The Most Magnificent Thing

by Ashley Spires
published by Kids Can Press

 

This picture book by Ashley Spires, is so adorable { I know almost all picture books are, but this book is definitely one that is!} First off the age range listed is preschool through grade 2. However I think it lends itself for going beyond 2nd grade. It would be a great read aloud since the message is a good one.

The story follows “the girl” and her best friend in the whole wide world her dog. “the girl” does everything with the dog. One day she gets this inspiration in her head and sets out to create it. Have you ever done that get this thought/vision in your head and try to create it. Some how they always look better in my head than when I create them. This is also the case for “the girl” the problem is she is a perfectionist so it has to be perfect. Along the way she discards just everything and almost quits!

After a melt down of all melt downs, a good cry, a nice long walk the mad feelings go away and she starts over. She she leaves all her other designs and sets out 1 more time.The people along the street where she has created these creations have stopped to check them out and realize they can use them. In the end she is able to create something close to what she wanted to make in the first place. She persevered and didn’t quit, she maybe even let go of a teeny tiny bit of her perfectionist personality and her and her assistant set out on The Most Magnificent Thing!

Hello Kitty Storybook Collection

by LTD. Sanrio Company

Hello Kitty meets children’s classics in picture book form! This series is so cute from Alice to Thumbelina to the Little Mermaid and more. This is a cute way to introduce your young bookworms to the classics and the adorable sweet character Hello Kitty. I have a soft spot for all things Hello Kitty and I love a good classic from picture books to chapter books. The Hello Kitty Storybook Collection is a win win in my book and perfect for birthday gifts to baby shower gifts. Yes Hello Kitty is more of a girl character but I gifted the books to my neighbor that has a 6 year old girl and 2 year old boy and she told me their little boy loves them just as much as his little sister. So I think it’s safe to say boys will enjoy these just as much as a girl. The stories in this series are very “Disney” like re-tellings not the darker re-tellings you’d get if you read the originals. While I’m a big fan of the darker original classics it is always nice to have a book you can introduce to the younger set that needs the sweet story. Later on you can introduce them to The Brothers Grimm, Hans Christen Anderson, Lewis Carroll and more…

 

Alice’s Adventures In WonderlandOne day while picnicking with her twin sister, Mimmy, Hello Kitty falls asleep and dreams of a faraway land of tarts and queens and tea parties . . .

ThumbelinaHello Kitty is having the wildest dream! In it, she’s tiny—no bigger than your thumb—gets kidnapped by a frog, spends the winter with a mole, and is rescued by a bird. Fortunately, she wakes up just in time to get to the ball and dance with the handsome prince.

Read my review of Hello Kitty Storybook Collection: Little Red Riding Hood and The Little Mermaid

Thank you so very much Abrams Appleseed for allowing me to review Hello Kitty: Presents the Storybook Collection: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Thumbelina. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free books.

Independence Cake

A Revolutionary Confection Inspired by Amelia Simmons, Whose True History is Unfortunately Unknown

by Deborah Hopkinson

illustrated by Giselle Potter

 

 

Independence Cake introduced me to a historical figure that I had never heard of Amelia Simmons. She is the author of the very first cookbook in America called American Cookery. I love a good cookbook and just think she is what has inspired many to publish their own cookbook. She was revolutionary in 1796 to have a cookbook when to be honest I bet this was pretty unheard of. Deborah Hopkinson created a fictionalized account of Amelia Simmons life since very very little is known about her. Amelia’s cookbook was very popular and reprinted for 30 years after the first printing. This picture book would be a neat one to read to a budding chef to inspire them to maybe create their very own cookbook. I enjoyed reading her fictionalized biography of sorts and was happy to learn about an unknown historical figure.

summary: Master of the historical fiction picture book Deborah Hopkinson takes us back to late eighteenth-century America and the discombobulated home of Mrs. Bean, mother of six strapping sons, who simply can’t manage—until Amelia Simmons arrives and puts things in order. And how well she cooks—everything from flapjacks to bread pudding to pickled cucumbers! She even invents new recipes using American ingredients like winter squash. Best of all, she can bake, and to honor the brand-new president, George Washington, she presents him with thirteen Independence Cakes—one for each colony. “Delicious!” he proclaims. Author’s Note and original recipe included!

