Ladybug Girl and the Rescue Dogs by David Soman

Ladybug Girl and the Rescue Dogs by David Soman and Jacky Davis

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Book Review of Ladybug Girl and the Rescue Dogs by David Soman and Jacky Davis

I am a sucker for children’s books! I love them! Maybe it’s sentimental; it goes back to when I was a child and my mom read to me. In any case, I still love children’s books even though my kiddos are all getting big. They love them too because they’ll still pull out the picture books and read them occasionally. Please enjoy my book review of Ladybug Girl and the Rescue Dogs by David Soman and Jacky Davis.

Blurb:

“At the farmers’ market, Lulu spies some adorable furry friends. These rescue dogs need to be brushed, played with, and given water. But more than anything, they need forever homes! Lulu can’t adopt all the dogs herself, but maybe Ladybug Girl and the Bug Squad can work together to make a difference. This might be their most important mission ever!”

 

My Book Review:

Where have I been? Did you know there are already 11 Ladybug Girl books? This book makes number 12. She is so cute! If I ever go back to teaching first grade, I’ll need the whole set for sure! The illustrations in this book are adorable! My niece’s name is Lucy and we call her Lulu, so I think Aunt Monica better give this book to her for her birthday!

Along with darling illustrations, Ladybug Girl and the Rescue Dogs also has a great message. Lulu sees the dogs that don’t have homes and wants to help. Of course, her mom says no to adopting them all, so she needs to think of other ways to help. I like that Lulu is helpful in the story. She doesn’t wait around waiting for directions, she takes initiative.

Lulu gets the dogs water, brushes them, and plays with them. At this point she’s joined by the Bug Squad who helps her in her mission. The impromptu dog parade is my favorite part. I like that this book teaches children to help without being asked. It also teaches children that even though they are small, they can still help change the world in small ways.

Dog lovers, children, moms, Ladybug Girl wannabes, teachers, and grandparents will all love this book.  

 

Content Rating GRating: G (Clean!)

Age Recommendation: Everyone!

Rating: 4/5

4 Star Review

If you would like to purchase this book, click here: https://amzn.to/2IZrDEn

Disclosure: I did receive a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

 
 

Similar Titles You May Be Interested In:

The Napping House by Audrey and Don Wood Laura's Star by Klaus Baumgart  Nina the Neighborhood Ninja by Sonia Panigrahy
 
 

Can Somebody Please Scratch My Back? by Jory John

Can Somebody Please Scratch My Back by Jory John

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Book Review of Can Somebody Please Scratch My Back by Jory John

Have you ever experienced that annoying itch that won’t go away? It’s the worst when you can’t reach it! You’re trying to scratch it with a pen or a wooden spoon handle, but nothing works. That’s what happens to Elephant in this story. Poor guy. I hope you enjoy my book review of Can Somebody Please Scratch My Back by Jory John. 

Blurb:

“This elephant has an itch.
Can any of the other animals help him scratch his back?
Dynamic duo Jory John and Liz Climo present a hilarious and heartwarming(ish) tale of perseverance, creativity, and helping others (well…most of the time).”
 

My Review:

This is such a cute book! I love the adorable little elephant. The illustrations are well done and so darling. I like the font too. Is that weird? Did you know I have a secret love of different fonts? I know, I’m crazy. A lot of the pages in this book are very simple. There’ll just be one little picture with a speech bubble, but it works well. All the different animals are so fun. My favorite is the crocodile; he’s hilarious! I love his big grin. And elephant’s reaction to him is perfect. Oh, the sloth is great too! Haha!
 
Crocodile in Can Somebody Please Scratch My Back
Photo Credit: Amazon.com
 
 
Elephant gets more and more desperate with each page you turn, and he gets more frustrated too. With his frustration, he may get a little more cranky as well, which is understandable. So sometimes he’s not as polite or as grateful as he should be. This is the perfect opportunity for parents and teachers to talk about manners and being grateful when people help us. 
 
I think this is a darling story. Even though my kids are big, I think I’ll read it to them. My nine-year-old will still enjoy it, at least! This book will make a great addition to any home or class library. And now please excuse me while I go scratch my back (all this talk about itches is making my back itch)!
 
