Forest has a Song, by Amy Ludwig Vanderwater, illustrated by Robbin Gourley

Forest has a Song is a delight, a book of poetry that follows a child’s relationship with the nearby forest through a year, from winter around to winter again. The mood changes from poem to poem, as does the style. The watercolour illustrations depict sometimes only the girl and her dog exploring the woods, and sometimes her brother and parents as well. My favourites were “Song”, from which the title of the book is taken, “Farewell”, the final poem, and oddly, “Bone Pile”, in which she contemplates the last skeletal remains of some forest animal.

Literacy Tip: Reading poetry and nursery rhymes to babies is a fun and easy way to help babies learn the sounds and rhythms of language, even before they begin to use words themselves. There are many rhyming books that have simple, bouncing rhymes and bright pictures. Remember Dr. Seuss’s Hop on Pop or the Berenstains’ Inside, Outside, Upside Down? Traditional nursery rhymes are another source of poetry for young children. Sheree Fitch is known for her poetry for older kids, but she has also written books for babies, such as Kisses, Kisses, Baby-O. Ook’s favourite poetry to read to children, even babies, is by A.A. Milne. His two books of children’s poetry, When We Were Very Young and Now We Are Six, are also available in one volume as The World of Christopher Robin. Even when children don’t know what the words mean, the sounds are beautiful, and as they grow older listening to the poetry, they begin to learn new words from the context.


The Martian, by Andy Weir

Guest Post by Hilda P.

Astronaut Mark Watney becomes one of the first people to walk on Mars, and may be the first to die there.

After a dust storm nearly kills him and his crew evacuates leaving him for dead, Mark is alone. Stranded, he cannot even let anyone know he is alive; there is no way to communicate this information to Earth. He knows there is no way he will survive on the limited supplies he has or until a rescue team lands on Mars.

Mark is an engineer and a botanist, and not ready to give up yet. He tries to grow food and make a plan to contact NASA on Earth, all because he wants to get off Mars alive. Mars has other surprises for him though! Will he overcome the odds against him?

A must read book that is difficult to put down; a real page turner. An amazing read for adults and anyone interested in outer space travel. This is the best book I have read in a while!

The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green

Guest Post by Mary McClusky

One of the best-selling novels, The Fault in Our Stars, has recently been made into a movie that millions of people all over the world are obsessing over. The novel, written by John Green, was published only in 2012, and is now a must-read novel for teenagers and young adults. It is a story about a young girl, Hazel Grace Lancaster, who is forced to attend a support group for cancer patients. She meets this happy, adventurous boy named Augustus Waters, and before they know it, they fall in love. Augustus teaches Hazel how to live life, and not let the cancer affect her. In the end of the novel, Augustus reveals to Hazel that his cancer has spread to his entire body, and he will soon pass away. This book is an inspiration to everyone who is fighting something in their life, as Augustus tells us that pain is inevitable in the world. I highly recommend this novel to everyone as it tells a story of romance, hope and happiness.

Into the Wild, by Jon Krakuer

Guest Review by Mary M.

Over the past few years I have been forced to read many books for school, some good, and some bad. It was not until this year that I came across a book that actually captured my attention and made me think about life in a different sense. Into the Wild, written by Jon Krakuer, is an inspirational novel about a young boy, Chris McCandless, who abandons his life and heads out into the wild. He searches for purpose and meaning to his life, something that he lacked before. It is not until the end of his journey that he realizes that true happiness is only real when shared with others. By the time he makes this realization, it is too late, as he is left alone in the wilderness, with no chance of surviving. This novel opened my eyes to the possibilities and adventures in life, and to ultimately enjoy life while we still can

Juliet the Valentine Fairy, by Daisy Meadows

Guest Review by Naiya I.

I liked it because it was interesting. When the fairy came to Kirsty and Rachel, she came out of a bowl of glitter and the glitter flew everywhere and everyone was covered in glitter. Jack Frost’s goblins stole her magic items, a Valentine’s day card and a red rose and a box of candy, and she needs to get them back. If she doesn’t get them back, Valentine’s Day will be ruined. Kirsty and Rachel are helping the fairy by tracking down the goblins and tricking them to give back the magic items. Younger kids that are getting into bigger chapter books will like this book.