September 12, 2016

Race Car Dreams

race-car-dreamsTitle: Race Car Dreams

Author: Sharon Chriscoe
Illustrator: Dave Mottram
Publisher: Running Press Kids
Editor:  Marlo Scrimizzi
Book Type: Fiction
Ages: 2-6
Themes: Cars, Bedtime Routine

Excerpt:

All sparkly and clean,
his tummy feels strange.
He lifts up his hood.
It’s time for a change.

He guzzles and gulps
each dark, oily drop.
His hood slams ker plunk!
Lights dim in the shop.

Synopsis (from Amazon’s website):

After a day at the track of zipping and zooming, a race car is tired and ready for bed. He washes his rims, fills his tummy with oil, and chooses a book that is all about speed. All toasty and warm, he drifts off to sleep, he shifts into gear . . . and dreams of the race!

What I Like About This Book:

In the plethora of bedtime books, this is a fresh take. It is Pixar’s CARS meets GOODNIGHT, GOODNIGHT CONSTRUCTION SITE. An adorable blue race car is tuckered out from a long day at the track and heads off for his nightly routine. He visits the car wash for a bath, the garage for some fresh oil, and finally the library to find the perfect night-time read.

The rollicking rhyme and adorable toddler-like illustrations make this a perfect read-aloud for any car loving child. I love the roundness of the car with its circular eyes and big smile.

A perfect book to help kids zoom off to sleep.

RaceCarDreams_int.indd

RaceCarDreams_int.indd

Find Race Car Dreams at the following spots:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Goodreads
ISBN-10: 0762459646
ISBN-13: 978-0762459643

The review is part of the RACE CAR DREAMS BLOG TOUR. Do check out these other stops.

9/6 My Word Playground
9/7 MomReadIt
9/8 Unleashing Readers
9/9 Once Upon a Time…
9/10 Stacking Books
9/11 Geo Librarian
9/12 Flowering Minds
9/13 Unpacking the POWER of Picture Books
9/14 Little Crooked Cottage
9/14 MamaBelly
9/15 #kidlit Book of the Day
9/16 Just Kidding

Disclosure: I received my copy of this book from the publisher. This review nevertheless reflects my own and honest opinion about the book.

August 29, 2016

Beautiful

KidsLogoORIGINALFILETitle: Beautiful

Author: Stacy McAnulty
Illustrator: Joanne Lew-Vriethoff
Publisher: Running Press Kids (September 13, 2016)
Editor: Lisa Cheng
Book Type: Fiction
Ages: 3-6
Themes: Identity, Girl Power, Self-Esteem

Opening Line:

“Beautiful girls … have the perfect look.”

Synopsis (from Amazon’s website):

Every girl is unique, talented, and lovable. . . .Every girl is BEAUTIFUL.

Much more than how one looks on the outside, true beauty is found in conquering challenges, showing kindness, and spreading contagious laughter. Beautiful girls are empowered and smart and strong!

BEAUTIFUL breaks barriers by showing girls free to be themselves: splashing in mud, conducting science experiments, and reading books under a flashlight with friends. This book will encourage all girls to embrace who they are and realize their endless potential.

Why I Like Love This Book:

This book takes the sugary, sweet, stereotypical praises and compliments for little girls and turns it on its head in a superb way! This is a must have book for any young child. I think it’s important not only for girls to see who they can be, but also for boys to realize it too.

I love the interplay between text and art. The text contains the typical saying while the art shows a new and smarter interpretation of the words. Take a look at the examples below.

BEAUTIFUL_int.indd

BEAUTIFUL_int.indd

I love the energy, enthusiasm, and contentment of the girls enjoying the activities they are partaking in. This is where their beauty shines.

The large type and big illustrations make it perfect for a group read-aloud. Use the book as a conversation starter on breaking gender roles and asking what is beautiful.

Find Beautiful at the following spots:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Goodreads
ISBN-10: 0762457813
ISBN-13: 978-0762457816

The review is part of the BEAUTIFUL BLOG TOUR. Do check out these other stops over the next two weeks.

8/29 Flowering Minds
8/30 Kids’ Book Review
8/31 My Word Playground
9/1 Stacking Books
9/2 Unpacking the POWER of Picture Books
9/3 MomReadIt
9/5 Enjoy Embrace Learning
9/6 Geo Librarian
9/7 A Foodie Bibliophile
9/8 MamaBelly
9/10 Diapers and Daydreams
9/11 The Late Bloomer’s Book Blog
9/12 Unconventional Librarian

Disclosure: I received my copy of this book from the publisher. This review nevertheless reflects my own and honest opinion about the book.

August 17, 2016

Return (Journey Trilogy #3)

If you haven’t already head over to the Journey & Quest Giveaway for a chance to win the first two books in the Journey trilogy.

ReturnTitle: Return

Author/Illustrator: Aaron Becker
Publisher: Candlewick Books, 2016
Book Type: Fiction
Ages: 4-8
Themes: Fantasy, Adventure

Synopsis (from Amazon’s website):

Failing to get the attention of her busy father, a lonely girl turns back to a fantastic world for friendship and adventure. It’s her third journey into the enticing realm of kings and emperors, castles and canals, exotic creatures and enchanting landscapes. This time, it will take something truly powerful to persuade her to return home, as a gripping backstory is revealed that will hold readers in its thrall. Caldecott Honor winner Aaron Becker delivers a suspenseful and moving climax to his wordless trilogy, an epic that began with the award-winning Journey and continued with the celebrated follow-up Quest.

Activities:

  • Check out this activity kit containing drawing prompts, coloring sheet, and tips for adults on how “to read” a wordless picture book aloud to kids.