 

Content Rating GRating: G (Clean!)

Age Recommendation: Everyone

Rating: 4/5

4 Star Review

If you would like to purchase this book, click here: https://amzn.to/2EFIids

Disclosure: I did receive a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

 
 

Similar Titles You May Be Interested In:

The Napping House by Audrey and Don Wood Hail to the Chief by Callista Gingrich  The Best Nest by P.D. Eastman
 
 

Book Review of Bus! Stop! by James Yang

Bus! Stop! by James Yang

Book Review of Bus! Stop! by James Yang

Everyone who knows me, knows how much I love children’s books. There’s just something about a children’s book that takes you back to your childhood. I still love reading them to my kids even though my kids are bigger now. So, whenever the opportunity to review a children’s book comes up, I jump on it. I thought the concept of Bus! Stop! by James Yang sounded fun, so I said I would review it.

Blurb:

Wait!
 
A boy has just missed his bus.
 
Good thing other buses are stopping.
 
But they don’t look like his bus.
 
And the bus riders look different too….
 
Should he try another bus?
Stop! Bus!
 

My Book Review:

I thought this book sounded so cute! Many people, including me, have had to run for a bus only to see it drive away. It’s always a stressful situation because you have to find a schedule to see when the next (correct) bus will come. You could be late for work or school, so you’re worried about that. Will the next bus be on time? How long will I need to wait? All those things run through your mind. It would be even worse as a child.

When the boy in the book misses his bus, he stays there and waits. He’s all alone (where is his mother?), and he ends up waiting. Several different buses pass, and each one looks completely different. The passengers look different too. Some of the buses look more fun than his bus does, but he keeps waiting. He waits all day. It’s now dark (again, where is his mother?), and a bus passes by that looks fun. The boy decides to take that bus, so he gets on, and away he goes!

The illustrations in Bus! Stop! are different. They’re not cutesy; they are fantastical, but also a little strange. I do like the bright colors of the illustrations, and I like the creativeness. The words are repetitive, so it does help beginning readers, but they are also quite sparse. There’s not much to read. I wish that there was a bit more to the story.

My main concern with this book is that this small boy is left alone all day long, and then he just gets on some random bus and goes. He doesn’t know where he’s going, and no one else knows where he is.  I understand where the author is going. He’s saying that sometimes we need to think outside the box and try something different and fun. Maybe I’m reading too much into this, but I don’t think this context is the place to do that. Children can’t just get on random buses and explore. It’s a good lesson for a different context. This would be a good opportunity for parents to discuss rules and safety.

It is a fun book to discuss creativity, how people are unique and have different styles, and what to do if you miss your bus. I think it would also be the fun start to an art project about creative ways to get where we want to go (transportation).

 

Content Rating GRating: G (Clean!)

Age Recommendation: Everyone

Rating: 3/5

3 Star Rating

To purchase this book, click here: https://amzn.to/2GLJstZ

Disclosure: I did receive a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

 
 

Similar Titles You May Be Interested In:

The Napping House by Audrey and Don Wood Nina the Neighborhood Ninja by Sonia Panigrahy  Remember the Ladies by Callista Gingrich
 
 

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!!!

Happy Birthday To You by Dr. Seuss

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!!!

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!!!

 March 2nd is Dr. Seuss’ Birthday!
 
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
 
~Dr. Seuss
 
Dr. Seuss
Photo Credit: amazon.com
 

It’s Dr. Seuss’ Birthday!

Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, was born on March 2, 1904. He was born in Springfield, Massachusetts to Theodore and Henrietta Geisel. His mother’s maiden name was Seuss, and it was also his middle name. While at Dartmouth College, he worked on the school’s humor magazine, called the Jack-O-Lantern, until he and his friends were caught having a drinking party, which was not allowed. Consequently, the school let him go from that position. Apparently he still wanted to write because he continued to contribute to the magazine under the name “Seuss.”

Theodor’s father wanted him to be a college professor, and so after Dartmouth he went to Oxford University in England. He became bored, though, and ended up touring Europe instead. While he was there he met Helen Palmer. They later married, and she became a children’s book author.
 
