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Book Reviews

Book Review: The Magic of Friendship Snow by Andi Cann

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Genre: Picture Books, Children’s Fiction
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐☆☆
Recommend to Others?: Yes

ABOUT: Jojo doesn’t know how to make friends. Then, she meets Puddles, the snowman. The discovery of a best friend is a precious gift of childhood.

Jojo looks around and everyone seems to have friends but her. She feels sad and lonely. How do you make a friend? Once you find a friend, how do you BE a friend? Then, Jojo meets Puddles, the snowman made with magic snow.

Learning to be a friend can be difficult. Jojo will reassure children that friendship can be learned. Discover how Jojo makes a forever friend.

 

My Review: The Magic of Friendship Snow is a good story about how hard it is to make friends. Jojo is a little girl who wants friends like everyone else, but doesn’t know how to make a friend no matter how hard she tries. The reader learns that they should keep trying, be kind, and always be themselves like Jojo and Puddles.The best part of the story were the beautifully painted illustrations. So gorgeous!

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Book Reviews

Book Review: Don’t Push the Button!: A Halloween Treat by Bill Cotter

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Genre: Picture Book
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Recommend to Others?: Yes

ABOUT: From the brilliant mind of author and illustrator Bill Cotter comes one of the year’s best Halloween books for kids. Everyone knows that trick-or-treating is the best part of Halloween. But that one house looks kind of scary…wait, why are you walking toward the creepy house?! Whatever you do, do NOT ring that doorbell!

 

My Review: Don’t Push the Button!: A Halloween Treat was a great read. The art style is so different but beautifully matches the story. I liked that the main character, Larry, interacts with the reader the entire time. The story elicits curiosity and laughter in the reader. Kids will delight in the irony of a monster being scared to approach a spooky house. This was a very engaging picture book. I would read more by this author/illustrator.

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Book Reviews

Book Review: “Dragons Love Tacos” by Adam Rubin, Illustrated by Daniel Salmieri

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Genre: Picture Books
Series: Dragons Love Tacos #1
Rating: 5 out of 5
Recommend to Others?: Yes

 

ABOUT: Dragons love tacos. They love chicken tacos, beef tacos, great big tacos, and teeny tiny tacos. So if you want to lure a bunch of dragons to your party, you should definitely serve tacos. Buckets and buckets of tacos. Unfortunately, where there are tacos, there is also salsa. And if a dragon accidentally eats spicy salsa . . . oh, boy. You’re in red-hot trouble.

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My Review:
Who wouldn’t want to read a book about two totally amazing yet completely polar opposite things: dragons and tacos? Dragons are one of my favorite magical creatures and tacos are super yummy, so this book was a lot of fun to read.

I loved learning about why dragons love tacos of all things. The dragons vary in all sizes and shapes and colors and vibrant personalities. Dragons Love Tacos is so ridiculous and silly, the writing creative and detailed, that I’m sure it will become an instant favorite for children.

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Book Reviews

Book Review: “Just Ask!” by Sonia Sotomayor, Illustrated by Rafael López

Full Title – Just Ask!: Be Different, Be Brave, Be You

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Genre: Picture Books, Children’s Fiction
Rating: 5 out of 5
Recommend to Others?: Yes

 

ABOUT: Feeling different, especially as a kid, can be tough. But in the same way that different types of plants and flowers make a garden more beautiful and enjoyable, different types of people make our world more vibrant and wonderful.

In Just Ask, United States Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor celebrates the different abilities kids (and people of all ages) have. Using her own experience as a child who was diagnosed with diabetes, Justice Sotomayor writes about children with all sorts of challenges—and looks at the special powers those kids have as well. As the kids work together to build a community garden, asking questions of each other along the way, this book encourages readers to do the same: When we come across someone who is different from us but we’re not sure why, all we have to do is Just Ask.

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My Review:
Just Ask! embodies the idea of “sharing in our similarities, celebrate our difference.” Rich in color, bold in storytelling, this book offers an emphatic glimpse into children with disabilities and how they navigate the world. It teaches us to be patient and kind and to ask questions to improve understanding.

The illustrations are just gorgeous. They spread across page after page in bright colors and charming details. You feel at peace when looking at the pictures as the community comes to life. The characters are diverse, courageous, and happy in who they are. The make uniqueness cool.

Just Ask! is a must read for all ages; I highly recommend it!

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Book Reviews

NetGalley Book Review: “Llamas With Lemonade” by Ariana Koultourides

FULL TITLE: Llamas With Lemonade: An Unusual Animal ABC

Thank you to Annick Press and NetGalley for the e-copy to read and review.

Pub Date: September 10, 2019

Image via NetGalley

Genre: Picture Books, Children’s Fiction
Rating: 5 out of 5
Recommend to Others?: Yes

ABOUT: Get ready to jump rope with jaguars and sip lemonade with llamas. Introducing a delightful animal-themed ABC book that will have toddlers and parents grinning from A to Z. In addition to helping with letter recognition, Llamas With Lemonade introduces toddlers to uppercase and lowercase letters, and to alliteration. The adorable parade of animals and their often-unusual objects helps little ones build their vocabulary. The book’s oversized, case-bound board book format and irresistibly cute animals in soft pastel colors make it a perfect addition to any nursery library.

