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