Welcome to my blog devoted to exemplary children’s books. I’m Janice Floyd Durante, and I’ve worked as a journalist, an English teacher, and a school librarian. With graduate degrees in English and in library science, I’ve published book reviews, poetry, and feature articles in local and national venues. 

I started this blog in 2010 as a way to celebrate books that enrich the lives of children ages 6 to 12. I review only books I admire, books that cultivate a child’s sense of peace, justice, respect and curiosity. Since I believe it is essential to read aloud to the young, I look for literature that is pleasing to the ear, as well as to the spirit. I am grateful for the books publishers send me, but I reserve the right to express my views freely or not at all if I do not see sufficient merit in the work.

Please respect the intention and originality of my work. If you would like to quote from it, cite the source, as I do. If, despite my sincere efforts, anyone should feel I have not given proper attribution, please contact me and I will make appropriate changes immediately. This web site is a volunteer, nonprofit activity.

Thanks for your interest. If you’d like to contact me, feel free to leave a comment on this page.


87 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Alice Fleerackers
    Sep 29, 2017 @ 15:05:00

    Hi Janice,

    I’m writing to suggest a review of a beautiful new picture book called The Dog (coming November 2017). Written by Governor General’s award-winning translator and author Helen Mixter, with vivid illustrations by acclaimed Mexican artist Margarita Sada, the book features a tender narrative about a boy, a dog, and the amazing power of animal companionship.

    This moving story was inspired by a visit to Canuck Place Children’s Hospice in Vancouver, Canada, where “Poppy” the therapy dog provides support and companionship to children suffering from life-threatening illnesses. Through a gentle text and gorgeous illustrations, The Dog shows how one animal helps a young boy who is ill. She is his comfort, his companion, and his friend; when he’s unhappy, she places her paw on his hand to show him she’s there. Thoughtful and compelling, The Dog reveals how an animal’s love can help make life worth living, especially when times are tough.

    Would you be interested in featuring a review on your blog? A press kit is attached here for your consideration, and I would be happy to send a review copy as well. Please let me know if this is of interest.

    Thank you,


  2. Benjamin Boyd
    Nov 05, 2016 @ 13:46:47

    First I would like to share that I love what you are doing and that it is an idea that i share. I love to read to the children in my life when ever i get the chance. Hi I’m Benjamin Boyd. My book is The Adventures of Kid Humpty Dumpty. Kids and adults will love entering into this fun, imaginative world. Young Humpty Dumpty wants to make friends with a new kid in town, but there is just a few problems. The first is Humpty Dumpty is way too nervous to talk to her and the second is the very anti-boy and very over the top sunny side twins. It is a funny Heart warming story of this famous and very clumsy egg adventures show that he is just like you and me. It all takes place in colorful and fun world where anything is possible.
    It makes a great bed time story with characters that kids can relate to and grow to love because the already love them. Every kid and adult has heard the rhyme of how he fell from the wall but with this they can see a beautiful world with lots of egg people and it just something that jumps out at the imagination. That is my over view of the book but I would like to hear your. I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you for your time
    Benjamin Boyd


  3. Anne Brandt
    Oct 19, 2016 @ 11:26:37

    Hope you’re great. I love your blog.

    I’m so excited… I just wrote and published my very first children’s book, Philip & Phoebe. I would love it if you could check it out and review it. It would mean so much to me. Please let me know what you think. Thanks! xo, Anne


  4. Samuel Jackson
    Sep 02, 2016 @ 19:41:44


    My name is Samuel Jackson and I’am trying to gather awareness for my sisters new children’s book

    The synopsis

    Returning to a time before magic had become a thing of the past.
    A story of a teddy bear his love for his family and a journey to fulfill a christmas wish.

    We will be posting it on Kickstarter soon and we would really appreciate it if you would check out the Kickstarter preview here https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1512970963/380958533?token=0f30d8f3 and help us spread the word thank you for taking the time to read this

    Best Wishes,
    Samuel Jackson


  5. Juliet Lemar
    Aug 29, 2016 @ 15:46:49

    Hello Janice,

    I represent the author of the ‘Meet Mardi’ children’s book. Mardi is an adorable puppy and star of her own book series ‘Meet Mardi’ written by Linda Dembo.


    Thru ‘Meet Mardi’ we look to promote the message that Life, even in this difficult world, can be positive, fun, alive and worth celebrating! We look to partner with other efforts that help support that kind of positive thinking.

    I would love to send you a copy of our book for review.



  6. Carmen
    Aug 26, 2016 @ 16:28:59

    Hi Janice,

    I work for Greystone Books, a publisher of nonfiction and children’s books such as David Suzuki’s “There’s a Barnyard in My Bedroom” and “The Little Hummingbird” by Michael Yahgulanaas.

    Our latest kids’ book, “The Hockey Song”, fuses the classic Stompin’ Tom Connors song lyrics with beautiful illustrations by Governor General’s Award-winning artist and cartoonist Gary Clement.

    I would love to discuss a possible review for your blog. If this is something that interests you, feel free to reach out to me by email and I can arrange to send you a copy.

    Thanks so much for your time!



  7. joanleotta
    Apr 02, 2016 @ 14:28:02

    I think that you will relate well to my very gentle picture books published by THEAQLLC.

