Let me say, what a creative, imaginative picture book! Florescent colors, fun characters, delightful word play, and general amazing-ness. Thank you, Nosy Crow, for sending me a copy of This Is Not A Unicorn! (along with the super red tote)!
This Is Not A Unicorn! was the perfect gift for my 7-year-old granddaughter. She loves books and unicorns. In fact, after I gave her the book, we sat outside and read it together. And then we utilized the featured QR code (see below) and listened to the read aloud! So much fun! Books make perfect gifts.
I love the brilliant colors used in This Is Not A Unicorn!. At first, I was a bit shocked at how vibrant and glow-in-the-dark the illustrations and cover looked to be, but after reading, the colors fit perfectly with the story and the characters.
Word play is something I truly enjoy, and this is spot on for readers of this age. There is plenty of wonderful word play in this picture book.
Imagination! This ranks right up there with word play, characters, and colorful illustrations. Two thumbs up for This Is Not A Unicorn!.
I enjoyed reading This Is Not A Unicorn!. Perfect for readers who love unicorns with creative skills.
There are so many reasons I enjoy this book. The message is wonderful for young children. The setting is fun, the characters are just right, and the problem-being brave enough to do something scary-is perfect for ages 3-5 who face an amusement park full of new experiences (in life and at actual amusement parks). And let’s not overlook the fact that Wanda is adorable!
Congratulations, Janet and Eunji!
Why I LOVE this book:
~the amusement park setting is fun and facing BIG rides is a common fear and experience of most children
Thank you, Jena Benton and Maddie Frost, for sending me this lovely copy of Not Yet, Yeti! I love Yeti, all the bright colors, and the theme of starting school. Yeti and his first day of school speak to my former-preschool and kindergarten teacher’s heart!
~the encouragement to try again, because you might not get it right the first time, and that just means “not yet, Yeti”
~big, colorful illustrations
~Yeti! I mean, just look at him!
~the friends Yeti makes (too adorable)
I would definitely read this book the first day of school! Congratulations, Bethany and Maddie! Thanks for introducing me to Yeti, Jena!
Look at the little cubbies and friends!
Yeti learns about the importance of patience and perseverance as he uses growth mindset on his first day of kindergarten.
It’s Yeti’s first day of school and there are so many new things to try! Maybe he can’t do everything he wants to do perfectly just yet, but his supportive teacher and helpful classmates are there to remind him that he can always try again.
Yeti’s journey to achieving his goals highlights the importance of nurturing a positive self-image and a growth mindset in early learners. With gentle humor, expressive illustrations, and a lovable protagonist, this simple and effective story is a perfect teaching aid for both parents and educators alike.
Sending many thanks to Vivian Kirkfield and her blog and website, Vivian Kirkfield – Writer for Children, and R. Skyler Lambert, Editor and Marketing Manager at Star Bright Books, for sending me a copy of both of these adorable picture books! They have been quite successful with my learning-to-read grands.
Comments from the Peanut Gallery:
Gage (just completed first grade): Can I keep these? Can I take these in the car? (They lived in the car for weeks so he could read them on the way to and from school.)
Autumn (just completed kindergarten): Read this to me. What’s a pinwheel? It’s that flower! (giggle) They’re hiding!
Why I Love These Books:
~adorable stories, 2 per book
~just right for beginning readers
~large text which makes it easier to read
~engaging illustrations and text
~spot-on situations to capture the attention of readers
~cute animals characters!
Thank you, Vivian and Skyler! Two thumbs up from this household!
Thank you, Cynthia Cliff, for sending me a copy of this gorgeous cookbook for children! I read about Pie for Breakfast on Kathy Temean’s Writing and Illustrating, a blog about books and the publishing world. Thank you, Kathy, for featuring Cynthia and allowing me to win a copy. What a delicious feast for my eyes and my tummy!
Complete with colorful, detailed, delightful illustrations (all done by Cynthia-check out her website), Pie for Breakfast is filled with recipes from around world. Each recipe has directions appropriate for ages 5-9 and suggestions on when to ask for help from an adult. Safety tips are included.
I love how Cynthia wrote this cookbook as a picture book story. Hazel is the main character who loves to bake and likes to raise money for special projects. As Hazel discusses the school’s fair, she has the idea of organizing a bake sale at the fair to raise money for the school library. Since Hazel loves books as much as she loves baking, the project is a perfect fit. Hazel invites her friends to bake something special for the bake sale. Pie for Breakfast is filled with the recipes and bakers who contribute to the bake sale.
What I loved about this book:
~the recipes, yummy!
~the colorful illustrations filled with enchanting details
~the bake sale that ties together all of the recipes and friends
~a bake sale for books! Sounds perfect to me.
~metric measurements are included
~the overall adorableness of the book
A beautifully illustrated baking book for children featuring recipes for delicious treats along with a powerful message about family, diversity, and helping others.
