Poppy, Buttercup, Bluebell and Dandy

written and illustrated by Fiona Woodcock

 

 

 

This picture book from the cover reminded me of the flower fairy chapter books my youngest loved when she was in kindergarten and first grade.  The illustrations are the strength in this picture book they are so beautiful and I love them. They are frame worthy works of art. The story was good and has a good message. They are on a mission to bring back color and happiness in the world – in this case New York City.  They spread their bold bright flower colors all over the city making it come alive with fresh fragrant flowers.  This would be a fun book to read at the beginning of spring when everything is starting to brighten up with color. Pair the book with some poppy, buttercup, bluebell and yellow flower seeds since I don’t think you can buy dandelion seeds 🙂 . Read the book – plant some flower seeds or plants or even better spread your own color by gifting some family and friends with the planted seeds on May-day and your little bookworm can be like these sweet little flowers!

About the book: A group of beautiful and feisty young wildflowers on skateboards and scooters zoom through the pages of this stunning book, spreading flower seeds as they go. Together they transform their urban environment into a place that is no longer gray, but filled with color and scent. Nature’s magic is revealed in all its glory, embodying Ralph Waldo Emerson’s idea that a weed is “a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered.” Budding environmentalists will respond to the underlying themes of conservation and stewardship of the earth.

Thank you Random House Books for Young Readers for sending me a copy of Poppy, Buttercup, Bluebell and Dandy. All thoughts are my own and not influenced by the free book.

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Grandma’s Purse

written and illustrated by Vanessa Brantley Newton

 

All little kids love purses, yes even boys. There is something magical about a purse to them. There are so many treasures to be found. Plus every now and then they find candy or gum! 🙂 My girls always loved going through my purse and especially the grandma’s purses. Grandma’s Purse of course has the common things like wallet, lipstick, pictures. Grandma also carries a scarf, glasses and other items that are special for Mimi’s grandma. Each item is explored and explained. There is even a special something just for Mimi in the purse. The illustrations are great, they are big and bold and cover the whole page making them the focal with not a lot of background. The one that will make the mom or grandma reading this sweet little picture book smile is the messy lipstick all over Mimi as she had put in on after finding in in the purse. Be ready to share your purse with your little bookworms after reading this one.

About the book: Spend the day with Mimi and her granddaughter in this charming picture book about the magic found in Mimi’s favorite accessory, perfect for readers who love How to Babysit a Grandma!

When Grandma Mimi comes to visit, she always brings warm hugs, sweet treats…and her purse. You never know what she’ll have in there–fancy jewelry, tokens from around the world, or something special just for her granddaughter. It might look like a normal bag from the outside, but Mimi and her granddaughter know that it’s pure magic!

Thank you Alfred A Knopf for sending me a copy of Grandma’s Purse. All thoughts and opinions are mine and not influenced by the free book.

Moon A Peek Through Picture Book

written and illustrated by Britta Teckentrup

 

 

Oh my gosh I can’t say enough about this beautiful picture book! I loved it so much, all of Britta Teckentrup books are amazing but there is something magical about the moon. Moon A Peek Through Picture Book follows the moon through its cycle. The peek through picture book pages are the shape of the moon from waxing to waning, full to new. This is a semi introduction to non fiction for the picture book readers and listeners. The author used simple words and a rhyming text to make this book capture the youngest of listener’s to the early readers. If you are looking for a great gift idea for kids of all ages think about gifting Moon, Tree and Bee by Britta Teckentrup. She captures the beauty of the world in these amazing picture books. I hope she continues creating picture book treasures for kids for many years to come.

About the book: Over deserts and forests, Arctic tundra and tropical beaches, the moon shines down on creatures around the world. Children will love discovering how it changes from day to day as the lunar cycle is shown through clever peek-through holes, each revealing the moon in a different size and shape.

Thank you so much Random House Books for Young Readers and Doubleday Books for Young Readers for sending me a copy of Moon A Peek Through Picture Book. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book.

Strong Inside: The True Story of How Perry Wallace Broke College Basketball’s Color Line

Young Reader’s Edition

by Andrew Maraniss

 

So many times it’s hard to get non fiction books into the hands of young readers. I know many love non fiction – my middle grade reader really only likes non fiction. So many though don’t, but that is changing thanks to Young Reader’s Edition books. They take a popular adult non fiction and give a detailed but condensed version of the book with younger reader’s in mind. My middle grader reader and I have read many Young Reader’s Editions and have enjoyed them so much we’ve seeked out the adult book as well .