Why I Like This Book:

It’s like watching a silent action-adventure movie. Who knew a wordless book could be filled with such tension. I love that it’s high-fantasy in a picture book format. The art is gorgeous and it is interesting to see the evolution of Mr. Becker’s art from the first book to the last. I do like how the series starts and ends with family.

A timeless trilogy for all.

Enjoy the magical trailer and RETURN to wonder.

Find Return at the following spots:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound | Goodreads
ISBN-10: 1452138168
ISBN-13: 978-1452138169

Disclosure: I received my copy of this book from the publisher. This review nevertheless reflects my own and honest opinion about the book.

August 16, 2016

Journey and Quest Giveaway!

In honor of the release RETURN, the final installment in the Journey trilogy, I’m helping run a giveaway of Books 1 & 2. These books are gorgeous. Fantasy storytelling in a picture book format. I highly encourage you to watch the trailers for each.

To enter leave a comment below. The giveaway is open to the US and Canada only, and ends on Monday, August 22, 2016 at 9pm PST.

Here is my review of RETURN.

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Journey

Book #1 in the Journey trilogy

by Aaron Becker

A 2014 Caldecott Honor Book

Follow a girl on an elaborate flight of fancy in a wondrously illustrated, wordless picture book about self-determination — and unexpected friendship.

A lonely girl draws a magic door on her bedroom wall and through it escapes into a world where wonder, adventure, and danger abound. Red marker in hand, she creates a boat, a balloon, and a flying carpet that carry her on a spectacular journey toward an uncertain destiny. When she is captured by a sinister emperor, only an act of tremendous courage and kindness can set her free. Can it also lead her home and to her heart’s desire? With supple line, luminous color, and nimble flights of fancy, author-illustrator Aaron Becker launches an ordinary child on an extraordinary journey toward her greatest and most exciting adventure of all.

Interview video with Aaron Becker
Journey Book Trailer
Q&A with Illustrator
Journey Trilogy Activity Kit

 

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Quest

Book #2 in the Journey Trilogy

by Aaron Becker

Aaron Becker, creator of Journey, a Caldecott Honor book, presents the next chapter in his stunning wordless fantasy.

A king emerges from a hidden door in a city park, startling two children sheltering from the rain. No sooner does he push a map and some strange objects into their hands than he is captured by hostile forces that whisk him back through the enchanted door. Just like that, the children are caught up in a quest to rescue the king and his kingdom from darkness, while illuminating the farthest reaches of their imagination. Colored markers in hand, they make their own way through the portal, under the sea, through a tropical paradise, over a perilous bridge, and high in the air with the help of a winged friend. Journey lovers will be thrilled to follow its characters on a new adventure threaded with familiar elements, while new fans will be swept into a visually captivating story that is even richer and more exhilarating than the first.

Quest Book Trailer
Q&A with Illustrator
Guide to reading a Wordless Book

August 2, 2016

What a Beautiful Morning

KidsLogoORIGINALFILETitle: What a Beautiful Morning

Author: Arthur A. Levine
Illustrator: Katie Kath
Publisher: Running Press Kids (August 9, 2016)
Editor: Marlo Scrimizzia
Book Type: Fiction
Ages: 4-8
Themes: Family, Mental Illness, Emotions

Excerpt:

They even sang while Grandma made them cinnamon French toast. Which sometimes led to slightly burnt toast. And nobody ever minded.

Then they’d talk about their plans for the rest of the day.

“What’s on the docket?” Grandpa would ask.

And Noah always had dozens of docket ideas.

But this year, Grandpa forgot to ask what was on the docket almost every day.

Synopsis (from Amazon’s website):

Every morning is beautiful when Noah visits his Grandparents. When Grandpa and Noah wake up, they take off singing and hardly stop: walking the dog, splashing through puddles, and eating French toast with cinnamon.

But one summer Grandpa seems to have forgotten how to do the things they love. Does he even know who Noah is?

Grandma steps in energetically, filling in as best she can. But it is Noah who finds the way back to something he can share with Grandpa. Something musical. Something that makes the morning beautiful again.

This is a story about how love helps us find even what we think is lost.

Why I Like This Book:

A heartfelt story that will resonate with any reader who has an older person in their life suffering from Alzheimer’s. I like how the author has made this topic accessible by starting with a morning routine/ ritual between Grandpa and Noah and then showing how it’s changed. This allows the reader to feel Noah’s confusion and sadness. The author doesn’t try to hide the reality that things change such as Grandma now making the coffee in the morning, Grandpa needing a nap, and having to make a new and different docket for the day. But there is room for hope when we see Noah find a way to connect with Grandpa. The metaphor near the end of seeing grandpa’s smile being “like the sun breaking through clouds” warmed my heart.

The loose line and watercolor paintings are a charming and engaging. The illustrator uses color to show when grandpa is cognizant and grays when he isn’t. A great visual for those little non-readers.

A wonderful book that can be used as a conversation starter with a child about old age and mental illness.

Find What a Beautiful Morning at the following spots:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Goodreads
ISBN-10: 0762459069
ISBN-13: 978-0762459063

The review is part of the WHAT A BEAUTIFUL MORNING BLOG TOUR. Do check out these other stops over the next two weeks.

8/2 Flowering Minds
8/3 MomReadIt
8/4 Unpacking the POWER of Picture Books
8/5 Stacking Books
8/6 #Kidlit Book of the Day
8/8 Enjoy Embrace Learning
8/9 Unleashing Readers
8/10 Two Writing Teachers
8/11 Bildebok
8/12 Geo Librarian
8/13 Randomly Reading

Disclosure: I received my copy of this book from the publisher. This review nevertheless reflects my own and honest opinion about the book.

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