Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Ten Valentines Books Still On My TBR

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

Slugs in Love by Susan Pearson

The Night Before Valentine's Day by Natasha Wing

The Ballad of Valentine by Alison Jackson

Somebody Loves You Mr. Hatch by Eileen Spinelli

It's Valentine's Day by Jack Prelutsky

Happy Valentine's Day,  Mouse! by Laura Joffe Numerous

The Day It Rained Hearts by Felicia Bond

Love, Splat by Rob Scotton

Roses Are Pink, Your Feet Stink by Diane de Groat

Love, Ruby Valentine by Laurie B. Friedman

Mommy and Me

Me Tall, You Small by Lilli L'Arronge

We received this book from the publisher in exchange for a review.

Story: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Illustrations: ⭐⭐⭐

Me Tall, You Small is a series of playful vignettes in the daily life of a pair of weasels, parent and child. Whether they are having a bubble bath, kicking a soccer ball, or eating ice cream together, simple paired phrases showcase their loving—and amusingly realistic—relationship. After a fall: You boo-boo. Me bandage. At bedtime: Me tired. You wired.

A Sweet Book Showing a Parents Unconditional Love

I expected we would be reading a book about opposites, but what we got instead was a heartwarming book about the love between a parent and a child. Especially nice is the message that a parent has unconditional love, and the little annoyances of having a small child who sometimes doesn't get with the program are indeed little, especially compared to the love that a parent feels.

I am normally put off by books that are almost entirely made up of bad grammar, even if it is for fun, but I don't really feel that way about Me Tall, You Small. The word play is catchy, sweet, and just a lot of fun.  The illustrations are simple but ones that will appeal to small children.

Evelyn's Reaction

Loved it!  Listened attentively, pointed to several of the pictures with a nice wide smile, and wanted an immediate reread.

Me Tall, You Small
by Lilli L'Arronge
Expected Publication: March 14, 2017
Recommended Age: 2-6
Pages: 40

Monday, February 13, 2017

Do Fairies Bring the Spring? by Liza Gardner Welsh

We received this title from the publisher for review.

Story: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Illustration: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

After a long winter s rest with little to do, are the fairies ready to start something new, Do they use tiny brushes and oil pastels to paint crocuses, lilacs, and daffodils? Everyone knows fairies love spring flowers and summer sun, but is it the fairies who wake up the earth as the snow melts? Do they entice the trees to turn green and the flowers to grow? 

Magical Spring Time Themed Book

Do Fairies Bring Spring, asks the questions that gets children thinking if it is possible that the wonders of spring might not exist without the assistance of the fairies.  The idea is presented as quite plausible, which makes this a good one for reading to expand on through play and imagination.  It would also be a fun side addition to a spring unit for younger children.  

The whimsical illustrations are absolutely beautiful.  Evelyn seemed to enjoy pointing at all of the little details that were in many of the scenes, and I found each picture beautifully charming.

At the end of the book there are tips for attracting fairies for spring, which are actually very practical little projects that would be good to do with little ones.

Do Fairies Bring the Spring?
by Liza Gardner Walsh
Illustrated by: Hazel Mitchell
Published: Feb. 9, 2017
Recommended Age: 4-8
Pages: 32

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #IMWAYR No.1

Evelyn and I have both read a number of books from our shelves, from the library, and books that we have received for review.  Here's what we have:

From the Library

Fox in Socks by Dr. Seuss

One fish two fish red fish blush fish by Dr. Seuss

Where are the Green Sheep by Mem Fox

Thunder Boy Jr. by Sherman Alexie  

From Our Shelves

Pat the Bunny by Dorothy Kunhardt

Going to My Big Bed by Sheryl Berk

The New Babysitter by Sheryl Berk
Goodreads  |  Amazon

The Wonder of Sharks by Weldon Owen

From the Publisher

I Don't Want a Rabbit by Ingrid Prins  (Review)

Mama Bird Baby Bird by Wanda Obermeier  (Review)

Is a Worry Worrying You by Ferida Wolff  (Review)

Jesus is Alive by Debby Anderson  (Review)

Bedtime for Buzzy by T.J. Hackworth  (Review)

Favorite Review Book of the Week

Porcupette Finds a Family by Vanita Owlschlager

While I recommend Porcupette Finds a Family only to a very select reading audience, I find it to be one of the most brilliant tools for children who are suffering from abandonment issues and for those who love them.

What Nana Read

Darling, I'm Going to Charlie  by Maryse Wolinsky

This is a beautifully written account of a woman's heartbreaking journey after her husband, Georges, was murdered in the mass terrorist shooting at Charlie Hebdo in France.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Porcupette Finds a Family by Vanita Oelschlager

We received this book from the publisher for review.

