Tag Archives: Book review

Book Review: You’re Here! – by Karla Oceanak

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book: You're Here!
Author: Karla Oceanak
Illustrator: Julie Rowan-Zoch
Publisher: Bailiwick Press
Date: October 7, 2014
Genre: children's board book, year-by-year series 
Pages: 16
Price: $7.99
My rating: sweet story for baby and the whole family

You’re Here! by Karla Oceanak is a little board book heralding the arrival of a long-awaited new baby. Illustrated in subtle hues by Julie Rowan-Zoch, it is gentle and pleasing to the eye.

In only sixteen pages of a book made small enough for little hands to manage well, Baby is told how special his/her arrival is to the family. Baby’s milestone events are noted, such as first smile, first tooth, first time to crawl, and so on throughout the first year of Baby’s life. Presented in an endearing way, You’re Here! shows how much Baby has already grown, or will develop.

For other young children in the family, Julie Rowan-Zoch‘s illustrations in You’re Here! are sweet and fun to help them understand and recognize how their new sibling will change and grow just as they did.

You’re Here! by Karla Oceanak is ideal as a baby shower gift for the expected birth of a baby. At the end of the story, the parents express their joy in being selected by Baby, which also makes it a very suitable book for the adopted child.

You can find You’re Here! by Karla Oceanak on my BUY THE BOOK page. I also post my reviews on Goodreads, and when available on Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, and Chapters.Indigo.

Your comments are greatly appreciated by authors, illustrators, and this blogger.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

 

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Book Review: Mae and the Moon – by Jami Gigot

 

 

 

 

 

Book: Mae and the Moon
Author-Illustrator: Jami Gigot
Publisher: Ripple Grove Press
Date: September 8, 2015
Genre: children's picture book; age 5-7; gr K-2
Pages: 36
Price: $16.99
My rating: A beautiful way to introduce children to 
the wonders of the moon

Mae and the Moon, written and illustrated by Jami Gigot, is a beautiful way to introduce children to the wonders of the moon.

Mae is a little girl who discovered the moon seems to be following her. Mae likes that because she really enjoys playing in the early evening when the moon is brightest. (If you look at the wonderful illustrations you will notice Mae is never far from her family, and her evening strolls are with her father, mother, little brother, and her dog who is always close.)

Mae and the moon like to play hide-and-seek, until one night the moon disappears entirely! Mae is quite upset and wonders if it will ever come back. When her mother tells her that even the moon needs to rest, Mae can’t wait for its return. She gets her dad to help her build a rocketship out of cardboard boxes, and her imagination takes her on a search into the starry sky to find the moon. Right when she imagines being able to hug the moon her dad says it’s time to come in. Then Mae makes another discovery!

Mae and the Moon will inspire curiosity about the moon’s phases as children read about Mae and her love of the moon. The illustrations are enjoyable, with only two pages showing Mae in the daytime when she can’t see the moon – when she’s busily planning her excursion to find it.

Young children will learn that the moon goes through phases to where it is only a sliver of light in the sky before it disappears until the new phase begins. On the inside of the back cover Jami has the phases illustrated, which will help children figure out what phase the moon is in – if they are in an area where city lights don’t inhibit that wondrous experience. This is a beautiful book to read over and over with many details to find. 

You can find Mae and the Moon by Jami Gigot on my BUY THE BOOK page. I also post my reviews on Goodreads, and when available on Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, and Chapters.Indigo.

Your comments are greatly appreciated by authors, illustrators, and this blogger.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

 

Book Review: Pirates in the Library – by Nadia Ali

 

 

 

 

Book: Pirates in the Library
Author: Nadia Ali
Illustrator: Jake Tebbit
Publisher: Star Bright Books
Date: November 30, 2016
Genre: children's picture book; age 5-8; Pre-school-3
Pages: 40
Price: $16.83 hardcover
My rating: a delightful story to encourage interest in the 
library

Pirates in the Library by Nadia Ali is a delightful story to encourage interest in the library, starting with that title.

Ms. Benitez, the librarian, thought of a way to get people interested in visiting the library. She sketched out a treasure map, made copies of it, and stacked them on her desk by an open window. The map was the Dread Pirate Dewey’s decimal map and showed how to find his treasure. 

A storm came up and out the window blew many of her maps! Out on the wild waves was Captain Jake, and one of Ms. Benitez’s maps stuck right on his face.  Of course, once he saw what it was, he was determined to find the treasure.

