bedtime stories, or you don’t have time for a whole book or chapter of something, try reading a poem together instead. This is a great collection to get them hooked on poetry!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK