Subscribe to SLJ
Practically Paradise
Inside Practically Paradise

Henry’s Heart: A Boy, His Heart, and a New Best Friend


Henry’s Heart: A Boy, His Heart, and a New Best Friend by Charise Mericle Harper is a book for individual reading, not storytime. Throughout these pages exploring Henry’s heart, there are tiny drawings and even tinier messages spread throughout. Some of the illustrations reflect a child-like attempt at drawing with the stores alongside a road […]

Solomon Crocodile by Catherine Rayner


Just look at the cover of this book! It’s irresistible. a Crocodile Smile, innocent (?!) eyes, GLITTER, and the words “Uh-oh, here comes trouble!” Who could resist? Not me, I had to drop everything I was doing to pick up this title. Catherine Rayner uses soft colors and simple layouts to create a delightful title […]

Quick reviews from Laurie Travis

I’m fortunate to have Laurie Travis as my library assistant. Laurie recently earned her MLS from Trevecca. While I know Laurie will be snapped up as librarian by some smart principal soon, I’m happy to share her part-time with another elementary school in Nashville. Laurie has been helping me sort through many review titles. She […]

Electronic Devices

I wish everyone could have two weeks vacation time at Christmas. Teaching is the best profession while I’m on winter vacation. Curling up and reading, visiting bookstores, visiting public libraries, drinking coffee leisurely at Waffle House while I’m reading on my new Kindle Fire. WhooHoo! My new Kindle Fire! These are the times I love […]

The Dead by Charlie Higson with a review by Susan Norwood (guest blogger)


What’s cooler right now than zombies? If you said nothing, you’re right. While vampires, the ultimate forbidden love,  make for good romances, there’s nothing like a zombie invasion to get your pulse pumping. There is absolutely nothing about a zombie to love and everything to fear. Such is the case in Charlie Higson’s The Dead, a prequel […]

Anyone know how I can obtain 465 book copies of Walt Disney’s 101 Dalmatians?


This has been an exciting year at my new school. It is currently a STEM school, but there are rumors among the related arts folks that we are turning it into a STEAM school to include the arts. The collaborations among the art, music, P.E., computer, and library teachers (me) have been clever and creative. […]

Silly Frilly Grandma Tillie


My sons haven’t had children yet to make me a grandma, still next Sunday I will instantly become one when I say “I Do!” to Kenneth Patrick  Kelly in a simple ceremony in our house with 2 sons, 4 dogs, and 2 cats present. Instantly I have step-status for Julia, Lexie, Colyn, Austin and the […]

Nonfiction Monday – We’ve Got a Job


We’ve Got A Job: The 1963 Birmingham Children’s March by Cynthia Y. Levinson is a remarkable story interweaving four children  protesters out of 4000 and how their actions impacted  the Civil Rights movement. This is the story I have been missing all my life as it takes an importance series of children’s protests to explain […]

Nonfiction Monday

We’re here in Practically Paradise for Nonfiction Monday. My post is We’ve Got A Job on the next link so we can enjoy these gifts today first: At NC Teacher Stuff, Jeff has a review of Did Castles Have Bathrooms? Anastasia Suen at Picture Book of the Day: has Giant Pandas by Lyn Sirota Cathy & Louise […]

The Unknown Spy (The Ring of Five series) by Eoin McNamee

unknown spy

I took a moment to curl up with The Unknown Spy (The Ring of Five series) by Eoin McNamee. I couldn’t resist this title because the idea of a young spy made me recall series Alex Rider and Ally Carter’s Gallagher Girls. Would this title become a favorite of middle schoolers and my avid 4th […]