Category Archives: Book Reviews

Bilingual Book Review: Deepak’s Diwali

Deepak’s Diwali
Written by Divya Karwal
Illustrated by Doreen Lang
Paperback
Ages 3-8
Review by Maureen Pugh

Diwali, also called Deepavali or Divali, is a festival that is significant in Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism, and Jainism. It is known as the “Festival of Lights,” and celebrates the victory of good over evil.

In Deepak’s Diwali, it is the eve of Diwali, and Deepak’s grandmother tells him the story of the demon king Ravana who steals the god Rama’s wife, Sita. Deepak spends the first half of the story worried that Ravana is following him, but soon gets into the spirit of the holiday.

This contemporary story explains how the festival is celebrated with sparklers and lights, prayer, and feasting. It mentions the beautiful Rangoli Patterns, which Deepak and his mother create on their doorstep to welcome their visitors, and describes all kinds of delicious foods and treats. The story portrays this holiday as a wonderful family celebration. Continue reading Bilingual Book Review: Deepak’s Diwali

Bilingual Book Review: Not Again, Red Riding Hood!

Not Again, Red Riding Hood!
Written by Kate Clynes
Illustrated by Louise Daykin
Ages 3-8
Review by Maureen Pugh

Not Again, Red Riding Hood! is a whimsical and entertaining book. The tale begins after Red Riding Hood’s “terrible ordeal with the wolf” and follows her on a new adventure.

When her mother asks her to bring some cookies to her father, who is working in the woods, Red Riding Hood agrees to go, despite her nervousness. As she makes her way to her father, she encounters various storybook characters (Rapunzel, Goldilocks’ three bears, and the 3 Billy Goats Gruff) and shares some of her cookies with each of them. Continue reading Bilingual Book Review: Not Again, Red Riding Hood!

Bilingual Book Review: Keeping Up with Cheetah

Keeping Up with Cheetah
Written by Lindsay Camp
Illustrated by Jill Newton
Ages 2-7
Format: Paperback
Review by Maureen Pugh

Cheetah loves telling jokes and Hippopotamus loves to listen and laugh at Cheetah’s jokes – even when they aren’t very funny! This synergy makes them the best of friends. There is only one problem: Hippopotamus can’t run very fast, so he can’t keep up with Cheetah.

Cheetah goes in search of a better friend, one who will appreciate his jokes and be able to run with him. Hippopotamus is so sad, and tries to practice running, but eventually realizes he will never be able to keep up with Cheetah. He decides to do what he loves best, and goes for a “good, long, deep, muddy, wallow.” Continue reading Bilingual Book Review: Keeping Up with Cheetah

Bilingual Book Review: Augustus and his Smile

Augustus and his Smile
Written and illustrated by Catherine Rayner
Ages 2-6
Format: Paperback
Review by Maureen Pugh

“Augustus the tiger was sad. He had lost his smile.” So begins an epic quest as Augustus searches for his lost smile. His search takes him under bushes, up to the treetops, and to the crests of the highest mountains. He finds a beetle, chirping birds, and swirling snow clouds, but no smile.

As his journey progresses, however, Augustus’ expression gradually begins to change. His pleasure becomes evident as he swims in the oceans and “splishes and splashes with shoals of tiny, shiny fish.” His long tail also begins arching in a smile to match the one on his face. Suddenly he is prancing and parading in a desert, dancing and racing in raindrops, and splashing through puddles. Then he finds it – in the reflection of a “huge silver-blue puddle” – his smile! Continue reading Bilingual Book Review: Augustus and his Smile