About Me / Review Policy

My name is Tanya Turek and I believe that reading the right book can be a transformative experience. As a mother, children's bookseller for almost 20 years, ardent reader of children's literature, and elementary school librarian, I want to help kids start their reading journey on the right path and spark a life long love of reading. My reviews are thoughtful and insightful and I provide excellent suggestions for similar titles that will ensure readers are never without a good book in hand. I do not receive compensation in any way for this blog and never will. All titles here are purchased by me or review copies from publishers, as noted in every review. 

I began working as a children's bookseller in 1995 and was with Barnes & Noble for almost two decades. I had an amazing year working as an assistant to a literary agent who represents many of the greats from the world of kid's books. Reading manuscripts, queries, and diving into every other aspect of the publishing world sharpened my critical skills and deepened my love of kid's books as well as my desire to spark this joy in young readers. In a move that feels like winning the Trifecta, I embarked on a career as elementary school librarian in 2014. Working with a student population that is over 80% Latinx and also qualifies for free lunch (meaning that the majority of my students live in poverty) I have become passionate about equity and literacy. Educating myself about the effects of childhood poverty on education, the quality of education children living in poverty receive and their ability to access this education has influenced my perspective on the world of kid's books and the importance of books as windows and mirrors. Representation matters, and I work to make sure my students have access to as many books that are mirrors, not just windows, as possible.


I will not review the following types of books:

Anything published by Amazon or an imprint of Amazon

Any work that exists in eBook format only

Any work by an author/illustrator who does not have a literary agent

Any work that is self-published or published by a house that requires payment from the author

I do review titles from the following houses:

Abrams Amulet
Candlewick Press / Walker Books
Chronicle Books
Creston Books
Drawn & Quarterly
Enchanted Lion Books
First Second
Harper Collins
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Penguin Random House
Princeton Architectural Press
Quarto Books
Simon & Schuster