When Hazel and her father bake together, her mother says they make the whole house smell like a fancy bakery. And when they bake in the morning, they get to eat their goods as a special treat–even if it’s for breakfast. One day Hazel decides to organize a morning bake sale for her school and encourages her friends to contribute to the effort. The results take readers all over the world, from strawberry mochi and pumpkin empanadas to Indian-spiced shortbread and Egyptian basbousa cake. Best of all, each of these treats including with muffins, carrot cake, scones, and vegan and gluten-free items–comes with its own easy-to-follow recipe. Cynthia Cliff’s charming illustrations combine the simplicity of folk art with a sophisticated flair. Her down-to-earth baking accommodate all sorts of substitutions and skill levels. The perfect book for satisfying baking, Pie for Breakfast introduces children to new flavors and treats, opening their palates and their eyes to the delicious ways that baking can bring us together.
Thank you, Cynthia. Congratulations and happy baking!
Girl Warriors, How 25 Young Activists are Saving the Earth
Written by Rachel Sarah
Chicago Review Press Incorporated, 2021
Girl warriors! How cool is that? This fascinating topic is presented in an easy-to-read format. Thank you to Rachel Sarah and KidLit411 for sending me a copy of this inspiring book. Click on the link to read KidLit411’s wonderful interview of Rachel.
I was happy to read about young women who are choosing to follow their passions, from caring for our world to animal care to sewing and creating beautiful clothing. What is amazing is how each girl warrior has embraced what she feels is important, and then has continued pursuing those interests and goals. Young readers will be inspired to follow their passions as they read about the 25 different girl warriors.
Why I enjoyed this book:
~ young girl warriors!
~ easy to read chapters, each one focused on one warrior
~ a variety of causes and passions fill the pages of this book
~ I learned something about each young woman, read her story, saw her photo, and was able to hear her passion and commitment to making changes
~ ideas for things to try!
~ the book format is light, flexible, and the perfect size for holding
I am sharing four books in this post. Please scroll down to read more about the book that catches your eye!
So You Want to a Pet Dragon?
By Tania Pourat
Illustrated by Tristan Tait
Mascot Books, December 2020
Be a Big Hero
By Jennifer Bacon
Illustrated by Lara Calleja
Mascot Books, December 2020
Scromlette the Omelet Chef
By Zach Christensen
Illustrated by Chiara Civati
Mascot Books, December 2020
By Jennifer Gafford
Illustrated by Terri Kelleher
Mascot Books, December 2020
So, you want a pet dragon? Of course I do! I loved this adorable and funny picture about about how to care for your dragon (or else). Easy reading, wonderful illustrations, and plenty of enjoyment to go around. I’m pretty sure I now know enough to care for my own dragon. So You Want a Pet Dragon? is a great read!
Taking care of a pet is no easy task, and a dragon is no exception. Luckily, this book has all the tips and tricks you’ll need to take care of your very own feisty, fiery friend. Simply follow this advice, and see for yourself how rewarding owning a pet dragon can be!
I appreciate the message of this book, something I taught to my children and now my grands. Care for the world around us. Be a Big Hero focuses on how garbage negatively impacts our oceans and rivers. But it also goes on to suggest very concrete ways to help solve the problems of trash in our bodies of water. Told in rhyme, this story shows how wildlife struggles with trash and offers some solutions for readers to take action in caring for the natural world. Great environmental message!
With a message that is as educational as it is heartfelt, Be a Big Hero takes the readers on a journey that follows plastic and litter as they make their way into our oceans. Detailing the human actions that allow for trash to pollute the seas, this lyrical tale gently teaches children about the harmful effects of littering and the overuse of plastic on the environment. With uplifting words and encouragement, this book explores the ways in which we can all be heroes- and how we can help take steps to be better global citizens.
What a great message! Scrom goes from a bullied child to an adult who shares his love of making omelets with those on the streets. I enjoyed reading how Scrom survived the bullies of his childhood by hanging on to what he loved: making omelettes. The closure of what the bullies did and seeing them later in life as adults in need helps Scrom understand why they did what they did, and offers him a chance to help even more. The colorful illustrations help tell the story. Scromlette the Omelet Chef makes me hungry for an omelet!
Scromlette the Omelet Chef is a story that encourages children to pursue things that are life-giving for themselves- while also providing services for others. In this lyrical tale, Scromlette learns how to succeed in a way that benefits himself and the world around him. Exploring themes of anti-bullying and forgiveness, Scromlette the Omelet Chef encourages readers to make peace with their enemies, and allow themselves to heal.
I thoroughly enjoyed the richness of this book about feelings. Instead of just being told how someone feels, as a reader, I heard what was going on and then had to search and find the person experiencing those feelings. I loved the seek and find aspect of this picture book. An answer key is included at the end, complete with an illustration of each person experiencing the feelings. The detailed illustrations provided me with plenty of opportunities to look for specific emotions and actions. Oh, the conversations that could be had when reading this book! Finding Feelings is a great read and a very good resource for parents, teachers, therapists, and care givers.
Have you ever been nervous to walk into your classroom? Have you ever felt frustrated with the long lines at the grocery store? Do you feel brave when you make a new friend? What makes you feel peaceful? In Finding Feelings, you will look for kids experiencing the same feelings you have in your life. How many feelings can you find? In this unique search-and-find book, children read body language and use situational clues to locate both good and difficult feelings in the characters. Finding Feelings builds emotional vocabulary, gently exposes children to uncomfortable emotions, and encourages compassion towards others. It is a little book for big hearts!