When he returned home from Europe, he tried many different careers. At first he tried to be a cartoonist. He did publish a few things, but that career never took off. Then he ended up working for Standard Oil for 15 years creating their advertising campaigns. Towards the beginning of WWII, he began contributing political cartoons to PM Magazine. He also worked on creating training movies. After working on the illustrations for a collection of children’s sayings for Viking Press, which didn’t do well, he wrote the book And To Think That I Saw it On Mulberry Street. 27 publishers rejected it before Vanguard Press published it.
 

Dr. Seuss is born!

 
It was his next book, The Cat in the Hat, that really began his career. The project was a joint effort between Houghton-Mifflin and Random House, and they asked him to write a story using “only 225 ‘new-reader’ vocabulary words.”(1) Lucky for us, it worked! That began his career writing children’s books using the ‘new-reader’ words.
 
Dr. Seuss passed away on September 24, 1991. At the time of his death he had written and illustrated 44 children’s books. Over 200 million copies of his books have been sold, and he was awarded “two Academy awards, two Emmy awards, a Peabody award and the Pulitzer Prize.”(1) 


Our home library has many Dr. Seuss books in it, and they have been read many, many times! My children have loved them, and the kids I taught at school also loved them. Dr. Seuss is beloved by many, and has contributed to my love of reading as well as my kids’ love of reading. Thank you Dr. Seuss for your creativity, determination, and imagination!
 

 Here are some great links to Dr. Seuss information and activities!!!

 
 
 
 
 
Doesn’t this sound like so much fun? You have the kids scan the qr code and they can
listen to the stories. Click the photo to go to the activity.
 
Click on the above photo to find the Dr. Seuss cut and paste bingo!
 
How fun to celebrate Dr. Seuss Day with a fun photo booth! Click on the image for the link.
 
Everyone loves cootie catchers! Click on the above photo to make yours!
 
 
 
Have fun celebrating today!!!
   
 
 

This post was first published 3/2/17; updated on 3/2/18.

[Book Review] The Best Nest by P.D. Eastman

The Best Nest by P.D. Eastman

[Book Review] The Best Nest by P.D. Eastman

My Book Review:

Oh, how I love this book! The Best Nest by P.D. Eastman is one of my all-time childhood favorites, and I love that my kids enjoy it now! Mrs. Bird is expecting a baby, and decides she wants a new home. She and Mr. Bird travel everywhere looking for a new house. They find a few they like, but unfortunately, those homes  already have occupants, and they have some close calls. Finally, it begins to rain and Mr. and Mrs. Bird get separated. They are sad and wonder if they’ll ever see each other again. The sky is filled with lightning and thunder, and suddenly Mr. Bird crashes into something! What is it? Well, you’ll have to read to find out!

The Best Nest is a beginning reader, and my first grader can read it well. It’s a fun, fun read-aloud, and it also makes a great silent read. I like this book because it is easy enough for the beginners to read by themselves.  Children enjoy guessing where the birds will end up, and it’s fun to see the places they thought would be good homes. I love the illustrations, and I love that the kids love reading it. Next time you’re at the library or a book store, check this one out, you won’t be disappointed!

Content Rating GRating: G (Clean!!! Yay!)

Recommendation: Everyone!

4 Star Rating

Similar Titles You May Be Interested In:

The Napping House by Audrey and Don Wood Remember the Ladies by Callista Gingrich  Nina the Neighborhood Ninja by Sonia Panigrahy
  

This post was originally published on 1/7/15; updated on 2/21/18.

[Book Review] The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks

The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks

[Book Review] The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks

My girls’ elementary school decided to read The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks for their “One School. One Book.” program this year. I was super excited because I’ve been meaning to read it to them for awhile anyway. It was one of the first books I read to my boys when they were little, but for some reason I haven’t read it to my girls yet. Since I read it with them I decided I might as well review it!

