North, South, East, West

north south east west


North, South, East, West

Margaret Wise Brown
Pictures by Greg Pizzoli
Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, 2017

From the dust jacket: “It’s time for a little bird to fly away to the north, the south, the east and the west. Which direction will she like best?
“In a never-before-published story from beloved children’s author Margaret Wise Brown, a little bird’s first journey is brought to life by Geisel Award-winning illustrator Greg Pizzoli.”

I was excited to read this new book from the author – but was disappointed just a bit. I like the story of the little bird finding where to set up her own nest and how she flew in the four directions to find a home of her own. But I didn’t care for the illustrations. The illustrator used Adobe Photoshop and I find them to be mildly charming – but that’s after 3 readings of the book. My gut reaction when I read the book the first time was “yuck!” However, I guess I’ve warmed up to them or maybe just gotten used to them. There’s nothing wrong with them and the illustrator did a nice job – they just aren’t my cup of cream.

The text is medium-large, is white on a dark background or black on a light background and is easy to read for kittens of almost every age. There aren’t any difficult works, except for maybe ‘sycamore’ but that’s easily remedied by an adult or older kitten helping the younger ones along.

Rating 4 out of 5 paws because I liked the book and I don’t want to penalize it just because I didn’t like the pictures!!





In the Great Green Room



In the Great Green Room
The Brilliant and Bold Life of Margaret Wise Brown

Amy Gary
Flatiron Books, 2017

From the dust jacket, “The extraordinary life of the woman behind the beloved children’s classics Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny comes alive in this fascinating biography of Margaret Wise Brown. …
“Clever, quirky, and incredibly talented, Margaret embraces life with passion, lived extravagantly off of her royalties, went on rabbit hunts, and carried on long and troubled love affairs with both men and women. …
“…Margaret died unexpectedly at the age of forty-two, leaving behind a cache of unpublished work and a timeless collection of books that would go on to become classics in children’s literature.
“Author Amy Gary captures the eccentric and exceptional life of Margaret Wise Brown and, drawing on newly discovered personal letters and diaries, reveals an intimate portrait of a creative genius whose unrivaled talent breathed new life into the literary world.”

My Auntie loves Margaret Wise Brown’s books, especially Goodnight Moon. She said she read it to her sons many, many times over their younger years. We don’t normally read biographies – I think this is only the third one we’ve read and reviewed; but because Auntie loves the author’s books so much, we thought we should read it. It was very good!

You can tell the author, Amy Gary, put a great deal of time and research into her book; it is well informed, rich with detail and emotion and super easy to read. In fact, it reads like a novel. The reader is taken chronologically through Brown’s life, not shying away from potentially controversial subjects – who knew that one of the world’s greatest children’s author was bisexual? While it might make a difference to some folks, it’s no matter for us. Talented – no – gifted & artistic people come from all walks of life and generally lead wide-open lives. Brown changed the world of children’s book publishing to what we enjoy today. All of today’s authors really have her to thank for it.

This isn’t a spoiler – you know right from the beginning she dies young – and it was so sudden and tragic, I actually had tears in my eyes. I felt so bad – it was like a friend dying for a stupid reason. You’ll see what I mean when you read the book. It makes me wonder how much more she would have contributed to the world had she lived and continued to write. But don’t let the sad end keep you from reading about this gifted author. If you’ve read any of her books, please read this one!

Rating 5 out of 5 paws because in spite of the tragic ending, the author brilliantly captured the wild and wonderful Margaret Wise Brown.

Ps. What does the title mean? You’ll have to read halfway into the book to find out! It is significant!!



A Pussycat’s Christmas

pussycat-aA Pussycat’s Christmas

Margaret Wise Brown

Illustrated by Anne Mortimer

HarperCollins Publishers, 1994, 1949

From the dust jacket: “How can you tell when it’s Christmas? Is it the snow? Is it the rustle of tissue paper? Or the sound of bells? Or the music of a song? Here is all the mystery and beauty of Christmas seen through the eyes of a cat, told in a simple, rhythmic story by Margaret Wise Brown, and illustrated with beautiful paintings by Anne Mortimer.”

First of all, any book with Anne Mortimer’s illustrations and story by Margaret Wise Brown is going to be wonderful. Second, any book that has a beautiful cat at the center of the story is going to be extra wonderful. And third, any book that has a tuxedo cat as it’s star is going to be extraordinarily wonderful!! This book is extraordinarily beautiful and wonderful! The story makes you want Christmas here right now! The pictures make you want to roll in the snow and listen to the quiet of Christmas Eve night. Maybe even spy Santa up in the sky – like PussyCat did! The text is medium size so it is perfect for early readers to read to the younger ones – especially on Christmas Eve. So gather the kittens around and savor a sweet story of wonder and enchantment. 

Rating 5 paws

Reviewers: PeggySue & BobbieSue