Wednesday, November 30, 2016

FARWAY FOX by Jolene Thompson / Book Review #picturebookmonth

By: Jolene Thompson
Illustrated by: Justin Thompson
Published by: HMH Books For Young Readers
Released on: September 6th, 2016
Ages: 4 & up
Rating: 4 Owlets - We Enjoyed It!
Purchase from: Amazon | B&N
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A copy of this book was provided by the the publisher in exchange for my honest review

As Fox wanders through a strange landscape, he cannot help but be reminded—at every corner—of the streams, the trees, and the family he once knew. Fox would like nothing more than to return to his home, but it seems the cityscape has built up around him.

Follow Fox as he looks for a way back home to the wild green land where every fox belongs. Back matter shows readers the creative ways humans are helping to mitigate habitat encroachment in our towns and cities.

Beautiful illustrations, and a great story. Farway Fox follows the story of a fox who's been separated from his family by construction and urban growth. During his journey to find them, he discovers that buildings and roadways have replaced areas where his family once roamed freely. His journey back to his family takes him through these all these areas. While all may seem lost, he finds a wildlife underpass which leads him safely back to his waiting family. 

This book is a great segway to talking to young kids about the importance of taking care of wildlife, and preserving their habitats. While many areas are booming with urban growth, and are seeing the decline of wildlife areas, there are still many ways we can protect the animals that live there. Like with wildlife underpasses, like the one featured in this story, that allows safe passages for wildlife to travel freely between their woodland homes, and new places. This book is great for elementary school age children who are studying wildlife, and their habitats. 

THE BOSS BABY / THE BOSSIER BABY by Marla Frazee / Book Review #picturebookmonth

We're finishing off the month long celebration of children's picture book reviews with two books, one of which is soon to be out in movie theaters! 

Written and Illustrated by: Marla Frazee
Published by: Beach Lane Books
Released on: November 1st, 2016 (paperback edition)
Ages: 4 & up
Rating: 3 Owlets 
Purchase from: Simon & SchusterAmazon | B&N
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A copy of this book was received from the publisher in exchange for my honest review

From the moment the baby arrived, it was obvious that he was the boss.

The boss baby is used to getting his way—drinks made to order 24/7, a private jet, and meetings around the clock. But when his demands aren’t getting proper responses, he has to go to new lengths to achieve the attention he deserves.

Marla Frazee brings her signature wit and humor—along with adorable illustrations—to a book that explores the effect of one family’s very unusual new arrival.

A good laugh out loud picture book for first time parents, Frazee does a great job at capturing the demanding, not so glamorous, and sometimes comical side of being a first time parent.  

From the moment The Boss Baby arrives, he has the minions, aka, parents, wrapped around his finger. No matter what time of day or night he needs something, they are there to help him. He is definitely one demanding boss. At least he looks cute while being the boss.

Written and Illustrated by: Marla Frazee
Published by: Beach Lane Books
Released on: November 1st, 2016 
Ages: 4 & up
Rating: 4 owlets - We Enjoyed It
Purchase fromAmazon | B&N
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A copy of this book was received from the publisher in exchange for my honest review

Two-time Caldecott Honor recipient Marla Frazee’s Boss Baby is back—but this time there’s a new baby sister CEO in town!

Change is in the air—the Boss Baby’s staff has stopped taking his direction! It seems that there is a new CEO in town; from the moment she comes home, Boss Baby’s little sister is extremely loud and is demanding all sorts of corporate perks he never got. Can the Boss Baby and his staff get used to the new corporate structure?

What happens when a even bossier baby is welcomed into boss baby's home? Boss baby realizes not only is the new boss baby bossier than he is, she's getting all the attention. What's a boss baby to do? Luckily there is more to being bossier and looking cute with this new baby. 

Picking up not long after The Boss Baby ends, Frazee does a great job at capturing the range of emotions kids feel when a new baby/sibling is welcome into their family. Filled with the right amount of humor and sweetness, we really enjoyed this book even more so than the first one. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

POND by Jim LaMarche / Book Review #picturebookmonth

Written and Illustrated by: Jim LaMarche
Published by: Simon & Schuster
Released on: September 13th, 2016
Ages: 4 & up
Rating: 5 Owlets - We Loved It
Purchase from: Simon & Schuster | Amazon | B&N
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The joy of the seasons, the wonder of discovery, and the appreciation and respect for the natural world is at the heart of this book, drawn from the childhood of award-winning illustrator Jim LaMarche.