Blurb:

“It’s Omri’s birthday, but all he gets from his best friend, Patrick, is a little plastic Indian brave. Trying to hide his disappointment, Omri puts the Indian in a metal cupboard and locks the door with a mysterious skeleton key that once belonged to his great-grandmother. Little does Omri know that by turning the key, he will transform his ordinary plastic Indian into a real, live man from an altogether different time and place! Omri and the tiny warrior called Little Bear could hardly be more different, yet soon the two forge a very special friendship. Will Omri be able to keep Little Bear without anyone finding out and taking his precious Indian from him?

My Review:

This is such a fun book; it plays to every kid’s wildest dream! How awesome would it be to put a plastic figure into a cabinet and have it come out alive? When my sister and I were little we dreamed that our Cabbage Patch kids would come to life so we could take care of real babies. Haha! Thankfully it never happened. I love how caring Omri becomes. He risks getting into big trouble in order to do things to help Little Bear. His creativity is the best: getting the seed tray for dirt, lighting the tops of matches so Little Bear could have a fire, looking through the toy bin to find the perfect horse and wife. He’s so protective of Little Bear, too. Omri becomes this little parent, and it’s endearing. Patrick drives me crazy at the beginning, but by the end he pulls around.

The writing style of this book makes it great for either a silent read or a read-aloud. My girls are twelve and nine, and they both enjoyed having me read it to them, but could easily read it themselves. The Indian in the Cupboard was published in 1980, so there are a few things that are not quite politically correct now.  Words like “Injun” and “red man” are commonly used. A cowboy comes in at one point, and Little Bear wants to scalp him. I spent quite awhile discussing with my girls how those words are not okay to use anymore. Although it’s a little uncomfortable, it actually provides a very good opening for discussions about race, unkind words, and stereotypes.

I’m so glad that I was able to read The Indian in the Cupboard with my girls. I love that time we get to spend together, and the adventures we get to have. Plus, it allows me to add a review to my list! If you’re looking for a fun read with your kids, or a good silent read, this is a great book for either. One thing I would do, though, if your kids read it silently, is to still have the discussions and talk about the non-p.c. terms used, and how offensive they are now.

Content Rating PGRating: PG (There might be a word or two, but there’s no “intimacy;” there is some minor violence, and some old and non-p.c. terms are used.) 

Age Recommendation: As a silent read, third grade and up, but as a read-aloud, Kindergarten and up.

4 Star Rating

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[Book Review] Snow Crystals by W.A. Bentley and W.J. Humphreys

Snow Crystals by W.A. Bentley

[Book Review] Snow Crystals by W.A. Bentley and W.J. Humphreys

Blurb:

“Did you ever try to photograph a snow flake? The procedure is very tricky. The work must be done rapidly in extreme cold, for even body heat can melt a rare specimen that has been painstakingly mounted. The lighting must be just right to reveal all the nuances of design without producing heat. But the results can be rewarding, as the work of W.A. Bentley proved. For almost half a century, Bentley caught and photographed thousands of snow flakes in his workshop at Jericho, Vermont, and made available to scientists and art instructors samples of his remarkable work. In 1931, the American Meteorological Society gathered together the best of these photomicrographs, plus some slides of frost, glaze, dew on vegetation and spider webs, sleet, and soft hail, and a text by W.J. Humphreys, and had them published. That book is here reproduced, unaltered and unabridged. Over 2,000 beautiful crystals on these pages reveal the wonder of nature’s diversity in uniformity: no two are alike, yet all are based on a common hexagon.”

 My Review:

Since I woke up to at least six inches of snow this morning, I thought this book would be very fitting for today. I love any nonfiction book that captivates and intrigues the reader, especially if that reader is a child. This book does just that. The text at the beginning is too difficult and technical for my girls (9 and 6), but that has not stopped them from pouring over each and every snowflake pictured in this book. When it was due at the library they begged me to renew it because they didn’t want to let it go. It is fascinating! The beginning text is very interesting, yet a bit technical. It talks about the different types of snowflakes and how they are formed, it talks about how Mr. Bentley painstakingly photographed each and every snowflake, and it talks about different natural phenomena like dew, sleet, hail, and frost. I found it intriguing, but I read through it quickly because I couldn’t wait to see all the beautiful pictures. It is amazing how intricate and detailed some of the snowflakes are! I had no idea that some snowflakes look like columns. Yes, they look like actual Roman columns, 3D and everything. There are many different shapes and configurations. No two in the book are the same. My favorite ones are the ones you think of when you think of snowflakes, with many delicate and intricate details. Frost is beautiful too! After reading this book, I can now look outside at all the snow this morning and not only see, but appreciate the beauty in it as well. This book would be fabulous for science teachers, art teachers, photography teachers, and all teachers looking to introduce more nonfiction books into the classroom. It would also be a great addition to any home library. I highly recommend this book.