    My first picture book, WHOOSH! is already out. May I send you an ecopy for review? THEAQLLC has agreed to publish three more about the same little girl, and the next one, Summer in a Bowl, will come out in September of this year.
    Whoosh! concentrates on parent child relationship and Summer in a bow on extended family and the topics of gardening and cooking with children
    Thank you


  8. anncberlak
    Dec 29, 2015 @ 11:55:54

    My post on your wonderful blog on August 31 says “awaiting moderation.” Our beautifully illustrated and translated bilingual book was published in September and has been receiving great reviews, most recently by School Library Journal. But because it was published by a small press I find I have to continue to try to get the word out. One thing that is unique about Joelito’s Big Decision/La gran decisión de Joelito is that it addresses a timely but timeless issue of economic inequality from a child’s perspective, focusing on the “fight” for a living wage. We created this book for children who want to understand their social world, for teachers who want to engage students in lively discussions about social justice, and for parents, grandparents, and others who hope our children will create a more just and joyful future. “No one is too young to learn “another world is possible!”


  9. Denise
    Dec 28, 2015 @ 22:03:17

    What a treat to read your blog. I’m so thankful that my little ones get excited when it comes to books. I just ordered a new children’s picture book that I saw mentioned here on WordPress. “Cooking With Mr. C.” by John Contratti (Mascot Books) It sounds delightful and my kids want to read it. We’re always excited with a new year of books. Thanks for all you do.


  10. Ninita Nets
    Nov 30, 2015 @ 02:10:58

    Hi Janice,
    It’s so nice reading your blog,, it’s lovely. You may add this book on your review and I’m happy seeing this book posted. It’s called My Neighborhood by: Mark Saint Juste. It’s very inspiring and unique. Have a look on:
    Thank you Janice. More power on your blog.

    Happy Reader,
    Ninita Nets


  11. Jennifer Gassman
    Nov 25, 2015 @ 21:28:28

    Dear Janice

    I have noticed how many of us indie published authors aren’t even given consideration without the proper connections. I think there are some hidden books that are indeed worth the time to discover. It should be about literature, and not excluding people. I’ve written a book called “The Sky is the Floor and the Grass is the Ceiling”. I hope you can check it out. I can also send along a pdf at your request. Thank for your time.



  12. Mark Couturier
    Oct 03, 2015 @ 09:22:08

    Hi Janice,

    My name is Mark Couturier and I am a children’s author from Michigan. I’ve recently written a short children’s novel called The Saga of Santa Claus and published it on Amazon.com in both print and e-book formats. It relates the epic yet intimate story of how a spoiled, spiteful king from Scandinavia became the man we know today as Jolly Old Saint Nick (among other names) and details the origins of many hallmarks of the Santa Claus legend, such as toymaking, flying reindeer, and Claus’s immortality. The story, which is wholly original, contains elements of Northern European mythology—especially as it relates to this particular topic.
    I was wondering if you would be willing to read my book, and—if you liked it—recommend it on your site. If you are interested, please let me know and I will send over a free PDF copy (which is formatted exactly like an e-book).

    Thank you for your time.

    Warmest regards,
    Mark Couturier


  13. Skeeter Buck
    Sep 28, 2015 @ 12:58:51

    Dear Janice Floyd Durante,

    are you looking for some fun Halloween content for your blog in October, look no further. We have an exciting new children’s picture book themed for Halloween about The Toothless Fairy who longs for friendship and candy of course. The storyline also shares a creative idea on how to deal with excess candy!

    We are already getting lots of buzz – see Publishers Weekly August 24, 2015 edition – we made the front cover!

    So, if you are looking for themed content for the month of October and you want something fun to blog about for Halloween look no further, I would love to partner with you.

    First let me introduce myself. My name is Skeeter Buck and I am the creator and publisher of The Toothless Fairy – I am a first time blogger, first time publisher and first time mom.

    As a fellow blogger, I know the importance of creative and credible content, which is why I am reaching out to you now. I promise to make it easy for you to post the content on your site, if you choose to do so – which I hope you will.

    So if you are interested, here are some very helpful things to be mindful of:

    Things to note

    October 1, 2015 is our launch date
    Our goal is to invite you to be a partner in my book launch blog campaign with a commitment from me to Pay It Forward for you somehow
    What is in it for you is a free eBook of The Toothless Fairy and my commitment to Pay It Forward
    What is in it for me is support from you and an opportunity for me to Pay It Forward for you – I’m already following your blog, but I would love to know how I could help you further promote your blog or product. You just need to let me know how I can partner with you.

    How to participate

    I would love for you to read our book and post a comment, review or your own article about the book on October 1st, 2015, which is our launch date.
    Reference our website Skeetiebs.com for any information you need for your article. Under Media, we have a professional media kit, with artwork, bio’s and stuff to help you with your blog post.
    Please use hyperlinks (Skeetiebs.com) in your article and tag us (Facebook/thetoothlessfairy) in your post so we can celebrate the great news you are sharing with us.
    Lastly, if you feel comfortable – encourage your friends to buy the book. You can find us on Amazon.com

    What I need from you

    Your email address so I can gift you a eBook version of The Toothless Fairy

    Thank you so much for your time and effort if you decide to help, which I hope you will. This project has been a labor of love and I will be forever grateful for any support you can give us.

