Susan Dove Lempke

About Susan Dove Lempke

Susan Dove Lempke is a Horn Book reviewer and assistant library director for youth programs and technology for the Niles Public Library District in Illinois.

Review of My Teacher Is a Monster! 
(No, I Am Not.)

brown_my teacher is a monster

My Teacher Is a Monster! 
(No, I Am Not.) by Peter Brown; illus. by the author Primary    Little, Brown    40 pp. 7/14    978-0-316-07029-4    $18.00 From the cover, it is clear that Bobby and his teacher do not agree: “My Teacher Is a MONSTER!” says Bobby in a giant word balloon; Ms. Kirby replies, “No, I […]

Review of The Miniature World of Marvin & James

broach_miniature world of marvin and james

The Miniature World of Marvin & James [Masterpiece Adventures] by Elise Broach; illus. by Kelly Murphy Primary    Ottaviano/Holt    104 pp. 2/14    978-0-8050-9190-8    $15.99 e-book ed.  978-1-6277-9204-2    $9.99 A new early chapter book series follows the friendship of beetle Marvin and human boy James of Masterpiece (rev. 11/08), for a younger audience. The sentences are shorter […]

Review of The Tree House that Jack Built

verburg_tree house that jack built

The Tree House that Jack Built by Bonnie Verburg; 
illus. by Mark Teague Primary    Orchard/Scholastic    32 pp. 5/14    978-0-439-85338-5    $17.99    g This version of the old cumulative rhyme “The House that Jack Built” grabs kids right from the start: the cover shows a small boy waving from one of many balconies in a multilevel structure […]

Review of Tap Tap Boom Boom

bluemle_tap tap boom boom

Tap Tap Boom Boom by Elizabeth Bluemle; 
illus. by G. Brian Karas Preschool, Primary    Candlewick    32 pp. 3/14    978-0-7636-5696-6    $16.99 Many picture books about storms are set in the country (e.g., Shetta Crum’s Thunder-Boomer!, rev. 7/09), but this one takes place in the big city. Bluemle uses rhymes and rhythms to convey the sudden changes […]

Review of Mr. Tiger Goes Wild

brown_mr tiger goes wild

Mr. Tiger Goes Wild by Peter Brown; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary     Little, Brown     48 pp. 9/13     978-0-316-20063-9     $18.00 Mr. Tiger walks upright and wears a top hat and a handsome coat with a bow tie, fitting in with the rest of society. But his orange fur provides the only spot of […]

Review of Pinned

pinned

Pinned by Sharon G. Flake Middle School, High School    Scholastic    231 pp. 10/12    978-0-545-05718-9    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-0-545-46984-5    $17.99 Ninth-grader Autumn is great at some things — wrestling, for one; cooking, for another. Reading is not one of her skills, due in part to multiple moves during her early childhood and parents who also don’t […]

What Makes a Good Manners Book?

emily's everyday manners

What’s the magic word? These days many children would answer, “Expelliarmus!” or some other Harry Potter-ism, but for generations before this the magic word has always been “please.” And yet anyone who works with children regularly can attest to the fact that quite a lot of them don’t seem familiar with that magic word, or […]

Review of Every Thing on It

Everything on It by Shel Silverstein

Every Thing on It by Shel Silverstein; illus. by the author Primary, Intermediate | Harper/HarperCollins | 202 pp. 9/11 | 978-0-06-199816-4 | $19.99 | Library ed. 978-0-06-199817-1 | $20.89 Posthumously published works are sometimes weak, but this collection of 140-plus poems is every bit as good as Silverstein’s earlier poetry collections, beginning with the now-classic Where the Sidewalk […]

What Makes a Good Book about Sharing?

martha doesn't share

It doesn’t take long when working in a bookstore or a public library to realize that many parents are after one thing in a picture book — they want it to make their child better. Parents want children who are polite, cooperative, and kind. They want them to be good listeners who easily relinquish the […]

Purposeful Poetry

Space Songs

“I need a poem to go with a unit on diseases.” “I need a poem about respecting other people’s property.” “I need a poem for a lesson I’m doing on invertebrates.” “Where are your poetry books about personal hygiene?” Upon hearing such requests posed by education students and teachers, a librarian’s first thought might be, […]