Media Reviews: Books for Kids

Laura Nawojchik and Kristine Neinast
Bitty Bot’s Big Beach Getaway

BITTY BOT'S BIG BEACH GETAWAY by Tim McCanna, illustrated by Tad Carpenter

In this vibrantly illustrated tale, Bitty Bot is unsure about his beach vacation until he meets some new friends. Bitty and his pals use their engineering skills to take them on an imaginative adventure filled with mermaids, submarines and ocean creatures. This picture book is filled with rhythm and rhymes on every page to start building your little one's literacy skills.FOR AGES 4-8


On Nov. 14, 1963, a volcanic eruption caused a new island to appear off the coast of Iceland. Soon afterward, scientists realized the opportunity the island of Surtsey offered to study how life colonizes and changes a new land. The author follows an entomologist who has been visiting Surtsey since 1970 to survey the changing insect life. He and other scientists work in unique conditions and leave as little impact as possible on the still-pristine island. This title is part of the stellarScientists in the Field juvenile nonfiction series.FOR AGES 9-15

THE WILD BOOK by Juan Villoro

“The Wild Book” is a coming-of-age tale of a young boy, Juan, who spends his summer in his eccentric uncle's library in the midst of his parents' separation. Juan anticipates a boring summer surrounded by musty books—until he discovers that the books have paranormal powers. Juan has a wild adventure, getting lost in stories set in far-off places while pursuing a special title known as the wild book. He also learns lessons in friendship, family and the transportive power of reading.FOR AGES 10-15

THE SUMMER OF BROKEN THINGS by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Avery is pretty, popular and athletic. Kayla is overweight and socially awkward. These two girls were once childhood friends, but now have nothing in common. So when Avery's father tells her that she will be spending her summer in Spain with him and Kayla instead of at summer camp with her friends, it's an unwelcome surprise. Later, Avery and Kayla learn a secret about their past that brings them uncomfortably together. “The Summer of Broken Things” questions the meaning of family and friendship as well as their role in tragic circumstances.FOR TEENS

Laura Nawojchik, youth services librarian, Whetstone Branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library

Kristine Neinast, youth services specialist, Reynoldsburg Branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library


Plum Landing

Children can follow the adventures of four children (plus one alien) around the globe and then begin their own adventures. They can feed dingoes in the outback, identify animals that live in the Rocky Mountains or travel to Belize's mangroves. The games offered in Plum Landing are entertaining and also teach children about different ecosystems and the hardships that wildlife experience. This website is perfect for nature enthusiasts or those who desire to be world explorers.FOR AGES 6-12