Grace Goes To Washington (Kelly DiPucchio)

Hello friends, and happy International Women’s Day! To celebrate, we’re reviewing Grace Goes To Washington, written by Kelly DiPucchio and illustrated by LeUyen Pham, the sequel to one of our all-time favorite titles, Grace For President.

The school trip to Washington, D.C. is coming up, and Grace – the aspiring government leader who already has a successful run for class president under her belt – could not be more excited. For now, however, she must work in congress with her fellow class representatives to decided what to do with the proceeds from the school bake sale. Different contingents propose different needs: new athletic equipment, new band instruments, or new library books? Grace isn’t sure how to vote, as all are worthy causes. The class trip to D.C. provides a break from the debate, and Grace is deeply inspired by what she sees. Yet when she returns to school, all she sees is unrest – the fighting over how the bake sale money should be spent has reached a fever pitch, and friends are arguing on the playground. But in the melee, Grace notices a lonely new student, and inspiration strikes. Perhaps what the school needs most of all is a reminder of what people can accomplish when they work together.

Lovely. Just as Grace challenged the ideas that only men could lead in her previous book, she’s back to encourage teamwork and cooperation over partisanship (doesn’t that sound nice?). And like the previous title worked in a wonderful explanation of how the electoral college functions, this one provides a lesson in the branches of government, the executive and legislative in particular. Pham’s art features diverse characters that are alive with emotion and personality, and the text is earnest and impactful. The length is perfect for a storytime, and JJ and I were both so pleased to see Grace inspiring other kids to take the lead and do what’s right once again. A worthy sequel, and a reminder for readers big and small that by working together despite our differences, we can achieve great and lasting things. Baby Bookworm approved!

Littles, And How They Grow (Kelly DiPucchio)

Hello, friends! Today’s review is the sentimental and sweet Littles, And How They Grow, written by Kelly DiPucchio and illustrated by AG Ford, a lovely book of about growing babies.

There are so many special things about Littles (little babies, that is): their little toys, their little smiles, their little clothes that show off their adorable dimpled knees. There are Little books, Little games, and wonderfully messy Little meals. Most of all, there are lots of friends and family who love their Little so very much. And all too quickly, all those Littles, with their giggles and tantrums and naps and cuddles, are not-so-little anymore.

There’s a grand tradition of books about babies becoming big kids, and this is a welcome addition to it. Sweet, simple rhymes and universal reflections on all the magical things about babies create a warm and gentle story that’s fun to read. And the illustrations, in addition to being appropriately adorable, are fantastically inclusive. LGBTQ, multicultural, mixed-race, and non-traditional families are shown raising babies of many ethnicities, and there was a wonderfully welcome illustration of a baby nursing that can help teach children about breastfeeding. The length was great, and JJ adored all the little babies and their antics. A sweet celebration of the joy of watching babies grow, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved!

One Little Two Little Three Little Children (Kelly DiPucchio)

Hello, everyone! Our book today is One Little Two Little Three Little Children, written by Kelly DiPucchio and illustrated by Mary Lundquist, a light and charming exploration of families in all their forms.

Using the cadence of the classic children’s rhyme, the text leads the reader through a singsong journey of children, mommies, daddies, and every type of family one can imagine. There are families of only two, or families of many. Families with two daddies, or families with only one parent. Families with adopted children, step-children, families that live in small houses or big houses, families that are loud or quiet, families with pets, families of every kind! Because, in the end, every little child has a family, and everyone in the world is part of one big family as well.

This was one of those easy, classic book themes that are always enjoyable to share with kids, especially when diversity is taken into account as it is here. Among the families can be found same-sex parents, blended families, and examples of different races, cultures and religions. I especially liked that the ending impresses that the whole world is family; it ends the book on a nice button of tolerance and inclusivity. The illustrations are very cute and full of fun details that make each page fun to re-examine, and the length is great for little ones. JJ liked this one, and so did I! It’s a wonderful book about both our differences and our similarities, and that’s always a lovely story to read! Baby Bookworm approved!

Antoinette (Kelly DiPucchio & Christian Robinson)

Hello, friends! Today, we read Antoinette by Kelly DiPucchio and Christian Robinson, an adorable tale about finding one’s talents.

