Children’s Book Reviews
As I’ve mentioned, we’ve been studying the various continents and have found a wealth of great books from the Asian continent. Here are a few of our favorites–and my Charlie is one picky guy!
A rhythmic and delightful story about the preparation of the traditional Korean dish Bee-Bim Bop. It follows a mother and child as they shop, prepare, cook, and eat this meal. I pleasure to read and quick for those of you who have kids with short attention spans. My favorite part is that there’s a recipe for cooking Bee-Bim Bop in the back of the book. We even tried it out!
A classic story that I remember enjoying as a child. It tells the story of why Chinese parents give their children short names. This book is wordier than a lot of the ones I try with my son, but it has become one of his absolute favorites. When given a choice, he ALWAYS chooses to read this one.
Described as “a Thai lullaby” this is a simple and melodic story about a mother trying to make it quiet enough for her baby to sleep. Simple enough for younger children, older children will enjoy checking out baby’s shenanigans and mother tries to quiet her farm.
A fable about a young Chinese boy, a contest to become the next emperor, and the importance of honesty. Lovely pictures are definitely part of the appeal of this book.
I may have enjoyed this one more than my son! It’s short, easy-to-read story about a mother frog and her sons who never do what they’re told. I think the silliness of the young frogs will delight many children.
Katy is a mom of three who loves art, mystery novels, and anything involving peanut butter–she blogs about raising her little miracles at Bird on the Street.
I love getting to take a sneak peek at Scholastic Book Club selections every month and share them with you. This month I chose to peak at their Easter Picture Books. This 5 pack of Easter themed books is a great mix of stories focusing on different parts of the holiday. Don’t forget to enter for a chance to win all 5 books from Scholastic Book Clubs
The Best Easter Prize
by Kristina Evans is a sweet ( maybe too sweet) book about doing the right thing. It’s Easter morning and after church is a big Easter egg hunt and whoever finds the most wins the prize. At first our heroine can’t find any but then she hits the jackpot only to find a crying friend who has an empty basket. Of course she offers her some of her eggs ( sweet) but then they cross the finish line holding hands ( too sweet). My dislike of sickly sweet picture books aside the story as a whole is cute, my kids enjoyed it and the lesson is valuable.
The Biggest Easter Basket Ever
by Steven Kroll is another story about cooperation and how two helpful hands are better than one, and a whole bunch of hands is way better! Clayton and Desmond both want to win the town’s biggest Easter basket competition but after making their own baskets they sneak a peek at the competition and realize they don’t stand out. Luckily as the story progresses they figure out working together is key. My son loved this book but some younger friends ( young 4 year olds) lost interest in the middle. I love this author and I love how working together is presented in a practical way instead of simply because it’s the right thing because I think the former is easier for young kids to grasp.
by Grace Maccarone is an interesting tale about how Peter Rabbit became the Easter Bunny. The book has a few loose ends I really wish would be tied up but before I get to that let me give you a quick taste of the book. The story is how Peter wants to make his mom forgive him for being naughty so he steals ( although he doesn’t see it that way) eggs from neighboring farms to give her as a gift. Before he gives them to her paint falls on them and they get colored all different beautiful colors. His mom tells him not to steal and so he returns them at night becoming the Easter Bunny. Ok here are my issues…I don’t mind naughty characters, in fact I usually really enjoy them but sneaking back to return something you stole without apologizing left a bad taste. I know why the author wrote it like that to turn him into the Easter Bunny but it still didn’t sit well with me. The illustrations by David McPhail really stole the show , I thought they were beautiful.
The Best Easter Eggs Ever!
by Jerry Smath is my favorite book in this pack . The story follows the Easter bunny and his 3 young assistant bunnies as they prepare for their big day. The Easter Bunny is getting tired and a little bored of his polka dot design for the eggs and decides to send out his assistants in search of new designs. The little bunnies head out with one egg and paints to all different places to find inspiration. When one of the little bunnies is captivated by the night sky she doesn’t notice how dark it is and how lost she has gotten. The Easter Bunny and his other assistants find her and in the morning the new designs are celebrated. My son loves an inside look at any sort of secret place like the Easter Bunny’s or Santa’s workshop so he was drawn into this book immediately. I liked the illustrations and how detailed they were , it certainly got me excited about Easter.
The Night Before Easter
by Natasha Wing is a Easter version of the classic “Twas The Night Before Christmas” . With fun pictures and an Easter Bunny so joyful I wanted to apply for his job this book was a hit at our house. My son was engaged through the whole book guessing at the rhymes and listening intently from one page to the next. Of all the books this was the only one that really engaged my toddler as well. She pointed out animals and loved the little boy in the book. Great Easter book.