When Matt is out for a late winter hike he sees a trickle of water in the old deserted and junk filled dirt pit at the edge of his neighborhood. With quiet appreciation, Matt can imagine the pond that must once have been there, shining in the early spring light, freezing in the winter for skating and the perfect place for swimming in the summer.

Can Matt’s discovery transform a forgotten pond to its natural wonder? With his idea of making the pond whole again, Matt rallies his friends, Katie and Pablo, and together they work through the spring, clearing debris, moving rocks to hold the water, and looking for leaks. But would there be enough water to fill the pond? Can they bring the pond back?

Capturing the bond one can have with nature, this book is childhoods past and present. It's a longing for summertimes long gone. It's also a beautiful story about finding your place among nature, and giving back to the world around us. 

Matt sees 'The Pit' for more than what it is right now. He realizes that once it was a beautiful pond. Through a lot of hard work, Matt and his friends restore what looked like a dump of an area, to a beautiful, natural area where life long memories are made, and nature displays it's full beauty year round. 

LaMarche does a wonderful job at showing by team work, and giving back to nature can do. Nature gave back to these characters in more ways than they imagined, as they see how the pond transforms through out each seasons. In restoring the pond back to it's natural habitat, they also witness the various wildlife forms (animals, bugs, plants, trees etc) that make their home here, and migrate through here. 

POND is a beautifully written and illustrated story that hits it's mark. It's one of those books who's illustrations pull you in with it's charm and magic of nature, and who's story shares an important message readers of all ages will get. This is definitely a book we'd recommend picking up! 

Monday, November 28, 2016

LIZARD FROM THE PARK by Mark Pett / Book Review #picturebookmonth

Written and Illustrated by: Mark Pett
Published by: Simon & Schuster
Released on: September 8th, 2015
Ages: 4 & up
Rating: 5 Owlets 
Purchase from: Simon & Schuster | Amazon | B&N
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A copy of this book was provided from the publisher in exchange for my honest review

A lonely boy’s new pet grows into a rather large dilemma—and a Thanksgiving parade offers an uplifting solution—in this charming tale from the author of The Boy and the Airplane and The Girl and the Bicycle.

When Leonard takes a shortcut through the park, he finds an egg and takes it home, where it hatches into a lizard (or so Leonard thinks). Leonard names his new pet Buster and takes him all around the city: on the subway, to the library, to a baseball game, and more.

But Buster keeps growing and growing—and Leonard gets the sense that Buster is longing for something Leonard can’t provide.

Before long, Buster becomes too big to keep, and Leonard realizes he needs to set Buster free. So Leonard comes up with an inventive plan, one that involves all the balloons Leonard can find and the annual Thanksgiving parade, in an imaginative plot twist that will spark readers’ imaginations—and touch their hearts.

This is a delightful picture book to read, and one worth owning! It's a fantastic read aloud that is sure to be enjoyed over and over again. With it's wonderful illustrations, this book is one that pays an ode to friendship, imagination, and NYC. The richly detailed illustrations alone, will make you feel as though Leonard is taking you on your own personal exploration of the city. By the time this book is over, you'll feel like you gained a new friendship with Leonard, and his pet Buster. We loved this book, and have read it many times since adding to our shelves. 

Sunday, November 27, 2016

BITTY BOT by Tim McCanna / Book Review #picturebookmonth

Written by: Tim McCanna
Illustrated by: Tad Carpenter
Published by: Simon & Schuster
Released on: October 4, 2016
Ages: 4 & up
Rating: 4 Owlets 
Purchase from: Simon & Schuster | Amazon | B&N
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A little robot would rather go on an intergalactic adventure than go to sleep in this rhyming romp that breaks all the bedtime rules. 

In a busy robot town 
bots begin to power down. 
All except for Bitty Bot! 
Feeling sleepy? 
Maybe not! 

Charming text in rhyming verse tells the story of energetic Bitty Bot, who, instead of going to bed decides to build a rocket and go on a space adventure! Sweet and fun to read aloud, this bedtime book is perfect for tots and bots of all varieties.

A great bedtime story for preschool age kids!

