Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Prophet with Honor

TITLE:  Prophet with Honor The Billy Graham Story
AUTHOR:  William Martin
PUBLISHER:  ZonderKidz

About the book:
His Message Would Be Heard Around The World No one guessed he would change the world. A simple country farm boy once prayed that God would use him...and prayed...and prayed. And God did use him, beyond what he ever imagined. He grew into a man who would lead millions of people to Christ, a man who would be known as the greatest evangelist of our time. Come read the story of Billy Graham and follow his life from his days as a boy, who wasn't so great in school, to a man who would teach the world the greatest lesson of all: how to know and live for Christ.

My thoughts:
This is a biography of the life and ministry of Billy Graham.  It has a few pictures throughout.  I thought it was a good overview of the life of this man who has touched many lives for Christ.  I learned some things about him as well about his life as a boy, his marriage and children, and his crusades.  He formed relationships with people throughout his life and these helped in later in life.  It was amazing to read about the many famous people he has been able to reach.

It is considered juvenile nonfiction.

This book was provided to me for my review from the publisher.  Thank you.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Splat the Cat Blow, Snow, Blow

TITLE:  Splat the Cat   Blow, Snow, Blow
AUTHOR:  Amy Hsu Lin (based on bestselling books by Rob Scotton)
ILLUSTRATOR:  Rick Farley (cover art); Robert Eberz (interior illustrations)

Splat the Cat really wants it to snow so he can build a snowcat.  He waits and waits for  some snow and tries to make some snow of his own.  Then it starts snowing but only lightly.  Will it snow enough for Splat the Cat to make his snowcat?

This is a great winter book for beginner readers.  There is a lot of repetition of words as well as long o rhyming words.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Thanksgiving Day Thanks

TITLE:  Thanksgiving Day Thanks
AUTHOR:  Laura Malone Elliot
ILLUSTRATOR:  Lynn Munsinger
PUBLISHER:  Katherine Tegen Books

Sam is trying to figure out what he can tell his classmates he is thankful for.  It seems everyone knows what they will write on their paper turkey feathers except him.  Will he be able to decide one thing to write?  

I always like to fine cute, new Thanksgiving books, and this one caught my eye on the shelf at the library. Aren't the characters on the cover cute?  I like the story, and the characters are fun.  This would be a great book to read to your class before doing your own Thanksgiving projects.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Rescue Bunnies

TITLE: Rescue Bunnies
AUTHOR:  Doreen Cronin
ILLUSTRATOR: Scott Menchin
PUBLISHER: Balzer + Bray

Newbie is in training to be a Rescue Bunny.  She has passed her other tests...the Physical Fitness Test, Emergency Rescue Roping Test and Blind Taste Test.  Now she needs to pass the Field Test.  Will she be able to pass this test and succeed at being a Rescue Bunny?

This is a cute story, and I liked the illustrations.  This is a good story about team work, working together, cooperation, etc.  Young children will enjoy listening to this story about Newbie.

AR level of this book:  2.5

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Berenstain Bears Storybook Bible

TITLE:  The Berenstain Bears Storybook Bible
AUTHOR: Jan and Mike Berenstain
PUBLISHER:  Zonderkidz

In this storybook Bible you will be able to share some favorite Bible stories told "Berenstain Bear style." Included are several Old Testament stories like creation, Noah's ark, and Daniel in the lions' den.  There are a few New Testament stories too like the birth of Jesus and some of the parables he taught.  I really liked the illustration and description used for the crucifixion.  Many times I will see children's storybook Bibles skip over this part and I liked how this one included that story.  The people characters were all bears (I will admit it was a little odd seeing the Bible characters as bears, but it does say at the beginning that the cubs imagined the characters as bears!).

This version also comes with a CD so you can listen to the stories together or a child can enjoy the book on her own.  It is read by Angela Park, and she has a good voice for this.

The bright colorful pictures will hold the interest of youngsters as they listen to these stories.  This would make a nice book to add to your home library to read before bed each night.

This book was sent to me by the publisher for my honest review.  Thank you.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

NIV Adventure Bible Book of Devotions

TITLE:  NIV Adventure Bible Book of Devotions
AUTHOR:  Robin Schmitt
PUBLISHER:  Zonderkidz

This book is 365 days of devotions for your child.  It is geared to ages 9-12.  This is a great way for your child to get into the habit of having a daily devotional time.

I thought the topics were relevant to the life of a child in today's world.  They are short and easy to read and each one includes a verse reference.  I was very impressed with this book and am glad to have it to use in our home.

