Posts from the ‘reluctant reader’ Category

#SUCCESSINSIGHT

Check out my newest podcast discussion with Howard Fox.

A WINTER SURPRISE

A Bear in November: Caspian’s Adventures Book One

Written by Alice Holness

This book is the first in a series of chapter books featuring the adventures of Caspian, the Bear. Caspian unexpectedly awakens from hibernation and finds that he cannot sleep. He decides to leave his cave and is amazed by the beauty of his snowy surroundings. Caspian discovers that there are animals who stay active during the winter. He meets Pierre and his rabbit friends who have built a ski slope and a reindeer lift. They live with other small animals in a winter shelter that they have created together.

Caspian receives a set of skis from Timbers, the Beaver, and learns to enjoy skiing. His new community of friends asks only one thing from him. Caspian will sleep outside their shelter and protect them from the wolves if they should attack. Will Caspian be able to enjoy his newly discovered winter life and protect the small mammal creatures?

This book is an introductory chapter book with only five chapters. The characters are charming, and the story is unique. Highly recommended for beginning and middle school readers.

If you enjoyed reading this post, please subscribe by clicking on the word Follow or by hitting the orange RSS FEED button in the upper right-hand corner of this page.

RECIPE FOR SUCCESS

Bubbe’s Sweet Surprise

Written by Sherry Dahl

Illustrated by Mike Motz

Three puppies set off to find the perfect birthday present for their Bubbe (grandmother). She speaks in Yiddish and they misinterpret her words. This leads to hilarious consequences as they go to great lengths to acquire these things. They get themselves into trouble and create quite a mess.

Bubbe is not upset. What she really wants from her grandchildren is spending time with them and sharing her love with them. The adorable illustrations of the personified animals and the humor will warm the heart of young readers. Children will learn a bit of Yiddish. (a glossary is included)

At the end of the book, there is a recipe for yummy Chocolate Cherry Pudding Cake. After reading about so many goodies, readers might want to try whipping one up. Recommended especially for elementary school-age children, but can be enjoyed by readers of all ages.

If you enjoyed reading this post, please subscribe by clicking on the word Follow or by hitting the RSS FEED button in the upper right-hand corner of this page.

#Old and New Friends

Flame and Sparkles: A Different Kind of Magic

Written by Issac Bowers

Illustrated by Kimber Bowers

This is the second book in a series that features two best friends, a fire-dragon and a unicorn. The two friends are off to a rock-hunting adventure on Lake Erie. They spot something floating in the water. When they move closer, they realize it is moving.

Flame and Sparkles meet Nessie, a Loch Ness monster who wants to be friends. Nessie invites them to her undersea home and teaches them how to swim. Nessie shows them that we all have a special kind of magic within us. If we believe and cooperate with each other, we can use that magic to create miracles. She gives Flame and Sparkles a special gift to remind them of their new friendship and the possibilities waiting to be developed with them.

I would classify this book as a chapter book rather than a picture book, even though the illustrations are delightful. Especially recommended for dragon and unicorn lovers in elementary grades. Hoping that this young author will use his imagination to take readers on many more inspiring adventures.

If you enjoyed reading this book, please subscribe by clicking on the word Follow or by hitting the orange RSS FEED button in the upper right-hand corner of this page.

FOREVER FRIENDS

The Sunny Adventure: a story about true friendship (Animal World Alice Ira Book 1)

Written by Alice Ira

Illustrated by Elena Teplova

Translated by Nina Kutia

This book is a tender tale about a little fox named Redkin and her first hunting quest. Redkin is rather lazy. She reacts with shock where her mother tells her to go out and find her own food. A bit reluctantly, Redkin sets off on her quest. She looks up at the Sun and decides that it looks like a delicious pancake. She decides to bring it home to her mother.

Redkin meets a frog named Loudcroak along her route. They decide to become partners. Redkin remains fearful but Loudcroak provides the courage and inspiration to continue their search. Other animals offer advice, but the sun continues to elude them.

How will Redkin handle her defeat? What does the fox learn about friendship, compassion, and bravery?

This book is targeted for ages six through twelve. While the length of the book is appropriate for a beginning chapter book, some of the vocabulary is a bit advanced for the lower end of this audience. I would recommend the book particularly for reluctant readers; the illustrations are beautiful and suited to the mood of the tale. Recommended especially for readers ages eight through twelve.

If you enjoyed reading this post, please subscribe by clicking on the word Follow or by hitting the orange RSS FEED button in the upper right-hand corner of this page.

#ReadYourWorld

I’m delighted to participate once again. It’s been my pleasure and honor to review a book for this event since its inception seven years ago. This year I would like to present a beautiful picture book.

FAMILY VS. FRIENDS

SUMO JOE

Written by Mia Wenjen

Illustrated by Nat Iwata

What a fun and informative rhyming picture book! Sumo Joe, the protagonist, faces two dilemmas. He loves and fiercely protects his little sister, Aikido Jo. Sumo Jo also wants to practice sumo with his friends. When Jo decides that she wants to enter the sacred ring prohibited to females, he faces conflict. Should he allow his sister to step inside and compete?

