The Five-Year-Old Reviews Books: Frogs, Dinosaurs, & Borrowers, Oh My!

This summer The Five-Year-Old with characteristic enthusiasm has enrolled in not one, but two reading programs. The first is the Dream Big, Read! Massachusetts-wide reading program through our local library. The other is the Imagination’s Destination Summer Reading program at our local Barnes & Noble.

Fortunately, the two programs work really well together. Dream Big, Read! asks The Five-Year-Old to set a goal for the total number of books that she’ll read this summer, and if she manages to read all of them, her school will give her a prize this fall. Meanwhile, the Barnes & Noble program gives The Five-Year-Old a free book for every eight books she reads, giving her the short-term positive feedback so helpful to achieving a longer-term goal. We’ve already claimed The Five-Year-Old’s first free book through the Barnes & Noble program (Melissa Stewart’s Titanic from the National Geographic Readers Series), and The Five-Year-Old is eager to claim a new free book “every week!”, so we’re both pretty pleased with how this summer reading plan is turning out.

The library’s program asks The Five-Year-Old to review the books she reads. Here are a few of her favorites.

The Frogs Wore Red Suspenders
By Jack Prelusky
Illustrated by Petra Mathers
Harper Collins Publishers, 2005

What The Five-Year-Old Thought:
“Perfect. The penguins were the funniest. Actually, the bears were the coolest, where they ate too many pies. You can tell because one has a green face.”

Dinosaurs Before Dark (Magic Tree House Series #1)
By Mary Pope Osborne
Illustrated by Salvatore Murdocca
Random House Children’s Books, 1992

What The Five-Year-Old Thought:
“There was a T. Rex and Jack got away by flying on a pteranodon and it was fantastic.”

The Borrowers Afloat
By Mary Norton
Illustrated by Beth and Joe Krush
Houghton Miflin Harcourt, 2003

What The Five-Year-Old Thought:
“I liked that they were floating in a kettle for a little bit, and that the gypsy got caught.”

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Cross-posted on Caterpickles.

About Shala Howell

I spent two decades helping companies like Bell Labs, Juniper Networks, and a genetic testing company that was later acquired by CVS translate some of the world’s most complicated concepts into actionable, understandable English. Now I'm working on a much harder problem -- fostering children’s curiosity and engagement in the scientific, artistic, and linguistic world that surrounds them. The first book in my Caterpickles Parenting Series, What’s That, Mom?, focuses on how to use public art to nurture children’s curiosity in the world around them. My next book will focus on science, and how parents without a science degree can answer their curious child's questions without enrolling in a college level refresher course. In the meantime, you can find me blogging about life with a very curious Eleven-Year-Old at, chatting about books and the writing life at, and tweeting about books, writing, science, & things that make me smile at @shalahowell.
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One Response to The Five-Year-Old Reviews Books: Frogs, Dinosaurs, & Borrowers, Oh My!

  1. Pingback: The Five-Year-Old Reviews Books: China Rabbits, Lighthouses, and Kindergarten, Oh My! | bostonwriters

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