Fierce Captain Jake, his bold pirate crew, and their parrot too, came looking for the treasure. Ms. Benitez happily welcomed them, warning them not to shout or squawk, but to be quiet, and then directed them to rows and rows of “treasure.” Captain Jake was aghast that there were no rubies or diamonds or doubloons! Only books! Many books. When he realized all his crew had disappeared Captain Jake suspected the Dread Pirate Dewey had captured them, but then he found them all reading books about things that interested them, such as … cooking, navigating by the stars, learning to take charge, biographies, fiction, sports, and even the parrot was looking at a book of pictures of birds.

At the very end of the story … well, that’s funny, too. You’ll have to read it for yourself.

The fabulous illustrations for Pirates in the Library were created by Jake Tebbit and add depth to the story. The way Nadia Ali told the story is entertaining, with repetition in such a way that adds to the humour. 

Pirates in the Library is an enjoyable book for children and the adults who read to them. In the back of the book is the Dewey decimal system – which shows how it is worked out. Also, the end pages are fun with maps and X marking the spot where the treasure can be found.

You can find Pirates in the Library by Nadia Ali on my BUY THE BOOK page. I also post my reviews on Goodreads, and when available on Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, and Chapters.Indigo.

Your comments are greatly appreciated by authors, illustrators, and this blogger.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

Book review: Two Speckled Eggs – by Jennifer K. Mann

 

 

 

 

Book: Two Speckled Eggs
Author/Illustrator: Jennifer K. Mann
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Date: April 22, 2014
Genre: children's picture book; 5-8 yr; K-3
Pages: 32
Price: $14.99
My Rating: a wonderful story about enjoying being oneself

Two Speckled Eggs, written and illustrated by Jennifer K. Mann, is a story to encourage uniqueness, showing it’s okay to not follow the crowd.

Ginger was having a birthday party to which she wanted to invite all the girls in her class at school – all except Lyla. Lyla smelled like old leaves all the time and she didn’t talk much. Ginger thought Lyla was weird. But, Ginger’s mother wisely said to invite Lyla too or she could invite none of them. Ginger invited Lyla, too.

Lyla was the first guest to arrive at the party. — Here’s where you begin really appreciating Jennifer’s illustrations, because you see what Lyla’s interests are and how she sets herself apart. — When all the other girls came they started playing the party games. Ginger soon began feeling disappointed. The other girls didn’t play any of the games right, but kind of took over and did things their own way. When it came time for cake, all the girls, except for Lyla, were fussy and thought they didn’t like it so wouldn’t eat any. They left Ginger and Lyla sitting at the table while they ran off to play. The two girls start to connect when a funny thing happens while they are enjoying cake together.

When Ginger opens her presents later, her favourite one was from Lyla who’d obviously put thought into what she wanted to give her. Ginger discovered that, even though Lyla didn’t care about being like everybody else, she was more fun and a better friend than all the other girls Ginger had thought she wanted to be around.

Two Speckled Eggs by Jennifer K. Mann is a story to which many children can relate. (And adults, too.) The illustrations are adorable and wonderfully expressive in their simplicity. In fact, the reader can appreciate the story just through the illustrations and not miss anything. It’s beautifully done.

Two Speckled Eggsand don’t you love the title? – takes the reader from the hopeful anticipation of a little girl, through her disappointment, and into the realization of a new and unexpected friendship. That friendship shows her it’s not a bad thing to be different.

You can find Two Speckled Eggs by Jennifer K. Mann on my BUY THE BOOK page. I also post my reviews on Goodreads, and when available on Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, and Chapters.Indigo.

Your comments are greatly appreciated by authors, illustrators, and this blogger. ♥

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

Book Review: Dear Santasaurus – by Stacy McAnulty

 

 

 

 

 

Book: Dear Santasaurus
Author: Stacy McAnulty
Illustrator: Jef Kaminsky
Publisher: Boyds Mills Press 
Date: October 1, 2013
Genre: children's picture book; age 5-7; K-3
Pages: 32
Price: $15.37
My rating: a fun and funny read

Dear Santasaurus by Stacy McAnulty is unlike any dinosaur book – or santa book – you’re likely to read.

Dear Santasaurus is a funny story about Ernest B. Spinosaurus, a young dinosaur who starts early in the year writing letters to Santasaurus. In fact, January 1 his first note is a thank you for his Christmas present – even though he already broke it. Every month he writes to Santasaurus, sometimes twice, and more in December just so he can try to be on the nice list.

 The notes also serve as his wish list which changes and grows throughout the year. In March, what starts out as a scooter, by April has increased to a Jurassic Turbo Scooter x9. In May is it a sea serpent blue Jurassic Turbo Scooter x9 and a raging raptor action figure. In June, it is now a Jurassic Turbo Scooter x9 with a working headlight, and never mind the raging raptor action figure – he now wants tar pit goo. Amusingly for the reader, Ernest B. Spinosaurus’s request gets more elaborate almost every month, and the bold creative illustrations by Jef Kaminsky add to the humour.

