Monday, August 31, 2009

That Book Woman

Author: Heather Henson
Pictures by: Davis Small
Reading level: Ages 4-9
Hardcover: 40 pages
Publisher: Atheneum (October 7, 2008)
ISBN-10: 1416908129

Cal is not a kid that likes to read. In fact, he's a kid who lives in the remote Appalachian Mountains where there are no libraries. The only books he and his sister have available to them are the ones brought by horseback every few weeks by the Book Woman.

Cal's sister, Lark, is a bookworm who loves reading more than anything. She could sit all day with a book. Cal just doesn't understand why she likes to read so much, until one day he begins to wonder what makes the Book Woman ride through rain, wind, and snow to deliver the books. When he finally understands her dedication, it changes Cal's life forever.

Written as poetry, this book not only will inspire children to read, but it also gives a small glimpse into the courageous Pack Horse Librarians of Kentucky. The Pack Horse Project was created in the 1930s by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, in order to bring books to the young people of the Appalachian Mountains.

I give it 5 stars for being unforgettable.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Dude, That's Rude! (Get Some Manners)

Author: Pamela Espeland & Elizabeth Verdick
Reading level: Ages 9-12
Paperback: 128 pages
Publisher: Free Spirit Publishing; illustrated edition edition (January 15, 2007)
ISBN-10: 1575422336

Book Description:

Kids today need manners more than ever, and this book (part of the Free Spirit Laugh & Learn[TM] series) makes it fun and easy to get some. Full-color cartoons and kid-friendly text teach the basics of polite behavior in all kinds of situations while keeping young readers entertained on every page. Kids learn Power Words to use and P.U. Words to avoid, why their family deserves their best manners, how to yawn, how to burp, how to meet new people, how to treat a guest and be one, the right ways to use phones (including cell phones), school manners, mall manners, body manners, potty manners, the Top Ten Table Manners, and the essentials of e-etiquette (politeness online). It may seem like light reading, but it's serious stuff: Manners are major social skills, and Dude, That's Rude! gives kids a great start.

My Review:
Did you know that 8 out of 10 adults say that a lack of manners is a serious problem today? I should say, I'm one of those 8 out of 10. When I was a pre-teen my mother gave me a book on manners and insisted I read it. But that was several years ago and society has changed a lot since then.
Recently, I found this little book, Dude, That's Rude, on Amazon and thought how much fun it would be to review it on my children's book blog. So I ordered it and I wasn't disappointed. It may not be Amy Vanderbilt, but it's "way cool" and gets the good manners point across to children and adults alike.
The illustrations alone will hold anyone's attention and the way good manners are presented by the written word speaks to both pre-teens and teens. It addresses everyday issues like: power words and words that show you might be a clod; how to treat one's family; good school manners; and even mall manners. It discusses just about anything a kid needs to know about social skills.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and will suggest it to my family members and friends.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Too Many Visitors for One Little House

Author: Susan Chodakiewitz
Illustrator: Veronica Walsh
Paperback: 40 pages
Publisher: BookSurge Publishing (February 11, 2009)
ISBN-10: 1419654705

After a new family moves into the neighborhood, the nosey neighbors begin to gossip about the large amount of company that's arriving. They are not happy with all the commotion it's causing and finally hold a meeting, deciding to take their issue to the city's complaint department. But before they go ahead with their judgemental plans, the family offers them a tray of fresh apple strudel and invites them to join their family reunion.

This delightful book gives parents and teachers an opportunity to talk to children about friendliness, tolerance, and being good neighbors. It is well written and beautifully illustrated.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Aurora of the Northern Lights

Author: Holly Hardin
Reading level: Ages 9-12
Paperback: 32 pages
Publisher: Outskirts Press (July 22, 2009)
ISBN-10: 1432724398

Mistletoe was a maid who lived in the land of ice and snow until she met William. William wastes no time in asking Mistletoe to marry him and they soon journey south to a beautiful country which is green, warm, and charming. The couple settles into their new home, and have a baby they name Aurora.

Aurora of the Northern Lights is a delightfully illustrated children's Christmas book, written in poetic verse. It deals with many of life's realities, which I believe is suitable for ages 9 years and up.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs

Author: Judi Barrett
Illustrator: Ron Barrett
Reading level: Ages 4-8
Paperback: 32 pages
Publisher: Atheneum (April 1, 1982)
ISBN-10: 0689707495

This is one of the most celebrated and beloved children's books of all-time. It has sold over three million copies and a movie version will soon be released, which I can hardly wait to see.

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs begins with Grandpa making pancakes for breakfast, and accidently flips a pancake onto his grandson's head. That evening, while still thinking about the pancake episode, Grandpa tells the children a tall tale about a town that has very unusual weather conditions. It's called the town of Chewandswallow.

In the town of Chewandswallow it rains soup and juice and snows mashed potatoes. The people of the town get their food from whatever the weather brings forth that day. Sometimes it even produces hamburgers and meatballs and all kinds of other good food.