Just like kids, robot kids (bots), don't always want to go to bed when they're suppose to. So what do bots do when they can't sleep? Readers will love going on an adventure with Bitty Bot, the little bot who would rather go on an adventure than go to bed. Really cute illustrations, paired with a great color scheme, and rhyming text make for memorable bedtime read that will keep even the youngest of readers entertained. This is a great book to add to your bedtime story list. 

Saturday, November 26, 2016

WE FOUND A HAT by Jon Klassen / Book Review #picturebookmonth

Written and Illustrated by: Jon Klassen
Published by: Candlewick
Released on: October 11, 2016
Series: Hat Trilogy #3
Ages: 2 & up
Rating: 4 Owlets - We Enjoyed It
Purchase from: the Publisher | Amazon | B&N
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A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for my honest review

Two turtles find one hat – and it happens to look great on both of them.

What's not to enjoy about a Jon Klassen picture book?  There's something about his illustrations that draws you in and leaves you with a huge smile on your face. WE FOUND A HAT is my favorite of his Hat trilogy. There's something about these two turtles, and their wanting to make sure they both felt included when it came to wearing the hat they found, that I just loved. I won't spoil anything in this story for you, other than saying it's a great children's picture book to pick and read. Whether you've read the rest of this trilogy or not, this is definitely a book worth reading! 

Friday, November 25, 2016

TAKE HEART MY CHILD; A Mother's Dream by Ainsley Earhardt / Book Review #picturebookmonth

Written by: Ainsley Earhardt
Illustrated by: Jaime Kim
Published by: Aladdin
Released on: November 15th, 2016
Ages: 3 & up 
Rating: 5 Owlets - We Loved It
Purchase from: Amazon | B&N
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I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review 

In the tradition of Emily Winfield Martin’s The Wonderful Things You Will Be and Nancy Tillman’s On The Night You Were Born, popular FOX news anchor Ainsley Earhardt’s lyrical lullaby inspires children to follow their dreams and passions.

FOX and Friends cohost Ainsley Earhardt’s debut picture book shares precious life lessons parents can pass onto their children so that they can follow their hearts, dreams, and passions.

Take Heart, My Child is a lyrical lullaby, and Ainsley shares her own hopes and dreams, and lets her child know that whatever challenges life brings, “Take heart, my child, I will—or, my love will—always be there for you.” It’s a universal message, one that all readers will relate to.

In the “Story Behind the Story,” Ainsley talks about growing up and how her father would write messages to her and her siblings each morning, leaving notes at the breakfast table, so that his children would know they were loved, empowered, protected, and cherished.

A treasure! Earhardt beautifully captures a mother's dream and desire for her child, while also inspiring her child to follow their heart, always do the right thing, and be the best person they can be. Beautifully written, this book reads like a lovely prose, brought to life with equally beautiful illustrations. What an inspiring, touching read. 

A touching tribute to the hopes and dreams a mother has for child, I absolutely loved reading this book. This would be the perfect gift for excepting mothers, and any mother, no matter how old their children are. I love the author notes at the end of this book, where Ainsley talks about the inspiration for this book. This is one of the sweetest, touching picture books we've read. Take Heart My Child is definitely worth picking up. 

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving! Thank you to all of our readers, authors & publishers for your friendship, support & getting our love of books. We are so grateful for each of you. We wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving! (Pic: I took in Central Park- miss being in NYC).

HOORAY FOR TODAY! By Brian Won / Book Review #picturebookmonth

Written and Illustrated by: Brian Won
Published by: HMH Books for Young Readers
Released on: September 6th, 2016
Ages: 2 & up
Rating: 4 Owlets - We Enjoyed It! 
Purchase from: Amazon | B&N
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A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for my honest review

When the moon is up, Owl is wide awake and ready for fun: “Hooray for today! Would you like to play?” But everyone says, “Not now! I’m sleepy!” Owl’s playday gets lonely fast as each friend turns her away—until sunrise, when Owl discovers a friendly surprise. Perfect for little ones learning the art of patience, Hooray for Today! celebrates playtime, sharing, and friendship

This is such a cute book. What's more fun than playing, and some great friends? Owl is so excited about the new day. She can't wait to play with her friends. Except Owl's day is really her friends's night, and everyone is in bed asleep. Poor Owl can't find anyone to play with, because they're all asleep. As Owl sadly walks home, she doesn't realize that as the sun is coming up, her friends are planning something special just for her. 