On Christmas Eve Ernest leaves a note for Santasaurus, just to remind him of the long list of features he wants his scooter to have. The description is so detailed (and changed) it’s quite funny.

The illustrations by Jef Kaminsky are very well-suited to the story, as Ernest B. Spinosaurus tries to do more nice things than naughty ones – a hard task for a mischievous young dinosaur to accomplish. Children will love the antics Ernest gets up to, and his attempts to convince Santasaurus he had good reasons for everything.

Children are sure to enjoy Dear Santasaurus by Stacy McAnulty. It’s a fun story for adults to read to them, too.

You can find Dear Santasaurus by Stacy McAnulty on my BUY THE BOOK page. I also post my reviews on Goodreads, and when available on Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, and Chapters.Indigo.

Your comments are greatly appreciated by authors, illustrators, and this blogger.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

Book Review: When a Dragon Moves in – by Jodi Moore

 

 

 

 

 

Book: When a Dragon Moves In
Author: Jodi Moore
Illustrator: Howard McWilliam
Publisher: Flashlight Press 
Date: May 1, 2011
Genre: children's picture book; age 5-7; K-2
Pages: 32
Price: $16.95
My rating: a delightful story of imaginative play

When a Dragon Moves In is the first book of two – the second being When a Dragon Moves in Again which I reviewed HERE. The author, Jodi Moore, came up with the cutest personalities and storyline for children (and adults) to enjoy.

With his parents and older sister, a little boy spends an enjoyable day at the beach. He builds a perfect sand castle that turns out to be just right for a dragon to move into – and so begins a very imaginative day at the beach.

The dragon becomes his playmate – toasting his marshmallows, being his raft in the water, playing in the sand, scaring away bullies (when actually the reason they run is because his father is standing behind him). The boy is careful to hide his dragon for a while, but then decides it’s time to let his family know. Of course, they don’t believe him and have reasonable explanations for all his clues of the dragon’s existence.

Soon, to prove he’s real, “his dragon” starts doing things that get the little boy into trouble. His dad says it’s got to stop. The boy realizes he has a decision to make.

Children will understand the boy’s quandary, and will be amused with the wonderful ending of the story.

When a Dragon Moves In is such a delightful story. The illustrations by Howard McWilliam are absolutely fabulous. When a Dragon Moves In and When a Dragon Moves In Again are two books that are ‘must reads’ for your young readers – and the whole family.

You can find When a Dragon Moves In by Jodi Moore on my BUY THE BOOK page. I also post my reviews on Goodreads, and when available on Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, and Chapters.Indigo.

Your comments are greatly appreciated by authors, illustrators, and this blogger.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

 

Book Review: 7 Ate 9: The Untold Story – by Tara Lazar

 

 

 

 

 

Book: 7 Ate 9: The Untold Story
Author: Tara Lazar
Illustrator: Ross MacDonald
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Date: May 16, 2017
Genre: children's picture book; humour
Pages: 32
Price: $18.99
My rating: Entertaining story filled with puns and humour

7 Ate 9: The Untold Story is a very entertaining story. And how can it not be, having been written by Tara Lazar?

Private I is asked by the number 6 to help him. He has heard that 7 Ate 9, and he is scared 7 would soon be after him. Private I pointed out that 7 is always after him – as in 5, 6, 7. That fact doesn’t console 6 and he fears his days are numbered as both 7 and 9 seem to be missing!

Private I goes to the café for a slice of pi.  (No, I didn’t mean to type pie.) The waitress, whose name is B, has the scoop. She’d heard that 7 ate 9, and she drops a scoop of ice-cream onto Private I’s pie that’s shaped like the number π – which is the mathematical pi.

As you can easily figure out from what little I have said – not wanting to give away the whole story – there are many puns and word plays in this funny picture book 7 Ate 9: The Untold Story. The bold, creative illustrations by Ross MacDonald (a Canadian now living in the US) are perfectly suited to the story and visually add to the puns. The reader must pay attention to the illustrations to not miss the added humour.

In a surprising and funny conclusion, Private I cleverly solves the mystery of missing 9 and 7, reminding the adult reader a little of Sherlock Holmes.  🙂

Tara Lazar has cleverly written a book for children that is full of puns, plays on words, and humour. Young readers are sure to enjoy 7 Ate 9: The Untold Story.

You can find 7 Ate 9: The Untold Story by Tara Lazar on my BUY THE BOOK pageI also post my reviews on Goodreads, and when available on Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, and Chapters.Indigo.

Your comments are greatly appreciated by authors, illustrators, and this blogger.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