Now that you know what all the books are about want a chance to win them? All you have to do is leave a comment on this post telling us :
What was the last book you read with a child ?
This sweepstakes is open to American residents 18 years or older. To be eligible for the sweepstakes you must leave a comment on this post answering the question “What book did you read with a child today?” 1 winning commenter will be drawn at random, using Random.org, after the sweepstakes closes on Sunday March 4th at 8:00pm PST. The winners will receive all five books listed , valued at $18. After the winner is notified he or she has 48 hours to respond with their mailing address for Scholastic to ship their books to,or another winner will be chosen at random. No purchase necessary.The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Any information gathered through the sweepstakes including email and postal addresses will not be used in anyway other than contacting winners and shipment of winnings. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
I was not paid for my review, I was provided a copy of the books to review and copies to offer as a sweepstakes prize. All opinions are mine .
Richard Scarry’s Readers (Level 2): A Smelly Story
Richard Scary’s Great Big Schoolhouse Readers – Level 2
Erica Farber, illustrated by Huck Scarry
age 5 to 6
by Carrie Anne
From concept books to story books, resolve to start the New Year by spending more time sitting and exploring the joy of reading together.
This New Baby
by Teddy Jam, illustrated Virginia Johnson
Holding a new baby, staring into a newborn’s eyes, can evoke a feeling that is hard to put into words. This New Baby, with it’s water colour illustrations, tries to express what mothers, fathers, relatives feel through the use of poetic versus. A wonderful book to read with your new baby and remember those first moments of joy.
Except the Color Grey
by Arlene Alda
What’s your favourite colour? It’s a common question asked of kids. The answer comes quick but usually it’s not just one colour. And who can blame them. Except the Color Grey explores this question with kids using wonderful coloured photographs depicting the sites kids might take in during their day. The words say what the kids are thinking about some of the colourful things they see outside. This is a great book exploring the idea of colour and how it exists in every day things. I love the use of general photos of things the kids could encounter when out. Why not explore some of your child’s favourite colours around the house or on a neighbourhood walk?
Bear in a Square
by Stella Blackstone, illustrated by Debbie Harter
age 3 to 5
Bear in a Square is a fun concept book that combines shape recognition and counting. Follow bear’s adventures, from when he gets up until he goes to sleep. Each spread shows bear in his next environment, such as at school or visiting the circus bears. Readers are invited, through large text on the page, to find a shape in the illustration. As you turn the page, you’re asked to find a new shape and the number of images on each page increase from 1 to 10. Kids can count the shapes as they find them, plus they can count the line of shapes down the right, illustrating the number for that page. At the back is a page showing al the shapes with their names. Although the text is simple, the flow does illustrate a story which is nice within a concept book.
Lots of Dots
by Craig Frazier
Chronicle Books/Raincoast Books
age 3 to 5
Okay, this isn’t a new book (released in 2010) but I do love it so. This colourful book invites you to examine the world around you, a world filled with dots of different sizes and functions, but dots none the less. I love the bright colours on the white pages with the dots highlighted. My kids loved pointing and counting all the dots on the pages. Plus afterwards they were more attune to the world around them, pointing out dots in things they never gave a second glance at before. A fun book.
You Are a Gift to the World / The World is A Gift To You
by Laura Duksta, illustrated by Dona Turner
It’s so easy to get caught up in the idea of ‘items’. This uniquely designed book is really two books in one but with the same message: people and the beautiful world around us are the best gifts we can receive. You Are a Gift to the World, talks about how important our kids our to us, how they make us feel and how that is gift enough. This can translate into all people who are important in our lives. The World is a Gift to You, reminds us of the special gift the world is with the animal, plants and nature surrounding us. Each tale ends in the middle with a simple message. Forget the Barbie, LEGO and transformers, this is a message of appreciating the gifts that are really important. I love that.
I want to thank Crystal from Raincoast Books, Sylvia from Tundra Books, Leah at Barefoot Books, and Trish at Groundwood books for my review copies.
Yesterday on our facebook page I asked readers where their children loved going on family outings. Museums, the zoo and the beach were all mentioned along with science centers and more. I think that part of learning through play is setting a launch pad for a deeper experience and using books as a tool for that is an easy option . Whether you homeschool or just want to enrich your family time using books to deepen these hands on experiences your kids will learn more. I have rounded up books for each of these popular sights, click through the image or text for the full reviews of each title.