Penguins Don’t Wear Sweaters!

Penguins Don’t Wear Sweaters! by Marikka Tamura

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: January 16th, 2018
Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books
Genres & Themes: Picture Book, Animals, Environmental Issues


You may have seen the cute pictures of penguins wearing sweaters–but did you know why they were wearing them? Debut author Marikka Tamura answers this question in this colorful, kid-friendly book that is told simply and charmingly…When the penguins become coated in an oil spill, many Big Boots arrive. The humans want to help the cold, greasy penguins, so they knit sweaters to keep them warm. The Big Boots mean well, but . . . penguins don’t wear sweaters! So after a good, soapy scrub, the penguins dive back into the deep blue sea, happily dressed only in their own penguin feathers. Continue reading


The Forever Tree – Tereasa Surratt

The Forever Tree by Tereasa Surratt

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: January 23rd, 2018
Publisher: Crown BFYR
Genres & Themes: Picture Book, Environment, Animals, Community


The animals and humans always knew their tree was special. The trunk was the best place to host championship bingo tournaments, and the branches were perfect for swinging in the shade! But when the tree gets sick, neighbors new and old will have to join forces if they have any chance of saving their treetop home. A touching tale based on the true story of one special tree, and the community that brought it back to life. Continue reading

Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans

katrinaDrowned City: Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans by Don Brown

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Raincoast Books
First Published: April 4th, 2015
Publisher: HMH BFYR
Recommended Age: 10+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Graphic Novel, Nonfiction, Environment, Middle Grade, History


On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina’s monstrous winds and surging water overwhelmed the protective levees around low-lying New Orleans, Louisiana. Eighty percent of the city flooded, in some places under twenty feet of water. Property damages across the Gulf Coast topped $100 billion. One thousand eight hundred and thirty-three people lost their lives. The tale of this historic storm and the drowning of an American city is one of selflessness, heroism, and courage—and also of incompetence, racism, and criminality. Continue reading

Me and Marvin Gardens by A.S. King

25753099Me and Marvin Gardens by A.S. King

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: January 31st, 2017
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books
Point of View: 1st Person & Masculine
Recommended Age: 9+
Pacing: Slow
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Animals, Environment, Friendship

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Obe Devlin has problems. His family’s farmland has been taken over by developers. His best friend Tommy abandoned him for the development kids. And he keeps getting nosebleeds, because of that thing he doesn’t like to talk about. So Obe hangs out at the creek by his house, in the last wild patch left, picking up litter and looking for animal tracks.

One day, he sees a creature that looks kind of like a large dog, or maybe a small boar. And as he watches it, he realizes it eats plastic. Only plastic. Water bottles, shopping bags… No one has ever seen a creature like this before, because there’s never been a creature like this before. The animal–Marvin Gardens–soon becomes Obe’s best friend and biggest secret. But to keep him safe from the developers and Tommy and his friends, Obe must make a decision that might change everything. Continue reading