Tag Archives: children’s book

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: 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: I Will Never Get a Star on Mrs. Benson’s Blackboard – by Jennifer K. Mann

 

 

 

 

 

Book: I Will Never Get a Star on Mrs. Benson's Blackboard
Author/illustrator: Jennifer K. Mann
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Date: June 9, 2015
Genre: children's picture book; age 5-8; gr. K-3
Pages: 40
Price: $16.99
My rating: Such a delightful story!

I Will Never Get a Star on Mrs. Benson’s Blackboard, written and illustrated by Jennifer K. Mann, is a sweet story.

Schoolteacher Mrs. Benson gives stars on the blackboard for spelling and math and right answers and neatness. Rose just KNOWS she’ll NEVER get a star because she can’t seem to give the right answers on anything. She likes to doodle, and her desk is always messy, too. Mrs. Benson doesn’t give stars for that.

One day, Mr. Sullivan comes to visit the class and he talks about being an artist. After his visit Rose thinks a lot about what he said, so much that she’s distracted and spills the class snack on Mrs. Benson! How can she ever get a star that way!

When Mrs. Benson announces she’s going to do a desk check for neatness, Rose’s heart sinks, but the next morning she cleans it the best she can. When her teacher gets each student to make a thank-you card for Mr. Sullivan, Rose’s artistic flair is released. What a mess, even worse than before! In fact, Mrs. Benson laughs because not only is Rose’s desk a mess, so is Rose! She is very impressed with the little girl’s artwork, though, and says that Rose is a true artist like Mr. Sullivan.

At the end of the day, Mrs. Benson calls Rose up to the blackboard. The little girl is worried, but then something wonderful happens.

Jennifer K. Mann‘s illustrations are fabulous in I Will Never Get a Star on Mrs. Benson’s Blackboard. I wish I could share a couple of my favourites here for you, but since I can’t you’ll have to read this delightful book for yourself to see them. Jennifer pulls the reader right in with her combination of words and visuals. Her illustrations are uncomplicated and expressive – very enjoyable.

You can find I Will Never Get a Star on Mrs. Benson’s Blackboard by Jennifer K. Mann on my BUY THE BOOK page. I also post my reviews on Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Goodreads, and on Chapters.Indigo if available there.

Your comments for authors and illustrators are greatly appreciated.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

Book Review: A Northern Alphabet – by Ted Harrison

 

 

 

 

Book: A Northern Alphabet
Author/Illustrator: Ted Harrison
Publisher: Tundra Books
Date: Board book edition Feb. 28, 2017
Genre: Children's board book  
Pages: 28
Price: $12.99 (US $8.99)
My rating: A charming, beautiful work of art 

 

I “discovered” Ted Harrison a few years ago when I came across a poster of his work. About a year ago I donated it to the local elementary school, and then the librarian sent me a book to read about him. I was hooked!

I received a copy of this book – A Northern Alphabet by Ted Harrison – from Library Thing in exchange for my honest review.

This edition of A Northern Alphabet is a board book. It’s a very nice size – 7″ wide, 9″ high (22.9 cm x 17.9 cm) – for little hands.

Ted Harrison (1926-2015) was born in England but when he came to Canada he fell in love with the northern part of the country and stayed for the rest of his life. His paintings changed to capture the beauty of the Yukon and its people, as shown in this book. He was famous for his remarkable bold-coloured paintings and in later years he was made a Member of the Order of Canada for his contributions to Canadian culture through his paintings and books. 

In A Northern Alphabet, for every letter of the alphabet Mr. Harrison illustrated with paintings from what he saw and experienced around him in the Yukon. His work is simplistic and meaningful, delightful and full of colour.

Two examples: H h The husky is watching the boys play hockey. N n  The northern lights shine in the sky at night. The art illustrating those letters gives readers an education in some of the culture of Canada, as it does throughout the book.

A Northern Alphabet by Ted Harrison is a beautiful book for young children to learn both the alphabet and something about the culture of the Canadian far north. They will love that the renowned artist chose to paint a moose a deep pink, a bear orange, and the sky always in bands of bold colour. They will even learn new words such as anorak, Inuit, muskeg. This is an excellent book to introduce children to art that looks as if it was made just for them, and for anyone who wants to know more about Canada’s north.

You can find A Northern Alphabet by Ted Harrison on my BUY THE BOOK page. I also post my reviews on Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Goodreads, and Chapters.Indigo if available there.

Your comments are very much appreciated.

Thank you for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

 

 

 

Book Review: Blobfish Throws a Party – by Miranda Paul

 

 

 

 

 

Book: Blobfish Throws a Party
Author: Miranda Paul
Illustrator: Maggie Caton
Publisher: little bee books 
Date: May 2, 2017
Genre: children's picture book; 4 - 8 yrs; Preschool - 3
Pages: 32; hardcover
Price: $16.99
My rating: a delightful story about how one life can make 
a huge difference

 

Blobfish Throws a Party, written by Miranda Paul and illustrated by Maggie Caton, is a funny story children will love. 

Blobfish lived on the bottom of the ocean where it was dark and lonely. He was tired of being alone. He wanted friends, and lights and delicious treats, but how was he going to get them?

Blobfish decided that there were only two ways to get what he wanted – one was to have a great party, the other was to save the world and be a hero. Either way he would get friends, and lights and delicious treats.

Realizing it was unlikely that he would have any reason to save the world, Blobfish knew hero status wasn’t much of a possibility. That left the party, so he shouted out, “DEEP-SEA PARTY! BRING A TREAT TO SHARE!”

Blobfish’s invitation wasn’t understood by anybody the way it was intended. For example, the mermaids heard it as “Cheap, free party! Sling on a sheet to wear!” Everybody heard it differently, so it just got more and more wacky, and wild, and noisy – all over the planet! But Blobfish was still alone.

Then something happened to change everything. There was an invasion. The rest you have to find out for yourself. 😉 

Blobfish Throws a Party by Miranda Paul is a funny rhyming story that, with each page turn, is sure to inspire giggles and anticipation for what is coming next. The gorgeous illustrations by Maggie Caton depict the story perfectly. This is one of those picture books adults will enjoy reading over and over to the children in their life.

You can find Blobfish Throws a Party by Miranda Paul on my BUY THE BOOK page. I also post my reviews on Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Goodreads, and on Chapters.Indigo if available there.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