    Because we’re submiting this via your blog, we are unable to upload the pdf. Please, give us your email address to send you the book.

    From a fellow blogger,
    Skeeter Buck


  14. PurpleandRedStar (@pinkarray)
    Jul 02, 2015 @ 19:28:10

    Hello, I am Alexandria James from U.S.A., the writer of the children’s picture book series, Natila. I have been writing since I was nine and I wanted to tell you to promote these books that I have up on my website,alexsjames.com. I’ve written 15 books about a little girl with alopecia that wears high heel shoes and goes through life’s pain and happiness. I am a self-published author and the age group for these books go from about 0 – 8.


    • Janice Floyd Durante
      Jul 07, 2015 @ 14:17:02

      Hi, Alex. Thanks for your message. I noticed on your web site you’re an energetic and prolific young writer! I’m sorry I’m not currently reviewing self-published titles, but I wish you good luck with your series featuring Natila.


  15. Wendy Saddler
    Jul 01, 2015 @ 17:19:14

    Greetings! My name is Wendy Saddler, and I am with Authors Large and Small, a company that helps to promote up and coming authors, and their books. I have some very fascinating children’s books that I believe you will enjoy. One is from a woman, named Lynda Kats, who has survived a serious issue that is only now being properly discussed: mental illness. Her book is entitled Surviving Mental Illness: My Story, as well as a book for children and parents dealing with this issue entitled Peter and Lisa: A Mental Illness Children’s Story.
    Peter and Lisa: A Mental Illness Children’s Story: is a children’s book about two different mental illnesses, depression and mania, Peter and Lisa makes it easier for children to understand these mental conditions. It is a story about two people affected with such illness and how they got better and recovered through the proper medication and necessary support by family and friends. Charles and Linda Baron Katz’s Peter and Lisa: A Mental Illness Children’s Story manifests the true essence of love and support to aid us in overcoming every storm that may pass.
    Surviving Mental illness: My Story: The Road to Recovery Written from the perspective of someone whose life has been challenged by mental illness, this book offers help, hope, and inspiration to others struggling with psychological disorders. It provides information about mental illness in general-and mood disorders in particular-valuable tips about treatment and medication, and resources and organizations dedicated to helping those suffering from these disorders. Surviving Mental Illness helps break through the fear and stigma of mental illness and focuses on how to find health and happiness. The author shares her personal journey: the heartbreak and challenges of bipolar disorder, and the joy of making her way back to mental health. Through her own story, she shows that help is out there, and with a little faith, recovery is possible. My faith in G-d has led me to recover in ways you cannot imagine. Life is having faith to overcome any obstacles, and that is what my recovery from mental illness is all about.
    We would also like to introduce the following children’s books that you may also find interesting:
    Ramona Thomas’ elementary school books Grandma’s Brown Cookies: http://www.amazon.com/Grandmas-Brown-Cookies-stuff-Stuff-ebook/dp/B00JBI3SE2/
    Kyndle gains secret powers after his visit to the family doctor. Dr. Wizmagic makes an awful smelly concoction to rid her patient of the cooties. She uses a rubber ear dropper to squeeze a stinky brown goo inside her patient’s ears. Kyndle learns that organic naturally brown foods are the good stuff. His magical powers allow him to see wheat flour giving each other high five, sugar laughing, bursting at the seams, and eggs singing a hallelujah praise song. This delightful story is about a boy and his mother learning to make healthy food choices. It’s entertaining, engaging and empowering. Readers learn by discovering naturally brown organic foods are good. Yvetta Franklin, Educator, says, “…cleverly teaches and enforces the importance of making healthy eating choices. The work sounds the alarm!”
    The Code Switch: http://www.amazon.com/Code-Switch-Yvetta-Doll-Franklin/dp/1468089471/
    Is a realistic fiction, about a tender naive friendship that’s challenged when both girls become valedictorian candidates. One young girl emulates street talk, the other articulates Standard English. Yet, they share a special bond. Will their friendship endure the competition, disagreement(s) and difference(s)? Who will win? Who should win? They slowly realize the true meaning of two very important facets of life; friendship and academic achievement. From beginning to end, competition, communication, laughter, heart felt dialogue, and self- searching bridges their closeness.
    Pam Saxelby’s preschool Max and Bear: http://www.amazon.com/Max-Bear-Pam-Saxelby/dp/1480807907/
    When Bear is given to Max’s dad at a very special party, Max wasn’t there yet. He is still growing in his mommy’s tummy. But Bear can wait. Bear is sure that Max will love him as soon as he is born. While he waits, Bear meets all of Max’s other friends. Sophie the giraffe is brown and white and squeaky. Turtle is a magical toy who lights up and plays music. Bear is soft and blue and full of love. He doesn’t squeak or blink or play music.
    When Max is born, Bear gets so excited! But when Max’s mommy gives him Sophie the giraffe instead, Bear is disappointed. He decides to wait for Max to grow up a bit. Maybe then he’ll love Bear. When Max grows up so much that he moves into his crib, Bear gets so excited! But when his mommy gives Max Turtle to play with, he is again disappointed. Will Max ever need a friend he can hug and play with who doesn’t light up or make noise? Will Max ever notice Bear?
    Max and Bear is a sweet story written with young readers in mind. Teach your children the power of love and remind them of the importance of waiting for good things to come with this delightful story of patience and friendship.

    and Stephen Nawotniak’s preschool Mubu the Morph: http://www.amazon.com/Mubu-Morph-Stephen-Nawotniak/dp/0986218200/
    Go on a rhyming adventure with Mubu as he learns through trial and error the secret to being his best self. Vibrant colors and a playful tone amp up the fun factor in Stephen Nawotniak’s engaging story that’s sure to ignite the imaginations of children and adults alike. Illustrated by Jeffrey Scott Perdziak and published by People Ink Press, Mubu the Morph is suitable for children in grades K to 3 and the people who love them.

