Tag Archives: reading

YOU CHOOSE by Nick Sharratt and Pippa Goodhart


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


Arthur Pong And His Smelly Song by Jose Fernandez


I wasn’t sure what to expect with this book, but I thought it was really cute in a stinky sort of way ūüėČ At first I was a bit confused with no ending punctuation the I caught on that it was being wrote as a poem. I’m not too knowledgeable on the terminology here, so I’ll explain it. It was four sentences but no punctuation and in rhyme per page. The rhymes was done pretty well. There was one exception when I felt the words were a bit forced, but other than that it all rhymed and flowed nicely. This book is a silly type of book sort of like captain underpants. It tells the story of Arthur and how he creates music and well you’ll have to read it because I don’t want to give too much away. Each page¬†has a title and each title is included in a table of contents at the beginning.¬†


There are simple illustrations done on each page to go with the text. Unlike the cover, the illustrations in the actual book aren’t in color, but rather shades of white and grey. It doesn’t take away from the story, but seems to allow focus on what is going on in the illustrations instead. The drawings are silly and represent the story well. Some of the illustrations are surrounded by white space where as some are boxed in with a light shade. I would recommend this book, but maybe towards an older crowd of maybe 6 and over because there are terms used such as “fart” and “poo” and I know some parent’s don’t really want these words put into young learners vocabulary right away. If you don’t have a problem with that, then read ahead because this one is sure to bring on the giggles!!! ūüôā




Little Bird Lost by Kate Larkinson and photos by Steve Larkinson


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!




Cat Days by Alexa Andrews and illustrated by John & Wendy


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.




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


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


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.

Chasing Butterflies by Harry Toews


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

Arabelle the Frightened Spider by Jill Van Der Voort


I got this in e-book form off of Amazon because my son loves creepy crawlers! The story is about a spider who is afraid of many things including a little boy that often plays near her web. The author notes at the ending that spiders are nothing to be frightened of, but I also felt the message applied to all things; concurring fears another words. It is told in rhyme, which I love because it has a steady beat. The words are extremely easy to understand.

The illustrations depict what we are told in the story. The lines are very clean and straight when they need to be and curvy when it is. I personally like illustrations that are a bit messy because I think it gives character and I like that.

I do like the fact that their is a whimsical feel to the illustrations. With Halloween right around the corner,¬†it could be a great book¬†that isn’t scary for young readers. I’m not sure if this is the case, but the illustrations look like they were done on the computer. That’s great, but with something naturesque I would prefer to see something more unperfect to go with the text. ¬†

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


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¬†