With fun illustrations, and subtle color tones, that really set the mood for the book, this is a book readers of all ages will enjoy. This would be a great, quick read for nap time, or during quiet time in preschool and kindergarten classrooms. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

FIRST SNOW by Bomi Park / Book Review #picturebookmonth

Written & Illustrated by: Bomi Park
Published by: Chronicle Books
Released on: September 6th, 2016
Ages: 2 & up
Rating: 5 Owlets - We Loved It!
Purchase fromChronicle BooksAmazon | B&N
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A copy of this book was received in exchange for my honest review

Look out. Now look up. From the sky one flake falls, then another. And just like that—it's snowing.

In this beautiful book from debut creator Bomi Park, a young girl wakes up to the year's first snowy day. From her initial glimpse out the window to her poignant adventures—rolling a snowman, making snow angels—the girl's quiet quests are ones all young readers will recognize. Simple, muted text and exquisite, evocative art conjure the excitement of a day spent exploring the wonder of snow—and the magic that, sometimes literally, such a day brings. As subtly joyful as a snow day itself, this book will find its home in the hearts of young adventurers everywhere.

A heartwarming debut, that captures the magic of a child's first snow. 

With beautiful illustrations, and a sweet story, readers will love the wonder, and adventure of First Snow. I love the simplicity of the story, and the illustrations. The black and white coloring with little bits of red, make for a timeless feel. Look closely at each of the illustrations, especially within the woodland scenes, because there just may be a few things hidden within the trees. 

We absolutely love this book. It's one I would highly recommend picking up this holiday season! I look forward to reading more of Bomi Park's books. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

MY FAVORITE PETS By GUS W. FOR MS. SMOLINKSKI'S CLASS by Jeanne Birdsall / Book Review #picturebookmonth

By: Jeanne Birdsall
Illustrated by: Harry Bliss
Published by: Knopf
Released on: July 5th, 2016
Ages: 3 & up
Rating: 4 Owlets - We Enjoyed It!
Purchase from: PublisherAmazon | B&N
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A hilarious picture book from New York Times bestselling author of The Penderwicks Jeanne Birdsall and New York Timesbestselling illustrator Harry Bliss about one child's outrageous school essay on his "pet" sheep.

Things to know about sheep:
Sheep live outside.
Sheep have wool.
Sheep will not learn to ride a skateboard.
Sheep will not climb a tree.
Sheep will come into the house...but this will get you into trouble.

Seventeen sheep plus one Gus means that life is never dull on the farm! From National Book Award winning author Jeanne Birdsall and New York Times Bestselling illustrator Harry Bliss comes a hilarious tale about man's other best friend.

A hilarious story with some great illustrations. My Favorite Pets is written in a creative way that will have readers laughing hysterically. 

Life for Gus is never dull. Gus's class report, My Favorite Petsillustrates the fun Gus has on his farm raising his sheep. Filled with mishaps, and laugh out loud moments, readers of all ages will enjoy Gus's report/story. After reading this book, you may wish you had your own pet sheep. You also may approve of the final grade Gus received on his report.

This is one hilarious, laugh out loud picture book worth picking up! 

Monday, November 21, 2016

MAKE WAY FOR THE DUCKLINGS by Robert McCloskey / Book Review #picturebookmonth

Written and Illustrated by: Robert McCloskey
Published by: Viking
Released on: March 29th, 2016 (75th Edition)
Ages: 3 & up
Rating: 5 Owlets - We Love It
Purchase from: Amazon | B&N
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A copy of this book was provided from the publisher in exchange for my honest review

Celebrate the 75th birthday of Make Way for Ducklings!

Seventy-five years ago, a family of ducks waddled off the page and into the hearts of readers everywhere. The brilliantly illustrated tale of mallards on the move received the Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished picture book of the year, and has been a favorite of generations of readers.

Celebrate the anniversary of Make Way for Ducklings with this special slipcased edition, which includes an audio CD as well as a landmark poster of the ducklings’ Boston by Caldecott Award-winner Paul Zelinsky.

This book has been warming the hearts of readers of all ages. It's a timeless classic that's been read for generations. Who hasn't falling in love with this fearless family of ducklings?

I was in first grade, when I checked this book out from my public library. It was the first book I didn't want to return, because I loved it so much. I read it over and over again. I loved this book, and desperately wanted to own my own copy. I should note I did return the book, but I had a late fine with it. Yes, it was totally worth it. 

