KidLit Lover Michael, age 7, gives author Troy Cummings some advices and makes an important request in this video.
Michael, who is chief of the Roving Reader Leaders, reviews “The Notebook of Doom” series in this video from his car seat and in a gym with his friend, Danielle.
Our chief gives the second book in the Notebook of Doom series, “Day of the Night Crawlers,” a 1-million-star out of a possible 1-million-stars rating, saying the book is funny and he loves the monsters.
Watch Michael’s review here:
When we tweeted the video to Troy Cummings, he said, “Whoa! I used to think 4-star reviews were terrific…but this critic gave me A MILLION STARS! Thanks, Michael!” He then accepted Michael’s challenge to write and illustrate more books and asked if 13 total was enough.
Of course, that’s not enough! Michael requested at least 35 more funny, wonderfully illustrated Troy Cummings books.
As chief of the Roving Reader Leaders, Michael reviews books in gyms, parks, taxis, museums and on city streets and playgrounds. Our aim is to get kids actively engaged in reading and analysis.
In this KidLit Review by Delilah, our newest Roving Reader Leader, we learn about “Babymouse,” a graphic novel series about Babymouse and her friends. The series features her buddy, Wilson, who always helps Babymouse, and Francine, who’s a bully. Delilah especially likes the daydream sequences, in which the narrator says funny things to Babymouse that nobody else can hear. Our kidlit reviewer says the best part of Babymouse is the number of books in the series!
Watch her video review here:
In the review we included a poll. We’d love for you to answer our questions! What do you think of Babymouse? Do you like graphic novels? And a few other questions: Do our video book reviews help you decide whether you want to read the book we’re reviewing? Are there issues we’re not covering? Do you like our book rating system (which is basically any number of stars the reviewer want to give a book).
Here’s an Amazon review of Babymouse that gives more detail:
“Meet Babymouse—Her dreams are big! Her imagination is wild! Her whiskers are ALWAYS a mess! In her mind, she’s Queen of the World! In real life…she’s not even Queen of the lunch table.”
If you’d like to learn more about the Roving Reader Leaders, check out this video:
Our book lovers also interview authors. Most recently, Michael, chief of the Roving Reader Leaders, interviewed one of his favorite authors, Laurie Sutton.
Here’s their interview:
He also interviewed Cynthia Bardes, author of the Pansy the Poodle book series. We’ve got a long list of authors our KidLit lovers want to interview, so stay tuned!
If you’ve got book lovers in your household, they’re welcome to join the team. We work with bookworms via Skype and in person. Email us at RovingReaderLeaders@gmail.com
Why do the Roving Reader Leaders review kids’ books in gyms, indoor playgrounds, parks, libraries and bookstores?
First of all, we want to give you an example. In this video, Michael, age 7, chief of the Roving Reader Leaders, reviews “The Case of the School Ghost,” a Buddy Files book, at an indoor playground. At the end of each of his reviews, the interviewer says she hopes he’ll be back soon for another kids’ book review. He always says, “Why don’t we do it now?” and in this case, he slides down a slide.
Watch the review here–but beware, there’s a spoiler!
Back to the initial question. Why do our KidLit lovers review books in all these kid-friendly places? It all began three years ago, when we (Michael and Lisa Cohn) were preparing to release our first kids’ dog book. We created Michael’s Books and Dog Blog and decided that our young book lover would review dog books on YouTube. It was his idea to do our reviews in libraries, parks, bookstores, gyms, taxis and museums.
And we established a specific book review format–created by Michael. Lisa would introduce him, he’d do the review, then she’d say, “I hope to have you back soon,” at which point he’d say, “Why don’t we do it now?” and then do something silly. In the reviews, he falls down, slides down slides, licks the camera, or finds some other important way to remind the viewer that he’s just a kid.
By reviewing KidLit in parks, gyms, museums, bookstores and libraries, we hope to get other children involved in the Roving Reader Leaders–or, at least, to remind them about how important–and fun–it is to read and discuss children’s books.
Questions or comments? Email us at RovingReaderLeaders@gmail.com!
Our team of kids’ dog book reviewers, age 7-10, love The Buddy Files, a dog mystery series starring Buddy, a detective dog.
Three Roving Reader Leaders–Michael, age 7, Margot, age 7, and Wesley, age 10–review “The Case of the Lost Boy” by Dori Hillestad Butler in the video below, giving it a number of top ratings, including 99 zillion trillion stars.
Our reader leaders are “roving” because they conduct their reviews in parks, gyms, libraries, bookstores and other places kids can be found. In this video, they’re at a library where they often meet. Margot and Michael goof around a bit, falling off their chairs and sniffing each other (the way the main character in the book sniffs people). After all, they’re only 7–while Wesley, who is 10, takes his job as kidlit reviewer very seriously. Don’t get me wrong–Margot and Michael take their job seriously, too–in a 7-year-old kind of way.