    These authors are available to speak to any group, for interviews, and would more than welcome your feedback on her books. If you have any questions, and/or would like to invite these authors over to your meet-up group to discuss the book, please feel free to contact either myself at wendy.saddler@hotmail.com, or my colleague Cristina Deptula at cedeptula@sbcglobal.net


  16. anncberlak
    May 27, 2015 @ 18:40:06

    you asked for more about my book

    Coming in September: Joelito’s Big Decision/ Joelito Decide. (grades 1-6+)

    When Joelito and his family arrive for their weekly Friday dinner at Smiling Sam McMann’s Burgers they encounter Fast Food Workers demonstrating for “15 and a union.” Joelito sees his best friend and his friend’s parents picketing for a fair wage, and he must choose, either cross the line and enjoy his favorite burger, or stand with his friend. This bilingual children’s book, beautifully illustrated by Daniel Comecho, a revered Bay Area muralist, helps children connect the dots between their own lives and the immensity of economic inequality in the US.


  17. anncberlak
    May 24, 2015 @ 15:43:08

    What a lovely web-site. I want to send you my about-to be- published picture book. Will you please send me your snail-mail address?



  18. Nirit Littaney
    Apr 29, 2015 @ 12:18:04

    Hi jANICE !

    I have just published a new children e-book on Amazon, titled “Candy’s Chocolate Kingdom”.
    It’s a delightful story about a cute girl who loves chocolate so much she dreams about it at night. Candy’s journey in the Chocolate Kingdom fills her belly and teaches her an important lesson about limits, after something very unexpected happens in the delicious empire. The vivid and colorful illustrations will make the reader’s mouth watery… But Candy’s new understanding is the real treat !
    The book is excellent for beginner’s readers and children ages 3-6. This is the first book in the Kingdom Fantasy series.


    The book’s launch is planned on May 17th-20th.
    I wanted to ask if you would be interested in writing a review of my book in your blog, so your readers will have the opportunity to download the book for FREE on these dates. I’m sure they will enjoy it enormously.

    If reviewing my book would interest you, I can mail it as a PDF file or send it to you as a gift from Amazon. Please let me know which way suits you better.
    I hope to hear from you soon…



    • Janice Floyd Durante
      Apr 29, 2015 @ 16:13:58

      Hi, Nirit. Thanks for writing. At the moment, I’m a bit behind with my book reviews and just don’t have the time to delve into yours. I hope your new book fares well, though.


  19. Philip Martin
    Apr 03, 2015 @ 16:27:38

    Hi, Janice. Impressive content on your blog. Great focus.

    I’m inquiring about your review interest in a new children’s picture book: Doyli to the Rescue: Saving Baby Monkeys in the Amazon (Crickhollow Books, April 22, 2015). It’s a positive, inspiring, real-life story of a girl in the Amazon who does wild animal rescue, rescuing and raising orphaned baby monkey to later release them back into the wilds of the rainforest.

    It’a nonfiction, photo-documentary, 32 pages, roughly for grades 4 and 5. We’re also doing a teacher’s guide to encourage kids to get involved in rainforest protection, animal rescue, etc.

    If interested in a possible review, you can contact me, Philip Martin, Editorial Director at Crickhollow Books; there’s a contact form at our website: http://www.CrickhollowBooks.com. Thanks for the consideration!


  20. Johanna
    Feb 06, 2015 @ 12:43:50

    Hello Janice! I have a new children’s book on pet adoption. Would that be something you would be interested in?


  21. sarahplochl
    Jan 25, 2015 @ 13:19:56

    Dear Janice,

    I would like to ask you for your contact information so that I ight send you a review request of a middle grade novel. Thank you.


  22. Chelsea & Kinsey (@TravelinChicks)
    Jan 24, 2015 @ 17:59:59

    Have to say that we Love what you are doing. Reading was always part of our lives growing up and continues to be now. Great blog!


  23. Kelly Martinson
    Jan 24, 2015 @ 00:25:50

    Dear Janice,

    It has been discussed among many experts that early childhood development is enhanced when the learning process is engaging for both parent and child. Hey, Baby, Look! is a new children’s board book, created especially for the zero-to-three, infant and toddler market. Written by Kate Shannon and illustrated by award-winning Morgan Owens, Hey, Baby, Look! is steeped in brain-based research and meant to optimize interactive learning in a positive and playful way.

    As a nominee for the 27th Annual Minnesota Book Awards, “Hey, Baby, Look! applies the most current academic and brain research to maximize your child’s learning in a fun and interactive way,” according to Dr. Rita Brodnax, a PhD in Educational Leadership and the Application of Neuroscience to Teaching and Learning.

