Toby Reviews 5 New Children’s Books

What children’s books have you been loving lately? We read five this weekend, and nine-year-old Toby shared his thoughts…

Sofia Valdez, Future Prez

An instant #1 New York Times bestseller, Sofia Valdez, Future Prez is the newest picture book from the authors of Iggy Peck, Architect; Rosie Revere, Engineer; and Ada Twist, Scientist. Sofia, a plunky young community leader, lives with her grandfather and helps build a neighborhood park.

Says Toby: “This one is good! I like all the books like this — Iggy Peck, Ada Twist… I think they’re really cool series books.”

High Five — written by the authors of Dragons Love Tacos — invites readers to join a high-five competition by slapping the book pages and coming up with creative versions (double handed! through the legs!)

Says Toby: “This was very fun! I won the competition. I’ve been doing high fives for, like, 20 years.”

Straw, by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, is the final book in her three-part series about utensils. (Remember Spoon and Chopsticks?) Straw is always racing around but he learns to slow down and savor each moment. Side note: Amy Krouse Rosenthal died in 2017, so this book was published posthumously.

Says Toby: “I recommend Straw. It’s a good book. He learns that being first doesn’t always matter. I like the drawings — there are twisty straws, thin straws, big straws, fat straws and straight straws. That’s what I have to say about straws!”

In Freedom Soup, a girl’s grandmother teaches her how to make a traditional New Year’s soup together — and shares the story of how Haitian independence came to be.

Says Toby: “Freedom Soup is a great book. It talks about slavery, which is important to talk about. It also tells you how to cook the soup at the end. The soup looks really good! This was my favorite book of them all.”

Cowie features a donkey who wishes he were a grass-eating, fly-swatting cow. His friends help him realize his dream.

Toby’s review: “I understand him because I always wanted to be a Power Ranger when I was little. I liked his friends Duckie and Mousie.”

Thoughts? Have you read any of these? Children’s books can be such masterpieces!

P.S. Toby and Anton in conversation, and what are your favorite children’s books? Also, how to raise race-conscious children.