Nonfiction Children’s Book Review – A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood by Fred Rogers

Hi friends! I’ve been out for a while due to medical leave, but I’m back now! And what better way to kick off my hiatus than with this gem! Let’s get started!

51XRZj+WgJL._SX342_QL70_ Details:

Title: A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Author: Fred Rogers, Illus. by Luke Flowers

Pages: 128

Exp. Publication: March 19th, 2019 by Quirk Books

Source: NetGalley

Rating: 5/5 Stars

 

 

Plot (via Goodreads):

Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood had a revolutionary impact on children’s television and on millions of children themselves. Through songs, puppets, and frank conversations, Mister Rogers instilled the values of kindness, patience, and self-esteem in his viewers, and most of all, taught children how loved they were, just by being themselves. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhoodreimagines the songs from the show as poetry, ranging from the iconic (“Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”) to the forgotten gems. The poems are funny, sweet, silly, and sincere, dealing with topics of difficult feelings, new siblings, everyday routines, imagination, and more. Perfect for bedtime, sing-along, or quiet time, this book of nostalgic and meaningful poetry is the perfect gift for every child–including the child in all of us.

Review:

I could not tell you how excited I was to read and review this book for you all. Mister Rogers was an amazing human being who taught children to love themselves and to be kind to others. The book is the complete collection of poems Mister Roger’s wrote for his show starting with his famous poem, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”.

His full collection of poems is also depicted through illustrations, which are as fun, warm, and colorful as the poems themselves. The connections between the poems and the illustrations are as powerful as the subject matter in each one. My personal favorites include, “Things Are Different”, “What Can You Hear?”, and “I’m Glad I’m the Way I am”.

Things are Different

This is one of those books that should be on every shelf. Everyone could always use more of Mister Rogers. All of the poems have a subject for feelings children face but may not know how to express. This is an all around feel good book. This book, although geared for children, is one that I recommend to EVERYONE!

This book will be out TOMORROW! You can order it on Amazon or check it out from your local library!

 

Nonfiction Children’s Book Review – A Voice for the Spirit Bears

a voice for the spirit bears

Details:

Title: A Voice for the Spirit Bears

Author: Carmen Oliver, Illus. by Katy Dockrill

Pages: 36

Exp. Publication: May 7th, 2019 by Kids Can Press

Source: NetGalley

Rating: 4/5 Stars

 

 

Plot: (via Goodreads):

As a child, Simon Jackson found navigating the world of the school playground difficult. He felt most at home in the woodlands, learning about and photographing wildlife. As a teenager, he became fascinated with spirit bears, a rare subspecies of black bear with creamy white fur. These elusive creatures were losing their habitat to deforestation, and Simon knew he had to do something to protect them. He decided he would become the voice for the spirit bears. But first, he would have to find his own. Carmen Oliver’s inspiring true story is based on the early life of Simon Jackson, who founded the Spirit Bear Youth Coalition.

Review:

My first impression on this book was the illustrations. I loved the softness the illustrator portrayed in each picture. It definitely felt right for the theme of the story. The writing style also stuck out to me in this book. It was like how a storyteller would speak to a small group of children, which I really liked. Throughout Simon’s childhood, he suffered from a speech impediment so it wasn’t easy for him to speak in front of his class. He was bullied a lot, but found peace when he was out with nature and observing the wildlife. I loved the overall message Simon gives about finding his voice so he can give the Spirit Bears ones. “Stand tall, like the grizzly from Yellowstone Park.” was a motto he lived by after seeing a standing grizzly on one of his nature outings. With his motto, he was able to overcome his fear and speak about the endangered species not just to his class, but later to organizations and businesses. It’s amazing the impact he and drive had to save these beautiful animals. 700 letters were sent out from his school! That’s amazing! In the back of the book, the information about Simon, the Spirit Bears, and what the reader “Can Do to Make a Difference” I thought were excellent and inspiring additions. Simon wasn’t afraid to follow his dreams. Not only did he later get to meet the infamous Jane Goodall, but the animal he worked so hard to save, the Spirit Bear!

Overall, I thought this book was endearing as well as inspirational. This book is good for young school-age children who like nature, bears, and true stories.

Interested in this book? You can pre-order it on Amazon or wait to check it out from your local library

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WWW Wednesday: 1.16.2019

Hey everyone! I thought I would take on WWW Wednesday today, revived by Taking on a World of Words! Go check out their blog and participate!

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Okay. Here goes…


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Currently reading: I downloaded this eARC from Netgalley a while ago. The cover of The Owls Have Come to Take Us Away by Ronald L. Smith was caught my eye when I first came across this book. I had never read anything by this author but became interested after reading the synopsis. I love a good suspense/paranormal story and am eager to see how this will play out in a middle grade novel. I’m only in the first few chapters so it’s a little early to give too much of an opinion, but upon first impressions, I’m definitely seeing this as a book for older readers. Maybe 10-13 years old. Unfortunately the rating it’s been given on Goodreads makes this book seems not as promising, but I’m giving it a chance. This book will be published 2.19.2019.

 

a voice for the spirit bears

Recently Finished: I actually finished two books this week, but I’ll show the cover of the one I wrapped up last night. A Voice for the Spirit Bears  by Carmen Oliver with illustrations by Katy Dockrill is a beautiful non-fiction picture book about a boy named Simon Jackson who found his voice by advocating to save the rare Kermode bears, or Spirit bears. I loved the artwork and writing style as well as Simon’s passion to save these animals. There will be a more extensive review on this book later this week. It is set to be released 5.7.2019.

The other book I just finished is The Girl with the Dragon Heart by Stephanie Burgis. This is the second book in the Tales from the Chocolate Heart series and was released 11.6.2018. I loved this book even better than the first and am excited to read the next one! You can read my review here and check out the first book in the series here if you’re interested!