    We would love for you to read and review this book for your followership. Is there a preferred mailing address for your receipt of materials? If so, I would like to send you a gratis copy of Hey, Baby, Look! If you’d like to speak with Kate or Morgan, I would be very happy to put you in touch with either.

    You’re also invited to follow our story on FaceBook at /katesbluedream, on Twitter @katesbluedream, or via Pinterest /katesbluedream. A sincere thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you soon!

    Warm Regards,
    Kelly Martinson
    Education & Outreach Coordinator
    Blue Dream Books, LLC


    • Janice Floyd Durante
      Jan 26, 2015 @ 14:33:22

      Kelly, this work sounds interesting, but I need to decline your offer since I focus on reviewing books for ages 6 to 12. I’m sure other reviewers would love to feature your work, though. Best wishes.


  24. Ken Elliott
    Nov 11, 2014 @ 16:33:45


    I have recently published a children’s picture book entitled “The Wish” through Adamo Press and would like to sent a copy to you for review. Please let me know if you are interested.


    Ken Elliott


  25. Jay Dee
    Oct 29, 2014 @ 00:26:43


    I am preparing to release a new Christmas Children’s Book called – The Night Before The Night Before Christmas – on November 7! I’d love for you to take a look and thought it might be a good fit for the readers of your blog.

    You can see more information here:

    – facebook.com/ElfiesChristmas

    Please let me know if you’re interested. I’d be happy to send you a free copy for review, as well as one for you to give away to readers. Thanks so much for your consideration and for doing what you do! It’s a huge help to authors!


    Book Blurb:
    At Santa’s workshop, the night before the night before Christmas is hardly a time to rest. The elves work tirelessly to get the final toys made before Christmas Eve, but Elfie just can’t keep pace. He spends too much time making his toys perfect, and when Santa comes to check on production, everyone is surprised by his reaction.


  26. Laura G
    Oct 27, 2014 @ 23:12:06

    Greetings, I am writing to inquire if you would be interested in reviewing the book, Rinya: A Native California Boy Comes of Age which is a middle grade historical fiction book based on the experience of Native Californians in the San Francisco Bay Area at the time of the Missions. You can look at some of the illustrations and get a feel for the book here on our website:
    The author, John Poole, is a SF Bay Area elementary school science teacher, and the book has illustrations by three artists, including printmaker Tom Killion.

    Sitio tiempo press is a San Francisco Bay Area publishing collective with not only a philosophical bent toward a watershed studies and bioregionalism but also a devotion to finely designed and illustrated books. Rinya is our second title.

    We would be happy to send you a copy of the book if you would like to consider reviewing it.


    Laura G
    sitio tiempo press


  27. Dawn
    Oct 21, 2014 @ 14:58:51

    Hi Janice,

    I am Dawn Wales, and my husband Brian and I are indie authors who have published a fantasy adventure novel, “Annwyn and the Owl King,” through Amazon, under the name D.B. Wales. I was wondering if you would review the book and what the submission requirements are.

    Thank you,

    I have attached the link to our website if you would like to find out additional information about the book.


  28. lukesaliba
    Sep 10, 2014 @ 23:53:56

    Id love to send you my book for review! could you send me some details, you can read it now ate http://www.lukesaliba.com/read


  29. lukesaliba
    Sep 10, 2014 @ 23:51:57

    You should check out “Hold Tight” a great book that inspires kids to dream big and hold onto their dreams!
    Check it out at http://www.lukesaliba.com


  30. lazarusInfinity
    Aug 28, 2014 @ 14:15:13

    Hello Janice,

    Do you review children’s fiction? If so, what is your submission policy?



  31. M.J. EVans
    Jul 30, 2014 @ 18:21:27

    Dear Janice,
    I am the author of several middle-grade fantasies and I write with the goal of helping kids love to read! My most recent release, North Mystic, just received first place in the Purple Dragonfly Awards for outstanding children’s literature. I would be honored if you would review it on your blog.
    M.J. Evans


  32. bookseedstudio
    Jul 28, 2014 @ 09:36:23

    Thank you Janice.
    I’m late to the table.
    And will remedy that now!


  33. Jen Cullerton Johnson
    Jul 27, 2014 @ 19:24:45

    Good evening: A friend alerted me to the review you made of my book Seeds of Change in march 2014. I wanted to say thank you for your insight and for helping young people take a critical stance on environmental issues, such as the ones Wangari Maathai fought for. I would love to continue this conversation about how young people and environmental justice with you, if you are so inclined. Thank you. Respectfully Yours, Jen Cullerton Johnson


    • bookseedstudio
      Jul 28, 2014 @ 09:34:31

      I enjoyed reading SEEDS of CHANGE as a BookPALS volunteer in schools.
      It’s one of my favorite creative p.b. bios. Brava! Jen Cullerton Johnson.

      Jan Godown Annino


    • Janice Floyd Durante
      Jul 29, 2014 @ 17:59:40

      Thanks so much for your message, Jen. I admire your lively, relevant picture book SEEDS OF CHANGE and hope your audience continues to expand. Your work is important, as it exposes children to life’s creative possibilities and opportunities to make this world a better place. With all the negativity that fills the media these days, who wouldn’t want children to focus on positive leaders such as those you’ve written about? When I was a librarian, I made sure that every child, especially fourth and fifth graders, heard about a range of true heroes, people who followed their conscience. I appreciate your important contribution to children’s literature that explores the value of peace, justice, and creativity.


