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Book Reviews

Book Review: The Magic of Friendship Snow by Andi Cann

Image via Goodreads

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!

Categories
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.

Categories
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!

Categories
Book Reviews

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

Image via Barnes & Noble

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.

Categories
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.

Categories
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.

Categories
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

Categories
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.

Image via Goodreads

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!!!

Categories
About Books About Writing

Inspirational Quotes From Popular Picture Book Authors & Illustrators

Arnold Lobel (author/illustrator)

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Frog and Toad

“To be making books for children is to be in a sort of state of grace.”

 

Beatrix Potter (author/illustrator)

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Peter Rabbit series

“I cannot rest, I must draw, however poor the result, and when I have a bad time come over me it is a stronger desire than ever.”

 

Chris Van Allsburg (author/illustrator)

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The Polar Express [My Review]

“A good picture book should have events that are visually arresting – the pictures should call attention to what is happening in the story.”

 

Dr. Seuss (author/illustrator)

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The Cat in the Hat

Ten Apples Up On Top! (written under pseudonym Theo LeSieg) [My Review]

“You’ll miss the best things if you keep your eyes shut.”

Eric Carle (author/illustrator)

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The Very Hungry Caterpillar

“My own style grew out of my work as a graphic designer. I try to express the essence of my stories and ideals very clearly, using simple shapes, often in bright colors against a white background. You might almost think of my illustrations, and especially the cover art, as little posters.”

 

Jane Yolen (author)

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Owl Moon

“Exercise the writing muscle every day, even if it is only a letter, notes, a title list, a character sketch, a journal entry. Writers are like dancers, like athletes. Without that exercise, the muscles seize up.”

 

Kevin Henkes (author/illustrator)

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Kitten’s First Full Moon [My Review] | Olive’s Ocean

“Sometimes I think as adults we think of them as — because they’re small in size that they’re small in all ways — and they’re not. They have big feelings, and they have big eyes, they see things, they hear things, they’re living life just the way an adult does and I think sometimes as adults we forget that.”

 

Margaret Wise Brown (author)

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Goodnight Moon

“…or quietness is an essential part of all awareness. In quiet times and sleepy times a child can dwell in thoughts of his own, and in songs and stories of his own.”

 

 

Maurice Sendak (author/illustrator)

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Where the Wild Things Are

“Children do live in fantasy and reality; they move back and forth very easily in a way we no longer remember how to do.”

 

Mo Willems (author/illustrator)

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The Pigeon Wants a Puppy! [My Review]

“We create our work for children not because they’re “cute,” but because they’re human beings, deserving of respect.”

Quentin Blake (author/illustrator)

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Matilda (illustrated) [My Review] | The BFG (illustrated)

“I don’t wait for inspiration. I’m not, in fact, quite sure what inspiration is, but I’m sure that if it is going to turn up, my having started work is the precondition of its arrival.”

 

Shel Silverstein (author/illustrator)

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The Giving Tree

“Listen to the mustn’ts, child. Listen to the don’ts. Listen to the shouldn’ts, the impossibles, the won’ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me… Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.”



Extra Image Links:
Corduroy

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/231850.Corduroy

The Day the Crayons Quit

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16101018-the-day-the-crayons-quit

Arthur’s Birthday

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1709865.Arthur_s_Birthday

 

Extra ‘My Review’ Links:
The Day the Crayons Quit
If You Give A Mouse A Brownie