 

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Reading Next: I’m really looking forward to reading this YA graphic novel. The book is Under the Moon: A Catwoman Tale by Lauren Myracle. This author is more known for writing middle grade fiction, but I do admire that she branched out to YA. I’m interested to see the outcome of this graphic novel. This one is also set to be published on 5.7.2019.

 

 

 

 

 

Hey guys! I’m on twitter! so feel free to check out my profile and follow me! Thanks! Until the next review!

Children’s Book Review – A Boy and a House

39671309 Details:

Title: A Boy and a House

Author: Maja Kastelic

Pages: 18

Exp. Publication: September 11th, 2018 by Annick Press

Source: NetGalley

Rating: 3/5 Stars

 

Plot:

A boy is walking down the street when he sees a cat walk into an apartment building. Curious, he follows the cat who walks higher and higher into the apartment. How high will the boy go? What will he find when he gets to the top?

Review:

This was a cute wordless picture book to follow. The artwork had a lot of hidden details in each page that made me go back and look through a few times. A found the story itself to be a little bland, but the details in the art are whimsical and fun find their meanings. There are mice on every page, which I liked, and there were drawing on the walls of the building as the boy makes his way up to the top. I did find it a little strange that a boy would walk not only into a random apartment building, but one that was seemingly abandoned.

Though I did enjoy the artwork, I did find it a little darker and therefore harder to see some of the details in the pages. This could’ve been because I was looking at a digital copy. I also found that even though it was a wordless picture book, some of the details were a little too subtle to notice right away. This could make it harder for young children to keep their interest, especially since the story itself is so linear. The ending was very sweet, however.

Overall, I thought this was a cute and simple picture book. This would be a great book for preschoolers and young school-agers.

Interested in this book? You can pre-order it on Amazon or wait to check it out from your local library.

 

Children’s Book Review – Mr. Pack Rat Really Wants That

Mr. Pack Rat Really Wants ThatDetails:

Title: Mr. Pack Rat Really Wants That

Author: Marcus Ewert, Illus. by Kayla Stark

Pages: 40

Exp. Publication: October 30th, 2018 by Plum Blossom Books

Source: NetGalley

                                                                             Rating: 4/5 Stars
Plot:

Mr. Pack Rat lives in a brown middena nest built out of whatever’s lying around. The problem is Mr. Pack Rat wants more, more, more! More colors, more sparkle, more things! With the help of a magical magnet, Mr. Pack Rat makes wishes to add things to his midden and make him happy. Sometimes, though, wanting too many things can cause more problems than happiness.

Review:

This was a fun picture book with a get lesson material happiness. The illustrations throughout the story were fun and would be eye-catching for toddlers and preschoolers. I particularly liked the ending of the magical chants Mr. Pack Rat uses when he wishes for something:

Mr. Pack Rat,
Mr. Pack Rat,
Mr. Pack Rat really wants that!

Thinking as a Children’s Librarian, I thought this chant would be fun to have my story time patrons say with me every time we come across it in the story. I liked the description of the things Mr. Pat Rack wished for, such as the colorful flowers and the glittering seashells. The magical realism incorporated in each wish came across very well both in the text and the illustrations. I enjoyed the overall moral of the story that wanting material things will not always make you happy. Sometimes being in your favorite place and the memories you take away from it is really all you need.

This book would be great for toddlers and preschoolers as well as a fun storytime read aloud.

Interested in this book? You can pre-order it on Amazon, or you can check it out from your local library this fall!

Children’s Book Review – Edison: The Mystery of the Missing Mouse Treasure

38526399 Details:

Title:  Edison: The Mystery of the Missing  Mouse Treasure

Author: Torben Kuhlmann

Pages: 112

Exp. Publication: October 2nd, 2018 by NorthSouth Books

Source: NetGalley

Rating: 5/5 Stars

 

Plot:

Hidden in the walls of a bookstore lives a learning institution for mice, taught by a grey-furred mouse professor. When a little mouse the professor has never seen before approaches him with an old letter and an exciting adventure, the two join forces to create a magnificent machine. One that can swim in the dark depths of the ocean in hopes to find a treasure long lost by the little mouse’s ancestor. Will they find the treasure? If so, what will be inside?

Review:

There are so many things to love about this book. To start off, I loved how the story was told by alternating the text and the illustrations. It was genius to begin each chapter with words, then move to the next part of the plot with a few illustrations, all without disturbing the flow of the journey between the two mice. Torben Kuhlmann’s works of art throughout this book are not just beautiful, but mesmerizing. I found myself staring in awe at each piece of art and blueprint, trying to catch every detail as the mice made their way to the bottom of the sea in search of a priceless family treasure.

The story itself was captivating as well. Within the first few pages, I immediately was hooked and wanted to know what happened next. The science involved in inventing the submarine, the critical thinking, and the trial and error the two mice endured along the way are great lessons to show young readers that not all projects are perfect in the beginning, but if persevered will have great outcomes. I liked the cameos the author makes with his previous two books (Armstrong and Lindberghthrough the mouse professor, making you want to read them once you’ve finished with this book. And of course, the historical ties with with Thomas Edison and the light bulb were well done. I particularly liked the historical facts at the end of the book, which talk about the controversy of who actually invented the light bulb. Kuhlmann mentions the individual men who had some major scientific breakthrough in some aspects of the invention, but in the end, it was Edison’s revised version that got the claim to fame.

This book is mainly targeted for school age children, but I would recommend it to teens and families who like to read together too. It has some fantasy, history, science, art, adventure, and friendship. I definitely don’t think you will be disappointed by giving this book a try.

Interested in reading this book? You can pre-order it on Amazon or check it out at your local library this fall!