Saving Winslow

by Sharon Creech

 

Have you heard about this cute book Saving Winslow? It’s been on my radar for some time and today I finally was able to sit down and read it. If you have a reluctant reader this might be a good pick since it is a short book coming in at 165 pages. Sometimes short books feel like they are missing some of the storyline, but not Saving Winslow. The characters and storyline are fully developed and it really grabbed me from the first page. I think the fact that Louie was determined to save the little sick baby donkey came from the fact that his brother Gus was not home anymore because he had enlisted in the army. I think Louie felt that he couldn’t control Gus leaving but could control little Winslow. He could do everything in his power to save the sweet little donkey and it would get his mind off the hole he felt without his best friend and big brother Gus. Winslow gave hope to so many on Louie’s street as well as some headaches from a donkey braying day and night. I really enjoyed the can do positive attitude that Louie had on whether or not Winslow was going to make it. It was an uplifting story and had a very happy ending. It is recommended to middle grade readers. I’m not sure if many middle grade (6,7 and 8th) grade would pick this up. While I think once they did and start reading it they would fall for it as much as I did. I think it’s really more appealing to elementary aged kids from 3rd grade and up. It would even be a great read aloud for class reading time. It is IndieNext Fall Kids pick for ages 9-12 and I can see why. It was a solid 4 star read for me and I really was happy Winslow and gang got their happy ending!

About the book: Louie doesn’t have the best luck when it comes to nurturing small creatures. So when his father brings home a sickly newborn mini donkey, he’s determined to save him. He names him Winslow. Taking care of him helps Louie feel closer to his brother, Gus, who is far, far away in the army.

Everyone worries that Winslow won’t survive, especially Louie’s quirky new friend, Nora, who has experienced loss of her own. But as Louie’s bond with Winslow grows, surprising and life-altering events prove that this fragile donkey is stronger than anyone could have imagined

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Where the Watermelons Grow

by Cindy Baldwin

 

Where the Watermelons Grow deals with a tough subject that isn’t really out there much for middle grade and upper elementary grade readers mental illness. This book is heavy and can be too much for some readers, so you might want to read it before you hand it to your reader if you think it might a trigger. I really think readers ages middle grade through adult will enjoy this heart breaking book that really touched and has stayed with me. I just wanted to go into the book and give Della a huge hug. She is such a sweet strong girl who is facing so much in her life. I think this is one of those books that could help kids that are dealing with tough situations at home. They could see that they are not the only one’s that are dealing with these issues or similar ones. I know some are saying it could be for as young at 3rd grade but I really think for me at least this is an upper elementary and above. The story is well written, the characters are fully developed and the story is one that will touch every reader. I couldn’t believe this was a debut novel from the author. I can’t wait to see what Cindy Baldwin writes next.  Grab this book from your local library or book store and read a wonderful book this summer!

About the book: When twelve-year-old Della Kelly finds her mother furiously digging black seeds from a watermelon in the middle of the night and talking to people who aren’t there, Della worries that it’s happening again—that the sickness that put her mama in the hospital four years ago is back. That her mama is going to be hospitalized for months like she was last time.

With her daddy struggling to save the farm and her mama in denial about what’s happening, it’s up to Della to heal her mama for good. And she knows just how she’ll do it: with a jar of the Bee Lady’s magic honey, which has mended the wounds and woes of Maryville, North Carolina, for generations.

But when the Bee Lady says that the solution might have less to do with fixing Mama’s brain and more to do with healing her own heart, Della must learn that love means accepting her mama just as she is.

Thank you HarperCollins and Cindy Baldwin for allowing me to read Where the Watermelons Grow. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book.

Penguin & Tiny Shrimp Don’t Do Bedtime

by Cate Berry

illustrations by Charles Santoso

 

Penguin & Tiny Shrimp Don’t Do Bedtime  is a take on the traditional bedtime story. This one is all done through word bubbles like in comics and graphic novels. Penguin and Tiny Shrimp are like all little ones in the fact that they don’t want to go to bed. They think that they are going to miss out on all the fun if they go to sleep.  This one goes a little off the bedtime picture book path in the fact that includes all the fun – loud – active activities that do not go with quiet bedtime. From fireworks to singing out loud to jokes they try it all. Eventually like all little ones Penguin and Tiny Shrimp get tired and they can’t fight sleep any longer. They end the book with climbing into bed and going to sleep so they will be rested up for a another day of fun and another dreaded bedtime routine battle to end the new day. Kids will love this and laugh at Penguin and Shrimps antics. This is a really cute bedtime book that I know my girls would have loved when they were that age. The story is short and fast paced, the word bubbles make it more fun since it is all (mostly) dialogue lead. The illustrations are bold and colorful and not cluttered. This picture book is a must read for bedtime with little ones!

Cute joke from the book: ” What do you call a fish with two knee’s?” A Tunee Fish! 🙂 

About the book: Penguin and Tiny Shrimp DO NOT have a bedtime story to share with you.

There are no soft beds or cozy covers here. There are fireworks! And shark-infested waters!!

This book will never make you sleepy. Not at all. Not even a little. . .

Thank you Balzer & Bray and HarperCollins for sending me a copy of Penguin & Tiny Shrimp Don’t Do Bedtime. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book.

Pinkalicious and Planet Pink

by Victoria Kann

I Can Read Level 1 Beginning Reading: Short sentences, familiar words, and simple concepts for children eager to read on their own.

My youngest who is not a middle school-er loved her Pinkalicious when she was younger. Sadly that year didn’t last long and she moved on. However Pinkalicious is still going strong with preschool to young elementary aged readers and I’m glad. The stories are cute and sweet and most little girls go through that totally pink phase in life. This one was interesting a pink planet – is there really such a thing? Yes there is astronomer’s discovered it and it is really quite pretty and interesting.

Pinkalicious class has been given a homework  assignment for school. They have to imagine what life would be like on this bubble gum pink planet. This is right up her alley, I mean when it comes to all things pink she is your gal! Peter her brother and her get into a discussion on who should go with the cute little aliens if they come down to earth. Like so many times when you go to bed thinking about something it becomes a dream and then an adventure awaits when she wakes up with a fright. This picture book is cute and might just spark some interest in the solar system. You could read it to your little pinkalicious bookworm and decide what life would be like on the pink planet just like her.

About the book: When Pinkalicious learns about Planet Pink, she has fun imagining life as a Pinktonian alien living on the pinkest planet in the universe! But what would happen if the Pinktonians paid her a visit?