Thank you Deborah Hopkinson and Giselle Potter  for sending me a copy of Independence Cake. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book.

A Letter to My Teacher

by Deborah Hopkinson

illustrated by Nancy Carpenter

 

 

A Letter to My Teacher is the perfect gift for that special teacher that goes above and beyond their teaching job. This is for all those who really inspire and do everything to make sure each student feels special and that they can achieve anything in school. If you are looking for a wonderful heartwarming end of school year gift for one of those special teachers this year or future years than add this sweet picture book to your gift idea list. You might want to add a box of tissues to the gift bag since it might cause a few happy tears to form while reading it. Have your child add a dedication on the front cover and you have given them a very sweet touching gift.

About the Book: Dear Teacher, Whenever I had something to tell you, I tugged on your shirt and whispered in your ear. This time I’m writing a letter. So begins this picture book about a girl who prefers running and jumping to listening and learning and the teacher who gently inspires her. From stomping through creeks on a field trip to pretending to choke when called upon to read aloud, this book’s young heroine would be a challenge to any teacher. But this teacher isn’t just any teacher. By listening carefully and knowing just the right thing to say, she quickly learns that the girl’s unruly behavior is due to her struggles with reading. And at the very end, we learn what this former student is now: a teacher herself.

Thank you Deborah Hopkinson and Nancy Carpenter for sending me a copy of A Letter to My Teacher. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book.

Fruits in Suits and more…

written and illustrated by Jared Chapman

I got sent the cutest, funniest little picture books recently that will not only have your little ones laughing but you also. These might even be a fun way to get your kids to possibly (fingers crossed ) try some new fruits and vegetables. Even if that doesn’t happen I know my 2 were very stuck with the few fruits and veggies they liked when they were younger. These books are cute and sure to become favorites for read aloud.

Fruits in Suits  { Available April 11, 2017 }

These cute little book takes all those yummy fruits to the pool! They need all kinds of suits so they can beat the summer heat doing summer water sports. These fruits are enjoying swimming, sunbathing, surfing and scuba diving. This book as well as Vegetables in Underwear is just full of laugh out loud fun! The illustrations in both are simple and brought bold colors. This book would be perfect for infants through early elementary listeners and beginning readers.

 

 

Have you ever seen a banana in a bikini? Or a tangerine in trunks? What about grapes in goggles? In this uproarious follow-up to Vegetables in Underwear, kids will learn that there are many kinds of suits—including suits for swimming, surfing, sunbathing, and scuba diving. But can you wear a business suit to the beach? Fruits in Suits has the same irreverent silliness as Vegetables in Underwear and shows just how much fun swimsuits can be—and how important it is to hold on to them when you jump into the water!

 

Vegetables in Underwear { board book available April 4, 2017 }

This one would be a perfect potty training book. No it doesn’t talk about potty training but it is all about how important underwear is and I think this might just be a way to get them willing to try it. I really liked this one and think it was funny. Fruits in Suits was a favorite of the 2 but they were both really cute. The bold bright colorful illustrations will appeal to infants as well as toddlers and preschoolers.  While this is already a picture book the board book version of Vegetables in Underwear is coming out in April.

 

 

A bunch of friendly vegetables wear colorful underwear of all varieties—big, small, clean, dirty, serious, and funny—demonstrating for young ones the silliness and necessity of this item of clothing. The unexpectedness of vegetables in their unmentionables is enough to draw giggles, but the pride with which the “big kid” attire is flaunted in front of the baby carrots in diapers will tickle readers of all ages. With rhyming text that begs to be chanted aloud and art that looks good enough to eat, this vibrant story will encourage preschoolers to celebrate having left those diapers behind!