Here’s their review:
Wesley gives the book a six-star rating, saying he’d like the dog, Buddy, to talk in the series.
Coming soon is a review of another “Buddy Files” book, “The Case of the School Ghost,” filmed in a gym.
“The Case of the Lost Boy” is the first in the series, and introduces Buddy, who lost contact with his beloved owners and ended up in the pound. The mystery in this book introduces readers to Buddy’s new family, and keeps you wondering what happened to his old family.
Michael, who is chief of the Roving Reader Leaders, loves dog-book mysteries, and has reviewed many Scooby-Doo books, as well as Pansy the Poodle mysteries.
In addition to reviewing books, the Roving Reader Leaders like to interview authors–especially dog book authors. Recently, Michael interviewed Laurie Sutton, author of many Scooby-Doo books. You can watch his interview below: Who do you think the Roving Reader Leaders will interview next?
Questions or comments? Be sure to email us at RovingReaderLeaders@gmail.com!
In this video book review, KidLit reviewer, Michael, age 7, explains–and accidentally demonstrates–why the potty humor in “Captain Underpants” is so funny.
During this kids’ book review, Michael, suffering from a mild stomach upset, accidentally toots. Watch the whole video to see how hard he laughs and what he says next! He also demonstrates wedgie power.
Watch the video here:
The two main characters, Harold and George, he says, are very creative and funny. They’re not trying to be mean. They’re just trying to “take a comeback to the teacher,” who is mean. “All the teachers in Captain Underpants are mean,” he explained after he did this book review. “Except in book Five, Ms. Ribble is no longer mean. She is turned into someone like George and Harold who does inappropriate things. I like her a lot!” says our KidLit reviewer.
Captain Underpants, by Dav Pilkey, has been banned by many schools because of the potty humor. In fact, it was THE most banned book series in 2012, according to Business Insider.
If you watch this video, you’ll understand why kids love Captain Underpants. In fact, many parents say that the humor in these books inspired their kids to read.
As for Michael and the other boy members of the Roving Reader Leaders, their rating of Captain Underpants is an overwhelming thumbs up. They love the potty humor. But that’s not all. Michael says that he thinks the characters are creative in an inspiring way. In other words, they challenge authority–but they’re not really mean.
If a series makes kids laugh, inspires them to read, and teaches them to be creative, think for themselves and challenge authority, why exactly should it be banned?
If you don’t like Captain Underpants and would like to see schools ban it, we’d love to hear from you!
If your kids were inspired to read by Captain Underpants, we’d love to hear from you. And stay tuned, we’ve got another review of this controversial KidLit series coming up–by four young males members of the Roving Reader Leaders. Email us at RovingReaderLeaders@gmail.com if you’d like to comment, have kids join our club, or are interested in doing some online “KidLit Chats” with Michael and friends!
Meet our newest KidLit lovers and Roving Reader Leaders!
Ahmed, a curious and charismatic unschooled 7-year-old, loves being read to, and enjoys chapter books like Dragon Slayer’s Academy, A to Z Mysteries, and The Magic Tree House series.
When not plotting to save the world or engrossed in a super-hero duel with his younger brother, Rahim, Ahmed can be found dreaming about his future empire, Bath Castle, where he creates hand-made fizzie bath bombs and aromatherapy soaking salts. He also loves playing with friends, soccer, climbing trees, pokemon, ninjago and building legos.
Ahmed helped review this new Christmas book, “The Not Very Merry Pout-Pout Fish,”
Deborah Diesen, author of this book, sent us a tweet saying the kids had made her “very merry” by doing this review. She told the kids to keep reading! We love connecting with authors and often interview them.
Featured in this review is Keiragan, age 8, is a huge book lover and reader. Along with “The Not Very Merry Pout-Pout Fish,” her favorite holiday books include “The Mitten,”
“How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” “Bear Stays Up for Christmas” and “Llama Llama Jingle Bells.”
Also new to the kidlit lovers team at Roving Reader Leaders are a sister-brother team, Margot, age 7, and Wesley, age 10. You can see them in the photo above to the right, reviewing books, along with our chief, Michael. Like Ahmed, they are homeschooled.
Margot loves dogs–especially pugs! She and Wesley recently reviewed a “Buddy Files” book for us, which we’ll be sharing soon. They were also interviewed for this nice piece in the Beaverton Valley Times:
If you’re a parent or teacher who’s interested in having your kidlit lovers join our club, be sure to email us at RovingReaderLeaders@gmail.com! You can also sign up for our club here: Join the Roving Reader Leaders club!
Our aim is to get kids actively engaged in reading, discussion and analysis in fun ways!
