The Egg Tree


The Egg Tree

Katherine Milhous

New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1950

29 pp.

Age: 3 +

Interests: Easter, crafts, country life, traditions



The Magic Fishbone

subtitle: “A Holiday Romance from the Pen of Miss Alice Rainbird, Aged Seven”

by Charles Dickens

originally published 1868

this edition: illustrated by Louis Slobodkin, Vanguard Press, New York, 1953

36 pp.

Age: 4 +

Interests: magic, fairies, princesses

Also by this author (for children): The Cricket on the Hearth, A Christmas Carol



by Quentin Blake

London: Jonathan Cape, 1995

29 pp.

Age: 3 +

Interests: toys, clowns, city

Also by this author: All Join In, Mister Magnolia


The Story About Ping

Marjorie Flack, author

Kurt Wiese, illustrator

New York: Viking, 1933

31 pp.

Age: 2 +

Interests: birds, duck, river, China, boats


Annie (1982)

Rated: PG (language)
Length:  126 min.
Age: 5 and up.       Commonsense Media sez: 6 +

Scary Factor: Annie is kidnapped, shoved into a car and taken away; she is also chased by Rooster (shouting “I’ll kill ya!”), climbs to a great height on a bridge, dangles over the edge before being rescued

Violence: the orphans are very rough with each other; Annie punches out a bigger boy, knocking him down; much slapsticky shoving about, pratfalls, foot-stomping; less amusing is moment at climax when Miss Hannigan tries to stop Rooster and he punches her, knocking her out; also, a ‘bolshevik’ tries to kill Warbucks with a bomb (a brief and rather lighthearted event)

Also: lots of verbal threats, between orphans and from Miss Hannigan (who likes to holler “kill kill kill!”), most used for humour

Language: “shut up”, several “damn”s, “hell”

Bad Behavior: Miss Hannigan is drunk most of the time (makes her own bathtub gin); grownups smoke quite a lot

Sex: Miss Hannigan throws herself at every man she encounters, in a manner, shall we say, unusual for a children’s film; Miss Hannigan lounges about in her lingerie; Rooster and his girlfriend paw one another, fully clothed

Interests: musicals, song and dance, New York, history

Next: OTHER MOVIE MUSICALS: Singin’ in the Rain (all ages), Mary Poppins (3), Meet Me in St. Louis (4), The Music Man, The Wizard of Oz (4), The Sound of Music (6), STAGE: see Annie the musical live if you can


The Serpent Slayer; and Other Stories of Strong Women

retold by Katrin Tchana

illustrations by Trina Schart Hyman

Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 2000

109 pp. – each individual story averages about 6 pages

Age:  5 + (some stories suitable for 4)

Interests: folk tales, princesses, pirates, fairy tales, magic, other cultures

Other books by this illustrator: St. George and the Dragon, Rapunzel


Picking Movies for Young Children

I don’t want this blog to just be reviews, so I am going to try to write a weekly commentary of sorts, posting every Friday. Well, we’ll see how it goes… Here’s the first.

Here’s a blogger’s humble confession. Rating movies for a particular age group is really hard.

I used to be so annoyed with reviews of kids’ movies that weren’t specific, that didn’t give me what I needed to know in a nutshell. “Not suitable for young viewers” just didn’t help me. (What is ‘young’?!)

So when I began this blog I was determined to stamp an age recommendation on every review. And I soon found out why those other reviewers choose to be so vague. As much as a frazzled parent may want concise advice with a minimum of fuss, the First Commandment of parenthood always holds:


I will do my best to give my recommendations, but the precise age rating must always be regarded as a sliding scale – after reading my reviews you will know if your child tends to be above, below or right smack on my estimates and can proceed accordingly. And please double-check with any other books, websites or blogs that you trust. (I include the Commonsense Media age ratings, which are often a year higher than mine.)


Edwardo: The Horriblest Boy in the Whole Wide World

by John Burmingham

New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2006

30 pp.

Age: 3 +

Interests: ‘bad behavior’, manners

Also by this author: Mr. Gumpy’s Outing, Borka, Come Away from the Water Shirley , Avocado Baby


Higglety Pigglety Pop! or There Must be More to Life

by Maurice Sendak

New York: Harper Collins, 1967

69 pp.

Age: 4 +

Interests: dogs, adventure, theatre


Miss Rumphius

by Barbara Cooney

New York: Viking Press, 1982

28 pp

Ages: 3 +

Interests: flowers, single life, strong girls, travel

Previous Older Entries Next Newer Entries

All writings posted here are © Kim Thompson, unless otherwise indicated. For all artwork on this site, copyright is retained by the artist.