Posts from the ‘children’s books’ Category

ART COMES ALIVE!

Daniel the Draw-er

Written by S.J. Henderson

One day, Daniel breaks his pencil while drawing and goes searching for a replacement. He finds a pencil stump in the attic. When he begins drawing, Daniel is astounded when the cat he draws comes to life. Daniel continues to draw objects like a pizza robot and aliens from the planet, Beezo. His artwork awakens. Daniel tells Annie about his treasure. She is angry that he won’t share it with her.

Now Annie ignores Daniel. He is sad and frustrated. Daniel confides in his mother. She gives him some good advice. One day bullies torment Annie on the school playground. How will Daniel react? Will Annie ever forgive Daniel?

This is a fun middle-grade read. It has lots of humor combined with fantasy. Daniel and Annie face common preteen problems like sibling and peer rivalry.  It also discusses how to handle bullying. Recommended especially for boys and girls ages eight through twelve.

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ROCKS ALL AROUND

Scavenger Scout: Rock Hound

Written by Shelby Wilde

Illustrated by Yana Popova

Scout is an inquisitive seven-year-old explorer who became hooked on rock collecting when she found an orange rock in her backyard. She searches everywhere for rocks to add to her collection. In this tale, Scout crawls into a dragon’s den to find Azurite, she travels under the sea to extract Fluorite from the bottom of the ocean floor, and then zooms into outer space to grab Alexandrite floating around in one of Saturn’s rings. Finally, she explores a collector’s canyon out West to come across a treasure trove of crystals. Wilde describes different methods of removing the minerals and provides details about each type of mineral, its place on the Mohs scale, and the types of tools a geologist uses.

The illustrations are vibrant and seem to jump off the page. Scout is an adorable strong-female role model character. Rhymes are crisp, alliteration makes them fun to read out loud. I highly recommend this book to elementary grade children. This book combines a bit of fantasy, an adventure, and a nonfiction story about rocks with a cute narrator to entice readers to come along and learn with her.

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STAY TRUE TO YOURSELF

The FED-UP Cow

Written by Peta Lemon

Illustrated by Maria Dasic Todoric

This is a cute picture book for preschoolers and primary grade children that reminds them to be true to themselves and their unique qualities. Hilda is a cow who decides one day that she would like to be a sheep. She goes to elaborate lengths to change her appearance but eventually decides being a sheep is not fun. Then she decides to become a pig. That doesn’t work out either. Finally, Hilda is sure that being a hen is the way to go. Alas, she is not accepted there. Maybe being a cow is the right choice after all.

The rhymes flow well, and the illustrations are simple, colorful and attractive. Recommended especially for children ages two through five.

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GHOSTS OF THE PAST

Babu and Bina at the Ghost Party (Babu and Bina Book Series 1)

Written by P Tomar

Illustrated by Giulia Iacopini

Mama and Papa Trunk are preparing to take their elephant children, Babu and Bina to the old Indian fort. The children are excited. When a candy man warns them to watch out for the ghost of the Maharaja, their interest peaks even more. As the children eagerly explore the fort, Pina, their pup, takes off. They follow her and get locked in a mysterious room where they will meet many ghosts of the fort gathered together for a celebration. Will the children find a way back to their parents?

Babu and Bina are an adorable brother and sister pair who teach their readers much about sibling cooperation and Indian history. This promises to be an interesting series on Indian culture and history. Vivid illustrations will engage even the youngest reader. The short length makes it a good choice for a bedtime story or a read- aloud. Recommended for children ages three through eight.

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#MEETTHEAUTHOR

I have begun a new feature on my blog. Rather than simply reading and reviewing family-friendly books for my audience, I will be taking a peek behind the scenes at the writer. After all, we all want to know the mysterious person behind the curtain. So without delay, let me introduce you to the talented Becky Benishek.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Becky Benishek  has a B.A. degree in English and loves to create stories that  help children believe in themselves and also develop compassion and empathy for others. This goes for adults, too! She also writes adult science fiction and fantasy stories. In her day job, she manages online communities that help people connect to people and resources they need. Becky is married with guinea pigs.

About the book:

The Squeezor is Coming!

**BRONZE MEDAL WINNER: Children’s Books – Social Issues, in the Readers’ Favorite International Book Award Contest**
**Five Star Readers’ Favorite**

The Squeezor is a monster who just wants to give hugs: Great, big, wrap-his-arms-around-you-twice, squeezy hugs. The trouble is, he looks so scary, even other monsters run away!

This makes the Squeezor very sad. He can’t help how he looks. How can he get everyone to look past his appearance and be his friend?

Then he gets an idea: What if it’s not about what he wants, but about what the other monsters might need? Join the Squeezor in Ghastly Gigapolis as he changes first impressions for the better–his own included.

The Squeezor is Coming! is illustrated by Matt Fiss and is available on Amazon and through MacLaren-Cochrane Publishing. It is also available in dyslexic font.

Review:
“Far too many kids feel as unlovable as the Squeezor, and this story is for them. Benishek’s droll and humorous story will please everyone in the room and maybe especially those adults who are still kids at heart. Matt Fiss’s brilliantly grotesque illustrations make this book one to linger over and read again and again and again. Literally. It’s that good.” –Jack Magnus for Readers’ Favorite

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT BECKY AND HER WORK VISIT:

Website: https://beckybenishek.com
Amazon: https://amazon.com/author/beckybenishekMacLaren-Cochrane Publishing (children’s books): https://mcp-store.com/becky-benishek
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/beckybenishekauthor/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/beckybenishek/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/beckybenishek
YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLN82aT3Az157cKCNUvRs9qdWfD83Q4OFj
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16364162.Becky_Benishek
Black Hare Press (science fiction & fantasy): https://www.blackharepress.com/becky-benishek/

A SPLIT DECISION

DO YOU SEE WHAT I SEE?

Written by Katrina-Jane Bart

Illustrated by Allison Warry

I gave this book the title, A Split Decision because I am of two minds about the book. The book is wonderful for children who are receptive to communicating with the spirit world like the author who is a clairvoyant. The little girl sees her deceased grandmother at the foot of her bed when she goes to bed at night. Her grandmother tells her not to be afraid and that she is there to help. Grandma tells her that seeing her is a special gift.

For children who are receptive to the idea of a spirit world, this is an excellent approach to the subject. The illustrations are drawn as if the little girl were drawing the story from her point of view. On the other hand, some children will find the concept of deceased relatives appearing to them frightening and threatening.

I would give this book five stars for parents and teachers who would use it appropriately with children who are receptive toward the idea of communicating with the spirit world. Those who do not read the book’s summary or reviews may be in for a surprise when they read it to a child. I would recommend it to be used with children ages seven and older.

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TOO GOOD TO LOSE

Lola’s Fuzzy Snuggly Blanket

Written by S.D. Dillard

Many children like Lola have a warm, fuzzy blanket that they see as a comforting friend. Lola has grown beyond the toddler and preschool years, but she continues to take her blanket everywhere she goes. One day her father asks her to leave the blanket at home when they are going out to a restaurant.

When the family return home, Lola’s blanket cannot be found. Lola is extremely upset. The next day, while cleaning, Lola’s mom finds the blanket. Lola goes back to sleeping with her blanket.

I can sympathize with Lola. One of my children was very attached to her blanket. While the premise of the story is a good one, it seems strange that Lola would be comfortable bringing her blanket to school. I think it would have been better for Lola’s dad to discuss the situation rather than tell her to leave the blanket home and then hide it. Parents and teachers might want to use this book to discuss the subject of separation anxiety, particularly with preschool and kindergarten children.

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