My son has been reading these, and he said he likes it.  He noticed the large print that was easy to read. Also he said it has good stories.

The publisher sent me the copy of this for my honest review.

Monday, November 4, 2013

The Berenstain Bears Thanksgiving Blessings

TITLE:  The Berenstain Bears Thanksgiving Blessings
AUTHOR:  Mike Berenstain
PUBLISHER:  Zonderkidz

The Bear family learn a short history of Thanksgiving, and on the way to their grandparents' house they talk about the many things they should be thankful for besides food, like family & friends, peace & plenty, and work & play.

This is a wonderful Bear book to add to your collection.  It has questions at the end to use to talk about Thanksgiving as a family. There is also a sheet of fall stickers featuring scenes from the book.  Be sure to look for this one to give to a child you love this Thanksgiving!

This book was sent to me by the publisher for my review.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Andi Unexpected

TITLE:  Andi Unexpected
AUTHOR:  Amanda Fowler
PUBLISHER:  Zonderkidz

I have a special book review for you today.  My son received this book Andi Unexpected by Amanda Fowler to read and review.  He read it super fast and really enjoyed it.  Here is his review which he dictated to me:

Andi's parents died in a plane crash, and she went to live at her aunt's house.  Her aunt Amelie was excited for Andi and her older sister Bethany to come because she was lonely.  Andi wants to move up to the attic because her sister is annoying.  Andi and her new friend Colin find a trunk in a trap door.  They find out it belonged to a relative named Andora which is Andi's full name.  The trunk is a mystery for them to find out about the other Andora. 

I thought it was cool that Andi and Colin were trying to solve the mystery of the trunk.  It's not a scary book, just a normal book.  It is a chapter book without pictures.  I liked this book and want to read more of this series.  I think it is a good book.  Personally, I think people who like mysteries or good books will like to read this.  It is for boys or girls. 

The book was sent to us from the publisher for our honest review.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

David Battles Goliath

TITLE:  David Battles Goliath
PUBLISHER: Zonderkidz

About the book:
David Battles Goliath is a retelling of the favorite Old Testament Bible story about a young shepherd boy named David with a great amount of faith. Using art from the bestselling The Beginner's Bible, this story is available in the popular and affordable 8x8 softcover format. David hears about the challenge made by the Philistine giant Goliath and believes he must do something to help. Knowing that God will always be at his side, the shepherd boy tells the king he wants to fight Goliath. Will David's slingshot, stones, and faith in God's love for him be enough to save the Israelite army?

My thoughts:
David and Goliath is one of the more popular Bible stories for children.  This is a well-done book with colorful illustrations of this loved story of God helping David defeat Goliath.  The text is an appropriate length to keep the interest of young listeners.  It is also good for those learning to read on their own because it isn't too complicated. 

Check out this new book as well as the one I reviewed here yesterday called A Queen Named Esther.  There are several in this series and they'd make a nice addition to your home or church library.

I received this book from the publisher for my honest review.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

A Queen Named Esther

TITLE:  A Queen Named Esther
PUBLISHER:  Zonderkidz

About the book:A Queen Named Esther is a retelling of the favorite Old Testament Bible story about a beautiful Hebrew woman named Esther. Using art from the bestselling The Beginner's Bible, this story is available in the popular and affordable 8x8 softcover format. When the king of Persia is looking for a queen, Esther's cousin Mordecai encourages her to step forward. And when the king sees her beauty, he chooses her to be the new queen. But God has a bigger job for Esther than just being queen. The safety of God's people rests in the hands of the new queen. Can she find the courage to help save the Hebrews from Haman's evil plan?

My thoughts:
This would make a great addition to your home or church library.  For myself, Esther is not one of the stories I remember well from my childhood Sunday School classes.  This book will help children be familiar with this wonderful story of God's plan and protection of His people.  

The illustrations are colorful and characters are cartoon figures.  The book is not too long so it will hold the attention of young listeners.  I liked the way the text was worded in a way children could understand something bad was happening, but it wasn't presented in a way that would be scary to young readers.  

Thank you to the publisher for sending me a copy of this book for my honest review.  

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing

TITLE:  Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing
AUTHOR: Sallly Lloyd-Jones
PUBLISHER:  Zonderkidz

About the book:
Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing, an innovative devotional by bestselling author Sally Lloyd-Jones (The Jesus Storybook Bible), presents 101 insightful, biblical thoughts that build a reader's personal day-by-day relationship with Jesus and create a deeper understanding of faith. Through the text and beautiful art by Jago, discover God seeks to know us with an amazing and grace-filled love.