Thank you so much ABRAMS Appleseed for sending me copies of Fruits in Suits and Vegetables in Underwear. We enjoyed them and laughed so hard while reading them. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free books.

Say Hello, Sophie

by Rosemary Wells

Max and Ruby was always read and watched in my house. Both my girls really enjoyed these siblings  and Sophie reminds me so much of those lovable bunnies. Sophie is your typical little toddler she is shy and sometimes has a hard time speaking up and using her words. In Say Hello, Sophie her parents are trying to get her to use her manners while out and about. Simple say Hello, say thank you and such are prompts but Sophie is shy and nervous and while they are on the tip of her tongue they just can’t come out. Many times it is confusing to little ones, we tell them don’t talk to strangers. Then we tell them say thank you to a stranger who is holding a door or wanting to share a sticker with them.  As the story continues Sophie has many opportunities and all but nothing seems to work on getting her to talk. Grandma to the rescue and her little plan is perfect and gets Sophie talking. The first graders that I read this one to really enjoyed it and were cheering Sophie on to talk. They were so proud of her when she finally did talk and used her manners. This also lead to a great discussion about when they were little and shy or fellow classmates that are still a little shy. Rosemary Wells books are just so cute and great for toddlers through early elementary aged listeners and readers.

Check out my review of Use Your Words, Sophie

 

 

Can Sophie say the word Hello?
No! She just can’t say it.
Why?
Because Hello and Thank you and Goodbye get stuck
in Sophie’s mouth and won’t come out.
What can help Sophie say Hello?
As always, Granny has the answer to one of the
universal problems of toddlerhood

 

Thank you Penguin, and Viking Books for Young Readers for sending me Say Hello, Sophie. I know this will get lots of use in the elementary classroom! All thoughts and opinions are my own and were no way influenced by the free book!

Ready, Set … Baby!

By Elizabeth Rusch

Illustrated by Qin Leng

 

 

This picture book is a perfect gift to any child that is about to become a big brother or sister. While some might feel it is a bit graphic with pictures of what babies look like in mommy’s tummy, I never got that feeling nor did any adults that I showed this to for their opinions. Kids will like the story and learn a lot about their future little brother or sister. This is THE BOOK to get it is very similar to the What to Expect when you’re expecting but tamed down fun kid version. The author tackles it all from the loud noises and smelly diapers to the fun of having the sibling around. The whole book is told through a kids point of view and eyes making this a must have on bookshelves. The illustrations are well-defined and detailed with out too much to see on each page. The thought bubble dialogue made this picture book feel a bit like a graphic novel which really made the young listeners excited. They said it made them feel like the big kids that read the graphic novels and that made this book a real hit with the book crowd. The pictures are not graphic in nature and done in a very sweet way. Kids as young as kindergarten enjoy this picture book. Many talked about how their mommy was going to have a baby or just had a baby. It opened up discussion and the kids really enjoyed it. If you wanted to read this in a classroom setting but not sure about the content you could skip some of the dialogue or pictures.  Skim parts of the book and post – it the pages that you are going to breeze over. Maybe set it out and let the parents look over it and you can find out their thoughts. Most of the kids I read this to liked it and remembered more about the stinky diapers – baby farts and screaming than what the baby looked like in mommy’s tummy. Grab a copy and look it over decide if it is right for your child or classroom. Overall I felt it was a good book – well informative – and done up in a tasteful manner. The kids liked it and enjoyed the book. Most of the comment that I wrote down from the kids that were there for the review were about the funny things their own little siblings do that was in the book.

summary: Big kids Anna and Oliver give young readers the inside scoop on what to expect when a new baby is expected. In a fresh picture book/comic style, Ready, Set . . . Baby offers up a funny, loving, reassuring peek into life as a big brother or sister—with solid information, kid-friendly humor, and even tips for parents on how to help kids thrive when the new baby arrives.

Thank you HMH Books for Young Readers for sending us a copy of Ready, Set… Baby! for review. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book.