Tag Archives: Kids

The Walk Back Home by Oliver Jeffers

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The Walk Back Home is a cute little story about a boy from Earth who flew into space with his airplane. He ran out of fuel and landed on the moon. A martian also landed on the moon after his spaceship engine broke. The rest of the book talks about an adventure that the boy and martian go on to help them both get back home.

I am a first grade teacher. I read this story to my students for a Read-Aloud. They loved it because they were able to make predictions based on what we were reading. They connected with the characters because they too have had to help a friend do something.

The illustrations are done with water colors. They are clean and demonstrate what is being read on the page. The one complaint I do have about the book is on a few pages, the words are stuck on a part of the page that is dark and the letters are also dark. So, it is a bit hard to see, especially if a child was to attempt t read it on their own. I do recommend it as a read aloud.

Jade

Little Bird Lost by Kate Larkinson and photos by Steve Larkinson

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Good evening friends! So sorry it has been so long since I’ve reviewed. I’ve been a busy busy BUSY bee!

This story is a picture story like all of the books I review, but to be honest it is different! Usually the books have their words and then there is the illustrations. This photographer took the time to photograph a photo for each page. Each page has dialogue that goes in rhyme, but not necessarily ending on that page; basically page turners! The text is extremely easy to understand and although it is not a “young readers” book. It has short and simple sentence structure. I think a young reader would have no problem getting through it. I will let my son be the judge of that for reading time tomorrow!

Back to these wonderful photos! I can’t imagine the amount of time it took for the photographer to sit by this nest and gently snap these photos without scaring them and making them fit into the story. It is amazing how the text and these actual photos go hand in hand. I can’t praise this photographer enough. I urge all of you to go to Amazon and pull it up. It’s such a cute story about a bird family that will sure to bring smiles and sweet dreams to your little ones!

 

xoxo,

Jade

Cat Days by Alexa Andrews and illustrated by John & Wendy

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Andrews, Alexa. Cat Days. Illustrated by John and Wendy. New York: Penguin Young Readers, c2012.

 

This book is a level one young reader. This is truly a young reader versus some of the other ones I’ve come across. The vocabulary is very simple and easy to sound out. The pages are repetitive to give children a chance to remember words. The break this book into sections, but not necessarily chapters. Then each section they run with the theme. For example Cat Plays section has a few pages about the cat playing. The story is predictable which also helps with retention for young readers. It also uses ideas that most children are familiar with.

 

The illustrations are bright and simple. They use very simple shapes to make the pictures and it doesn’t distract the reader from the text. Everything is outlined in either black or grey. There is very little usage of white space, but they use color space in its place. The pages that have the section titles are the only ones that have white space usage.

The story doesn’t have much of a plot, but it does a great job with simple words and familiar territory for young readers.

 

xoxo,

Jade

Flight of the Butterflies by Roberta Edwards and illustrated by Bob Kayganich and with photographs

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Edwards, Roberta. Flight of the Butterflies. Illustrated by Bob Kayganich and with photographs. New York: Penguin Young Readers, c2010.

 

This book is a Penguin Young Readers book, level 3. They start off by describing what Migration is. They describe the journey that the Monarch Butterflies make into the forests in Mexico. This is a really neat book because it introduces new words that children may not know and also a pronunciation helper. We learn what dangers there are to the butterflies. We then are taken back through the flight back North, wear they lay their babies and back to where they first start. I am a big BIG lover of butterflies and one thing I found out from this book that I thought was very interesting is that the life span is very short;Approximately a year.

 

The illustrations are done with actual pictures and diagrams. When they describe things in the book, such as the plant they lay their eggs on, they show a picture so we know what it looks like. They show us a map with the migration and also the stages of their flight back up.

 

This is a really interesting read especially for science lovers. Even though this is an early reader, I think it would make a great Read Aloud book too!

 

xoxo, Jade

Terry Treetop and the Lost Egg by Tali Carmi and Illustrated by Mindy Liang

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Carmi, Tali. Terry Treetop and the Lost Egg. Illustrated by Mindy Liang. c,2013.

 

This is a story about a boy named Terry Treetop who loves to climb trees. Terry finds a little egg all alone on the ground and goes on an adventure to try to find its mother. He asks several animals he sees with eggs about it, and when he comes up with no answers he almost gives up. This is an adventurous story that gives young minds a glance at what type of animals have babies via eggs and how they hatch. It also gives a lesson to young kids that if you find something, they should try to find the owner.

 

The illustrations are really cute. They give you a chance to visualize what is going on in the story and see Terry Treetop go through his adventure. Each animal he visits we see their eggs and see the difference between them all. There are a lot of neutral colors used to signify nature, but some brighter colors are used on Terrys clothes and such.

 

I really like this story and how it gives so many different ideas.

 

xoxo, Jade

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 

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

Chasing Butterflies by Harry Toews

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I absolutely ADORE this story!! The story is about a brother and sister that visit their grandmothers house after school lets out for the summer. We follow the children out into their abuela’s magical garden and through the adventures to find the magic that their grandmother says is there. Towards the end we go through the same emotions that the children go through when they find the magic. The author has amazing talent to be able to make readers feel the emotion in so few pages.

The illustrations go along with the text and give us a bit of outside information that isn’t in the text. We get to see how the characters look since they aren’t described (standard for picture books). We get to see abuela’s garden and many other features of the story that are written or aren’t written. The author uses a very limited color pattern when showing illustrations of the children or room furniture, but it doesn’t take away from the story. When we see the garden with the butterflies and flowers we are shown color and LIFE, aka the magic that is brought out.

On top of the story there is a message intertwined into the story. “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover” is the major point of the story; that and of course finding the ‘magic’. I really loved this story and I will definitely review more of this authors work!!

This is an absolutely charming story filled with such character! I definitely recommend this!!!!

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. 🙂