My thoughts:The illustrations in this devotional book are very pretty and a younger child would enjoy sitting and looking at them.  For older children I feel this would be a good book to read together with a parent and discuss the point the author is trying to get across.  I felt some of the thoughts might be a little complicated for some children to understand if they are just reading on their own. I think adults could get some positive encouragement for their life out of these devotional thoughts as well.  I know I did as I was reading.  

The devotionals are very short, less than a page of text each.  They make the reader stop and ponder God's love and concern for their lives.  They are not meant to be lengthy, rather just short thoughts to help the reader know a little more about Jesus.

This would make a nice gift for a family member or addition to your own family library.  

Monday, October 14, 2013

Peace on Earth

TITLE: Peace on Earth A Christmas Collection
AUTHOR:  Mary Engelbreit
ILLUSTRATOR: Mary Engelbreit
PUBLISHER:  Zonderkidz

About the book:  
I surely wish with all my heart, This day of Jesus' birth, That peace and love and happiness Soon cover all the earth. Mary Engelbreit rings in the holiday with a Christmas collection that includes many of her favorite carols, the story of Jesus' birth, and beloved poems that touch the heart and celebrate the miracle of the season.

My thoughts:
If you enjoy the beautiful illustrations of Mary Engelbreit, you will want to check out this book to add to your collection this Christmas season.  This hardback is full of bright colored holiday scene illustrations.  This book has favorite Christmas songs and poems of the author as well as the text from the book of Luke of the birth of Jesus.  I like the size of the book, the layout of the pictures with the text, and how it is a variety of Christmas memories.

This book would make a nice gift or add it to your own collection of Christmas books for your coffee table.  
I received a copy of this book from the publisher for my honest review.

Friday, October 11, 2013

The One and Only Ivan

TITLE: The One and Only Ivan
AUTHOR:  Katherine Applegate
ILLUSTRATOR:  Patricia Castelao
PUBLISHER:  HarperCollins

About the book:
Ivan is an easygoing gorilla. Living at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade, he has grown accustomed to humans watching him through the glass walls of his domain. He rarely misses his life in the jungle. In fact, he hardly ever thinks about it at all.
Instead, Ivan thinks about TV shows he’s seen and about his friends Stella, an elderly elephant, and Bob, a stray dog. But mostly Ivan thinks about art and how to capture the taste of a mango or the sound of leaves with color and a well-placed line.
Then he meets Ruby, a baby elephant taken from her family, and she makes Ivan see their home—and his own art—through new eyes. When Ruby arrives, change comes with her, and it’s up to Ivan to make it a change for the better.
My thoughts:
My son and I read this book together and both enjoyed it.  It is a sweet story of a gorilla who has lived in a mall for many years.  It is written from the gorilla's perspective which made it interesting to imagine his thoughts.  It is divided into short segments, all differing in length, and seem more like journal entries I thought. This is a story of friendship between animals, helping each other, and keeping your word.   
This is on the Texas Bluebonnet List.  

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Pirates on the Farm

TITLE:  Pirates on the Farm
AUTHOR:  Denette Fretz
ILLUSTRATOR:  Gene Barretta
PUBLISHER:  Zonderkidz

What should the family do when a group of pirates decides to move in next door?  Each family member has a different reaction to these new neighbors who know nothing about farming and don't act socially appropriate.  Many in the community reject them.  Will the new neighbors ever be accepted?

This is a great book to explore the differences between people and what we can do to be friendly to others, even those who act a little differently than we do.  I think there is a good lesson here and young children will enjoy the pirate characters.  I liked that various pirate vocabulary words were listed and defined in the back of the book.

I received this book from the publisher for my honest review.

Monday, July 22, 2013

The Little "Read" Hen

TITLE:  The Little "Read" Hen
AUTHOR:  Dianne de Las Casas
ILLUSTRATOR:  Holly Stone-Barker
PUBLISHER:  Pelican Publishing Company

This book is based on the well-known Little Red Hen.  In this book the Little "Read" Hen's friends won't help her write a story so she does it herself.

This is a very cute well-written story and the illustrations are wonderful!  It would be great for a classroom learning about the writing process.

Monday, June 17, 2013

How Do You Know It's Summer?

TITLE: How Do You Know It's Summer?
AUTHOR:  Ruth Owen
PUBLISHER: Bearport Publishing

What are the signs of summer?  This book tells the reader things to look for to know summer is coming....besides the heat.  Also included are science words which are defined at the end and activities to try in summer.

I have previously read the book in the series How Do You Know It's Spring?  I enjoyed this book about summer.  As with the spring book I thought the photos were great.  This is appropriate for an early elementary classroom.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Will It Be a Baby Brother?