Story: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Illustration:🟃 ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Porcupette Finds a Family, is a story about how a baby porcupine (called a porcupette) finds a new family after losing his mother. He wants to have an attachment to the bear family he finds, but is afraid his "bear" mother and "bear" brother and sister will leave him too. This causes him to act out his fears in
ways that jeopardize acceptance from his adopted family. However, with the understanding and help of Mother Bear, Porcupette finally accepts that he is truly loved and wanted despite, or maybe because of, his differences.

Amazing, BUT For a Very Specific Target Audience

On my first pass through I wasn't sure about how I felt about Porcupette Finds a Family by Vanita Oelschlager, but as someone who worked with children within the foster care system for years, I have to say that Porcupette is a realistic character for a child who is hurting and who misbehaves to either test people's boundaries or to push people away before they have a chance to hurt them first.

A child losing their parent and feeling the uncertainty of the world around them is not your average subject matter in children's literature, and it is in no way sugar coated in Porcupette Finds a Family.  This is exactly what children who are experiencing this in their own lives need as well do the people who love them, as a valuable tool to open up meaningful conversation and to help children understand what their feelings are about.

I recommend this book to children with abandonment issues, and the adult's caring for those children, simultaneously, not separately.  I also recommend this book to children and the parents of those children who are closely involved with a child who is dealing with abandonment issues.  It can be used as a wonderful teaching tool for those children as well, in order to help them understand what the other child may be feeling.  It also would be a smart move for any counselor to have this one ready and available on their bookshelf.

Porcupette Finds a Family
by Vanita Oelschlager
Illustrated by Mike Blanc
Published: 2010
Pages: 44
Our Source: Publisher

Amazon   |   Goodreads

Mini Masters Board Books

The books from the Mini Masters Series by Julie Merberg and Suzanne Bober are imaginative board books featuring beautiful paintings by a renowned artists paired with playful, rhyming text.  Children can enter the magical world of art in a fun and imaginative way while also receiving a magical adventure all rolled into one!
This is the full list of the books available.  Enjoy.

In the Garden with Van Gogh

Quiet Time with Cassatt

Sharing with Renoir

Dreaming with Rousseau

On an Island with Gauguin

Painting with Picasso

A Magical Day with Matisse

Sunday with Seurat

Dancing with Degas

A Picnic with Monet

There is a box set available as well, which includes the following books from the collection:
Dancing with Degas
A Picnic with Monet
A Magical Day with Matisse
In the Garden with Van Gogh

I love these and hope to collect each and every one of them for Evelyn.  

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Every Book is a New Release to a Child: Fox in Socks by Dr. Seuss

HarperCollins is relaunched Dr. Seuss's best-selling books, including such perennial favourites as The Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs and Ham and Fox in Socks.  Other well loved children books are being printed all the time such as Nancy Drew with the original design on the cover, Little House on the Prairie books have become classics, Pat the Bunny is alive and well, Caps for Sale, Frog and Toad, Curious George, Blueberries for Sale...

Thank goodness that so many of children books are still thriving in the publishing world, more so than adult books.  Besides classics, there are only a small percentage of more current releases that will be among buzz books in the future.  

Why?  Kids don't care.  Everything is a new release to them.  They are young and experience a bookshop or library the way that I wish that we all could, wide eyed at the possibility of falling in love with any one of the books on the shelf.

I have thought about this a lot as I have been on this journey with Evelyn, but never more than yesterday when we read Fox in Socks by Dr. Seuss.

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

In this hilarious book, the irrepressible Fox in Socks teaches a baffled Mr. Knox some of the slickest, quickest tongue-twisters in town.

One of the Most Precious Reading Experiences I Have Had

Evelyn and I have shared a  lot of good times, but the time that we have spent together reading has been one of my most enjoyable experiences as a grandmother, and reading her Fox in Sox was a moment that I will never forget.

I had forgotten that most of the Dr. Suess books are in the 60 page range, and I didn't know if Evelyn was ready to sit through a book of that length, but it turned out that the sing song rhythm of the writing in Fox in Sox held her complete attention.  The books is all rhythmic tongue twisters and she loved it.  

We read Fox in Sox after lunch, just before bedtime, and while she sat on my lap, listening to every word, looking over every page, near the end she pressed her forehead against the side of my face, gently swayed to the words, and fell peacefully asleep.

It was one of the most precious reading moments I have had the pleasure to experience.  I only wish that I wasn't alone with her so I could have a picture.

We will definitely be reading more Dr. Suess in the future, and I believe that these books are a must buy for adding to her library collection.

Fox in Sox
By Dr. Suess
Source: Library
Originally Published: 1965
Pages: 62