Years later, I now have this beautiful edition in my own personal library. This 75th Anniversary Edition is worth owning! Not only does this book come in a lovely slip cover, it also includes an illustrated map of Boston, and a CD.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Oliver's Tree / Lulu's Party by Kit Chase / Book Review #picturebookmonth

Written and Illustrated by: Kit Chase
Published by: Penguin 
Released on: May 20th, 2014
Series: Playtime with Friends
Ages: 3 & up 
Rating: 5 Owlets - We Loved It
Purchase fromPenguin/Random House | Amazon
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Source: Purchased

Meet three adorable best friends from debut author/illustrator talent with a huge Etsy following

Oliver, Charlie, and Lulu love to play outside together. Their favorite game is hide-and-seek, but it’s not fun for Oliver when his friends hide in the trees—he can’t reach them! So the friends set off to find a tree that Oliver can play in.

But there’s a reason we don’t see elephants in trees, and just when Oliver is ready to give up the search, Charlie and Lulu surprise him with the perfect tree for them all to play in together!

Simply adorable! This is picture book happiness. 

Oliver's Tree follows three animal friends, Oliver, Charlier and Lulu, who love to play outside together. Their favorite game is hide and seek. When they realize that Oliver isn't able to hide in the trees like they can, they make him feel special with a wonderful surprise of his very own.

A heartwarming story with adorable illustrations that will bring a smile to your face, Kit Chase's debut is a book worth picking up! The message about friendship is one that even the youngest of readers will enjoy. The sketch like illustrations, and soft color tones have made Chase one of my favorite children's book illustrators. 

Written and Illustrated by: Kit Chase
Published by: Penguin 
Released on: August 11, 2015
Series: Playtime with Friends
Ages: 3 & up 
Rating: 5 Owlets - We Loved It
Purchase fromPenguin/Random House | Amazon
Add it to Goodreads
Source: Purchased

The weather is stormy and Lulu is disappointed that she can’t play outside, so she makes a special Rainy Day Treat and plans the perfect party for her friends Oliver and Charlie. But when it’s time to taste the creamy hot chocolate, they quickly realize something went very wrong. Lulu is devastated that her party is ruined, but with some quick-thinking, Charlie and Oliver figure out a delicious solution to save the day!

Kit Chase offers a sweet ode to friendship in this tale of three best friends who are always ready to use their imaginations and help each other out.

A charming follow up to Chase's debut, this new story will have fans falling in love with these adorable friends all over again.  

Oliver, Charlie and Lulu are back for a brand new woodland adventure. When Lulu's party plans for her friends doesn't go as planned, Oliver and Charlie know just want to do, to make her feel better. These three friends are always willing to go the extra mile to help each other out. We love seeing how these friends work together to make the other friend feel better. 

With her signature illustrations, and heartwarming story, Chase's newest story is just as cute as the first one. This is another cute picture book worthy of picking up! If you can't get enough of her illustrations, I highly recommend checking out her website, where you can order her prints. They are simply adorable! What's not to love about an elephant, a bird and a bunny. 

Saturday, November 19, 2016

STRICTLY NO ELEPHANTS by Lisa Mantchev / Book Review #picturebookmonth

By: Lisa Mantchev
Illustrated by: Taeeun Yoo
Published by: Simon & Schuster
Released on: October 27th, 2015
Ages: 4 & up
Rating: 5 Owlets - We Loved It!
Purchase from: Simon & Schuster | AmazonB&N
Add it to Goodreads
Source: Purchased 

When the local Pet Club won’t admit a boy’s tiny pet elephant, he finds a solution—one that involves all kinds of unusual animals in this sweet and adorable picture book.

Today is Pet Club day. There will be cats and dogs and fish, but strictly no elephants are allowed. The Pet Club doesn’t understand that pets come in all shapes and sizes, just like friends. Now it is time for a boy and his tiny pet elephant to show them what it means to be a true friend.

Imaginative and lyrical, this sweet story captures the magic of friendship and the joy of having a pet.

Friends come in all shapes and sizes. No one knows that better than the young boy who's pet elephant is turned around from a local club, because it's not one that welcomes elephants. To ensure his pet is welcome, the boy decides to make their own club. This club is welcoming of every animal, no matter their shape, size, or what kind of animal they are. 