TITLE: Will It Be a Baby Brother?
AUTHOR:  Eve Bunting
ILLUSTRATOR:  Beth Spiegel
PUBLISHER: Boys Mills Press

Little Edward is looking forward to the birth of his new sibling.  He is sure the little one will be a brother.  His Mom tells him whichever it is, the baby will be just what he wanted all along. 

This book would be appropriate for a family welcoming a new baby.  It would be enjoyed by primary aged children.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Out of My Mind

TITLE: Out of My Mind
AUTHOR:  Sharon M. Draper
PUBLISHER: Atheneum Books for Young Readers

I have finished the most amazing book!  I checked it out from our local library after seeing it on the shelf at the school library while volunteering.  They cover caught my eye.  The librarian there told me what a great book it is, and I've looked forward to reading it.  She was right, it is wonderful.  I think all teachers should have to read this book.  It is such a touching story and very eye opening to me.

Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper is the story of Melody, an 11 year old girl who is extremely smart. She has never spoken a word though.  She has cerebral palsy and is in a wheel chair.  Everyone...teachers, doctors, and classmates.... assumes she is not capable of doing anything.  She has a few people who believe in her though and a couple of good teachers who see her potential. All Melody wants is to be normal and do things like the other kids she sees at school instead of being stuck in the "special" classroom all day.   

This is such a touching story, and one I will always remember.   (I was nearly crying at the end and I don't cry over books!)  There are so many lessons that can be learned from Melody's story, both by young people and adults.  I highly recommend this book to you.

The AR level for the book is 4.3. 

Friday, May 3, 2013

Mother's Day

TITLE: Mother's Day
AUTHOR:  Anne Rockwell
ILLUSTRATOR: Lizzy Rockwell
PUBLISHER: Harper Collins Publishers

The students in Mrs. Madoff's class share how they will celebrate Mother's Day.  One will go out to eat with grandparents, one is playing her violin for her Mom, one is going to a museum.  At the end of the story a Mrs. Madoff's Mom comes to class to show the children how to make a special gift for their mothers.

This book is appropriate for preschool--early elementary aged children.  It would be a fun book to read as a class and then make the paper flowers to use as a Mother's Day gift. 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Circles, Stars, and Squares

TITLE: Circles, Stars, and Squares  Looking for Shapes
AUTHOR:  Jane Brocket
ILLUSTRATOR:  Jane Brocket
PUBLISHER:  Millbrook Press

Shapes are everywhere.  Learn the names of both flat shapes and solid shapes.  The text is easy to understand with vivid picture examples given. 

This book caught my eye because of the cover. It has wonderful photographs and would be great for the primary school classroom for a lesson on shapes.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Alex the Parrot

TITLE: Alex the Parrot  No Ordinary Bird
AUTHOR:  Stephanie Spinner
PUBLISHER:  Alfred A. Knopf

Alex was an African gray parrot who was trained by Irene Pepperberg.  Everyone was surprised by the things he learned to do.  He could count, speak and recognize shapes, sizes, and colors.  These were things he was not supposed to be able to do.

This is a very interesting story, and my son and I enjoyed reading this nonfiction book.  This is AR level 4.1.

Friday, April 26, 2013

A Rock is Lively

TITLE: A Rock is Lively
AUTHOR:  Dianna Hutts Aston
PUBLISHER: Chronicle Books

This nonfiction book about rocks is very interesting.  The reader will learn how rocks are made, the types of rocks and the many uses of rocks.  (I had not thought about just how useful rocks are!) 

This would be a great resource o use in a classroom to begin a study on the types of rocks.  This book is AR level 5.4.

One note:  There was a picture of the David sculpture at the end of this book; I think a teacher would need to be warned of this before reading it to the class.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Tabby McTat The Musical Cat

TITLE: Tabby McTat The Musical Cat
AUTHOR:  Julia Donaldson
ILLUSTRATOR: Axel Scheffler
PUBLISHER: Arthur A. Levine Books

Tabby McTat enjoys his life singing with a street musician named Fred.  The two are separated one day though and Tabby McTat has a new life with a family but misses his life with Fred.  Will they ever find each to sing together again? 

This is a rhyming story that will be enjoyed by primary aged children.  This book is AR level 3.7.

Monday, April 22, 2013

A Few Bites

TITLE:  A Few Bites
AUTHOR:  Cybele Young
PUBLISHER: Groundwood Books

It is lunch time, but Ferdie wants to continue looking for a part of his fighter ship.  His sister Viola says she will help him after he eats.  When he comes to the table he finds broccoli, carrots, and ravioli.  He doesn't want to eat any of it!  Viola imaginatively comes up with stories about dinosaurs and aliens to get Ferdie to take a few bites. 

