How To Catch A Monster

by Adam Wallace

illustrated by Andy Elkerton

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There’s a monster in my closet,

with claws, and teeth, and hair,

and tonight, I’m going to scare him!

He lives just right through there…

Get ready to laugh as a young ninja heads into the closet to meet the monster that’s been so scary night after night! But what if things aren’t what they seem and our monster isn’t scary at all? What if our ninja hero is about to make a friend of strangest sort?

 

What child doesn’t think there is a monster in their closet or under their bed at some point. I know I did and I know my girls did. This picture book tackles that with some laugh out loud results. The boy in the story has just landed the role as a ninja in his school play and he is going to use that costume and new skills to catch that monster. The book is funny and perfect for read aloud. Be ready for some uncontrolled laughing when the monster passes gas and it smells like strawberries and lime. The story was funny and will hold the attention of the youngest listener through lower elementary aged kids. The illustrations were bright, cheery and eye catching. Overall this picture book is just as cute as can be and I think it would be a great gift idea for any little bookworm.

Thank you Sourcebooks Jabberwocky for allowing me to be a part of the How To Catch A Monster spotlight post. All thoughts and opinions are mine.

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Baby Boo, I Love You

by Sheryl Haft

illustrated by Jane Massey

Baby Boo, I Love You enrichment guide

 

 

 

Little ones love playing with their dolls! Celebrate that love with Baby-Boo, I Love You, and follow one imaginative little girl who adores playing mommy. And as she bathes, feeds, and frolics with her doll, she emulates a nurturing parent-child relationship, showing the universal joys of being cared for and cherished. 

 

 

This picture book is perfect for all those little ones out there who have that special lovey whether it’s a doll or stuffed animal. They love, care for and nurture that sweet lovey and take it everywhere. The book explores this with a little girl and her special doll. I also think this might be a good picture book for a young toddler or early preschooler who is getting ready to become a big brother or sister soon. Pair Baby Boo, I Love You with a special lovey and you’ve got a great I’m a big brother/sister gift. For us we took our oldest to Build A Bear she picked out her special animal after we had her little sister (who isn’t so little anymore. Where do the years go). The author has come up with a great enrichment activity guide with some fun simple stuff to do. This would be a fun bonding time for the older sibling when sometimes they feel a little left out. Overall I really thought this picture book was sweet and will remember it when I have a baby shower or new baby gift to give.

Thank you so much Penguin Young Readers and  Nancy Paulsen Books for sending me a copy of Baby Boo, I Love You. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book. 

One Leaf, Two Leaves Count With Me!

by John Micklos JR

illustrated by Clive McFarland

 

 

About the Book: This playful counting book shares the colorful highlights of the four seasons in charming illustrations.  Count your way through the seasons! In spring, the tree’s leaves appear, one by one. By summer, there’s a glorious canopy. And when autumn winds blow, leaves fly from the tree, one after another, leading us into winter. There’s a world of activity to spy in and around this beautiful tree as the wild creatures, and one little boy, celebrate the cycles of nature. As little ones count leaves, look for animals, and enjoy the changing seasonal landscape, bouncy rhymes and bold illustrations make learning to count easy—corresponding numerals reinforcing the learning fun.

 

This super cute counting book as well as a seasons book follows a boy and the tree in his yard. It opens up in spring and you count the leaves appearing on the bare tree 1-10 and the tree and scene’s are very spring like. The book briefly shows summer, then we are into fall. For fall you count down 10-1 as the leaves fall off the tree. Then you see the bare tree for winter. One Leaf, Two Leaves Count with Me! ends where it began with Spring. I really love the simple story and colorful illustrations. The simple sentences make the counting concept easy for the youngest listener and/or reader to understand. The concept of counting up and down leaves for the seasons is a neat one and I really enjoyed it. This is great addition for counting  or seasons story time.

Thank you so much Penguin Young Readers for sending me a copy of One Leaf, Two Leaves Count With Me! All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book.

Amanda Panda Quits Kindergarten

by Candice Ransom

illustrated by Christine Grove

Sometimes we have in our head how we see something playing out. It may be a project your working on, a conversation or the first day of school. This book shows that things don’t always go as planned. Amanda Panda has it all figured out and knows exactly how the first day of kindergarten is going to go. However what she didn’t consider was that a: things don’t always go exactly as planned b: there are other kids in her kindergarten class  and c: sometimes changes are hard but every now and then good things come from them. Over the course of the first day of kindergarten a certain little head to toe pink girl really wants to be Amanda’s friend. Bitsy is just everywhere and doing everything before Amanda can this makes Amanda very upset. So upset she decides to skip kindergarten all together and hang out with her big brother in 2nd grade. Bitsy goes on a mission to find her best friend Amanda and get her back to class. Amanda soon realizes that Bitsy might just make kindergarten fun and it’s always a great day when you make a new best friend. This one is cute and while Amanda does sneak off to a different classroom which is a big no-no the outcome is good. I do wish the author would have had a little part where the teacher talks to Bitsy and Amanda about how they can’t do that. Instead she just had it that the students and teacher didn’t even know they were late getting back to class. Besides that little part that I would have liked to be different it is a cute story.  I think this would be a cute addition to any back to school reading list for your and your little bookworms or in the classroom setting. Just be sure to let them know don’t leave your classroom or class and wonder off around the school. 🙂

About the book: Amanda Panda has BIG ideas for her first day of school. But when things don’t go according to plan, and when a pesky girl in a pink bow decides to be her best friend, she walks out on kindergarten and joins her brother in second grade. It takes an unlikely partner to fix Amanda’s terrible day—and to teach her about friendship, tolerance, and how to cope with life’s ups and downs.

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?

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.