Bookie Woogie: Kids Reviewing Kids’ Books

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Gracie's drawing of the PenderwicksGracie's drawing of the Penderwicks

Gracie's drawing of the Penderwick kids, from Bookie Woogie.

I love reading children’s books — I think I never outgrew them — and I love sharing great books with you here on GeekDad. When I’m able to, I try to tell you my daughters’ reactions to them as well, to give you an idea of what a kid might think of them. That doesn’t always work, though: sometimes it’s intended for older readers, but quite often I just can’t get more than a two-word response from them, even for books they really love.

Aaron Zenz has no such problem with his kids. He’s been running a site called Bookie Woogie for three years now, and his kids — Isaac, Grace, Lily, and now Elijah — read books together, talk about them, and draw pictures based on the stories. They’ve even gotten to interview a few authors and artists, which are recorded over Skype and then transcribed for the site.

There are over a hundred book reviews now, and over 400 pieces of original artwork created by his kids. They’ve even started doing video reviews — the latest one is a review of The Black Cauldron done by Lily, made for the 90-second Newbery Film Festival. (It’s a little longer than 90-seconds, but it’s still great.)

Check out the site, and show your kids! I think it’s a great idea, particularly because kids telling other kids about books is probably much more effective than hearing it from a grown-up.

Of course, I hope you continue to read the book reviews I write here, but if you want it straight from the mouth of babes (well, and the older kids), this is the place to go.

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