A meandering chapbook low on conflict, with a young, cleverly modern narrator.


Julie at the North Pole

A 10-year-old girl journeys with a magical Dream Pony to meet Santa and help spread belief in Christmas magic in this full-color illustrated chapter book for early elementary readers.

Julie, the younger of 10-year-old twins, is adjusting to life in her new home with the help of a Dream Pony, Algonquin, she discovered in the attic. The stuffed pony magically transforms into a life-sized, colorfully speckled pony, accompanied by a Jiminy Cricket–like guardian, Mickey Bright, a spider. (Julie recalls an earlier adventure when she met the pair, though no previous title is available.) Algonquin and Mickey Bright arrive at Julie’s side the week before Christmas to take her on a journey to the North Pole. Dressed in magically provided snow gear, Julie hops on Algonquin’s back as the Dream Pony flies her north. First, they encounter the gray wolf leader, Baron, who tries to intimidate them, but they easily escape. Next, they meet Great Maximus, leader of the polar bears, who welcomes them in his territory and explains that most children, at the age of 10, lose the ability to see Santa Claus because they begin to stop believing in magic. Algonquin takes a rest when the trio catches a ride on the icebreaker Benedict after encountering some penguin musicians (who have no business being in the Northern Hemisphere). An encounter with the friends’ old nemesis Magnifico—wearing a turban—is easily won, giving Julie plenty of time to solve Santa’s problem of children growing too old for him; a timely Internet petition plays a part. The illustrations suit the mood of the story and are spread out frequently enough to balance the text-dense chapters. All of Julie’s hurdles seem defeated by others and easily overcome, until Julie finally takes the lead saving Santa. Some worldbuilding issues may leave readers at a loss—Julie seems to be gone for several days, but her family doesn’t notice?—but many will find the multicolored magic pony enchanting.

A meandering chapbook low on conflict, with a young, cleverly modern narrator.

Pub Date: May 29, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-5049-1432-1

Page Count: 50

Publisher: AuthorHouse

Review Posted Online: Sept. 18, 2015

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A friendly celebration of love for the youngest of readers.


A yellow chick is showered with love.

“You’re my little chickadee. / You mean everything in the world to me.” So begins this ode to a caregiver’s love for their little ones, a message emphasized by the “made with love” logo on the cover. The soft, pastel palette and simple, quick pace make this ideal for the smallest readers. The figure of the chick spreads so large across the page that its topknot is actually made of a stuffed, felt orange poof that rests atop the book, held in place by the back cover. Babies still teething will adore nibbling on it. Readers just beginning to learn how to hold books in their tiny hands will find much to enjoy here, but the window for use is a relatively small one. Caregivers with any familiarity with North American birds will be irked at the use of “chickadee” to describe this generic yellow bird, as it looks nothing like an actual chickadee, either juvenile or adult.

A friendly celebration of love for the youngest of readers. (Board book. 6 mos.-1)

Pub Date: Dec. 26, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-338-11089-0

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Nov. 22, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2018

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This brisk read is a solid accompaniment to Easter preparations.


Little bunnies prepare for the definitive bunny holiday.

Bunnies prepare for Easter in this board book. In verse set to the cadence of “This Little Piggy,” bunnies go to market, bake a cake, paint eggs, weave a basket, and do all sorts of other things to get ready for Easter. Rescek’s illustrations take full advantage of spring’s color palette, employing purples, pinks, oranges, and blues and incorporating striped and spotted ovals evoking Easter eggs. Little readers learning about the Easter Bunny for the first time will be delighted to get a peek at the process bunnies may go through to prepare for Easter and how it mirrors activities they perform with their parents.

This brisk read is a solid accompaniment to Easter preparations. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Jan. 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4998-0105-7

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Little Bee

Review Posted Online: April 13, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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