Media Reviews

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent

"YOU CHOOSE"by Pippa Goodhart

Imagine you could have anything you wanted. Where would you go? Who would you like as a friend? What would you do for fun? Each choice in "You Choose" is accompanied by colorful and witty illustrations that truly show the breadth that life has to offer. Kids will enjoy poring over each illustrated spread, considering each fun detail. Choices range from humorous and wacky to exotic and historical; there's not only a lot to choose from, there's a lot to talk about! FOR AGES 2 TO 5.

"BINK & GOLLIE: TWO FOR ONE" by Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee

The critically beloved duo, Bink & Gollie, are back for a second round of mini-misadventures, this time at the state fair. The two comically engage in games of whack-a-duck, a performance at the amateur talent show, and finally, they look into the future in Madame Prunely's crystal ball. Visual foils, these best friends deliver dynamic, wry and warmhearted humor in every spread. The sparking text is dialogue-driven, accessible for beginning readers and complements the cartoon illustrations with ironic humor children can enjoy. FOR AGES 5 TO 8.

"MAY B" by Caroline Starr Rose

Mavis Elizabeth Betterly, May B for short, is 12 years old and living on the prairies of western Kansas when her parents send her 15 miles from home to help out with the neighbor's homestead. May's family will get some much needed money sent home for her work and she'll be home by Christmas; her parents promise. May is angry. The family clearly values her brother more and she will miss months of school where she is already struggling. Things get worse when May shows up at the Oblingers' to find a misshapen sod house and a newlywed couple - the bride miserable and only a few years older than May herself. The story reaches a frightening crescendo when the bride runs off and her husband leaves in search for her, leaving May all alone on the prairie. FOR AGES 8 TO 13.

"DRAMA"by Raina Telgemeier

The smart and endearingly nerdy Callie loves theatre. So when her school puts on a production of "Moon Over Mississippi," she won't let the fact that she can't sing stop her from getting involved. Callie becomes the head of set design and is determined not to let shrinking budgets and other setbacks compromise her artistic vision for the show. Callie struggles with the normal trials and tribulations of a middle school girl but rises above it all via her dedication to art, gaining the position of stage manager and finding her place in the world. FOR TEENS.

-Stephanie Steelman, Library Assistant, Martin Luther King, Jr., Branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library


Critically acclaimed pop-up book artist and paper engineer Robert Sabuda is one of the kings of the pop-up book game. Elaborate and absolutely enchanting, Sabuda has published more than 40 pop-up titles including interpretations of classics such as "Alice in Wonderland" and the POP-ular Encyclopedia Prehistorica series. On the make-your-own, pop-up portion of his website, visitors can learn from the master himself! Sabuda provides easy instructions and printable templates for pop-up basics, animals and seasonal greeting cards.

-Stephanie Steelman


Gugls are cute. The kind of cute that will keep a child occupied for hours. And Smack That Gugl II (99 cents) requires a player's complete and total attention if one expects to have any kind of success at all. The game itself is of the "Whack A Mole" variety. You smack a Gugl to slice, pile, explode or crush them. The different creatures need to be cleared in different ways. Wait too long and they might explode. This game features three types of play so the difficulty can be dialed up or down depending on your child. There are 216 stages to keep this game interesting. This app has beautiful 3D-type graphics, amusing sounds and enjoyable music. WARNING: Avoid the sick or spiky Gugls since they can cost a player a life if they're smacked.

-Phil Pikelny