The illustrations are charming and the text simple and fun to read for young children. This book becomes more than a picture book because it teaches readers about Japanese culture including the ancient rituals of sumo wrestling and aikido. The characters are diverse and empathetic.

I particularly enjoyed how the author explained the moves and the vocabulary associated with martial arts and ancient rituals. Readers may be able to imitate the basic moves, if interested in learning more. The book is a good choice to enhance a multicultural classroom library or home school unit on Asian culture.

I was gifted a copy of this book from the author to read and review in preparation for Multicultural Children’s Book Day.

Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2020 (1/31/20) is in its 7th year! This non-profit children’s literacy initiative was founded by Valarie Budayr and Mia Wenjen; two diverse book-loving moms who saw a need to shine the spotlight on all of the multicultural books and authors on the market while also working to get those book into the hands of young readers and educators. 

Seven years in, MCBD’s mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in homes and school bookshelves continues.

MCBD 2020  is honored to have the following Medallion Sponsors on board

Super Platinum

Make A Way Media/ Deirdre “DeeDee” Cummings,

Platinum

Language Lizard, Pack-N-Go Girls,

Gold

Audrey Press, Lerner Publishing Group, KidLit TV, ABDO BOOKS : A Family of Educational Publishers, PragmaticMom & Sumo Jo, Candlewick Press,

Silver

 Author Charlotte Riggle, Capstone Publishing, Guba Publishing, Melissa Munro Boyd & B is for Breathe,

Bronze

Author Carole P. Roman, Snowflake Stories/Jill Barletti, Vivian Kirkfield & Making Their Voices Heard. Barnes Brothers BooksTimTimTom, Wisdom Tales Press, Lee & Low Books,  Charlesbridge Publishing, Barefoot Books Talegari Tales

Author Sponsor Link Cloud

Jerry Craft, A.R. Bey and Adventures in Boogieland, Eugina Chu & Brandon goes to Beijing, Kenneth Braswell & Fathers Incorporated, Maritza M. Mejia & Luz del mes_Mejia, Kathleen Burkinshaw & The Last Cherry Blossom, SISSY GOES TINY by Rebecca Flansburg and B.A. Norrgard, Josh Funk and HOW TO CODE A ROLLERCOASTER, Maya/Neel Adventures with Culture GrooveLauren Ranalli, The Little Green Monster: Cancer Magic! By Dr. Sharon Chappell, Phe Lang and Me On The Page, Afsaneh Moradian and Jamie is Jamie, Valerie Williams-Sanchez and Valorena Publishing, TUMBLE CREEK PRESS, Nancy Tupper Ling, Author Gwen Jackson, Angeliki Pedersen & The Secrets Hidden Beneath the Palm Tree, Author Kimberly Gordon Biddle, BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 by Mia Wenjen, Susan Schaefer Bernardo & Illustrator Courtenay Fletcher (Founders of Inner Flower Child Books), Ann Morris & Do It Again!/¡Otra Vez!, Janet Balletta and Mermaids on a Mission to Save the Ocean, Evelyn Sanchez-Toledo & Bruna Bailando por el Mundo\ Dancing Around the World, Shoumi Sen & From The Toddler Diaries, Sarah Jamila Stevenson, Tonya Duncan and the Sophie Washington Book Series, Teresa Robeson  & The Queen of Physics, Nadishka Aloysius and Roo The Little Red TukTuk, Girlfriends Book Club Baltimore & Stories by the Girlfriends Book Club, Finding My Way Books, Diana Huang & Intrepids, Five Enchanted Mermaids, Elizabeth Godley and Ribbon’s Traveling Castle, Anna Olswanger and Greenhorn, Danielle Wallace & My Big Brother Troy, Jocelyn Francisco and Little Yellow Jeepney, Mariana Llanos & Kutu, the Tiny Inca Princess/La Ñusta Diminuta, Sara Arnold & The Big Buna Bash, Roddie Simmons & Race 2 Rio, DuEwa Frazier & Alice’s Musical Debut, Veronica Appleton & the Journey to Appleville book series  Green Kids Club, Inc.

We’d like to also give a shout-out to MCBD’s impressive CoHost Team who not only hosts the book review link-up on celebration day, but who also works tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View our CoHosts HERE.

Co-Hosts and Global Co-Hosts

A Crafty Arab, Afsaneh Moradian, Agatha Rodi Books, All Done Monkey, Barefoot Mommy, Bethany Edward & Biracial Bookworms, Michelle Goetzl & Books My Kids Read, Crafty Moms Share, Colours of Us, Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes, Educators Spin on it, Shauna Hibbitts-creator of eNannylink, Growing Book by Book, Here Wee Read, Joel Leonidas & Descendant of Poseidon Reads {Philippines}, Imagination Soup, Kid World Citizen, Kristi’s Book Nook, The Logonauts, Mama Smiles, Miss Panda Chinese, Multicultural Kid Blogs, Serge Smagarinsky {Australia}, Shoumi Sen, Jennifer Brunk & Spanish Playground, Katie Meadows and Youth Lit Reviews

FREE RESOURCES from Multicultural Children’s Book Day

TWITTER PARTY! Register here!