This is an imaginative children's book that delights children of all ages with its creative narrative and expressive illustrations. No wonder it's being made into a movie! Absolutely delightful!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Have You Filled A Bucket Today? A Guide to Daily Happiness

Author: Carol McCloud
Illustrator: Davis Messing
Reading level: Ages 4-8
Paperback: 32 pages
Publisher: Ferne Press; 1 edition (May 15, 2006)
ISBN-10: 0978507517

I love this concept. I've always heard about the glass being half full or half empty, but never heard of filling a bucket with happiness.

The book tells children that everyone around the world is carrying an invisible bucket. People are happy when their buckets are full and that we need other people to help us fill our buckets. Sometimes people are unkind and our buckets are not as full when that happens.

All sorts of things can help the bucket become full of happiness, like a smile, or someone caring about us. It gives children ideas on how to fill invisible buckets all around them and helps them understand how someone feels when we are mean or thoughtless.

This is such a sweet book with darling illustrations.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Queen Vernita Visits the Blue Ice Mountains

Author: Dawn Menge
Illustrated by: Bobbi Switzer
Reading level: Ages 9-12
Paperback: 32 pages
Publisher: Outskirts Press (May 16, 2009)
ISBN-10: 1432711695

Wow, what a beautiful and unique children's book!

Each month Queen Vernita invites a friend to visit the Blue Ice Mountains. Upon arrival each friend gets to chose something they are interested in and learn about it. In January, Debbie learned all about crabs; in February, Thomas learned about sea otters; in the month on March, Christopher learned about glaciers; in April, Joshua learned all about wildflowers; and so it goes, with each guest, throughout the entire year.

This book offers a fun, painless way to impart knowledge to young minds. The writing is excellent and the illustrations are as well. I wish I could give this unusual children's book more than 5 stars!

(Thanks to the author for my review copy.)

Monday, August 17, 2009

The green Green Pear

Author: Manjula Naraynan
Paperback: 32 pages
Publisher: AuthorSolutions (June 3, 2009)
ISBN-10: 1438969570

Book Description:

What can be done when a little, green Green pear doesn't love himself, and wishes he were, "anything but a green Green pear"? Make him learn otherwise, of course! This book is about one such green Green pear and the journey he takes to learn to love. Leading to the understanding that true love and learning comes from within each one of us.The illustrations that take you through the story are collages made out of mixed media, done by the author to maximum effect. The green Green Pear is a contemplative classic, teaching children of all ages to first start with loving themselves.

My Review:
The little green, Green Pear wanted to be more than a green pear--anything but a green pear! He wishes to be a red apple, a purple grape, a yellow banana, an orange orange, or a blue blueberry--anything but a green pear. He wants to moo like a cow, meow like a cat, baa like a sheep, oink like a pig, and bark like a dog. He can't do any of these because he is only a green pear.

The green pear goes shopping for a new coat. He tries on all shapes, but finally discovers he can only fit into a pear shape coat.

Eventually, he is given many of his wishes, but finds that in his heart he is still a green, green pear and becomes happy at last.

This is a wonderful book which teaches children, not only to love and accept themselves and others, but also teaches them many things like colors, shapes, and sounds through delightful illustrations and language.

A must read for children! 5 stars*****

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Jesus Book

Author: Stephen Elkins

Illustrator: Claudine Gevry
Reading level: Ages 4-8
Hardcover: 96 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson; Har/Com edition (August 11, 2009)
ISBN-10: 1400314631

Book Description:
The Jesus Book introduces kids to the life, teaching, wonder, and amazing love of Jesus.
Often kids know about Jesus but don't have a relationship with Him. This book offers kids "everything you need to know about God's Son" and encourages a lifelong relationship with their Lord. Divided into Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How sections, it offers clear explanations and easy understanding for young hearts. It will teach them things like who Jesus is: Jesus is God's Son, and He is also my friend. Where is Jesus? He lives in heaven, but He also lives in my heart. How does Jesus act? He acts with kindness and forgiveness, and He wants me to be like Him. Includes an audio CD with over an hour of songs about Jesus. This is a must-have for every child!

My Review:
The Jesus Book is the perfect book for explaining the story of Jesus to ages 4 years and older. It begins with the Old Testament prophets foretelling His coming, goes on to tell his birth history, what he did in his lifetime, the purpose of His birth, how we can have eternal life, and maps showing where it all took place. An audio CD of 30 Jesus songs is also included with the book.

Some chapters in the book are:
*Who Jesus Is
*What Jesus Did
*What Jesus Taught
*When It Happened
*Where It Happened
*Why It Happened
*How It Happened

Topics included are:
*He healed many
*He rose from the dead
*He brought salvation to the world
*He taught us to pray
*He taught us the golden rule
*Timeline: When It Happened
*When was Jesus born?
*Map of Israel
*Map of Jerusalem
*Where is Jesus now?
*Why was Jesus sent?
*Why did Jesus die on the cross?
and much more!!