Strong Inside The True Story of How Perry Wallace Broke College Basketball’s Color Line follows Perry Wallace through out his young school days through his college years. This book is a sport biography but also a historical biography as well. He grew up in an era that was full of racism and people who didn’t want to see him succeed. He didn’t let them hold him back. He had a dream, the talent and the strength and character that took all the way! There is some tough language in here. The author has a note in the beginning saying to whitewash the language would be a disservice and I agree. We need to read about this time in history, we can not forget or go back to that era. If generations going up know don’t know about it history repeats itself. Perry Wallace is one I hope many kids will read about and look up to. He would be an excellent role model that I used his good heart, brains and talent and made something of himself. It wasn’t handed to him on a silver platter. He had to work 10 times harder than most high school and college players but he didn’t let that stop him.  He was not only talent on the basket ball court but he was also very well-known in the courthouse as well. He became a trial attorney and worked with environmental law. He was appointed Environmental Policy Advisory Council by the EPA but also a professor at American University Washington College of Law. I enjoyed this book very much and was quite surprised I’m not a sports gal but he was such an inspiring man! If you have a sports minded boy reader, reluctant reader or a non fiction book-worm hand them a copy of Strong Inside. Don’t be surprised if this one doesn’t stay on your bookshelves much. I have a filling this will be a very popular book choice for upper elementary, middle grade and high school readers.

About the book: The inspirational true story of the first African-American to play college basketball in the deeply segregated Southeastern Conference–a powerful moment in Black history.

Perry Wallace was born at a historic crossroads in U.S. history. He entered kindergarten the year that the Brown v. Board of Education decision led to integrated schools, allowing blacks and whites to learn side by side. A week after Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, Wallace enrolled in high school and his sensational jumping, dunking, and rebounding abilities quickly earned him the attention of college basketball recruiters from top schools across the nation. In his senior year his Pearl High School basketball team won Tennessee’s first racially integrated state tournament.

The world seemed to be opening up at just the right time, and when Vanderbilt University recruited Wallace to play basketball, he courageously accepted the assignment to desegregate the Southeastern Conference. The hateful experiences he would endure on campus and in the hostile gymnasiums of the Deep South turned out to be the stuff of nightmares. Yet Wallace persisted, endured, and met this unthinkable challenge head on. This insightful biography digs deep beneath the surface to reveal a complicated, profound, and inspiring story of an athlete turned civil rights trailblazer.

Thank you Puffin books for sending me a copy of Strong Inside. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book.

Sleepover Duck!

written and illustrated by Carin Bramsen

 

Carin Bramsen’s Duck series of picture books is so cute! I just can’t get over the cuteness! The stories are short but engaging. The personality of Duck and his friends are just like preschoolers with their curious nature. In Sleepover Duck! Duck and Cat have to find out just who is interrupting their first sleepover with all that Whoo Whoo noise. The reader and listener will see it’s just friendly Owl but Duck and Cat go around the barn trying to figure it out. The illustrations are bold and bright and perfect the story. If you are looking for a cute story to read over and over again grab any and all of the Duck books by Carin Bramsen.

 

About the book: It’s Duck’s very first sleepover . . . and it’s in Cat’s barn! But a “Hooot, Hooot” is keeping Duck from getting any sleep. So Duck and Cat set off to search high and low to find out just who is doing all that hooting…

Another great book by her that was a favorite of my youngest when she was little was Yellow Tutu. It was a must read when I was making a million tulle tutu’s for her tutu phase. 🙂

Thank you so much Random House for Young Reader’s for sending me Sleepover Duck! . All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book.

The Ostrich and Other Lost Things

by Beth Hautala

Publication Date: February 20th 2018 : AmazonBarnes and NobleBooks Depository Chapters Indigo