  34. Ellen Mazie Keyes (@EllenMazieKeyes)
    Jul 22, 2014 @ 18:50:29

    My first glance at your book choices leads me to believe that I would read anything you recommended. I really appreciate the way that you review a book and then recommend others like it or other articles that would relate. I can’t wait until I have a little more time to spend perusing your site. I am currently representing a children’s book and am learning so much as I read reviews and blogs. Thank you for bringing the beauty and value of great books in such a way that it is easy to grasp and hold. I feel comfortable recommending your reviews to friends who ask for recommendations.


    • Janice Floyd Durante
      Jul 24, 2014 @ 16:09:55

      Thank you so much, Ellen, for your kind comments. I’ve enjoyed sharing good books with so many children, and now it’s gratifying to write about them for the adults who make the decisions about what to buy or read to young ones.
      I’m so glad you appreciate my efforts, and I hope you’ll return — and spread the word.


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  36. Holly Schindler
    Sep 20, 2013 @ 21:02:21

    I love your blog, Janice. My debut MG, THE JUNCTION OF SUNSHINE AND LUCKY, will release on Feb. 6, 2014. I’m organizing a blog tour, and hope to make your blog a stop. You can learn more about the book at my author site: hollyschindler.com


    • Janice Floyd Durante
      Sep 23, 2013 @ 09:27:27

      Thanks so much, Holly. I’m intrigued by the description of your upcoming novel and would love to be on your blog tour. Let me know the details when you can.
      Congratulations on your debut middle-grades novel, Holly!


    • Jan Godown Annino
      Jan 21, 2014 @ 17:52:40

      Hello again Janice – Please be in touch if you like, at JGAoffice at gmail.com
      I recently received an automatic social media note (LinkedIN) from you & want to share that I’m inactive at that site but enjoy being in touch wit literary communitties on fb (jan godown annino) twitter (BkSeedStudio), via emailm some Yahoo! groups & at pinterest (jga) You may also leave voice mail here at home – 850/942.6143. Thank you so much for your keen interest in Betty Mae Jumper & for your advocacy for young readers.


  37. Carole Weatherford
    Aug 08, 2013 @ 20:39:53

    I am Carole Boston Weatherford, the author of Birmingham, 1963. This year isthe 50th anniversary of the September 15, 1963 bombing of Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. The bombing by the Ku Klux Klan killed four girls and was the Newtown, Connecticut, of its day. To honor the memory of these young martyrs, I am offering free Skype visits. For details, visit http://cbweatherford.com/books/bham/. I also hope to do a blog tour. Thanks for reviewing children’s books dealing with social justice. Keep up your important work!


    • Janice Floyd Durante
      Aug 27, 2013 @ 21:02:54

      Hi, Carole. So good to hear from you! Somehow I missed your message when it came in; sorry for the delayed response. Thank you for telling me about your offer of free Skype visits to honor the memory of the children killed in Birmingham, AL, nearly 50 years ago. I’d love to feature you and your poignant book of poetry on my blog. What did you have in mind for a blog tour? May I help?
      Thanks for your comments on my blog, Carole. You can reach me at durante.janice@gmail.com if you’d like.
      And keep up YOUR important work!


  38. Daniel Nanavati
    Jun 06, 2013 @ 17:08:41

    We are a small publisher with very literary content and five star review record at Amazon. We would be interested in sending you occasional books of merit


    • Janice Floyd Durante
      Jun 06, 2013 @ 17:35:14

      Thanks for your message, Daniel. I would be happy to receive books from your company from time to time. Blueskin the Cat looks like a title that might work well for this blog. I write about only books I admire and would notify you upon posting a review of one of your books. Any books I receive that I choose not to feature, I donate to a local library. I especially enjoy introducing readers to wonderful books they might have missed.
      Thanks, Daniel. I look forward to hearing from you.


  39. David Fix
    Jun 02, 2013 @ 14:43:38

    Hi Janice,

    I recently wrote a book with my psychologist friend that helps parents talk with their children about divorce. It is called Sun Moon Daughter. I would love it if you would review it on your website. You can see the book trailer here: http://www.SunMoonDaughter.com.

    I’d be happy to send you a copy for review, just let me know. Thanks for considering it.

    Take care,
    Dave Fix


    • Janice Floyd Durante
      Jun 06, 2013 @ 17:38:32

      Hi, David. I’m curious about your book SUN MOON DAUGHTER. If you’d like to send me a review copy, I’d be happy to consider reviewing it. If I think readers would value this title, I’ll review it; otherwise, I’ll donate the book.
      Thanks for reaching out to me, David.


  40. Jori Sams
    May 03, 2013 @ 13:47:21


    I so much appreciate this site, along with your integrity! I am an author and illustrator of a children’s ebook series, Li’l Lingo and the King which is going on a book tour in June. If you are interested in hosting a review please contact me via one of the links below.

    Jori Sams
    Writeious Kids – a division of Writeious Books
    Writeious Kids ¬| Facebook


  41. G Guff
    Mar 22, 2013 @ 10:18:28

    Dear Janice,

    My granddaughter has just published her first book on Amazon.


