Drew's Book Reviews
Drew Carter is the Education Specialist in the MPB Education Department.
Carter's work in the education department spans across social media projects, podcast creation and student initiatives.
Hoping to further MPB's literacy program, he reads the selected book of the month and offers fun and insightful reviews for parents and teachers.
Carter grew up in Pelahatchie, MS, where he attended East Rankin Academy. After graduating, he attended Mississippi State University. His major was Business Administration with a focus on marketing.
“Paulette, the Pinkest Puppy in the World” written by Tim Bugbird and illustrated by Stuart Lynch, tells the story of a puppy who is self-conscious because she is a completely different color than the other dogs she knows.
Paulette’s pink color bothers her to the point that she tries to hide it and wears a big hat with sunglasses to cover herself as much as possible. Unfortunately, the hat is so big that it blocks her view, causing her to trip over everything in her path. One day while wearing the big hat in town, she trips once again, bumping into the ladder of a painter, and sends pink paint onto herself and the other dogs who were standing directly below.
The dogs scrub and scrub during their bath, but are not able to wash the pink out of their fur. It is not until Paulette’s mother decides she must shave their fur off, that Paulette and her friends are free of the paint. But upon having their fur shaven off, Paulette realizes that everyone’s skin is pink just like hers. This makes Paulette realize that she was not so different after all!
With her newly found confidence, Paulette opens a salon called “Pink Cutz and More” where she becomes very popular for her hairstyles and pink dyes.
“Paulette the Pinkest Puppy in the World” shows the importance of accepting yourself for what makes you unique. Paulette was self-conscious about what made her special and tried to hide it. But by the end of the story, she learned that she would become the best version of herself by embracing what made her different.
With a fun, colorful art style and a meaningful message about embracing one’s differences, “Paulette the Pinkest Puppy in the World” makes for a great addition to any young reader’s library.
October Activity: Playful Pup
When I Grow Up
Written by Julie Chen and illustrated by Dianne Good
“When I Grow Up” is a wonderful, short read showing the boundless imagination of children, the unending possibilities of what they can achieve in the future, and the parents who will be there to encourage them every step of the way. The story also features fun and creative illustrations that bring the child’s imagination to life for the readers.
With a meaningful message encouraging children to dream big for their futures, and engaging, detailed illustrations, “When I Grow Up” is a great choice for young readers who want to grow up in a hurry.
September Activity: Treasuring Childhood - Sesame Workshop
September PBS KIDS Shows: Super Why!
Who Broke the Vase
Written and illustrated by Jeffrey Turner
“Who Broke the Vase” is a fun and quick read showing that it is always better to tell the truth instead of making up a bunch of stories to avoid the blame.
With a clever silhouette-inspired art style, fast pace, and a great message about telling the truth, “Who Broke the Vase” will make a great addition to any young reader’s library.
August Activity: Overcome Tough Feelings
August PBS KIDS Shows: Dinosaur Train;
If the S in Moose Comes Loose
Written by Peter Herman and illustrated by Matthew Cordell
“If the S in Moose Comes Loose” is a highly creative story about helping a friend when they are in need while showing the importance of spelling words correctly and how the slightest change can completely change a word’s meaning. It is also fun to follow along and see what Cow will transform next when she takes or replaces a letter of her surroundings, which constantly keeps the reader engaged.
With a simple yet off-kilter art style, creative premise, and a meaningful message, “If the S in Moose Comes Loose” will make a fun reading experience for any young reader.
July Activity: Observing Animals in Alaska
Lizzy McTizzy and the Busy Dizzy Day
Written by Sarah Weeks and illustrated by Lee Wildish
“Lizzy McTizzy” shows the importance of being oneself and not caring what other people think about how you look. Lizzy stressed out all day about finding her shoe before she realized that there are more important things than how her friends perceived her, and she focused on having fun at the party instead.
With a meaningful message about being who you are and not caring what others think about you, helped by a fun, detailed art style, “Lizzy Mctizzy” offers a great lesson and fun illustrations for young readers.
June Activity: Put on a Puppet Show
Sort It Out
Written by Barbara Mariconda and illustrated by Sherry Rogers
“Sort It Out” shows that not only is it important to keep your belongings organized, but that organizing can also give you a creative outlet on where it is best to put the things that are important to you. Also, thanks to a great art style, it is fun to see what all Packy has collected and what his sister has secretly been taking when her brother is not looking.
With a great lesson, fun illustrations, and a clever writing style using rhymes. “Sort It Out” is a great addition to your child’s collection (which may or may not need some organizing itself).
May Activity: Collecting and Sorting
The Kindness Quilt
Written and illustrated by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace
Boasting an impressive construction paper art style, The Kindness Quilt shows how one act of kindness can inspire many more acts from the people around us. It also shows how working together on a project can not only be enjoyable but can create something that an entire group can be proud of that truly inspires others.
With a stand-out art style and offering great life lessons, The Kindness Quilt is a great recommendation for younger readers.
April Activity: Create a “Kindness Tree”
April PBS KIDS Show: Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Remember to be Kind
Written and illustrated by David Elliot
"Henry’s Map" shows the importance of organization and that everything and everyone has a place they belong. It also serves as a great adventure story for kids with fun, barnyard characters. The illustrations by David Elliot also add to the story, offering an old-fashioned art style that gives Henry’s Map a timeless feeling.
With a meaningful lesson and a fun, adventurous story, "Henry’s Map" would make a great addition to your child’s library.
March Activity: Create a “Kindness Tree”
Written by Angela Johnson, illustrated by Laura Huliska-Beith
With a fun art style and clever writing, Violet’s Music shows the importance of following your passions and not letting people who aren’t interested in the same thing discourage you. The book has a great message showing that if you stick to the things you love and are passionate about them, you’ll find others who will want to join in the fun with you.
Violet’s Music would make a great addition to any creative child’s bookshelf!
February Activity: Create a courage badge.