From 2010-2012, I wrote a blog called Spine Label. At the time, I was working towards my master's degree in library science, as well as working in a public library (primarily in youth services). Spine Label was where I reviewed books, discussed programs I was implementing at my library, and occasionally wrote about library science more broadly. Spine Label is no longer online; the domain name was my maiden name and it didn't make a whole lot of sense to keep it, particularly once I left my public library job. Happily, I still have access the contents of the blog, which my husband is fond of saying is the best thing I've ever written (I'm not sure what that means for everything I've worked on since then, but I'm going with it). Since I'm writing about children's literature again, I thought it would be nice to revisit the reviews that were once posted on Spine Label, as a way of both looking at backlist titles as well as giving the reviews a proper home on the Internet again. It's worth noting that these reviews were written from the perspective of a public librarian and not necessarily the perspective of a parent.
Tilly and her friends (Doodle, a crocodile; Hector, a pig; Pru, a chicken; Tiptoe, a rabbit; Tumpty, an elephant) all live together in a little yellow house.
In Doodle Bites, Doodle learns an important lesson: even when you wake up feeling bitey, you shouldn’t bite your friends (it’s not nice). And Tumpty learns you shouldn’t stomp on your friend’s tale (even if they bite your bottom).
In Happy Hector, Hector deals with feelings of jealousy when everyone wants to play with Tilly.
In Good Night, Tiptoe, Tilly is putting everyone to bed, but Tiptoe isn’t quite ready.
In Where’s Tumpty?, Tumpty tries to hide from his friends, with mixed results.
I love Dunbar’s soft, cheerful illustrations and the sweet (but not saccharine) stories that deal with preschool emotions in subtle, yet familiar, way.