    I am trying to help her and wondered if you would be interested in reading her book and reviewing it?

    I should be delighted to send you a copy if you agree.


    G Guff


    • Janice Floyd Durante
      Mar 23, 2013 @ 18:32:23

      Greetings, G. Guff. Thanks for taking time off from your interplanetary travels to write. Your granddaughter’s book, Granpa Guff, the accidental astronaut, sounds like fun. I’m sorry to say I’m not reviewing self-published e-books right now, but I do wish your granddaughter good luck with her creative pursuits.


  42. Bryan Langdo
    Dec 21, 2012 @ 13:12:45


    I’m hoping to share with you and your readers my new series of early readers titled “Hippo & Gorilla.” It’s about two best friends who are total opposites. Hippo is a great friend, but he has a tendency to make bad decisions. He breaks things, he eats too much, and he makes big messes. Gorilla, however, doesn’t do enough of those things. Together, they make a great team!

    These eBooks for young readers explore the joys—and the pitfalls—of friendship, using simple vocabulary and sentence structure. Each book contains audio narration along with original music and sound effects. They’re available for iPad, Kindle, and Nook.

    The first book is called Donuts, and we’re currently offering it for FREE here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/donuts/id585686738?mt=11

    I have been working in the children’s book industry for the past twelve years as an author, illustrator, and editor. During that time, I have worked with a number of publishers, including Henry Holt & Co., Sterling, Scholastic, HarperCollins, Harcourt, and Marshall Cavendish. My picture book Tornado Slim and the Magic Cowboy Hat won a 2012 Spur Award from Western Writers of America.
    Thanks so much for your time!


  43. Trish Harmer
    Jul 20, 2012 @ 13:34:24

    Janice, What a nice surprise it was to see you and Chuck last night. Your blog is terrific. I am especially interested in poems that are fun for 7,8,9 year olds to read as another tool in fluency practice. May I share your blog with my fellow teachers?


    • Janice Floyd Durante
      Jul 23, 2012 @ 10:30:54

      Thanks so much, Trish! That compliment means something, coming from a fellow educator. Yes, by all means, please share this blog with any and all you think might be interested.
      I, too, think poetry is a wonderful genre to share with children, and I love writing about it, as you might detect from the books I’ve reviewed. How I wish bookstores carried more of it, especially as there are so many talented people writing poetry for children today. You might like the recently published collection by Kate Coombs, WATER SINGS BLUE; its target audience is, in my opinion, 7 to 10.
      It was fun seeing you and catching up a little, Trish. Let’s stay in touch. And if there’s a particular title, theme, or genre you’d like to discuss or pick my brain on, just let me know! I’ll always be a librarian at heart.


  44. John Everson
    Jun 24, 2012 @ 00:27:06

    Hi Janice!

    I am primarily known as a mass market horror author — I wrote five adult horror novels for New York’s Dorchester Publications/Leisure Books before following my editor to Samhain last year (my sixth novel was just released by them).

    I never intended to become a children’s book writer, but I have a young son and I’ve made up stories on the fly to tell him… he really loved one of the resulting stories, Peteyboo and the Worm, and since I kept forgetting parts when he would ask me to tell it to him again, I wrote it down. This resulted in him asking me when it was going to be in a book, like my other books. Knowing the publishing world, I knew that if I tried to get it published, by the time it was out, he’d be too old to care. So I just put it together in a little chapbook, and made it a project between us — he drew illustrations that I incorporated in the final little book.

    Recently, some of his first grade friends heard the story because Peteyboo was read to the whole class. They started asking my son if they could get the book for their iPads. So I went ahead and e-booked it and published it through Amazon. I also included a link at the back of the book to an audio reading that I did, so kids could potentially read the book on their computer or iPad and follow along with me as I read it “to them.”

    Is there any chance that you would consider possibly reviewing it or mentioning it on your blog? I’d be happy to send you a copy in ePUB, MOBI, or PDF format.

    You can see the cover and description on Amazon here:

    Let me know what you think and thanks for taking the time to read this request!


    John Everson


    • Janice Floyd Durante
      Jun 26, 2012 @ 13:53:09

      Hi, John. Thanks for writing. That must have been a lot of fun working on the Peteyboo book with your son. I’m sure plenty of folks will enjoy your unexpected children’s book. I’m currently not reviewing self-published books, but I do wish you continued success with your writing.


  45. Dori
    Apr 18, 2012 @ 18:55:12

    Hi Janice,

    I’m happy to tell you more about my picture book. It’s a story meant to be read to children ages 3-8.

    Friendship sometimes comes when you least expect it and that is the certainly the case when Wertely the Durkle has a less than pleasant (and slobbery) run in with a strange creature eager for a snack. These two unusual characters overcome their unhappy meeting and find the silver lining in their circumstance by becoming the best of friends.

    I’m not looking for a promise and am thankful you’re open to considering it. Let me know if you think it sounds like a story you could love.

    Best wishes,


  46. Dori
    Apr 03, 2012 @ 17:15:13

    Hi Janice,

    I’m the author of a soon-to-be published children’s picture book you may be interested in reviewing. It is definitely in line with the message of the Books of Wonder blog. Would you be willing to share your submission guidelines, if any, and a snail mail address?

