Media Reviews: Books for Kids

Kelsey Martz
The Fox and the Wild

THE FOX AND THE WILD by Clive McFarland

This charming and quirky picture book tells the story of the inquisitive Fred the fox. Fred lives in a city, which he finds noisy, smoky and sometimes scary. He knows there is something else beyond the city, but none of his animal friends can answer his question. One day, Fred stumbles across a bird who tells him of the wild. Determined to find this place, Fred ventures out on his own. The colorful illustrations will captivate little readers and grown-ups alike. FOR AGES 2-6

5-MINUTE MYSTERIES FOR MINECRAFTERS: THE CREEPER CODE by Greyson Mann, illustrated by Grace Sandford

Minecraft enthusiasts especially will enjoy solving these quick and fun mysteries alongside twins Oliver and Audrey. Readers are encouraged to decipher codes and look for picture clues. This book might be a great segue for even a reluctant reader to get hooked on chapter books, as the stories are short and participatory.FOR AGES 7-10

ZAP! by Martha Freeman

Who turned out the lights? Sixth-graders Luis and Maura investigate the cause of a citywide power outage. They partner up to decipher clues and embark on a complicated tech adventure. As a bonus, at the end of the book are answers to many of Luis' questions, such as “How does a crank radio work?” and “What's nuclear fission?” This story focuses heavily on social commentary; themes such as societal collapse, race and class all are prevalent. Readers also learn how to assemble their own emergency kit at home.FOR AGES 8-12


In the latest installment of this dynamic series, Goldie Vance continues to shine as a cool, witty, tough teen detective. She lives at a Florida resort where her dad is the manager and strives to one day be the hotel's in-house detective. In her latest case, Goldie is recruited to help Sugar Maple, the privileged daughter of the resort's owner. What ensues is a fast-paced mystery centered on auto racing, misconceptions and sabotage. There are plenty of diverse and strong female characters throughout, and the bold and inviting illustrations create a lively retro vibe, which contribute to making this graphic novel so fun.FOR TEENS


PEEK-A-ZOO by Duck Duck Moose

This free app is incredibly cute and easy for little ones to navigate. A variety of colorful animals appear on the screen, and children must tap the animal that answers the question, such as “Who is trying to hide?” or “Who is winking?” This app can help kids identify animals and emotions, building their vocabulary. Lively jazz versions of recognizable children's songs play in the background. This would be great to download before a family trip to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.FOR AGES 2-4

—Kelsey Martz, information services specialist - youth services, Parsons Branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library