The Poodle and Bulldog families from Gaston are back with another adventure, this time centered around Gaston’s counterpart, Antoinette, a feisty poodle raised with three bulldog brothers. Antoinette’s brothers each have very special skills: one is smart, one is fast, and one is strong. But Antoinette can’t figure out her talent, so her mother encourages her to be patient. One day at the park, while playing with the Poodle family, one of Gaston’s siblings (Ooh-La-La) goes missing! All the puppies use their talents to try to find him, but with no luck! But Antoinette refuses to give up, going on the hunt for Ooh-La-La, and perhaps finding her special gift along the way!

Okay, if you’ve read this blog at all, you know that Kelly DiPucchio is one of our favorite authors, and that we adored the prequel to this book, Gaston. So of course, we were so excited to read Antoinette and it did not disappoint! Much like Gaston was centered around finding oneself in an adopted family, Antoinette is about finding one’s place in one’s own family and in the world. Christian Robinson’s adorable and gorgeous illustrations will make you fall in love with the Parisian pups of the story, the length is perfect, the text is fun to read, and JJ loved it so much that I could barely get her to put it down for a snack. This one is best paired with its companion book, but also just lovely on its own, and we emphatically recommend it. Baby Bookworm approved!

Top 5: Girl Power!


Hello, friends! This Top 5 is coming to you a day late, as JJ’s daddy graduated from college yesterday (yay!) and we were a bit busy. But not to fret, this one is chock full of awesome books about Girl Power! As the mother of a daughter in a world that can be scary for girls and women, books that celebrate girls and all the things they can do and be are essential. So in no particular order, here are The Baby Bookworm’s Top 5 Girl Power books of 2016:

1.  Not All Princesses Dress In Pink (Jane Yolen & Heidi E.Y. Stemple)


A great rhyming story about how princesses can come in all shapes, sizes and colors. This book features a multicultural cast of princesses who play sports, get mucky caring for animals, build treehouses together, and never judge one another on how a princess should look or act. Fantastic for showing girls that getting their hands dirty doesn’t mean they can’t be royalty, and the importance of supporting their fellow females.

2. Grace For President (Kelly DiPucchio)


Yes, another Kelly DiPucchio book! What can I say? She’s one of our favorites, and this book is a very good reason why. The story of a determined little girl who runs for class president, Grace shows that politics isn’t just about popularity – it’s about hard work, dedication, and being the best girl for the job. Grace is a fantastic role model for young readers, and should be a staple of any little girl’s library.

3. My First Book Of Girl Power (DC Comics)


An awesome board book for little superheroes! Covering some of the best and brightest heroines of the DC Universe, each page describes a female superhero and how she uses her powers (described simply as wisdom, strength, courage, kindness, etc.) to help others. It shows that girls can be powerful and fierce, and is perfect for beginning readers.

4. I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark (Debbie Levy)


A picture book biography of feminist icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg, this book is a fabulous story of a real-life female superhero. Ginsburg faces discrimination from all sides as she pursues her dream of becoming a lawyer and helping people, and her journey is absolutely inspirational. With phenomenal illustrations and a heaping helping of positive messages for young girls about bravery and self-respect, this book is a slightly longer read that is well worth it.

5. Rosie Revere, Engineer / Ada Twist, Scientist (Andrea Beaty)

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Okay, okay, so we’re sort of cheating here with two books, and technically this makes it a Top 6, but it’s impossible to pick between these two outstanding tales of little girls pursuing their passion for the STEM sciences. Both Rosie and Ada are brilliant ladies with the need to build, explore and understand, through engineering inventions and scientific study respectively. Both face setbacks (though, pleasantly, not related to their gender) and people who don’t understand, but both find the inner drive and courage to let their beautiful minds do great things. Wonderful additions to any little future STEM-er’s library.

That’s it! Our five favorite Girl Power book reviews from 2016! Did we leave any out? Tell us what you think! What were your favorite books about awesome girls this year? And be sure to join us next Saturday (Christmas Eve!) for another Top 5 list. See you tomorrow!