One of our reader leaders licked a KidLit book to see if it was in good taste while being interviewed by a local reporter–from the Beaverton Valley Times.
The interview (and book review) took place in one of our favorite libraries–the Beaverton City Library.
We love how the reporter begins the story–by comparing Michael, age 7, to a famous book reviewer from the New York Times.
“It’s unlikely anyone will mistake Michael Cohn for famed New York Times book critic Michiko Kakutani.
By way of example, the uber-literary Kakutani likely never licked a book before to find out whether it’s in good taste.
But Michael, age “7 and about a half,” goofily does just that as he discussed “The Hungry Book Club,” part of the “Nate the Great” series.
The Portland boy is a co-founder and one of the youngest members of the Roving Reader Leaders book club, children and teens who meet — often in Beaverton — to discuss and review children’s literature. Many of their reviews are filmed in places such as the Beaverton City Library and Beaverton Town Square shopping center, and then edited and posted on YouTube; they also interview authors via Skype.”
During the interview, we gave a demonstration of how we do our book reviews–often with an iPhone in a public place like a library, bookstore, park, gymnasium or museum.
That’s why we call our reader leaders “roving;” they do their reviews in places where kids can be found. The idea is to share their love of reading in ways that are contagious. During our reviews, kids sometimes jump in and offer their commentary.
Stay tuned for the reviews we conducted during this interview. And next time you see our Roving Reader Leaders out in public, they’ll be wearing their new badges, which just arrived in the mail. So did the stickers that we give authors whose books get a “Thumbs up!” from our team!
In his latest review, Reader Leader Michael, age 7, gives the kids’ dog book, “Rumplepimple” a 99-million-plus-99-star rating.
Michael gives some details about the book’s characters, conflict and illustrations in this video book review of “Rumplepimple.”
The picture book features a family with two mothers, a mischievous dog and an annoying cat. Our Reader Leader chief says the book, nominated for a CYBILS award, has great illustrations, funny moments, and a hero who gets in trouble a lot!
The book exposes kids to families with two mothers by showing, rather than telling. The story focuses on the moms’ adventures with their pets, without specifically stating that this family is different than the norm.
When asked what it would be like living in a family with two moms, an annoying cat and a trouble-making dog, our reader leader focuses on the dog, saying Rumplepimple always gets in trouble.
We love kids’ dog books because, so often, they teach kids about the importance of tolerance. Our tail-waggers love us unconditionally and don’t judge us for our skin color, race or sexual orientation.
You can watch our reviews of other kids’ dog books here.
We’ve reviewed dog books that are traditionally published–Good Dog, Carl, Clifford and numerous Scooby-Doo books. We’ve also done kids’ book reviews about independently published books like Rumplepimple. They include “Bad Dog, Bailey,” “Mr. Spunky and His Friends,” and “Pansy in Paris.”
If you’re an author interested in having us review your book, email us at RovingReaderLeaders@gmail.com. Once a book gets a “Thumbs Up!” review from our Reader Leaders, we send you a few “Thumbs Up” stickers–and you’re welcome to purchase them in larger quantities, if you like. Such purchases help us cover the cost of editing our videos.
Our mission is to get kids actively involved in reading, discussion and analysis in fun new ways!
Michael and Levko, age 6 (at the time this was filmed), review the Scooby-Doo book, “The Mystery of the Aztec Tomb” by Laurie Sutton, saying “The world should read this.”
These founding members of the Roving Reader Leaders loved this book, which is one of many “You Choose Stories: Scooby-Doo” books from Capstone that invite kids to choose a number of different endings. Michael and Levko reveal their favorite part–a funny part–and think hard about a rating before giving it 6 million stars.
You can watch their kids’ book review here:
Not only do our Roving Reader Leaders review books; they also interview authors. Michael was thrilled to interview the author of this book, Laurie Sutton. He asked her about some of the choices she makes, made a special request, and got a promise from her. Watch his interview with her here:
How do kids become Roving Reader Leaders? Good question! They simply join our club here: Join the Club! You can learn more about Michael, Levko and the founding members of the Roving Reader Leaders here: Meet our Reader Leaders
Why are the kids called “roving” reader leaders? Good question! Many of our book reviews take place in gyms, parks, taxis, museums and on city streets and playgrounds. Our literary experts rove around, sharing their love of books wherever kids can be found!
It all began when book lover Michael, now age 7, decided to start reviewing books. He thought it would be fun to do book reviews in fun places. Since he takes his books everywhere, we began shooting reviews on the Oregon Coast, in Montana ski lodges, in New York taxis, and on playgrounds all over Portland, Oregon. Soon his good friends started joining in the fun.
Teachers, parents & librarians, be the first to learn about the latest KidLit Reviews and Author Interviews by our young Reader Leaders…plus our suggested reading lists, Skype classes and reading tips!