Media Reviews: Books for Kids

Stephanie Founds
“Scary Plants!” by Janet Lawler

I AM (NOT) SCARED by Anna Kang

This cute and amusing book has repetitive language and simple vocabulary that little ones will love. Two bears, one big and one small, prepare to go on a roller coaster called the Loop of Doom. Kids will enjoy giggling at some of the gross and scary things the bears think of as they talk, such as a “tub of hairy spiders” and a “pan of fried ants.” Ultimately, the bears learn that sometimes scary things turn out to be the most fun of all. Kang provides more tales about the bears in “You Are (Not) Small” and “That's (Not) Mine.”FOR AGES 3-7


Vega's book is a how-to guide for putting a big, fuzzy, not-tired-at-all monster to bed. Start by making a big glass of calming, crunchy, oozy bug juice slimed with snail trails and end by singing “Shock-a-Bye Monster” in the key of screech. Don't let your kids get too good at putting monsters to bed, though, or the neighbors might ask for help putting their monsters down for the night.FOR AGES 4-8

SCARY PLANTS! by Janet Lawler

The Penguin Young Readers series chronicles high-interest nonfiction topics for children of varying reading levels. This particular book, a Smithsonian title, shares facts about plants that have weird and wicked ways of protecting themselves or obtaining nutrients. Also included are vivid color photographs and a glossary of important terms. Educational and fun, this is a great way to get kids reading nonfiction passages and learning practical information such as what spiny, prickly, poisonous or stinky plants they may find in nature.FOR AGES 7-10

THE WOOD by Chelsea Bobulski

Columbus native Chelsea Bobulski wrote this tale about a special forest on the banks of the Olentangy River that is home to portals for time travelers. Sixteen-year-old Winter patrols the woods regularly to help send time travelers back to their rightful place. When her father goes missing, Winter is tasked with learning where he has gone, the identity of the mysterious stranger who refuses to go back to his own time, and why the shadows and monsters that used to come out only at night are starting to seep into the daylight.FOR TEENS


The Witch with No Name

Charming and funny illustrations tell the story of a witch who adventures through the forest seeking out her name, which has long been forgotten. Kids will enjoy making a special potion from old socks and the nose hair of a giant.

The app's mixture of storytelling and games is sure to entrance kids with its interactive narrative and sheer silliness. Multiple difficulty levels appeal to a variety of ages. The free version allows access to the first six pages of the book, while a paid version for $2.99 in the Google Play and iTunes stores includes all content.FOR AGES 4-10

Stephanie Founds is youth services supervisor at the Linden Branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library.