I have a soft spot for elephants. So when I saw this adorable cover, I immediately picked it up. Once I had read through it, I knew I had to purchase it. I love that this story illustrates the importance of feeling acceptance, and friendship. Something I feel most children naturally have towards others. That paired with adorable illustrations, and a wonderful story, make this a must have! 

Friday, November 18, 2016

EXTREMELY CUTE ANIMALS OPERATING HEAVY MACHINERY by David Gordon / Book Review #picturebookmonth

Written & Illustrated by: David Gordon

Published by: Simon & Schuster
Released on: May 17th, 2016
Ages: 4 & up
Rating: 4 Owlets - We Enjoyed It
Purchase from: Simon & SchusterAmazon | B&N
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A copy of this book was provided from the publisher in exchange for my honest review

Just because you’re extremely cute, doesn’t mean you can’t operate a bulldozer! From author-illustrator David Gordon comes a fun, funny, and whimsical take on believing in yourself and telling bullies who’s boss! 

Karen and the other extremely cute animals just want to build sand castles. But the terribly mean bullies Skyler, Mike, and Trent keep knocking them down! So Karen and her friends get another idea. They’ll build something the bullies can’t knock down, something even bigger and better than a sand castle... 

It’s a good thing being excessively cute doesn’t prevent you from operating heavy machinery!

Warning, this book contains some EXTREMELY CUTE ANIMALS, heavy machinery, and friends who stand up for each other, and don't let bullies get in the way of their fun. With fun, brightly colored illustrations, and some EXTREMELY CUTE ANIMALS, Gordon's story about friendship, and over coming bullying is one that readers of all ages will enjoy. 

Karen and her friends just want to have fun. Leave it up to some local bullies to ruin all that. Every time they build a sand castle, the bullies knock it over. No matter how many times the bullies try and ruin their fun, the friends stick together, and make a new one. Until they get one gigantic, incredibly fun idea. This idea is one that is welcoming to anyone and everyone who wants to play together nicely and have fun! 

Good friends, a lot of fun, and some creativity go a long way. Gordon's story telling will inspire readers to always believe in themselves, not give up, and that no matter what, be nicer to others, even when they're not always nice to you. This is definitely one really cute picture book we'd recommend picking up. You've been warned, you may fall in love with some extremely cute animals who know how to operate heavy machinery, stand up for their friends, and have fun. 

Thursday, November 17, 2016

BOGO THE FOX WHO WANTED EVERYTHING by Susanna Isern/ BANG BANG I HURT THE MOON by Luis Amavisca / Book Review #picturebookmonth

By: Susanna Isern
Illustrated by: Sonja Wimmer
Published by: NubeOcho
Released on: October 11, 2016
Ages: 4 & up
Rating: 3 Owlets - It's A Good Read
Purchase from: Amazon | B&N
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A Junior Library Guild Selection!

Bogo watched many animals around him. Some of them were so incredible that they made him feel less special. One day he decided to invent amazing things so that he could have everything he wanted.
A pair of wings to fly like a bird. It never worked.
A pair of night glasses to see like an owl. It never worked . . .

Bobo the Fox loves to invent things. Not feeling as special as the other woodland animals around him, Bogo's inventions started as a way of trying to fit in. But you can't change who you are, and Bogo soon learns that valuable lesson through his failed inventions. Though his inventions are cool, each failure makes him feel less special. When something threatens this part of the woods, Bogo realizes that it's not his inventions that make him special, but who he is and what he does, that makes him special. 

A good read, with an important message about being happy with who you are, knowing what makes you special, and never giving up on what you like to do. These messages also make great discussions starters with kids. 

By: Luis Amavisca 
Illustrated by: Ester G. Madrid
Published by: NubeOcho
Released on: October 11, 2016
Ages: 4 & up
Rating: 3 Owlets - It's A Good Read
Purchase fromAmazon
Add it to Goodreads

That night, Nicholas was making gun shapes with his hands:
"Bang Bang I shot the moon," he said pointing at the moon.
No one believed it when suddenly the moon fell into the family's garden.
The moon was not injured but fell down because of the fright.

It's bedtime for Nicholas and his brother, but Nicholas isn't tired. So he decides to play pretend guns, something he's not allowed to do. When he pretends to shoot the moon, it falls down into their garden. Feeling horrible for what he's done, Nicholas works together with his mom, brother, and a few animals, and ants to help get the moon back up to her home in the sky. Thankfully their team work pays off just in time. 