This is a creative book.  The illustrations start black and white and then are colored illustrations to go with Viola's stories are added.  I am not sure that young children would enjoy the illustrations really.  I would think it would be appropriate for 2nd/3rd grade students.  It is AR level 3.3

Friday, April 19, 2013

Biscuit Plays Ball

TITLE: Biscuit Plays Ball
AUTHOR:  Alyssa Satin Capucilli

Biscuit wants to play ball but he is told this ball game is not for him.  He does eventually get to play when his friend Puddles comes.

This book is appropriate for those learning to read and would be enjoyed by preschool aged children.  Little ones enjoy the Biscuit character as they are beginning to read on their own.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Marvin Makes Music

TITLE: Marvin Makes Music
AUTHOR: Marvin Hamlisch
PUBLISHER: Dial Books for Young Readers

Marvin loves to play the piano but he does not like playing pieces by funny named composers like Wolfgang or Ludwig.  He has an audition for the Julliard School.  On the day of the audition, he and his Dad explore on the roof of the building while they are waiting.  They get locked out.  Will Marvin make it to his audition in time?  Will his nerves keep him from performing to the best of his ability?

This is a true life story of composer Marvin Hamlisch.

I thought this was an interesting story and the illustrations make the book come alive.  The book is AR level 3.6.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Ready or Not, Here Comes Scout!

TITLE:  Ready or Not, Here Comes Scout!
AUTHOR:  Jill Abramson & Jane O'Connor
ILLUSTRATOR:  Deborah Melmon

Scout (a dog) is excited to go to the dog park with his human for the first time.  She tries so hard to make friends but the other dogs do not want to have anything to do with her.  The next day she observes the other dogs first and then she tries again to make some friends.  She comes across one dog named Taco who is mean and that causes her to stay away from the dog park for a while.  When she goes back, she loses her stuffed dog Baby.  Will she be able to find Baby before it's time to go home?

This is a cute dog story.  I thought the illustrations are wonderfully done as well.   The lessons learned can be applied to friendships.  The book will be enjoyed by preschoolers through early primary aged children. 

Friday, April 12, 2013

Fire! Fuego! Brave Bomberos

TITLE: Fire! Fuego! Brave Bomberos
AUTHOR:  Susan Middleton Elya
PUBLISHER: Bloomsbury

A group of brave bomberos work to put out a fire at a casa.  They get a gato to the ground too.

The text of the book is in English but it has Spanish words added in.  The reader will be able to figure out the meaning of the words based on the context. 

We enjoyed this rhyming book and the nice fire fighter illustrations.  Anyone who enjoys stories about fire men will like reading this book! 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Knit Your Bit

TITLE: Knit Your Bit  A World War I Story
AUTHOR:  Deborah Hopkinson
ILLUSTRATOR: Steven Guarnaccia
PUBLISHER: G. P. Putnam's Sons

Since Mikey's Dad is gone to fight in the war, Mikey wants to do something helpful.  His teacher tells the class about a knitting bee.  At first he thinks knitting is just for girls.  But when it turns into a competition, Mikey and his friends decide to participate in the knitting bee to help the soldiers.

I really enjoyed this book as it taught about an interesting time in our country's history. The illustrations are wonderful and overall this is just a great story and book.  I hope you will check it out.  I could see it being used in the classroom unit about World War I and lead into a great discussion on knitting and the war efforts. 

It is 2.8 reading level in AR.

Monday, April 8, 2013

How Do You Feel?

TITLE: How Do YOU Feel?
AUTHOR:  Anthony Browne
ILLUSTRATOR: Anthony Browne
PUBLISHER: Candlewick Press

This book is all about feelings.  How do you feel today?  Are you curious, confident, angry, or silly?  

Toddlers through kindergarten aged children would enjoy this book.  It would be a nice addition to a unit on feelings to build vocabulary and also show how we can have different feelings throughout the day. 

Friday, April 5, 2013


Today I am linking up with Kelly's Korner SUYL

Welcome to my book review blog!  I am a certified teacher in the state of Texas, but right now I am thankful to be a stay at home Mom.  I have always loved books!  My son and I have read so many good ones together that I decided to start a review blog just for children's books that we read and enjoy.  I try to post books that are relevant to the season or holidays as well as other fun ones.  In my reviews I include a brief overview of the book and the ages for which I think it would be appropriate.

