Barkus Dog Dreams and Penguin Days are both second books in their respective series, although you don’t need to read the first to enjoy either.

Barkus Dog Dreams

Barkus Dog Dreams by Patricia MacLachlan ($16.99, Raincoast Books, Chronicle Kids) is also the second book in the series featuring Barkus the dog, who is back with “new tricks, new friends and lots more fun.” Each of the five stories are short with lots of pictures making it the perfect bedtime story read or for kids just starting to enjoy chapter books. The stories themselves are cute and features a look into the the life of Barkus, a very busy dog.

Little girl in a fancy purple dress surrounded by penguins and a basket full of flower petals.
Penguin Days is Book 2 in a series by Sara Leach, featuring the stories of Lauren, who is on the autism spectrum disorder.

Penguin Days

Penguin Days ($17.95, Pajama Press) is the second book by Sara Leach featuring Lauren, who is on the Autism Spectrum Disorder. This time Lauren and her family drive to a farm in North Dakota to see Auntie Joss’ get married to almost Uncle Charlie (that makes me laugh). Before the wedding “she is expected to do more than meet adults who hug her and invade her personal space. Lauren is going to be – horror of all horrors – a flower girl.”

I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I did the first one. Penguin Days is a fast read, a great starting chapter book for new readers. Lauren is the same, grappling with how to control her emotions and feelings, learning how to play with her cousins and get along with new people.

There was one part in it that I completely disagreed with. I am not trying to be insensitive to people living with this disorder, but I don’t agree that in this particular situation Lauren should have got what she wanted. I felt it was unfair to the rest of the children and wasn’t the right. This part made me dislike the rest of the book.

A copy of these books were provided by Pajama Press and Raincoast Books for an honest review. The opinions are my own.