    Thanks ,for your consideration and a very enjoyable blog.


    • Janice Floyd Durante
      Apr 18, 2012 @ 14:57:14

      Hi, Dori. Thanks for writing. Can you tell me more about your picture book? I post reviews on children’s books that I admire, so I can’t promised you I’ll review it, but I am open to considering it.


  47. Bob Brooks
    Oct 12, 2011 @ 17:40:51

    Thank you. Please contact me at ballymoretales@gmail.com.

    Bob Brooks


  48. Bob Brooks
    Oct 01, 2011 @ 10:56:12

    It is wonderful that your blog focuses on “Children’s literature that fosters peace, justice, respect and curiosity”. It is rare but very important.

    I have a blog that features interviews with children’s books authors and blog writers such as yourself. Might you be interested in being interviewed?


    Bob Brooks


  49. Lori
    Jul 27, 2011 @ 19:43:10

    What a heavenly book blog you have here! I found through Miss Marples Musings. I can’t wait to check my library for some of these titles.


  50. Barbara
    Jun 07, 2011 @ 06:22:24

    Hello, I very much like your blog and have linked one of your posts to my blog at http://marchhousebookscom.blogspot.com/ March House Books Blog Best wishes Barbara


  51. Grace
    May 18, 2011 @ 17:38:32

    Beautiful blog! I love your book selections.


  52. Jennifer Young
    Feb 02, 2011 @ 18:19:07

    Hi Miss Durante,

    My name is Jennifer Young from the CBI Clubhouse. I recently checked the website and discovered your thread for the group request I had posted back in October. The private messaging is not working on their site so I apologize for the late response.

    Please shoot me an e-mail if you are still interested in joining the group.


    p.s. I enjoyed your blog by the way!


  53. Anne Nydam
    Feb 01, 2011 @ 20:21:02

    I apologize for gushing, but I’m so excited to find this blog! This is everything I love about children’s books: the themes of justice, peace, and creativity; and the reading aloud to share the stories, the respect and the thoughtfulness. I have a blog on juvenile fantasy (and block prints) in which I’ve explored many of these same issues (Black and White.
    Also I write books all of which deal, in various ways, with what can happen when people look for the best in one another. From a read-aloud chapter book for ages 4-8 about children who rescue their parents from a dragon using kindness, creativity and courage, to a middle grade reader about a boy who solves his bullying problem with crazy advice from his eccentric grandma, to a young adult fantasy series about a bard whose calling is to seek the truth and share it, to an animal alphabet book that celebrates the wonders of the creatures all around us…
    If you’d like to look at descriptions of any of these books, you can find them at my web site: Nydam Prints
    If you’re interested in any of them I’d really love to send you a review copy.
    In any case, keep up the good work on this blog!


    • Janice Floyd Durante
      Feb 02, 2011 @ 13:10:56

      Oh, Anne, feel free to gush all you want. What a pleasant surprise to read your encouraging words. After leaving my life as a school librarian, I decided to start this blog as a way to promote those children’s books that nurture their souls. Thank you for writing and for referring me to your lovely blog. Your wood-block prints made me smile, especially the illustrations of Mother Goose rhymes — which every child should hear! I am intrigued by the sound of your books, too; I like the angle you took with your alphabet book Amazing, Beguiling, and Curious and would like to talk to you more about your work, Anne.


      • Anne Nydam
        Feb 03, 2011 @ 09:11:25

        Naturally I’d be delighted to talk about my books! Feel free to e-mail me or let me know the best way to communicate. You can get to my e-mail from any page on my web site. (Meanwhile, I’m busily filling up my library list with books you’ve mentioned here…)

  54. jan godown annino
    Jan 24, 2011 @ 09:00:39

    Hello Ms. Durante.
    I’m glad to find this Books of Wonder blog.
    I look forward to reading titles mentioned, especially Paula Young’s lyrical autobiography. Many thanks for these recommendations.

    When you have moment please consider this title –
    SHE SANG PROMISE: The Story of Betty Mae Jumper, Seminole Tribal Leader.
    It’s a 2010 book from http://www.ngchildrensbooks.org
    It has an afterword from Mrs. Jumper’s son, Moses Jumper, Jr.
    The artist is Lisa Desimini.
    I am the writer.

    Many many thanks.

    Jan G. Annino


    • Janice Floyd Durante
      Jan 27, 2011 @ 12:50:51

      Thanks for your encouraging words, Jan. And congratulations on your new picture book, She Sang Promise: The Story of Betty Mae Jumper, Seminole Tribal Leader, winning a place in the Top 10 of the Amelia Bloomer Project 2011. Your book and other winners are on my list to be featured in a women’s history post, scheduled for late February or early March. Bravo!


      • jan godown annino
        Mar 31, 2011 @ 11:38:08

        Oh, girl! Many many thanks.
        I just read your post about Wanda Gag & so I found my way here again,

        Millions & millions & millions of thanks for your post about Ms. Gag.

      • Janice Floyd Durante
        Mar 31, 2011 @ 12:34:00

        You are so welcome, Jan. And thank you for your comments. I hope you saw last week’s post, “Women Rock the World,” featuring 5 great new picture-book bios — including yours! Bravo Jan! *She Sang Promise *rocks!

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