Posts tagged ‘animals’

TURNING THE TABLES

Topsy Turvy: Bedtime with a Smile Picture Book (Bedtime Stories with Uncle Willy 3)

Written by Sarah Mazor

Illustrations by Sergii Zavadskyi

I always look forward to a new collection of Uncle Willy’s zany stories for preschool and primary grade children.

In Book 3, Uncle Willy tells the tale of a town named ComeGo where everything is topsy turvy. The children teach their parents basic skills like how to ride a swing or a bike. People say goodbye when they meet and hello when the leave. Animals behave strangely. Bears hang on trees like monkeys and cows play like puppies. Pigeons lick themselves like cats and people pull carts instead of horses. Children learn about opposites while having a good laugh.

The fun continues as readers are urged to create their own fanciful stories. They are presented with fifteen riddles and given four choices. Correct answers are given. These activities can be done with an adult or in a group with other children. I highly recommend the entire Uncle Willy series of books.

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A MIXED BAG

A Family Dinner

Written and Illustrated by Cory Q, Tan

A Family Dinner by [Tan, Cory Q]

This picture book contains creative and beautifully done illustrations. The plot combines a few traditional fairytales that are given an unusual twist.

At the beginning of the story, the mother asks her husband to go to the store to buy carrots as she wants to make carrot and potato soup. She does not ask him to do so with a respectful tone. Dad obliges her but soon discovers the local grocery is closed. He continues to search for carrots and gets involved in a series of adventures.

Dad meets up with a cast of characters that involve humans and some animals with bad intentions. These adventures invoke shades of familiar fairytales. Will Dad give up or will he pursue his task? Will his wife be grateful for his efforts?

The twists and turns of this tale are interesting, but many children may become lost and confused in the message. This book will probably lead to lots of questions when reading to young children. I recommend that the book be read with adult supervision and guidance.

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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.

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#Reality Check

Unicorn for Christmas: Teach Kids About Giving

Written by Sigal Adler

Illustrated by Abira Das

Christmas is nearly upon the castle. Princess Lily already possesses every material object she could want or need. When she decides to request a unicorn for a Christmas gift, the king and queen scour the kingdom to fulfill her request. Up to now, her demands have been met.

To their chagrin, the royal couple cannot fulfill her request. The king commissions the royal seamstress to make a unicorn costume. He places the costume on various animals to deceive the princess. She is not pleased. After many days pass, Lily realizes how hard her parents tried to please her. She hugs them and gives thanks to them for being wonderful parents.

The illustrations are vivid and expressive. They communicate the underlying message. My one criticism is that I would have liked to see her change in point of view explained more clearly in the text.

Parents of preschoolers and primary grade children who are exasperated with children who expect too much will love this holiday book. Suggested as a read-aloud or bedtime story.

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BE OF GENTLE HEART

Our Wounded Little Chickadee

Written by Pamela Tomlin

Illustrated by Tamar Piper

This book is part of a series that features a girl named Emma and her menagerie of personified stuffed animals. Each of these has a distinct personality and a kind heart.

In this volume, Emma and her fluffy friends are playing in the living room when they hear a loud crash outside. After looking out the window, they discover a small bird lying still on the grass. When they investigate, they discover a chickadee who has been seriously injured. Emma gets a box and lines it with a doll blanket. She and her friends bring the box inside and patiently wait for hours to see if the bird will recover.

After what seems an interminable amount of time, Emma picks up the box and places it under a tree outside in the yard. They are happy to see the bird sitting up. A few minutes later, the chickadee flaps its wings and flies up into the tree.

Emma and her friends demonstrate patience, kindness and a love of nature. Children learn what and what not to do to help an injured animal. The illustrations are bright and effective. My only suggestion would be to vary the color of the text to make it a bit easier to read. Recommended for preschoolers and early elementary grade school readers.

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COOL ANIMAL STUFF

33 Cute Animals of the World (Cool Facts and Picture Book Series for Kids)

Written by P.K. Miller

 

I would rate this nonfiction book three and a half stars. It is an easy read with basic information on thirty-three “cute” animals. While the author includes a picture for each, the photo is very small and does not reveal much detail. Miller provides a few paragraphs that describe the habitat, interesting characteristics, and notable features for each of the animals. He includes google and wiki links to additional images and reference information on each subject.

This book can best be used as an introduction or reference book. Children in elementary and middle-school certainly would find it helpful as a tool to research an animal science project. Readers of all ages will find it informative and interesting.

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A FISH OUT OF WATER

Monty the fish goes to the Zoo

Written by Vivienne Alonge

Illustrated by Mikaila Maidment

Seems like there are a plethora of children’s books about visiting the zoo lately. This one features a fish named Monty who decides to take a trip to the zoo, but this particular zoo is no ordinary one. Monty views a bear water skiing on the water, a giraffe wearing cowboy boots, a queen dancing with a python, and a tiger eating strawberries and cream, to name just a few. Youngest readers will enjoy identifying the animals and laugh at their preposterous antics.

This is a picture book but unfortunately, the illustrations do not fill the screen on my kindle. Each animal is given a one-sentence description along with the illustration. The book synopsis says the book is aimed at ages zero through eighteen. It is most appropriate for kindergarten and preschool children.

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