This is a good story with some great illustrations, and has a great theme of team work. If it didn't end the way it did, I would have liked it even more so. The last line made the ending feel abrupt, and incomplete. I felt like it needed a little bit more after that ending, or at least more of an explantation about why pretend shooting a gun could be harmful, or hurt someone. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

THUNDERBOY JR. by Sherman Alexie / Book Review #picturebookmonth

By: Sherman Alexie
Illustrated by: Yuyi Morales
Published by: Little Brown
Released on: May 10th, 2016
Ages: 4 & up
Rating: 4.5 Owlets - We Really Enjoyed It
Purchase from: Amazon | B&N
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A copy of the book was provided by the publisher in exchange for my honest review

Thunder Boy Jr. is named after his dad, but he wants a name that's all his own. Just because people call his dad Big Thunder doesn't mean he wants to be Little Thunder. He wants a name that celebrates something cool he's done, like Touch the Clouds, Not Afraid of Ten Thousand Teeth, or Full of Wonder.

But just when Thunder Boy Jr. thinks all hope is lost, he and his dad pick the perfect name...a name that is sure to light up the sky.

National Book Award-winner Sherman Alexie's lyrical text and Caldecott Honor-winner Yuyi Morales's striking and beautiful illustrations celebrate the special relationship between father and son.

What's in a name? Well a lot of things are. A name is important. It's something that identifies who we are. Sometimes names have a sacred meaning. They can also be passed down from generation to generation. Thunder Boy Jr.'s name is. He's named after his dad. 

Thunder Boy Jr is having a hard time with his name. He doesn't like it. He wants a name that's all his own. He loves his dad, and his dad's name, and he doesn't want to disrespect his dad by telling him how he feels. He thinks up a variety of names he could have. Names he identifies with. While Thunder Boy Jr. doesn't want to disrespect his family, his family loves him no matter what. His dad has a surprise for him. 

Sherman Alexie once again proves his diverse talent for writing children's literature. I love that we get to see the importance of the sacred naming traditions, as well as meet a character who's learning to embrace both his cultural and who he is. This story, and it's message are both wonderfully written. 

THUNDER BOY JR. couldn't have had a more perfect pairing between author and illustrator. Yuyi Morales brings this book to life effortlessly. I love the native artwork, and the way it captures this story. I have always loved and admired the Native American cultural, and I appreciate the way Alexi and Morales bring this beautiful and sacred cultural to life in this book. There needs to be more children's book like this in the world. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

THE WISH TREE by Kyo Maclear / Book Review #picturebookmonth

By: Kyo Maclear
Illustrated by: Christ Turnham
Published by: Chronicle Books
Released on: September 27th, 2016
Ages: 2 & up
Rating: 5 Owlets - We LOVED It!
Purchase fromChronicle Books | Amazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads
A copy of this book was provided from the publisher in exchange for my honest review

Charles wants to find a wish tree. His brother and sister don't believe there is such a thing, but his trusty companion Boggan is ready to join Charles on a journey to find out. And along the way, they discover that wishes can come true in the most unexpected ways.

The poetic text and heartwarming illustrations evoke the true essence of the holiday season and will inspire wishers everywhere. This gem of a book deserves center stage year round.

"When you go searching for a wish tree, you don't need a map or a compass or anything but a wish and a good friend." 

A beautiful ode to Winter, helping others, friendship, and the magic of believing in something even if no one else does. 

When Charles is determined to find a Wish Tree, his brother and sister tell him they're not real. Charles knows better. With this trusty toboggan, who's name is Boggan, by his side, the two venture off in search of the Wish Tree. As they venture through the winter woods, they help a variety of woodland animals. As night starts to fall, Charles becomes discouraged, because he never found what he was looking for. Luckily he has a few new woodland friends who know just what he is in need of.

THE WISH TREE is the perfect winter read. It's a heartwarming story with a woodland adventure, helping others and believing in something that's not seen. It's simple, yet beautiful message, and lovely illustrations, make this the perfect book to read around a cozy fire, or snuggled up under the blankets on a long winter's night. 