I am sharing three books in this post. Please scroll down to read more about each books.
The Butterfly Tree
Written by Kelly Harrison Spining
Illustrated by Abby Rocha
Mascot Books: December 8, 2020
The Adventures of Chips & Salsa
Written by Cynthia Petillo
Illustrated by Ana Sebastian
Mascot Books: December 8, 2020
Written by Connor Anvar
Illustrated by Tristan Tait
Mascot Books: December 1, 2020
The Butterfly Tree by Kelly Harrison Spining
Who wouldn’t love a butterfly tree? This tale of three evokes memories of a folk tale. Three trees, three personalities and gifts, and three opportunities to welcome a tired butterfly. But only one has the gift of hospitality. I enjoyed this lovely tale of looking beyond appearances and importance to see what is truly in someone’s heart.
Three trees sat upon a grassy hill, two tall and strong, one small and frail. As the gentle breezes of spring blew one day, a beautiful butterfly floated by looking for a new home. What happened next would create a lifelong friendship between two unlikely creations of nature. Inspired by the writers experience of seeing the beauty of a tree covered in butterflies, The Butterfly Tree conveys a timeless message of love and acceptance.
The Adventures of Chips & Salsa by Cynthia Petillo
Chips loved his neighborhood and watching out the window. When neighbors moved in, Chips met a new friend named Salsa. Play time at the local dog park offered Chips and Salsa plenty of opportunity to play with friends, and unfortunately, have run-ins with dog bullies. I enjoyed reading about this story about a hero in a tiny package and changed hearts.
Meet Chips, a happy-go-lucky, friendly beagle, and his pals as they welcome Salsa, a tiny, shy Chihuahua who is new to the neighborhood. The dogs become fast friends and, before they know it, find themselves on a playful adventure in the park. And though Salsa may be tiny, he proves that true loyalty, friendship, and love come in all sizes. Join Chips and Salsa as they take readers on a fun-filled and exciting journey full of new adventures!
Lunk by Connor Anvar
Oh, Lunk! A plain chicken wants to be a fancy lunkalicious chicken. But things do not go as planned for the fancy version of himself. I laughed as I read this fairy tale tale (including a fairy chicken godfather). This fun tale was written by six-year-old Connor Anvar.
Lunk is an ordinary chicken who desires to become something greater. As his wish comes true, he wonders if his new life will bring him the happiness he was expecting.
Everything is Always Gonna be Alright, Durban Frankenshooze
Written by Jamie McHone
Illustrated by Walter Policelli
Mascot Books, November 5, 2019
Happy Book Birthday! Today is a special day for both Jamie and Walter as Everything is Always Gonna be Alright, Durban Frankenshooze is released to the world. Book birthdays are super important to book authors and illustrators. Cue the music, balloons, and confetti!
Chris Baker at Mascot Books sent me a review copy of Everything is Always Gonna be Alright, Durban Frankenshooze. I am happy to spread the word about this new release.
Durban is a bird with giant sneakers and wings so small he can’t fly. He’s tired of being made fun of by all the other flying birds, so he sets off on a journey to find out who he really is. Along the way, he meets Maudry, a smart and sassy female bird, and Wainwright, a grumpy worm with a short temper. Together, the unusual trio goes through thick and thin to discover what it really means to be yourself.
This zany tale of Durban Frankenshooze and his friends will help children begin dialogues about diversity, acceptance, and appreciation of differences, all while building vital language skills.
Southwest Virginia native Jamie McHone is delighted to share her very first children’s book with young readers everywhere! Although McHone enjoys animals, she does not have birds in her home in Blacksburg, Virginia. Instead, she has Rottweilers!
To set up an interview, reading, signing, or for information regarding Everything is Always Gonna be Alright, Durban Frankenshooze, please contact Chris Baker at email@example.com.
What I liked about this book:
~ The names are super creative and fit each character and the problems faced by the characters. Clever and fun!
~ The issue of feeling unlovable due to personal characteristics-be it tiny wings, huge feet, needing glasses, or having thick eyebrows-is universal to humans of any age. Young readers will discover how Durban, Maudry, and Wainwright form a unique friendship and head out to explore the world and solve their “challenges.” (Really, they have fun together and learn to enjoy life in spite of their perceived physical shortcomings.)
~The vocabulary is wide and varied. Readers will be exposed to different words, idioms, and sayings. Stopping to discuss new ideas and vocabulary will enrich the story and reading time.
~While the story is told in a longer format and might not work for a read-it-all-in-one-session, it would be easy to break the story into sections for multiple readings. Older readers will enjoy reading this as a chapter book.
~I love the friends aspect of this book. Despite their differences, all 3 main characters find commonalities and learn to enjoy time spent together. They also make new friends as they travel on their adventures.
For a fun read, check out Everything is Always Gonna be Alright, Durban Frankenshooze.