Posts tagged ‘being different’

INSIDE OUT

THE LADYBUG PRINCESS

Written by Julie Schoen

Illustrated by Marina Veselinovic

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Charming early chapter book that relates the tale of a little girl who loves picking flowers, hearing birds sing, and the beauty of nature. Audrey adores her parents and they support her. On a rainy day, Audrey often dresses up in her mothers fancy clothes and jewelry, while pretending that she is a beautiful princess. When Audrey is old enough for school, her mother encourages her to dress as she wishes so Audrey appears at school on her first day dressed as a princess. An older student makes fun of her; Audrey races to the farthest point in the playground to hide. A swarm of ladybugs cover her from head to toe and speak to Audrey. They tell her that beauty does not exist solely in outward appearance like the clothes she wears. Audrey is a beautiful princess because she sees the good in others and expresses her goodness in the love that she shows other people. As long as Audrey loves life and expresses herself in the same way toward others, she will always remain a princess. Audrey learns how to deal with bullies, not to overvalue material things, and the importance of self-esteem.

A few creative illustrations enhance the beauty of the message in this short chapter book that is appropriate for beginning readers in the seven and up age group. Highly recommended for parents and teachers to boost self-confidence.

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AN UNLIKELY PAIR

My Monster Burrufu

Written by Alberto Corral

Illustrated by Alessandra Sorrentino

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This chapter book is targeted for eight to twelve year olds; the easy going storytelling style and charming illustrations interspersed throughout make it visually appealing as well. I can’t make up my mind which character I love the most, Olivia, the seven year old mistress of the monster’s house or Burrufu, the melancholy monster.

At the beginning of the adventure, Olivia is about to move from the city to a home four hours away in the country. She immediately endears herself to me when I read the note she left to the new tenants asking them to take care of the house and sending them hugs and kisses. Upon arriving at the old three story house, Olivia and her dog Tula begin to explore the home’s nooks and crannies. They hear noises in the attic; her father, Steve, tells her jokingly that maybe it is a monster. Olivia thinks he is making fun of her, and when he assures her that a monster in the house is good luck, she feels relief.

Olivia can’t sleep and goes down to the kitchen to have some milk and cookies. To her surprise she spies a furry white claw stealing cookies! So the adventure begins….Olivia is determined to lure the creature out by setting a cookie trap. She discovers that the monster lives in the attic and is a writer like her father. Because Olivia’s dad spends lots of time in his study writing, she has lots of time on her own. Olivia learns that her friend Burrufu can make himself very large when he frightens people; he is fearful of going outside and scaring people. Olivia wants to make him feel wanted and secure so she tries to provide him with courage. One day Burrufu is discovered and chaos ensues. Will Olivia be able to remain friends with her monster, who is really a talented and sensitive writer or will they both be forced to relinquish their friendship due to the fears of others?

This book contains approximately one hundred pages and ten short chapters. It can be used as a classroom read aloud or read independently as a chapter book for readers in the middle grades. There is plenty of humor and adventure. The plot contains enough twists and turns plus thought provoking issues to challenge the middle grade reader. Highly recommended.

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BOOK BONANZA

Two 2013 e book releases by Bobby Fisher and illustrated by Doktor WhoBerry

 

Row, Row, Row Your Cat

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The author introduces us to a little boy named Ivan Joe who has gone for a row. On the way he meets several animals who need a ride, a cat, monkey, panda, and turtle. As each of them hops in, Ivan urges them to sing the tune, “Row, Row, Row Your Boat.” When he arrives home, his mother is surprised to see that he has made so many new friends. Ivan reminds her that it was easy because all you need to do is help people in need.

The illustrations here are bold, distinct and colorful allowing for the youngest child to read the book through the pictures. The rhyme works well for the most part, though near the end of the story it appears forced at times. Children will learn the value of helping those in need.

Sammy The Shark:Finds Four Friends

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This tale is based on a familiar theme; appearances can be deceiving. Poor Sammy the Shark is a really friendly fellow who swims all around the protected sea sanctuary trying to make friends with the other sea creatures. He speaks to Patty the Puffer Fish, Otto the Octopus, Chris the Crab, and Tubbs the Turtle, but all of them are put off by Sammy’s mean looks. Then one night some fisherman, who are criminals trying to fish in the protected waters, drop a huge net trapping all the sea creatures except Sammy. The shark uses his talents to free the other sea animals. Will the fishermen be apprehended? How will the sea creatures react when they learn that it is Sammy who has freed them?

Children six and under will love the beautiful colors of the illustrations and simple text of the story line. They will also learn not to judge a book by its cover.

Both of these books include a variety of bonus features. The reader is given a link to download a free story video, online puzzles, a free puzzle kit and a free coloring book. Certainly another incentive to enjoy Bobby Bishop’s children’s books and reinforce their lessons.

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