Content Rating G

Rating: G (Clean!)

Age Recommendation: Everyone! (For a silent read I would say 5th or 6th grade and up to be able to understand the text, but everyone can enjoy the photographs.)

 

Similar Titles You May Be Interested In:

Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World by Jennifer Armstrong   I'm Possible by Jeff Griffin   Focused by Noelle Pikus Pace
 
 
*This post was originally published on 12/29/14; updated on 1/5/18.

[Book Review] Celebrating A Christ-Centered Christmas by Emily Belle Freeman and David Butler

[Book Review] Celebrating a Christ-Centered Christmas by Emily Belle Freeman and David Butler

Blurb:

“Discover how each figure of the Nativity can lead your family closer to Christ this Christmas season. This children’s edition of Celebrating a Christ-Centered Christmas will guide you through seven meaningful traditions inspired by the Nativity setting. These simple experiences are not meant to add more to an already crowded holiday season but to offer something different. They will give your family an opportunity to escape from the frantic bustle of the Christmas season and spend time reflecting on the baby Jesus and the miracle of His birth.
 
This interactive book invites children to watch each figure approach the waiting manger and encourages them to ask what they might have done if they had been there on the night Jesus was born. Seen beautiful ornaments have been created to accompany the lesson each figure teaches. Displaying the ornaments throughout the Christmas holiday will remind your children of the lessons they are learning about the baby Jesus. Your free download of the ornaments can be found at www.christcenteredcelebrations.com.

 

My Review:

Children’s picture books are one of my favorite things, and Christmas books are even better! I love reading them, and I especially love reading them to my kids…still! Even though they are big (my baby is 9!), they will all sit and listen. This book will be a wonderful addition to our Christmas books, I am so excited to share it with them! I love the illustrations in this book; they are beautiful; whimsical, and yet so full of emotion.
 
You’re supposed to begin reading this book a week before Christmas. Each day you read another page and add another figure to the Nativity scene. There is a question for every day, and as you answer the questions and ponder about the person discussed, you learn more about yourself and your feelings toward the Savior. There is also a quick activity you may do with your family that is suggested for each of the seven days. For example, on the second night it says,
 
What secret act of Christmas kindness could your family participate
in this season? As you perform your secret act, think of Joseph. 
His quiet acts went uncelebrated, but they were
so needed. When you have finished this activity,
place Joseph’s figure in your waiting stable.
 
The activities are mostly activities you may do anyway, and I’m sure you could do your own activities if you already have these traditions. It’s just a simple way to get the family together at the end of the day and remind them of the true meaning of Christmas. There is also an ornament for each day. You may purchase them ready-made or there is a free download on the website listed above. There’s also a cute banner that you may purchase, along with a simple Nativity scene. You don’t need anything fancy; just spending time together thinking of the story of the Nativity will bring the true spirit of Christmas into your home. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and highly recommend it!
 
Content Rating G

Rating: G (Clean!)

Recommendation: Everyone

 
Disclosure: I did receive a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

[Book Review] Remember the Ladies by Callista Gingrich

Remember the Ladies by Callista Gingrich
Remember the Ladies
by
Callista Gingrich

