Each Peach Pear Plum by Janet and Allan Ahlberg

By Maureen Tai, 19 September 2018

“Each Peach Pear Plum, I spy Tom Thumb…”

If your middle grade child can still remember the first few lines of a board book that she had read to her since before she could walk, it must be a bit of a gem. That is what Each Peach Pear Plum is, the perfect rhyming “I Spy” picture book for really little ones and their sleep-deprived care-givers.


The board book in my hand is over a decade old, its edges fraying, deep furrows along the spine.  The story itself is even older. Each Peach Pear Plum celebrated its 40th birthday in 2018 as the author, Allan Ahlberg celebrated his 80th.  Ahlberg is a maestro of rhyme, and a prolific children’s book writer, having written – at last count – over 150 books.  Continue reading

Do not lick this book* (it’s full of germs) by Idan Ben-Barak & illustrated by Julian Frost

By Maureen Tai, 31 May 2018


If you are a parent of young children like I am, you will have, at one point or another, yelled at them to stop eating their nose poos or licking elevator buttons because “FOR HEAVENS SAKE, THOSE THINGS ARE FULL OF GERMS!” And your progeny would not have given a monkey’s because, well, let’s face it, no one can see germs can they?

Do not lick this book* (it’s full of germs) attempts to remedy this situation by magnifying some common microbes (by some hundreds of thousands of times), giving them faces, limbs, attractive hues, cute names and quirky personalities, and inviting readers to whisk them off on adventures. Sounds fun? It is! Continue reading

Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea by Ben Clanton

By Maureen Tai, 23 April 2018

“Jellyfish: You’ve never heard of a jellyfish?!”
Narwhal: Nope! You don’t look like any fish I’ve ever seen, but you do look kind of jelly-ish. I sure have an amazing imagination.”



If I could describe the main character in Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea, in one single word, it would be EXUBERANT.

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