Do you have a favorite children's book?  We have so many that we love.

Thank you for stopping by!  I hope you will look around and become a follower if you enjoy wonderful children's books! 

God bless your day!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Construction Kitties

TITLE: Construction Kitties
AUTHOR: Judy Sue Goodwin Sturges
ILLUSTRATOR:  Shari Halpern
PUBLISHER: Christy Ottaviano Books Henry Holt and Company

Little kitties are up early and ready to head to a day at the construction site.  They use an excavator, dump truck, and back hoe and work hard all day. 

With short sentences and bright illustrations, this is a fun book to read to your own little one who is a fan of construction sites.  Toddlers and preschoolers will enjoy this book. 

Monday, April 1, 2013


TITLE: Puppies  Cute and Cuddly:  Baby Animals
AUTHOR:  Grace Elora
PUBLISHER: Gareth Stevens

The reader will learn a few facts and see very nice photos of cute puppies. 

This is a leveled reader with minimal text and is appropriate for beginning readers.  Toddlers who like puppies would enjoy this book as well.

This book is level 0.9 in Accelerated Reader.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Helen's Big World

TITLE: Helen's Big World The Life of Helen Keller
AUTHOR:  Doreen Rappaport
PUBLISHER: Disney Hyperion Books

Even though Helen Keller was blind, deaf, and mute, she was able to experience much of the world around her due in part to her patient teacher, Annie Sullivan. She even went to college even though many thought it was foolish. 

This book was so enjoyable, and I learned a lot about this famous woman and her life.  One thing I particularly liked was that there was some of Helen's own words included with each page.  These were written in a different color and font from the other text.  I read this one to my son.  He thought it was more of a "girl book" he said. 

Monday, March 25, 2013

10 Easter Egg Hunters

TITLE: 10 Easter Egg Hunters
AUTHOR:  Janet Schulman
PUBLISHER: Alfred A. Knopf

This is a counting book about children hunting for eggs. There are not a lot of words, but they do tell the story of the kids trying to find a variety of eggs of different colors.

It is appropriate for toddlers through preschool aged children.  It would be a good book to use to practice both counting and color identification. 

Friday, March 22, 2013

Spring Goes Squish!

TITLE:  Spring Goes Squish!
AUTHOR: Marty Kelley

Get ready for an adventure as you read this noisy book about spring.  In spring you will find the sniffles associated with spring allergies, the crack of the baseball bat, the bzzzz of a bee, the boom of thunder, and the whish of the wind while flying a kite. 

It is written in rhyming verse with lots of onomatopoeia.  I liked the author's style as well as the fun illustrations used here.  This would be a fun book to read to a class of 2nd or 3rd grade students in my opinion. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

How Do You Know It's Spring?

TITLE:  How Do You Know It's Spring?
AUTHOR:  Ruth Owen

Learn about the signs of spring with this educational book.  Included is information about new plants, buds, baby animals, and weather.

This is a well done book and would be great for the primary classroom library.  The photographs are wonderful and clearly labeled.  Special words in the text are done with bold print, and there is a page at the end called "Science Words" with these pictured and defined..  Another thing I liked was how various activities are included for kids to try.  One of these is to record the time it gets dark for a week.

It is for ages 5-8.  The AR reading level is 3.6.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Spring is Here

TITLE: Spring Is Here
AUTHOR:  Will Hillenbrand
ILLUSTRATOR: Will Hillenbrand
PUBLISHER: Holiday House

Mole realizes that spring has arrived and does all he can to wake up Bear.  Bear just continues to snore.  Then he comes up with a great idea to wake him up!

This book is appropriate for the primary grades.  It has a lot of descriptive verbs used I noticed as I read.  The pictures are colorful as well and young children will enjoy this fun tale.

Friday, March 15, 2013

A Perfect Place

TITLE: A Perfect Place  Joshua's Oregon Trail Diary
AUTHOR:  Patricia Hermes
PUBLISHER: Scholastic, Inc.

Joshua and his family have reached Oregon in this second book in the Joshua's Oregon Trail Diary series.  After a long difficult journey from Missouri, things continue to be difficult for Joshua's family and fellow travelers.  Was the trip west worth it? 

These chapter books are in the 3rd grade reading range and would be of interest for students probably in grades 2-4.  They are written from Joshua's perspective so children will be able to relate to what he is feeling through all the trials his family faces. 
My son and I have read books 1 and 2 in this series and have enjoyed both of them. Once we started reading we did not want to put them down to find out what would happen to Joshua.  We look forward to reading book 3 as well as others in the My America series.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Dini Dinosaur

TITLE: Dini Dinosaur
AUTHOR:  Karen Beaumont
PUBLISHER: Greenwillow Books

Dini Dinosaur gets all dirty and has to take a bath.  He forgets to take off his shoes or his clothes or his hat.  His Mama has to help him clean up and get ready for bed.

This book will be enjoyed by toddlers--preschoolers.  The illustrations are big, bright, and colorful.  The rhyming text will be fun for little ones to hear and try to repeat and read along.  This would make a nice book to read at bedtime with your little one.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Cassie & Caleb Discover God's Wonderful Design

TITLE: Cassie & Caleb Discover God's Wonderful Design
AUTHOR:  Susan Hunt & Richard Hunt, Jr.
PUBLISHER:  Moody Publishers

 About the book:May our sons in their youth be like plants full grown, our daughters like corner pillars cut for the structure of a palace." Psalm 144:12

Boys and girls, from 5 to 8 years of age, will love the fun world of Cassie and Caleb, two energetic and inquisitive children discovering the beauty of God's wonderful design. Through twenty beautifully illustrated short stories, followed by an interactive time between parent and child, your children will learn:

  • The creational principle that "God created man in his own image . . . male and female he created them" (Genesis 1:27) is extraordinary!
  • That Jesus is in all of Scripture. The Bible is not a collection of disconnected stories; it is the one big story of the Triune God redeeming His people.
  • God's Word is our authority and His Glory is our purpose.
  • That when we belong to Jesus we belong to His covenant family, the Church.
  • A Biblical framework for living and thinking.
The authors do not underestimate the power of the Holy Spirit in the heart and mind of a child. This book intentionally uses the rich language of faith, and then builds meaning around the words and concepts as the stories proceed, providing children the words of life.

My thoughts:
This book caught my eye because of the title (since I have a son named Caleb) and because I thought the cover was cute. This book is enjoyable to read and is appropriate for a family with children in the 5-8 range. There are 2 page devotional thoughts followed by a page with a few questions and a verse.

Cassie and Caleb are inquisitive and seem to want to know more about God. They ask good questions that will make your own children think and ponder Biblical truths. I like the example of this family applying God's Word to all aspects of their life, not just something they talk about or read at church. As a parent this book gave me ideas of things from the Bible we can have discussions about with our son.

I thought the illustrations were very well done as well. They were colorful and added to the text of the book.

This book is available from Moody Publishers and will release May 1, 2013.

Thank you to NetGalley for providing the ebook version for my review.

Friday, March 8, 2013

A Picture Book of Sam Houston

TITLE: A Picture Book of Sam Houston
AUTHOR:  David A. Adler and Michael S. Adler
ILLUSTRATOR:  Matt Collins
PUBLISHER: Holiday House

This biography shares information from the interesting life of Sam Houston.  Besides being a war hero, he lived among the Cherokee Indians for 3 years, was a lawyer and teacher, and eventually became the first president of the Republic of Texas.  He also was married three times and had eight children. 

This is an enjoyable book with wonderful illustrations.  It is appropriate for elementary aged students and has an AR level of 4.8.  My son enjoyed this biography and the battle images. 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Chester Raccoon's Favorite Color Game

TITLE: Chester Raccoon's Favorite Color Game
AUTHOR:  Audrey Penn
ILLUSTRATOR: Barbara L. Gibson
PUBLISHER: Tanglewood

Chester Raccoon plays a color game where he finds objects of various colors.  Your child can learn their colors through this board board and learn to play the color game themselves. 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Just How Long Can a Long String Be?!

TITLE:  Just How Long Can a Long String Be?!
AUTHOR:  Keith Baker
PUBLISHER: Arthur A. Levine Books

Ant asks Bird how long a string can be when he comes across a big ball of string in his way.  Bird shows him all the way the string can be used....to turn on a light, hold a kite, finish a necklace, and much more.  Ant sees that the string wasn't a problem after all.

I enjoyed this book.  I was drawn to it because of its beautiful blue cover and the way the title looked.  It was well done in all aspects I thought from the text to the illustrations.  I could see this book being used in a classroom to do some fun creative problem solving with string. 

Monday, March 4, 2013

The Alamo from A to Z

TITLE: The Alamo from A to Z
AUTHOR:  William R Chemerka
PUBLISHER: Pecan Publishing Company

I enjoyed this ABC book all about the Alamo.  There was a lot of information and I liked the way it was presented in an understandable way.  Popular Alamo names are mentioned such as Bowie, Crockett, and Travis, but others are here too that I was less familiar with like William King, the youngest Alamo defender. 