Monday, November 14, 2016

BUNNY SLOPES by Claudia Rueda / Book Review #picturebookmonth

Written and Illustrated by: Claudia Rueda
Published by: Chronicle Books
Released on: October 4th, 2016
Ages: 3 & up
Rating: 4.5 stars - We Really Enjoyed It
Purchase from: Chronicle Books | Amazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads
A copy of this book was provided from the publisher in exchange for my honest review

Time to tackle the bunny slope! Shake to help Bunny make it snow, tilt to help Bunny ski down the slope, and turn to help Bunny escape a cliff in his path. Is there any obstacle Bunny can't conquer? Bringing grins and guffaws with each turn of the page, readers will find Claudia Rueda's innovative bookmaking as entertaining as the twists and turns of a ski slope—and as satisfying as a cozy cup of hot cocoa

One of our favorite children's authors/illustrators is at it again! She's created another fantastic, interactive book, readers of all ages will love.

What's more fun than being snuggled up under a warm blanket, sipping hot cocoa on a cold winter's day? Being on the slopes with Bunny of course. But Bunny needs some help from you, the reader. From making it snow, to helping Bunny ski down the slopes, and make a big jump, readers will love helping Bunny tackle his day on the slopes. While it is a lot of fun to be up on the slopes, if you don't live near a mountain, this might be the second best thing. I'm pretty sure Bunny would agree, too. 

This is a fanatic book for story time. Fans of Rueda's Here Comes Santa Cat (and Cat's other stories), have a whole new character to fall in love with. Like Cat's stories, Bunny's story is one that makes for a memorable story time, with plenty of laughter. 

This one book we'd recommend picking up! 

Sunday, November 13, 2016

LIONHEART by Richard Collingridge / Book Review #picturebookmonth

Written and Illustrated by: Richard Collingridge
Published by: Scholastic
Released on: February 23rd, 2016
Ages: 3 & up
Rating: 5 Owlets - We Loved It
Purchase from: Scholastic | Amazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads

Richard hears something in his room before bedtime. Is it a monster? He doesn't wait to find out and sets off running through the streets, over the hills, through the forest, and into the fields until he finds himself in a magical jungle. With the help of his stuffed lion Lionheart, Richard finds the courage he needs to face his fears.

After hearing a scary sound in his room, young Richard thinks there is a monster in there, trying to get him. With a little help from LIONHEART, his brave lion toy, Richard learns to overcome his fears. With some imagination, a lot of courage, and some help from Lionheart, Richard realizes his braver than he thought he was. Soon he realizes he never has to worry about being scared of his room again. 

Beautifully illustrated, this is a wonderful book for young kids. Not only will they realize they're not the only ones who are scared of their rooms at night, they too can learn from Richard and Lionheart, how to overcome their fears. This is a wonderful book who's illustrations alone make this a book worth having. 

We loved this book, and would highly recommend picking it up! 

Saturday, November 12, 2016

PUG MEETS PIG by Sue Lowell Gallion / Book Review #picturebookmonth

By: Sue Lowell Gallion
Illustrated by: Joyce Wan
Published by: Simon & Schuster 
Released on: September 27th, 2016
Age: 3 & up
Rating: 4.5 Stars - We Really Enjoyed It!
Purchase from: Simon & Schuster | Amazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for my honest review 

An unlikely pair—a pug and a pig!—realize that it’s better to be together. 

Pug is a very happy pup. He has his own yard, his own bowl, and even his own cozy bed! That is, until Pig moves in and starts eating from Pug’s bowl, interrupting Pug’s routine, and, worst of all, sleeping in Pug’s bed. Will Pug and Pig ever learn to live together as friends? 

This sweet and silly story about a darling duo celebrates the timeless themes of embracing change, being kind to others, and finding friends in unlikely places.

An adorable story about friendship, and being kind. 

Change isn't always easy. Pug loved it how things were before Pig moves in. Now Pig, who's different from Pug, is invading his space, and using his things. Pug is having a very hard time adjusting to the change and isn't very nice to Pig. One day all that changes, because one simple act of kindness. Pug realizes that Pig isn't so different from him, and feels bad for how he's treated him. A friendships ensures, and now these two friends enjoy spending time together.

With adorable illustrations, and an easy to comprehend story, Pug Meets Pig is sure to be an instant hit for readers of all ages. There's a wonderful message about friendship, kindness, acceptance, and learning to adapt to change. This book is great for sparking discussions about these kid friendly themes. This book also makes a wonderful read aloud. 

I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves. ~ Anna Quindlen

Good children's literature appeals not only to
the child in the adult, but to the adult in the child.
~ Anonymous ~