Frindle by Andrew Clements
(Summary taken from the inside book jacket) “Everyone knows that Mrs. Granger, Nicholas Allen’s fifth-grade teacher, has X-ray vision, and nobody gets away with anything in her classroom. To make matters worse, she’s also a fanatic about the dictionary, which is hopelessly boring to Nick. But when Nick learns an interesting tidbit about words and where they come from, it inspires a great plan: to invent a new word. From now on, a pen is no longer a pen–it’s a frindle. It doesn’t take long for frindle to take root, and soon the excitement spreads well beyond his school and town. His parents and Mrs. Granger would like Nick to put an end to all this nonsense. But frindle doesn’t belong to Nick anymore. All he can do now is sit back and watch what happens.”
I had never heard of this book before, and then my friend reviewed in on goodreads. I thought it would be great for my boys (4th and 5th grades), and when I asked them if they had read it, they both said, “Yes!” That doesn’t usually happen. I had no idea. Anyway, they had both read it, so I picked it up and started reading. It is so cute and fun! I read it in one sitting, so it’s a very fast and easy read. It’s very imaginative, and I think it teaches kids a great lesson about words, about using your imagination, and also about how one person can make a difference. I love Nick’s character. He is witty, imaginative, and funny. I also liked Mrs. Granger because of the teacher in me. I loved how the word just took off, and it reminded me of when I was in high school and “like” was just beginning to be used more, and how my drama teacher pounded it into our heads not to use it. Unfortunately, she was not able to stop the “like” movement, but that’s okay. The word frindle took off in the same way. What a fun idea! This woud be a great read-aloud, but it’s also great for a silent read.
It’s a clean read, so it’s great for everyone, which I like!
Rating: G (Clean!)
Recommendation: 5 years and up (I have a four-year-old, and I don’t know if she would quite understand it yet.) as a read-aloud. I think it’s about a third grade reading level for a silent read.
When a Dragon Moves In by Jodi Moore
(Summary taken from the inside book jacket) “If you build a perfect sandcastle, a dragon will move in–and that’s exactly what happens to one very lucky boy on the beach. The boy and his dragon brave the waves, roast marshmallows, roam the shore, and have a perfectly amazing time together. but when the boy tries to share the news of his magnificent dragon, no one believes him. That’s when the mischief begins. The dragon devours every last sandwich, blows bubbles in the lemonade, and leaves claw prints in the brownies. Is there really a dragon running around on the beach, or is someone’s imagination running wild?”
My daughter brought this book home from the school library a few days ago, and I was hooked from the first page. The illustrations are amazing! Brightly colored pages draw you in, and you stare, captivated, until the end. And, then you want more. It’s a really cute story, and it hit home for me because my sons loved dragons when they were little. I could totally see this happening to my oldest. And, I could understand each and every reaction from the parents. I could also see myself in the sister. Hahaha. I know it’s hard to believe, but I have been accused of being a bit too serious at times. I need a few more dragons in my castles sometimes! I may need to purchase this book! I just want to read it over and over.
Yes, I love this book, and yes, I wholeheartedly recommend it!
Rating: G (Clean!!!)
Recommendation: Great for everyone 0 to 125!
Kirby Puckernut and the Christmas Surprise by Alicia Richardson
(Summary taken from the inside book jacket) “Kirby Puckernut is Santa’s cleverest little elf. While dreaming up marvelous toys for good girls and boys, Kirby has his best idea yet–a real elf in every home, all through the holidays, spreading Christmas Magic! Santa finds the perfect family and allows Kirby to serve as the test elf for the first momentous visit. Fun and adventure are at every turn, but not everything goes as planned….Will Kirby’s idea be a success?”
If you’re like me, you love Christmas books. I love Christmas books! I try to have books for every holiday, but I have at least three times more Christmas books than any other holiday. I like to get a new Christmas book every year, and this year’s book is fabulous! It’s a cute story, well written, and it talks about the “Christmas Magic.” It is not just about the presents, it’s about the feeling of Christmas, the opportunities for service, and about thinking of others during Christmas. The characters are believeable and quite life-like. The 13 yr-old girl Izzie has a grumpy attitude about Christmas and no longer believes in “Christmas Magic.” She thinks it’s only for babies. Unfortunately, her feelings and how she behaves with those feelings, impact the entire family, especially her younger siblings. It’s a good story about attitude and family.
The illustrations in this book are amazing! I love them! They are beautiful and bring the book to life. I had all four of my kids squished around me on the couch, even my 11 yr-old, and they were captivated with the story and the pictures.
On a side note, you can purchase your own “Kirby” on the author’s website, and have your own personal elf this season. I didn’t do that, but it could be fun!
I really enjoyed this book and so did my kids. I’m sure we will be reading it over and over before Christmas comes. I definitely recommend it!!! It’s a new Christmas favorite.