Hashtag: Don’t forget to connect with us on social media and be sure and look for/use our official hashtag #ReadYourWorld.

# Animal Rescue DOGS HAVE FEELINGS TOO…

Lucky’s Adventures in Winter Wonderland (Lucky’s Adventures)

Written by Elizabeth Macey

Illustrated by Jenn Kocsmiersky

Lucky Charms is an adopted rescue dog who happily lives with her human family and a cat named Hershey Kisses. She is excited to wake up to a snowstorm. Lucky promptly goes out to play with her neighborhood dog friends. They go ice-skating and skiing. The day ends with barbecuing hot dogs. That night Lucky reflects on how fortunate she is to have such a comfortable life with a loving family and so many dog friends. She figures out a way to help less fortunate dogs and rallies her neighborhood dog friends to assist her.

Children will love seeing these dogs take on human characteristics and do the activities they love participating in themselves. The illustrations consist mostly of two-page spreads featuring many vivid drawings of adorable dog breeds. Macey includes a list of suggestions for her readers to get involved in animal rescue. I would recommend this picture book especially for elementary school readers, but it has appeal for a reader of any age.

If you enjoyed reading this post, please subscribe by clicking on the word Follow or hitting the orange RSS FEED button in the upper right-hand corner of this page.

#Give vs. Get

The Adventures of Pookie Presents: Mission Fat Hearts

Written and illustrated by Rebecca Yee

Playful pups Pookie and his new sibling Thor are sleeping comfortably in the living room. Kisa, a Christmas Elf, secretly leaves a note on their beds. It tells them to go to the Christmas tree. Kisa surprises them by jumping out. She urges them to go on a secret mission. Santa’s mission is for them to perform an act of kindness on each day of December until Christmas. Their reward will be to see smiles on those who receive their gifts. Pookie and Thor accept their secret mission with enthusiasm. Readers are urged to become co-conspirators and perform the same deeds.

This picture book spreads the true message of Christmas. Children are taught to give joy and happiness to others. Examples of deeds include giving hugs and giving thanks, donations, crafts, caroling, and visiting those who can’t leave home. The book could easily become a new tradition that families could share together.  The secret mission might also be carried out by classrooms and community organizations. My only suggestion to improve the book would be to include illustrations with the tasks. The illustrations disappear as the pages of the book unfold. A bit more color would sustain more interest with the youngest readers.

The Christmas season may have passed for this year, but this book is also a good way to spread the message of love for Valentine’s Day.

If you enjoyed reading this post, please subscribe by clicking on the word Follow or by hitting the orange RSS FEED button in the upper right-hand corner of this page.

#ON THE BRINK…

Days of Miracle and Wonder: 25 of the Most Incredible Sporting Victories

Written by Dave Tomlinson

The author covers virtually every sport. Tomlinson explores stories of athletes who “choked” when at the brink of victory and others who succeeded in pulling themselves or their team out of the depths against improbable odds.

There have been many near victories in every sport. Jordan Spieth’s last-minute mishap in 2016 in Augusta or the Boston Bruin’s inability to pull off a win against Philadelphia in the final game of the NHL playoffs. On the other hand, some teams have been able to physically and emotionally overcome huge obstacles like the Buffalo Bills come back from a 21-0 score to defeat the New England Patriots football team in a 2011 Wild Card game. In tennis, the 1984 French Open was thought to be a no-brainer for John McEnroe who had won 39 straight matches. Ivan Lendl decided this would be his year. After two straight losses, McEnroe appeared to be on the path to victory. Then McEnroe let his temper get the best of him. That proved to be just enough to tip the balance. McEnroe’s concentration and physical game deteriorated, allowing Lendl to take control and eventually win the match.

Sports fans enjoy the physical game, but also appreciate the mental and emotional talents of the players. This book explores the motivations and personalities behind the sports. I recommend the book for sports aficionados from age eight to eighty-eight.

If you enjoyed reading this post, please subscribe by clicking on the word Follow or by hitting the orange RSS FEED button in the upper right-hand corner of this page.

#Constant Companion

Silly Milly, the Dane

Written by Sheri Wall

Illustrated by Ilona Stuijt

The author shares her story about the antics of her Great Dane, Milly. Her devoted pet is faithful and funny. She is sometimes a bit naughty. For example, she chews things and tears the cushions. Milly hides in the closet and gets tangled in the curtains. Like her owner, Milly enjoys watching television and getting her picture taken. Above all, Milly is a faithful and true companion.

Most pet owners will find themselves identifying with Milly. This colorful picture book contains short rhymes appropriate for preschoolers and elementary school readers, but any age pet lover will enjoy it.

If you enjoyed reading this post, please subscribe by clicking on the word Follow or by hitting the orange RSS FEED button in the upper right-hand corner of this page.

%d bloggers like this: