Judge Juliette (Laura Gehl)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Judge Juliette, written by Laura Gehl and illustrated by Mari Lobo, a delightful tale of a young adjudicator.

Juliette’s first judge’s robes are her mother’s black skirt; her first gavel is her Grandpa’s old mallet. From the very first, Juliette is all about making fair judgements – she justly presides over toy trifles, playground disputes, and even parent-child disagreements in her neighborhood, alway making her judgements with fairness (for example, it’s not technically against the LAW to serve lima beans two nights in a row – merely MEAN). But when her parents finally agree to get Juliette her very own pet, she’s facing the toughest judgement of her young career: the matter of Cat v. Dog!

Informative and fun. Designed as an introduction to the world of law – and specifically, the career of a judge – this sweet story manages to tell an entertaining and charming story while weaving in concepts and vocabulary to that effect. Little readers will learn terms like “recuse”, “witness”, and “hearsay” (both incorporated into the text and in the glossary afterward) as Juliette decides her parents’ case of Cat v. Dog. The cartoonish artwork is simple yet endearing, and features an expressive and diverse cast; Juliette and her parents are particularly charming, as they create the picture of a loving, teasing, imperfect yet supportive family unit. The length is great for a quick storytime, and JJ genuinely liked the story and art. An entertaining read for any little one, and for little law-enthusiasts, a major treat. Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

L Is For Law (Veronica Goodman)

(Due to unforeseen circumstances, we were unable to post last night’s review on time. Sorry for the delay!)

Hello, friends! Our book today is L Is For Law, written by Veronica Goodman and illustrated by Nicole Jones Sturk, an alphabet book for aspiring esquires.

Following the same format as its prequel, E Is For Economics, little readers are introduced to various concepts and terms from the legal world: A is for Attorney, B is for Bar Exam, C is for Class Action, and so on. Each letter and term is accompanied by a tongue-in-cheek illustration that interprets the definition of the term in either a literal or comedic way.

This was neat! While I still wish that the book would include short text definitions for some of the terms that may not be as familiar to those outside the legal field – Three L, Quiet Enjoyment, etc. – most of the terms chosen are well-known enough that the layman can explain them to little ones and enjoy the jokes in the illustrations. And once again, the art is great, using things like children playing a game of Telephone to describe “hearsay”, or a sly-looking cat about to knock a vase off a table for “intent”. The length is very easy for a quick read, and JJ loved the colorful illustrations. A satisfying follow-up to its predecessor, and a fun book for lawyers to share with the little bookworms in their lives. Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the author in exchange for an honest review.)

Ruth Bader Ginsburg: The Case Of R.B.G. vs. Inequality (Jonah Winter)

Hello friends! Our book today is Ruth Bader Ginsburg: The Case Of R.B.G. vs. Inequality, written by Jonah Winter and illustrated by Stacy Innerst, a picture book biography of the Supreme Court justice’s formative years.

Born in Brooklyn to the children of Jewish immigrants, Ruth Bader learned early on that discrimination was a part of daily life. Her family was the victim of anti-Semitic prejudice, and her mother, despite her intelligence, was forced to stay at home and support the men in her life as the attitudes of the time dictated. This introduction to the inequitable treatment of minorities, along with the encouragement and support of her mother, drove Ruth to fight. She fought for her right to attend college (where she regularly finished at or near the top of her class), to graduate from law school, and to become a lawyer for the ACLU, all while marrying the love of her life and starting a family. Her diligent work was recognized after many years when she was appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals, then to the Supreme Court, only the second woman in history to do so. There, she continues to argue for the rights of the disenfranchised to this day.

It’s not hard to be moved by a biography of Ginsburg, but Winter’s version – presented in the structure of a legal argument, including items of evidence and opening and closing statements – does a great job of distilling RBG’s wealth of accomplishments down for young readers. I loved the focus on individual acts of discrimination she suffered, which not only highlights her fortitude but also illustrates the national attitude towards women and Jews at the time. The illustrations are wonderful, using color, style and tone to imbue each scene with emotion. However, the length should be noted here: this book is LONG, and while JJ sat patiently through it, it’s a better fit for older bookworms. A great biography of an American icon, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved!

I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark (Debbie Levy)

Hello, friends! Today, we read a fantastic book called I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark, written by Debbie Levy and illustrated by Elizabeth Baddeley, a picture book biography of an amazing feminist icon.

Ruth Bader is born into a world that discriminates against her gender and religion, but she refuses to accept the limitations society places on women and Jewish people. Whenever Ruth is faced with an obstacle – she objects! Disagrees! Dissents! She educates herself, puts herself through college and law school, and fights for the rights of all people who are marginalized by sexism, racism, anti-semitism, and all other forms of prejudice. She works hard her whole life, and is declared a Supreme Court justice.

This was an awesome biography of a phenomenal woman. I Dissent is packed full of information, not only about Bader Ginsburg’s life but also the history of segregation in America, what lawyers do and how the Supreme Court works, and the importance of gender equality. There are wonderful lessons to be found everywhere: Bader Ginsburg’s ability to disagree with people yet still maintain friendships with them, the importance of finding a mate who supports your ideas and goals, and that failure is a normal, natural part of life – and can be overcome. Now, this one was pretty long for baby bookworms (this would likely be best for slightly older readers), but the gorgeous, colorful illustrations held JJ’s attention through the whole book. So if you have a patient baby bookworm, you could probably get away with this one. Overall, a fantastic book about a true hero that every boy and girl can enjoy. Baby Bookworm approved!