This would be an educational book to add to your unit on Texas!  It is appropriate for elementary aged children. 

Friday, March 1, 2013

Coming in March!

Happy March!  Book reviews this month will be in honor of Texas Independence Day, spring, Easter, and of course a variety of other books. 

Thank you for visiting my blog!  Leave a comment if there is anything in particular you'd like to see here. 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A Million Doughnuts

TITLE: A Million Doughnuts
AUTHOR:  Dawn Colclasure
PUBLISHER: Polliwog Press

In A Million Doughnuts a boy named Rusty asks to eat a doughnut. His parents do not let him and he wishes that he had a million doughnuts. He even writes his wish in a book about doughnuts. The next day he awakes to find his room filled with doughnuts. Rusty eats many doughnuts and quickly notices some changes, like not fitting into his pants anymore or having any energy. Rusty learns his lesson about not eating too many doughnuts and ends up sharing the doughnuts with others as they continue to come day after day. He eventually marks out his wish that he wrote in his book to make the doughnuts stop appearing.

I liked the lesson that Rusty learned as well as what his parents learned. They refused to let him have one doughnut and learned that one every once in a while is actually okay.

I would have liked to see the illustrations in color instead of black and white.

Thank you to Great Minds Think Aloud Publishing for providing this ebook for my review.

Queen Emily's Enchanted Kingdom: Litterbug

TITLE:  Queen Emily's Enchanted Kingdom:  Litterbug
AUTHOR:  Lee-Ann Graff-Vinson
ILLUSTRATOR: Emily Vinson, Joely Hannah Casavant
PUBLISHER: Polliwog Press

Big Ted tells Queen Emily that garbage is covering the Enchanted Kingdom. The people of the kingdom have not thrown away their trash and it is a huge mess. Queen Emily investigates and talks to Litterbug about the problem with throwing things out instead of putting them in the trash.

This is a nicely written and illustrated book. I did not like the mention of "casting a spell" on the people of the kingdom that caused them to not clean up.

Thank you to Great Minds Think Aloud Publishing for providing this ebook for my review.

Queen Emily's Enchanted Kingdom Sugarland

TITLE: Queen Emily's Enchanted Kingdom
AUTHOR:  Lee-Ann Graff Vinson
ILLUSTRATOR:  Emily-Ann Vinson
PUBLISHER: Polliwog Press

Queen Emily loves sweet treats and is excited to wake up (in a dream) to find the kingdom covered with all sorts of sweets. She goes out and begins enjoying treat after treat until she is stuffed, sick, and increased in size. She finds out that the baker had made a wish to fill the kingdom with the goodies she bakes. Queen Emily and the baker learn a lesson about eating too many sweets.

I thought this was a good book with a good lesson. The illustrations are bright and colorful.  They are done by the author's daughter.  The full-color images go nicely with the book text.

Thank you to Great Minds Think Aloud Publishing for providing this ebook for my review.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Play, Louis, Play!

TITLE: Play, Louis, Play!:  The True Story of a Boy and His Horn
AUTHOR: Muriel Harris Weinstein
ILLUSTRATOR:  Frank Morrison

Learn about the childhood of famous musician Louis Armstrong in this book.  It is creatively written from the perspective of his horn!  It tells how young Louis worked to make money for his family and the role music played in his life.

This chapter book would be enjoyable for elementary aged children. It is easy to follow the story and enjoyable as well because it is written from the horn's perspective.

My son and I read this book together because it was on the Texas Bluebonnet list.  We both enjoyed the story and thought it was well-written.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Oink, Moo, Meow

TITLE: Oink, Moo, Meow
PUBLISHER:  Sterling Children's Books

In this board book you will find a variety of animal pictures along with the sounds they make.  What I liked about this particular book is that there was such a good variety of animals, many of them unique to these type of books in my opinion.  It isn't often I see a dove or a grasshopper in a book about animal noises. 

This is a great board book for infants-toddlers. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


TITLE: Homer
AUTHOR:  Elisha Cooper
ILLUSTRATOR: Elisha Cooper
PUBLISHER: Greenwillow Books

Family members ask Homer to do things with them, but he doesn't want to do any of it. He prefers sitting on the porch.  He doesn't need a thing, he has all he needs. 

This is a nice book for dog lovers. I was initially drawn to the book because of the cover.  The watercolor illustrations are simply beautiful.  There is minimal text per page and would be good for an early reader beginning to read aloud on his own.

Because of the small amount of text and nice dog pictures, this book would be enjoyed in my opinion by young children in preschool through early elementary.