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My Review:
Llamas with Lemonade is a super cute started book for kids just beginning to learn the alphabet. It’s a very brief book – no story. Instead, focusing on letter to word association.

This definitely is an unusual way to learn the alphabet and fun for child readers. They simultaneously learn different animals and an object paired with them of the same letter. This brings a real world association into the mix.

I love how each full page spread is a different color, creating an open atmosphere. There’s a lot of negative space but I think it works in the author’s favor. Kids will focus on learning and internalizing what they see instead of multiple actions going on.

I love the cover and title of the book; they’re what first drew my attention to this books because llamas are awesome and lemonade is delicious.

My favorite match-ups were for the letters G, L, O, U, V, and W.

Llamas with Lemonade is a good book for a kid to have on their bookshelf!

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Book Reviews

Book Review: “Don’t Let The Pigeon Drive The Bus” by Mo Willems

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Genre: Picture Books, Children’s Fiction
Series: Pigeon
Rating: 4 out 5
Recommend to Others?: Yes

 

ABOUT: When a bus driver takes a break from his route, a very unlikely volunteer springs up to take his place-a pigeon! But you’ve never met one like this before. As he pleads, wheedles, and begs his way through the book, children will love being able to answer back and decide his fate.

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My Review:
My favorite one-eyed delights again! He doesn’t like it when he can’t get his way. The illustrations are cute and the writing is solid for this age group. I love how participatory Willems books are. I would definitely recommend this book to parents.

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Book Reviews

Book Review: “Room On The Broom” by Julia Donaldson, Illustrated by Axel Scheffler

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Genre: Picture Books, Children’s Fiction
Rating: 4 out of 5
Recommend to Others?: Yes

 

ABOUTThe witch and her cat couldn’t be happier, flying through the sky on their broomstick-until the witch drops her hat, then her bow, then her wand! Luckily, three helpful animals find the missing items and all they want in return is a ride on the broomstick. But is there room on the broom for so many new friends? And when disaster strikes, will they be able to save the witch from the clutches of a hungry dragon?

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My Review:
Room On The Broom is a rather lovely book to read, especially around Halloween. It’s rhyme scheme is familiar and the rhythm easy to pick up. The pictures are adorable and the adventure the witch and friends go on delightful. I like the subtle lesson about friendship and that all the animals could speak. This was a pretty good book.

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Book Reviews

Book Review: “Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn” by Kenard Pak

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Genre: Picture Books, Children’s Fiction
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Recommend to Others?: Yes

 

ABOUT: As trees sway in the cool breeze, blue jays head south, and leaves change their colors, everyone knows–autumn is on its way!

Join a young girl as she takes a walk through forest and town, greeting all the signs of the coming season. In a series of conversations with every flower and creature and gust of wind, she says good-bye to summer and welcomes autumn.

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My Review:
I liked Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn. It’s quaint story and beautiful art sweeps across the pages like an autumn breeze. There is so much to marvel on every page. The reader goes on a gentle, quiet walk as the world transitions from summer to autumn. I like how this teaches kids the signs of a season and what it means when seasons change.

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Book Reviews

Book Review: “The Pigeon Has to Go to School!” by Mo Willems

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Genre: Picture Books, Children’s Fiction
Series: Pigeon #9
Rating: 5 out of 5
Recommend to Others?: Yes

 

ABOUT: Why does the Pigeon have to go to school? He already knows everything! And what if he doesn’t like it? What if the teacher doesn’t like him? What if he learns TOO MUCH!?!

Ask not for whom the school bell rings; it rings for the Pigeon!

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My Review:
Another well-written, well-drawn picture book about one sassy, childish pigeon by the fantastic Mo Willems. The Pigeon Has to Go to School! is the perfect story for parents and teachers to share with kids who may be nervous about their first day of school. This story acknowledges all the anxieties and insecurities that all kids experience and presents it back in accessibly fun way.

 

More by Mo Willems (reviews)

The Pigeon Wants A Puppy! #6

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About Books

Throwback Thursday: I Spy and Where’s Waldo?

I am throwing it way back to two children’s books series that will make you nostalgic for your childhood: I Spy: A Book of Picture Riddles and Where’s Waldo?.

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I Spy is a children’s picture book (published by Scholastic) where you search a picture filled with random objects and have to find certain things. It’s written by Jean Mazollo and photographed by Walter Wick. It’s meant for early readers but honestly these books are so entertaining and challenging that you can enjoy them at any age.

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Where’s Waldo? is another picture book seek-and-find series written and illustrated by Martin Rutherford. Within each incredibly detailed scene, you would have to find the well-known blue pants, red and white striped shirt and cap, glasses wearing figure, Waldo. He is very illusive. These puzzle books are much harder than I Spy but equally engaging.

What are some of your favorite classic picture books?

And, as always, happy reading!!!