Tag Archives: Children’s book reviews

YOU CHOOSE by Nick Sharratt and Pippa Goodhart

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Hello everyone! I’ve had a lot of messages asking what happened to the blog. I left off letting you guys know things were hectic and to make things even crazier I’ve been back and forth between the doctor for my son and myself since August. I think things are finally starting to settle so I am going to try and catch up. Please bare with me if I’ve promised a review as I am REALLY behind with school, the doctors and my sons extra curricular activities. I will try to get all the way caught up as soon as possible. Prayers for stability in my life is greatly appreciated. ūüôā

Sharratt, Nick. You Choose. Illustrated by Pippa Goodhart. Tulsa: Kane Miller, c2012.

This book mainly done in illustrations. The story is as the title indicates, about choosing. The story goes through several scenarios from being hungry and choosing the food you want to choosing what to wear. The level of this picture book looks like it could easily be read by an early reader, not necessarily an emergent reader. Lots of common sight words that are soundable are used, but there are also words used such as “wear” that children may need help with. This is also suitable as a read aloud book. The sentences are in big, bold, black letters at the top.

The illustrations take on practically the whole page. At first, the illustrations seem extremely busy, but as you go on you realize that its not as busy as originally thought. The illustrations are aligned with the text in that when they ask you to choose shoes, they have 50 different pairs of shoes to choose from. Some of the characters that are in the illustrations have idea bubbles with comments, but these characters aren’t shown through out the book.

I think this is an adorable book and would recommend it! ūüôā

Scaredy Squirrel at the beach by Melanie Watt

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Watt, Melanie. Scaredy Squirrel. Illustrated by author. Tonawanda: Kids Can Press, c2008.

Scaredy Squirrel is a creature that wants to go to the beach but would rather not end up surrounded by the wrong crowd. He decides that he would like to make a beach at home, so he comes up with a plan and makes lists. He realizes he’s¬†forgetting¬†a shell, so decides to make a very quick trip to the real beach…I won’t spoil what happens, but this is an absolutely adorable book. My son laughed so much. It is silly and demonstrates planning skills, how to overcome fears, and encourages imagination. The author gives very cute¬†and¬†easy to understand diagrams¬†that the squirrel is referring to.

 

The illustrations¬†are very crisp and clean. I checked to see what medium was used and it is done¬†digitally by print shop. It doesn’t¬†look like everything was done in print shop, but this explains all the neat lines and perfection. The illustrations are adorable, and go with the whole silliness of the book. There are maps, and timelines, and exhibits…¬†simple enough for children to understand.

 

I really enjoyed this book. There are others in the series and I will definitely be checking those out. If interested in this, here is the paperback link. http://www.amazon.com/Scaredy-Squirrel-Beach-Melanie-Watt/dp/1554534623/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1377004316&sr=8-6&keywords=scaredy+squirrel

 

xoxo, Jade 

Free e-book “Chasing Butterflies” by Harry Toews – Read for info

Hey everyone! For my Children’s literature followers I have a friend that would like people to read his picture book; No review is required, but he would appreciate it if you did! If you are interested then please either email me at jmparks@uno.edu, reply to this post, or visit his website http://www.littlelifelessons.ca/. The story is a really charming story and I’ve actually posted a review for it on here already titled Chasing Butterflies by Harry Toews.

Alice in Wonderland adapted by Deborah Hautzig and Illustrated by Kathryn Rathke

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Hautzig, Deborah. Alice in Wonderland. Illustrated by Kathryn Rathke. New York: Penguin Young Readers, c2010.

 

I know many of you are going to think I’m crazy for what I’m about to admit, but I have never read the books or seen the movies dealing with Alice in Wonderland. It was just never my cup of tea so to speak. I got this book because I thought my son would love it. This book is similar to an I can Read Book in that it is based on a level system and this book is a level 4. The instructions say if¬†a child reads well and fast then they are ready for level 4 books.

 

Since I’ve never read the books or seen the movies I can’t compare the original story to this adopted one. The story was pretty much what I imagined it would be. Queen of hearts, the rabbit, and Alice in the story with doors and such. The paragraphs seemed a bit hard for readers that are just getting comfortable with reading. As an adult I read it just fine, but I know my son, who is level 2, wouldn’t be able to read it without assistance.

 

The illustrations are unique. They remind me of older illustrated where outlining with thick black lines were frequent. The colors range between pastel and bright colors. The book is definitely more cartoonish than any books I’ve read recently. The illustrations add nothing extra besides a few minor details that aren’t central to the plot.

 

If interested, this book is also available for Prime members at no charge on Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/Lewis-Carrolls-Wonderland-Penguin-Readers/dp/0448452693/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1376972868&sr=8-1&keywords=deborah+hautzig

 

xoxo, Jade

250 Fun Jokes for Kids! by Joe King

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This particular book is only available on digital copy through Amazon. I’ll provide the link for it after my review.

 

What person doesn’t enjoy a good laugh? Well this book is actually pretty hilarious! Some joke books I’ve gotten before made no sense, or wouldn’t make sense to a child. This book includes 250 jokes that are clean, family friendly jokes that are short enough for the children to be able to repeat them to friends and family.