Rating: G (Clean and great for everyone!)
Recommendation: Everyone will enjoy this book, young and old.
Disclosure: I did receive a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Beau and the Beanstalk by Lee Baker
(Summary taken from www.mediaguests.net)
“Beau and the Beanstalk is being released as a revolutionary Interactive App. Children will be able to read along with the text as Lee Baker narrates the story as well as hear the characters speak as they interact on their PC, Mac, ipad, iphone, Android pad, Android phone or Kindle Fire.
Author Lee Baker created a fun new book for children of all ages to enjoy. A reverse on the classic tale, Jack and the Beanstalk, Baker’s Children’s book Beau and the Beanstalk is about an adolescent giant who is ridiculed in a magical kingdom in the clouds and climbs down a beanstalk to meet Jack, a hack-magician with a love of fire tricks, who will do anything to be the star of the circus.
This book is an instant hit with parents and educators. The book teaches values like overcoming difficulties, taking care of mistakes, standing up to bullies and choosing the right friends. The illustrations will immediately draw the reader into the story.”
This is a fun book! It’s not like your ordinary picture book you read to the kids at bedtime. This book will definitely engage younger readers because it is on the computer and it is fun! The story line is really cute and a play on your typical “Jack and the Beanstalk.” The illustrations are wonderful and it was fun clicking on all the characters to see what they had to say. There are some really good lessons for kids in the story as well. It teaches taking responsibility for your actions, that bullying others is not okay, and that if you work hard enough you can overcome whatever problems you may have. It isn’t very long and will for sure hold the children’s attention. There are some scarier pictures, but they aren’t too bad and should be okay with the kids. I enjoyed reading this story and will definitely open it up for my kids tomorrow. I think all my kids will enjoy it, even my 11-year-old son. I did receive it for my PC, but I think I’m going to look for it for my android phone, that way I have it at those unexpected times when I need something to keep the kids busy and all I have is my phone.
Rating: PG (A few pictures are a little bit scary, bullying, some fighting)
Recommendation: Everyone! Just make sure with the really little kids that you go through it beforehand to make sure it’s not too scary. It will be fine for my four-year-old, but it might scare yours–all kids are different.
Disclosure: I did receive a free copy of this book/app in exchange for my honest review.
Laura’s Star by Klaus Baumgart
I love this book! It is such a sweet story. Laura wishes on the evening star for a friend. She sees something shiny fall from the sky and runs outside to see what it is. It is a beautifully shiny star (and it really is shiny….love it!). She takes it up to her room and find that it is broken. She puts a band aid on it and then falls asleep with it next to her. In the morning it is gone and she is so sad. She searches everywhere, but to no avail. All day long she is heartbroken. That night she goes into her room for bed and sees the star right there on her pillow. “Stars only come out at night.” She is so happy. She plays games with the star, reads with the star, and finds that the star is getting cold in her hands. She knows she needs to send the little star home. So she ties her balloons to the little star and lets it fly back to its home in the sky. Each night when she looks out at the stars she finds her little star and knows she has a friend.
Need I say more??? What child hasn’t wished for a friend?? And what child hasn’t looked up at the night sky and felt in awe of the stars? This story relates to almost everyone and is just so sweet. I love that the star is shiny. It just makes this story (sorry, I hate overusing this word, but it fits here, I promise) special. My kids love this story. They point out the shiny star every time we read it. I highly recommend this story! This is a great read-aloud!!
Rating: G Hooray for children’s books that are clean!!!
Recommendation: Everyone!!! Girls may like it more, but my boys have always enjoyed it as well.
Holy Stable by Heidi Hanseen
(Summary taken from the back book cover) “The heavenly gift of Christmas transforms hearts and homes. Create lasting memories as you experience with family and friends the shared affection at Jesus’ birth. Mary and Joseph’s devotion to God and sublime caring for each other will bring you to experience the story as never before. As Joseph searches for comforting words to offer Mary, he is attended by angel children who sing along to welcome Baby Jesus. Discover how sharing the gift of Jesus’ love blesses relationships, as you enjoy the magic of children’s narration, original music, and song.”
This is a beautiful book! The gold-tipped pages are beautiful and give you a sense that what is in the book is important. The illustrations are well done and add greatly to the story. The story of Mary and Joseph is written in poem form and done very well. It is tender and not corny. The music on the CD is very soft and calming. The children’s voices are so sweet and convey the message of Christmas well. I love the idea of having the music, narration, and a downloadable script all wrapped up together with the book. This will make having the Christmas pageant in your home or church much easier. You can use her narration or just the music. There are many ways to make it fit perfectly with your needs. Thank you, Ms. Hanseen for such a beautiful book. I will definitely be reading this one to my children this Christmas season.
Rated: G (Clean!)
Recommendation: Great for everyone!!