Welcome to Bookcase Bizarro!

Hello and welcome to Bookcase Bizzaro, a monthly book blog where I talk about, review and recommend KidLit books for you and your kids…yes you, because shouldn’t everyone be reading more KidLit? (I thought so.)

I got the idea for this blog when my niece was born and her parents tasked me with the greatest job in the world: to recommend books for this kid from now until forever. I mean…wow. What an honour! Where to start? That’s where this blog comes in. As part of my ‘job,’ I’ll be reading a wide variety of books each month, from picture books to middle grade, for my niece and for you. It goes without saying that I will always, ALWAYS indoctrinate…I mean…encourage a love of dragons. (Joking.)

So, what can you expect from this blog?

First, we’ve got a great picture book panel comprised of a children’s writer (me), a literacy tutor and an early childhood educator who talk about and review books together. Our tastes are eclectic and wide-ranging, we have very different perspectives and we sometimes disagree with each other (which makes for more interesting reviews).

The Doug and Sheila Browne Books to Grow Into Selection is a monthly pick aimed at older picture book readers/ beginning readers. This follows a time-honoured Browne family tradition of giving children slightly ‘older’ books that they could grow into.

Each Book to Grow Into occupied an honoured place on my bookshelf until I was ready for them. As I grew older, I decided when I was ready for these books – a thrill all by itself. These books were usually not new books. My famously thrifty parents fostered a love of used, hand-me-down and library books in me, which meant that I could enjoy lots of books without a correspondingly high price tag.

In honour of my parents, we’ll tag all books that are available from the Toronto Public Library ‘#TPL,’ because books don’t have to be new or owned in order to be loved.

Last but not least, we have a special focus each month on middle grade novels (including middle grade graphic novels) because I love to read and write ’em. Expect an in-depth review in each category, as well as the occasional spotlight feature. In the months ahead, we’ll also be adding in links to book-related news or author interviews, and additional book recommendations, even the occasional YA, NA or – GASP! – Adult title.

Bookcase Bizarro will never trash an author but we do believe in giving constructively critical reviews. We aim to provide a widely diverse selection of books for all kids and the adults who care for them.

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#IMWAYR is a weekly blog hop hosted by Unleashing Readers and Teach Mentor Texts. Its focus is to share the love of KIDLIT and recommend KIDLIT books to readers of all ages.

Check it out every Monday and get your reading fix on!

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