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I simply loved The Ostrich and Other Lost Things! This was a 5 star read and I want to place this in the hands of all upper elementary and middle grade readers. The book is mainly told through the eyes of 11 year old Olivia. She lives at home with her mom, dad and older brother Jacob who is autistic. Life doesn’t always go as planned with Jacob around and Olivia loves her brother so much but sometimes she just wants things to be different. She wants one thing that is just her’s since she feels sometimes her life is overshadowed by her brother. She has her superpower according to her dad: she is a finder of lost things. So not being able to find the toy ostrich that her Jacob loved so much really bugs her. There is a traveling zoo in her little town while the big zoo in Oklahoma is getting fixed. She meets Charlie, his mom is the keeper at this part of the zoo. They become best of friends and it is just what Olivia needs. Charlie is able to keep Olivia in check and has an understanding of Jacob and how hard it is to not be like everyone. Charlie was in an accident and is now blind. So he can give Olivia a perspective that she can’t understand. He also is a great friend in listening and telling her when she needs to be nice and that not everything is about her. He is her support and friend for this trying summer of growing up and trying to figure out what she likes, who she is becoming and how Jacob’s violent outburst are changing their family home. The story is realistic and one I think the reader can learn from. Olivia loves her brother so much but she is just a kid and sometimes she gets upset and frustrated but doesn’t express her outburst that well since she is just 11. I liked that in my eyes the author portrayed her very realistic, really I think the whole story seemed very relate able.  There is more to the story: the mystery of the missing Ostrich toy, The real life Ostrich that keeps getting out and coming to Olivia’s window and the moment when Jacob runs away after a very bad fight where Olivia says things she can’t take back. This scene is a good lesson in not talking to someone when your mad at them. Sometimes you say things that you want to take back instantly but it’s to late. Grab The Ostrich and Other Lost Things for yourself, your upper elementary reader or middle grade reader.

About this Book: In this beautifully written novel, the bonds and challenges of caring for a sibling with autism are bravely explored, along with the pain and power that comes from self-discovery. 

Eleven-year-old Olivia Grant has a knack for finding lost things. She can find lost rings, pets, and even her elderly neighbor’s misplaced glasses. There’s only one thing Olivia has never been able to find–her brother Jacob’s toy ostrich. It wasn’t until the day Jacob lost his ostrich that Olivia noticed how different he was: Jacob is autistic, and though she’s his little sister, Olivia often feels like the older of the pair, his caretaker. And with her parents so heavily focused on maintaining status quo for Jacob, it’s Olivia who has stagnated in his shadow–unable to explore new opportunities, or to be her own person. In fact, apart from being Jacob’s sister, Olivia’s not really sure who she is.

So when summer break begins, and the local community theater announces auditions for an all children’s production of her favorite show, Peter Pan, Olivia jumps at the chance to claim something for herself. But what begins as a promising opportunity and a wonderful escape quickly becomes pure chaos. The visiting zoo with an odd assortment of animals–including an ostrich that causes even more trouble than Jacob’s missing toy–only make matters worse, as Olivia’s summer is shaping up to be just as consumed by Jacob’s needs as the rest of her life has been.

In time, and with the help of some unlikely alliances, Olivia must learn what it means to be separate from her brother and still love him, how to love herself in spite of her own flaws, and that not all lost things are meant to be found.

Thank you Penguin Young Reader and Philomel Books for sending me a copy of The Ostrich and Other Lost Things. All thoughts and opinions are mine and not influenced by the free book.

I am not an affiliate so I will not receive any money from any purchases made by clicking the links to buy the book.

How To Grow A Dinosaur

by Jill Esbuam

illustrated by Mike Boldt

 

 

This fun picture book is full of vibrant pictures that is sure to attract the youngest listener while reading this aloud. The story is simple and sweet making it perfect for toddlers through beginning readers. Follow a dinosaur family as they welcome a new sibling to the house. How To Grow A Dinosaur is a great big sibling book since dinosaurs appeal to both boys and girls alike. The author keeps it very real with what it’s like to have a new baby brother or sister from the screeching, burping, messy diapers and sleeping. She also talks about the big important job the big brother or sister has. They get to help teach their new little sibling the ropes. This book even goes into the toddler phase or tantrums, copy cat phase, stealing toys from bigger siblings and the all important one they don’t know what’s dangerous like big brother or sister. This book was a big hit with all the age groups I read it with and I can see why. It is such a cute story I wish it was around when my oldest was getting ready to become a big sister. Grab a copy or 2 or 3 and stick them back when you go to your next baby shower pop in a copy of this book for a big sibling gift!

about the book: Big brother dinosaur can’t wait to teach the new baby everything he knows in this funny, sweet, surprisingly practical “guide” for big siblings, from the celebrated artist of I Don’t Want to be a Frog


Good news: Your mom’s hatching a baby! Bad news: Babies take their sweet time. And when the baby finally hatches? He’s too little to play! He mostly screeches, eats, burps, sleeps, and poops. He doesn’t even know he’s a dinosaur! That’s where you come in. You can teach the baby just about everything—from peek-a-boo to roaring to table manners to bedtime. Growing a dinosaur is a big job, but you’re perfect for it. Why? Because one thing your baby brother wants more than anything . . . is to be just like you.

Thank you so much Penguin Random House for sending me a copy of How To Grow A Dinosaur. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book.