This book was written to help children learn about Jesus and how they can have a lifetime relationship with him. It takes what could be considered complex questions and explains them in a way children can understand. The illustrations are also excellent and help tell the stories in each chapter. This book is a wonderful Christian guide for kids.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Wally The Walking Fish

Author: Gary Lamit
Paperback: 28 pages
Publisher: BookSurge Publishing (May 28, 2009)
ISBN-10: 1439225419

Madison and her dog, a yellow Labrador named Cooper, live by the water. One day while Madison is fishing she catches a walking catfish whose name is Wally.

Soon Wally, Madison, and Cooper become friends. Wally introduces them to Betty the Beaver, and tells them about his cousin Frankie, the flying fish and other interesting nature facts.

The three friends continue to explore the water, beach, and forest until it is time for Wally to go home.

There were many fun wildlife facts in this delightful children's book--I even learned a few things myself! This is a beautiful book that encourages friendships and an appreciation for the natural world. A fun read with very nice illustrations.
(Thanks to the author for my review copy.)


Author: Lisa Woomer
Reading level: Ages 9-12
Paperback: 28 pages
Publisher: Outskirts Press (March 17, 2009)
ISBN-10: 1432730207

Cookie is an impossible little girl. Even though her parents encourage her to eat healthy food, Cookie only wants to eat cookies!

One day Cookie actually turns into a cookie and faces some unpleasant side effects. It reminded me of the old saying, "You are what you eat."

This is a cute, very well-written children's book, that is sure to get the healthy food point across to its young readers, without frightening the child.
(Thank you to the author for my review copy.)

Saturday, August 8, 2009

The Turkey's Treat

Author: Marie Sanderlin Metroke
Illustrator: Victor Guiza
Reading level: Ages 9-12
Paperback: 24 pages
Publisher: Outskirts Press (April 22, 2009)

It's snowing outside, and only four days before Christmas. Jeff is asking why his parents have not bought the holiday tree, and why there is no turkey in the "fridge." Jeff keeps begging until his family takes him out to find the perfect tree.

On the way home there is a stop for groceries and the "turkey" adventure begins when Jeff ends up in the emergency room. By the end of the book Jeff finds a special pet and the true meaning of Christmas.This is a cute, fun book for children, with delightfully animated illustrations.
(Thanks to the author for my review copy.)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Manners Can Be Fun

Reading level: Ages 9-12
Hardcover: 48 pages
Publisher: Universe (May 1, 2004)
ISBN-10: 0789310619

Book Description:

If we want something we say PLEASE. We say THANK YOU if you help us or give us something or do things for us. Before we leave the table we ask if we may be excused. And say THANK YOU if we are told we may. Continuing the success of How to Behave and Why-with hundreds of thousands of copies sold, 50,000 in the last year and a half alone! -comes another gem from the trove of Munro Leaf. Considered his second most popular book, Manners Can Be Fun was first published in 1936 and is among Munro Leaf's acclaimed "Fun" series, which includes Grammar, Reading, and History. In his signature style of stick-figure illustrations and wholesome text, this charming guide, in which courtesy does not have to be a chore or a response to scolding, makes manners a delight to learn. With such characters as the Mefirsts and the Whineys, children can laugh while absorbing the elementary rules of thoughtfulness and etiquette. To listen, cooperate, act graciously, and share, among others, are invaluable lessons that should never be underestimated, and that help make happy, well-adjusted, and secure children who will one day grow up to be happy, well-adjusted, and secure adults.

About the Author:

Munro Leaf is the author and illustrator of numerous children's books. He is best known for The Story of Ferdinand, first published in 1936 and a bestseller ever since.

My Review:
I have just recently started collecting children's books, which I plan on reading to my grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Manners Can Be Fun, a book about courtesy, is my newest purchase. It carries a very simple message about respecting other people, including family members--an essential message young children can easily understand and should be taught in the home. The illustrations are those children themselves might draw, and I'm sure would relate to and enjoy. I'm very pleased with this sweet little book and can't wait to share it with my family.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Read and Share Toddler Bible

Reading level: Baby-Preschool
Hardcover: 192 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (July 7, 2009)
ISBN-10: 140031464X

This beautiful hardcover Bible storybook for infants and toddlers is a wonderful way to introduce your child to the Bible. It includes 40 Bible stories, colorful illustrations on every page, and a 60 minute DVD. I am giving it as a gift to all of my grandchildren and expect they will love the stories and the DVD.

It includes stories from both the Old and New Testament, including these:

*Adam and Eve and the Sneaky Snake

*Noah and the Big Boat

*A Baby for Abraham and Sarah

*Rebekah and the Ten Camels

*Joseph and His Brothers

*Baby Moses

*Davis and the Sheep

*Daniel in the Lions' Den

*Mary and the Angel

*Presents for the Baby

*One Lost Sheep

*A Little Boy with a Lunch

*Jesus Goes to Heaven

*Jesus Loves You

It also includes a presentation page where you can write the child's name and date given, plus a letter to the parents page, which explains how the book is written and the best way to use it. Also, after each story, there is a little suggestion box for parents on how to talk to your child about the story.

I would definitely recommend this little Bible storybook to anyone who wishes to raise a child early on the Holy Scriptures. I don't think you will be disappointed.

(Thanks to Thomas Nelson for my review copy.)