Not all of the jokes make 100% sense, but are funny none the less. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a laugh. These jokes resemble those you find on popsicle sticks or laffy taffy wrappers. If interested the link is listed below and the cost is $1.99 or free for Prime members! Enjoy!

http://www.amazon.com/Jokes-Kids-Joke-Books-ebook/dp/B00E66Y2HQ/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1376971678&sr=8-2&keywords=250+jokes+for+kids

xoxo, Jade

Knights are Brave by Kath Smith, Illustrated by Caroline Jayne Church, and designed by Andrea Newton

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Good morning! This book gives us a few different tales of knights who are faced with situations in which they aren’t brave. They break it down to 3 separate stories; the first for Shy Sir MacEye, second for Brave Sir Dave and finally, third for Messy Sir Jesse. I really liked this book for a couple reasons. First, its the whole castle/medieval theme (Who doesn’t love these?!). Second, I really like the books organization. Finally, each short story gives us a lesson that the¬†knights have learned. I won’t go into detail on those so you can read it for yourself. The story as a whole is a bit long so it may¬†be better to break it up for the younger readers aged 3-5.¬†I think a reader that¬†has mastered some basic words should have no problem tackling this because a lot of the words¬†they could sound out.

 

As I examined the illustrations I¬†couldn’t help to¬†notice how plain they were. I’m not saying that as a bad thing. What I mean is the artist¬†may not have “people drawing” as a strong suit, so they dealt with what they had and the faces are very basic. I actually like this because it gives a feel of what a child might draw the knight as. Everything is outlined in a charcoal. There Is major usage of whitespace; no¬†blue skies, but sometimes¬†the¬†grass is colored in. The colors are another¬†reason¬†why I feel as though it really adds to the¬†book. The colors are¬†mostly primary, but that goes with the whole “it feels like what a child would use”.

 

I really enjoyed this¬†story and I hope you like my review enough to go out and get it. ūüôā¬†

Five Green and Speckled Frogs Illustrated by Constanza Basaluzzo

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Five Green and Speckled Frogs. Illustrated by Constanza Basaluzzo. New York: Scholastic Inc., c2008.

 

The title of this book pretty much sums up what it is about. Its a counting backwards book. It starts with five and counts down by one on each turn of the page and then ends up with no frogs. The text is told in rhyme. I wouldn’t necessarily call it a story because it is a rhyme without a plot. The words are easily seen. Young audiences shouldn’t have any trouble in reading this if they wanted to. It could also be read aloud. One thing I do like about this book is at the end their is a song that you can sing.

 

The illustrations are nice and bright and the pages are glossy. There is an element of dimension to the illustrations and you can see a bit of depth. The illustrations give us more details than is said in the text. For example, when the frogs are sitting on a log there is no mention of them catching bugs with nets, but that is what we are shown. Also, the illustrations are a tad bit busy. I would read the story then show the picture so that young listeners aren’t busy trying to figure out what is going on in the illustrations instead of listening to the story.

 

I would recommend this book. ūüôā

 

xoxo,

Jade

The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn and Illustrated by Ruth E. Harper and Nancy M. Leak

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Penn, Audrey. The Kissing Hand. Illustrated by Ruth E. Harper and Nancy M. Leak. Terre Haute: Tanglewood Press, c2006.

 

This is an adorable story about¬†a raccoon that doesn’t want to go to school because he will miss his mother. The mother then tells him about the kissing hand, which makes it easier for him to be separated from his mommy. This is a terrific book filled with such great emotion. It is a favorite of a lot of people, including my son! The way in which it is written gives the reader a chance to take their time and it also has page turning incorporated into the writing.

 

The illustrations are beautiful. They take on a very realistic approach and are more crisp and clean drawn compared to a lot of books. The illustrators use a lot of bright colors in this book which I think adds to the story. On some of the pages there are separate little illustrations aside from the main ones that show a story in and of itself. There is no real pattern to where the texts is placed because some have full page illustrations, some have two illustrations on one page with text sandwiched in the middle, and some just have text wherever the colors are flat. This does not take away from the story though.

 

I love the message that this book delivers and would definitely recommend it. ūüôā

 

xoxo, Jade

P.s. Don’t forget to like my facebook page for a more interactive area on books I’ve reviewed. ūüôā https://www.facebook.com/literarycreature?ref=hl

Starlight Goes to Town by Harry Allard and Illustrated by George Booth

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Allard, Harry. Starlight Goes to Town. Illustrated by George Booth. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, c2008.

Starlight is a chicken that lives on a farm, but wishes to be a model in New York, Paris or Milan. The story follows Starlight as her fairy godmother visits one evening to tell her that when she lays an egg and makes a wish it will come true. The story is a little disorganized and far fetched towards the whole Cinderella take. Kids will probably enjoy the story just the same, especially with the illustrations. The illustrations are very cartoonish with heavy usage of dark outlines. They use very basic colors, but the illustrations tell a story outside of the text. Starlight is funny in the illustrations, especially in one particular scene where she is driving. There is lots of usage of white space not just in the backgrounds but in the pictures themselves. There is no real structured placement of text or illustrations. I think where the text goes is where it just so happens to have an empty spot. One thing I did like about this book, was it was very easy to read and my kids were able to interact with me as I Read Aloud to them. Not a strong literary choice, but all in all I think its an average book.

 

xoxo, Jade

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