Posts from the ‘children’s books’ Category

A NECESSARY INGREDIENT

Nobody Loves Mustard

Written and Illustrated by Jeremy Ross

Poor mustard is depressed. As he observes people choosing condiments for their food, no one seems interested in using mustard. Victor and Gilly put ketchup on all their favorites like French fries. Mustard asks all the animals he encounters if they would like to put some mustard on their food, but none of them is interested. He becomes so depressed that he wanders off alone into the forest.

But one day, Mr. Fiddle decides to cook hot dogs. He cannot imagine eating one without embellishing it with mustard, so Mr. Fiddle enlists the aid of his to find mustard. At last, mustard realizes that he is needed. The author wants children to understand we are all loved even if we feel underappreciated at times.

This picture book with adorable illustrations and humor is appropriate for preschoolers and early elementary school age readers.

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I’M SPECIAL

Born to Be Different!: For all the special kids in the world!

Written by John Rigoli

Illustrated by Holly Withers

This is a cute story about a boy named Ollie who experiences ridicule because he is different. Ollie thinks his eyes, clothes, skin, and clothes are different from everybody else. He decides he wants to be normal. But when he speaks with his grandfather, Ollie learns that it is our unique features that make us special. If everyone looked the same, no one would be able to distinguish one person from another. Ollie learns to appreciate himself and celebrate his differences.

The subtitle of this book might confuse some readers at first. One might be led to believe that the book is about children with disabilities or special talents. This book has simple illustrations which make it especially appropriate for younger children. Recommended for preschool and elementary school children as a discussion book about self-esteem and acceptance.

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THE WHOLE TRUTH

The Kurious Kid Presents Lying

Written by Brian A. Cliette

 

This book can be used as a bedtime story or beginning nonfiction chapter book to help preschoolers and elementary children understand the concept of lying and why telling the truth is important.

Smith explains the definition of a lie, the reasons for lying, and how lies prevent other people from trusting the liar. He discusses how it is okay to pretend and that accidents do happen, but that covering up the truth to protect oneself from punishment, blaming others, and hiding the truth to protect someone else or to get something one wants is wrong. He stresses the fact that as a child grows older, the consequences of lying get more serious and the opportunity to be thought of as an honest person decreases.

This is a clearly written explanation about lying. Recommended for parents and teachers as a tool to initiate discussion with children on the importance of telling the truth.

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HIDDEN DANGER

Little Monsters, it’s time to go to bed!

Written by Olivia Longray

 

Betsy is getting ready for bed. She has already tucked in her doll and teddy bear. Betsy’s mom reminds her to put the monsters to sleep. When Betsy asks, “What monsters,?” her mother explains how bacteria hide in the mouth and must be brushed and flossed away, to prevent cavities and tooth decay.

This is a short book to explain the importance of proper dental hygiene for preschoolers and primary grade children who don’t see the importance or necessity of brushing their teeth. Recommended for parents and teachers of children ages three through seven.

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TAKING A DEEP BREATH

The Barnyard Friends: STOP for Peace
Written by Julie Penshorn
Illustrated by Jorry Keith

The animals in the barnyard were enjoying a peaceful day until the rains came. A horse named King stood under the barn roof remaining dry, while the rest of the animals whined and paced outside getting soaking wet. Mrs. McCloud urged the animals to calm down and stop and think. After a while, the animals were able to express how they felt. They succeeded in brainstorming ideas to solve the problem. In the end, King moved over and the rest of the animals found shelter.

The STOP method for conflict resolution involves four steps:
1 Stop and breathe
2 Tell how you feel
3 Open your mind
4 Plan ahead

This book is designed to help children and adults resolve conflicts peacefully. At the end of the story, the creators provide a guide for teachers on how to present the lesson effectively. Suggestions for follow-up and a song that reinforces the lesson is provided. The story and lesson are specially designed for students in kindergarten through third grade.

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AN EYE FOR DETAIL

At Your Service!: Blondie McGhee Detective Series: Funny Detective Stories

Written by Ashley Eneriz

 

The first book in a detective series based on fourth grade Graham Elementary student Blondie McGhee. Blondie became interested in mysteries when her Grandmother gave her a detective kit when she was in third grade. As the story opens Blondie is excited to begin fourth grade. She is eager to recruit students at the school who have a mystery to solve.
One week passes by with no case in site. Blondie fears she has not advertised enough so she stands on the lunch table and offers her detective services to all the students. All seem to ignore her, except Owen Thomas who claims there is a mysterious noise coming from the janitor’s closet. Blondie makes an excuse to leave class and investigates. She is horrified when Mike, a friend of Owen, is hiding inside dressed as a monster. The three students are in big trouble; Blondie is a laughingstock. Blondie feels a little better after her mother shares her own embarrassing school story, but Blondie is reluctant about returning to school. She is shocked when Owen comes to her door to apologize and beg her help to solve a real mystery.

Blondie is back on the case of the Tuesday Food Fight. She methodically follows the clues until this genuine mystery is solved. Blondie wins back her credibility and reputation. There will be many more mysteries to solve in the next books of the series.

The author recommends her series for girls in the nine to twelve age range. I think boys will enjoy them as well. The book-length of fewer than one hundred pages and adorable black and white illustrations allow the stories to appeal to reluctant readers and advanced beginning readers as well. Detective story fans mark this series as one to add to your collection.

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FAST FRIENDS

The Dog Gang Collection

Written by Yael Rosman

This book is a collection of stories focusing on the adventures of three dog friends, Bowie, Cheo, and Zaza. They are different in breed, looks, and personality, but they have one thing in common, they meet to romp and play at the same park with their owners Morin, Benny, and Shila Each of these tales was originally published as a separate story.

Roseman personifies her canine characters. In each of the tales, one of the dogs becomes a lead character. By the time the story ends, children learn life lessons based on the behavior of these canine friends. Readers learn why it is important not to show off, to work as a team, to care about each other’s feelings, and how each of us is special and unique.

The illustrations are colorful and well-executed, but sometimes the text and illustrations don’t line up properly. Readers may be confused because illustrations from the first story are repeated in the third story. This collection runs more than two hundred pages, which is way too long for the age of the targeted bedtime story audience. I would recommend this book as better suited to readers in the six to eight-year-old range.

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