Blurb:
Ellis the Elephant is headed back to the White House! In Remember the Ladies, the seventh in Callista Gingrich’s New York Times bestselling series, Ellis meets some of America’s greatest first ladies and discovers their many contributions to American history. Join Ellis as he travels back in time to encounter:
  • Martha Washington as she invents what it means to be a first lady
  • Dolley Madison as she saves a portrait of George Washington from a burning White House
  • Mary Todd Lincoln as she supports Union troops throughout the Civil War
  • Eleanor Roosevelt as she redefines and strengthens the role of first lady
  • Jackie Kennedy as she brings style and glamour to the White House
With beautiful illustrations and charming rhymes, Remember the Ladies will delight young and old alike with a look at the first ladies who helped make America an exceptional nation.
My Review:
This book is so cute! The illustrations are adorable, and I love that it’s teaching the children about the first ladies. I think the first ladies sometimes get overlooked, but many of them have done some great things, and have championed some very important causes. I actually learned a lot! I didn’t know about many of the middle first ladies. I know quite a bit about Martha Washington and Abigail Adams, and then I know quite a bit about the more current first ladies, but I learned a great deal about some of those first ladies in the middle. For example, did you know that Abigail Fillmore added a library to the White House? I’d love to see the library in the White House! And I didn’t know that Jackie Kennedy gave Americans the first televised tour of the White House, or that Lady Bird Johnson worked to clean up America’s highways. This book highlights many of the first ladies, and I love that the title is based on Abigail Adams telling her husband to “remember the ladies!” I think this book does a good job of covering first ladies from both parties. At the end there is a little snippet on each first lady. I was surprised to know that in a few cases the presidents’ wives didn’t want the role, so a daughter or someone else would fill the position. I enjoyed this book and do recommend it.
Rating: G (Clean!)
Recommendation: Everyone
Disclosure: I did receive a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

[Book Review] The Little Match Girl by Hans Christian Anderson

The Little Match Girl
by
Hans Christian Anderson
Retold by
David Warner
Paintings by
Greg Newbold

Blurb:
“It’s Christmas Eve, but for one little girl, there will be no stockings hung lovingly above the fireplace or shiny presents wrapped under the tree. The best that the little match girl can hope for is a warm, dry corner of the street to protect her against the freezing snow that has been falling for hours. Helpless and cold, the child seeks a bit of comfort from the only source she has–the bundle of matches in her apron pocket. She had struggled all day to sell even one, but the crowds of people had only hurried past her with hardly a glance as they finished up their holiday shopping and rushed home to begin their feasts. Alas, at least she has the matches now, each one holding the promise of a few short seconds of warmth and light. But as she strikes each match, she discovers a truth that sets her heart soaring–all along, even in times when she has felt most alone, she has been lovingly watched over by those who have gone before her and have anxiously awaited a joyous reunion. She learns she is not forgotten, and in the learning shares a poignant message of love and service. The tender tale of the little match girl reminds each of us to take notice of the least of those among us and to do our part to extend a kindly hand–at Christmastime and always.”
My Review:
Happy December everyone!! I wanted to get this review out earlier today, but life happened! I did go for a run and get my house cleaned though, so that was something. I wanted to start December out with this beautiful Christmas picture book. The illustrations are amazing. Seriously. They are so beautiful! The story is so sad, but very well written. I haven’t read it before, so I wasn’t prepared. Grab your Kleenexes my friends, you’ll need them. Even though it is very sad, there is a little bit of hope for something better. In the intro. it says,
Though on the surface, the little girl seems the picture of misery and despair, her story is one of 
hope for a better life and assurance that a joyous reunion in heaven is awaiting even God’s most helpless children. Despite her suffering, the little girl finds warmth and light, ever believing that all will be right in the end. It is a message that has stood the test of time–and one that reminds each of us to look for ways to bring warmth of love and light of understanding to others. 

This book is a wonderful way to start the Christmas season. Christmas is a wonderful time of year to remember those around us, and to try a little harder to help and serve those around us who are in need of our help, love, kindness, smile, comfort, friendship, and service. With that, I thought I’d share this wonderful opportunity with you. I don’t do this often, but I think this one is important. It is put together by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (sometimes called the Mormon Church), but it is non-denominational. It is people and service oriented. It’s called “Light the World,” and it’s 25 ways to serve for 25 days. It started today. Each day from now until Christmas there is a short movie clip and an idea for an act of service. I’ll post the first movie here. If you would like to participate (you don’t sign up or anything, it’s just on your own), you may go to www.mormon.org to find out more information and to see the daily videos. Merry Christmas everyone!!!