About me

My name is Janet Dawson, and I am the K-8 librarian at six schools (two middle and four elementary) in the Hampden–Wilbraham Regional School District, Massachusetts.  One of the most important parts of my job is connecting students and teachers with great books.

We’re lucky to live in a world where fantastic children’s books are published every week.  Every day I review a book published this year.  Although I may mention things about books that I don’t like (“Cons”), I only choose books for which I feel I can give a mostly positive review.

I try to find books that would appeal to kids and/or fit in well with the elementary school curriculum.  All books come from my local public library, and I do not benefit in any way from my reviews (except for the warm, fuzzy feeling of sharing good books with readers).

Please feel free to spread the word about this blog to parents, grandparents, teachers, children, or anyone else you think might enjoy it.  I hope you will comment as you see fit, and share anything you think might make the reviews more useful.

Happy reading!

19 thoughts on “About me

  1. I really enjoy your reviews with my morning coffee. I know these reviews take work on your part, so…thanks! I love the new look to your blog (usually read in email) and especially knowing more about you. Hooray for school librarians!

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  2. Your reviews are great–I have discovered so many books through your site, and ordered them all through my library! One suggestion: maybe include the number of pages each book has? It’s hard sometimes to gauge if a book is meant for a younger or slightly older audience. Thanks so much, and I look forward to reading more!

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  3. Hello!
    My name is Kate Metroka, and I’m starting a campaign to get Ellen Degeneres on board with helping my children’s book series to get published. The series emphasizes strong female characters and is highly relevant in today’s world. Let’s start rewiring the way our culture treats little girls one children’s book at a time! I would love if you could watch the videos below, and give them a like or a share. Have a great week!

    Kate Metroka

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  4. Hi I am author Benjamin Boyd. I would love it if you could do a review of my book The Adventures of Kid Humpty Dumpty. I think you and your followers would like this book. You can get a preview of it on amazon.com yo can contact me at bjessieb2@yahoo.com. Thank You

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  5. Janet,

    Like Benjamin above, I would love to have you look at my books and see if they fit your Blog standards to do a review. My picture books (Glad to do it!” series) can be viewed at http://www.gladtodoit.net and are about a firefighter, police officers and EMTs who like to help others.

    Uncle Ricky, Fireman – Fire! is viewable as a free download and you could quickly tell if they fit your standards. We will publish the first EMT Morales story in about 2 weeks. Uncle Rocky, Fireman and Officer Jack were published last year and earlier.

    You will note when perusing the book that children act out getting dressed for the fire, they make all the truck sounds and then shout, “Glad to do it!” at the end along with Uncle Rocky or Officer Jack.

    Please let me know and thanks for your time

    .

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  6. Hi Janet,

    I really enjoyed the recent review you left about Fish Girl. It was well thought out and written. Since I’d enjoyed reading many posts on your site so much, I thought it might be a good place to share a project that I’m working on.

    I’ve just launched a campaign about a children’s book called Brady Plays the Fiddle. It’s a lyrical picture book that inspires a love of music in young readers. My young music loving friends have expressed how much they like the the book. I’m trying to self publish it and raise funds via Indigogo. I want to raise awareness about the campaign and was wondering, would you be interested in writing a post about it? If you are I could send you a digital copy to read!

    Please contact me if you are interested at kungfumel@gmail.com

    Also please feel free check out my Indigogo page for the children’s book I wrote and illustrated, Brady Plays the Fiddle:
    https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/brady-plays-the-fiddle-a-children-s-picture-book/x/16184152#/

    Thanks for your time!

    Cheers,
    Melissa

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  7. Hello there Janet!

    I want to begin by e-introducing myself! I am Rami Jandali and I am a first-time, children’s book author with an inner child and a passion to share stories!

    Just last Monday, May 1st, I self-published my first-ever children’s book, “An Almond All Alone”, available on Amazon as both an eBook and as a Paperback version as well. In essence, it speaks of the power of having just one other person (or “nut”, as is the case in this story) believe in you, regardless of how bullied you have been or insecure you have felt about yourself. It is lighthearted, it is airy and I am absolutely ecstatic to share it with the world, adults and kids alike!

    I would be incredibly honored and grateful if you would consider “An Almond All Alone” for a review on your blog, and/or to share it with your friends and family.

    A link to my book, for your convenience:

    I truly look forward to hearing back from you and hope your week is off to a fantastic start!!

    Sincerely,

    Rami Jandali

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  8. I was thinking about problem books from the 1970’s–young adult books written specifically to address some problem like drug abuse or teenage pregnancy.

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  9. Hi Janet, I am a new author with Eifrig Publishing, and have just finished a 3 book American Herstory Series (historical fiction picture books). Eifrig is a very small company so I am looking to get my books reviewed and get any type of help promoting myself as an author (reviews, interviews, articles, etc…).
    I have e-copies available and can also send hardcovers.(I know you prefer hardcovers). You can get a better feel for who I am by looking at my new author website: lisagammonolson.com
    Let me know if you’d be willing to review: Dust Flowers, Sewing the Magic In (both are in print) and my newest book The Cheese Song (debuting @ Christmas time). Thank you so much for your time and effort. If you are interested, please let me know where you’d like me to send you the hard copies! Lisa

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  10. Need to let you know a couple of things–how much I appreciate your dedication to children’s literature by your posting of the daily book suggestions. These posts help guide my collection development decisions every single day. Also, just read today’s post about Nathan Hale. It was my honor at the recent Texas Book Festival to hear Nathan talk about his last project-Lewis & Clark. He had a tablet with him and was able to illustrate on a large screen while he spoke. Children and adults alike were absolutely mesmerized. Wishing you and yours a very happy holiday season!
    Deann

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Hi Janet! I found your blog via another children’s book blog, and I’m ever so glad I did! I would be delighted to receive your reviews of my books for young readers: the YA historical fiction novel Risking Exposure and the picture book Mikey and the Swamp Monster.

    For the novel: A timid Hitler Youth member contracts polio. Photographs she takes of fellow polio patients are turned into propaganda, mocking people with disabilities. She has become an outsider, a target of Nazi scorn and possible persecution. Her only weapon is her camera.

    For the picture book: When the stinky Swamp Monster returns, an imaginative boy uses his monster-stopper kit to protect his home and family. This humorous picture book celebrates the blurry lines between inventiveness and reality.

    Please let me know if you are interested. Thank you, and happy holidays to you and those you love.
    Best,
    Jeanne Moran

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  12. Hi Janet!
    I was wondering if you would like to review my latest picture book, IF I DIDN’T HAVE YOU. It was written by Alan Katz and illustrated by me and it’s my first book with Simon & Schuster! So as you can guess, I’m pretty excited about it!

    I can send you a digital ARC if you would like. The book was officially released on April 10th! 🙂

    Please, let me know what you think!

    Best,
    Chris Robertson

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  13. Just wanted to let you know, I tried to share your site to my facebook page and FB thinks that your site violates ‘a security measure’ so it won’t let me post it. I would definitely check with them about that.

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  14. Hi, I just wanted to say thanks for your hard work putting these reviews together, they are succinct and easy to use which as a public librarian are both very helpful to me when reviewing books to order!

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  15. Hello Janet,

    Thank you for maintaining such an informative blog!

    I have written a book titled Charlie’s Magical Tomato Vines, and I would like to share my homemade book trailers:

    1/2:

    2/2:

    Morgan Lee

    Like

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