kids library haul

Best of the Kids Library Haul ~ March 15

I’m back with the best of the kids library haul for the week!  Well, trying to be back anyways… There are so many wonderful children’s books out there!  I’ve benefitted from the wealth of book recommendations on Instagram and Pinterest, so I want to keep on sharing!  You can see some of my previous library haul posts here and here.  I’ll warn you, at this point they’re all quite old.  I fell off the bandwagon of posting and reviewing when we started school last year.  Can’t imagine why… 😉

Best of the Kids Library Haul

#1. The Lemon Sisters by  Andrea Cheng

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This is an adorable story about sisters–old and young.  A lonely old lady watching three sisters play in the snow remembers the days playing with her sisters and making delicious lemon ice out of snow.  It’s her birthday and she suspects nobody has remembered her, but her day is going to be filled with surprises and new friendship.

This is just the sweetest story.  It made me tear up (although you should probably take that with a grain of salt, considering the pregnancy hormones I have going on here now).  My maiden name is Lemmon and I kind of REALLY want to buy this book for all my sisters.  Just because it’s a sweet story about sisters, called The Lemon Sisters. It is one of those books that is equally entertaining to adults and children, but for totally different reasons.  My kids loved it, and wanted to go scrape the last remnants of muddy snow off the ground to try to make lemon ice.  I told them they needed to wait for fresh snow.

 

#2. Grace Hopper: Queen of Computer Code by Laurie Wallmark

This is a kid-friendly account of Grace Hopper’s life as one of the first famous female computer scientists.  She was born in 1906 and became one of the first programmers of the Harvard Mark 1 computer, and she developed one of the first compiling programs that allowed computers to be programmed using English words rather than just binary.

That achievement alone changed the face of programming, and she just kept working at it.  She was part of the Army Reserve from the 1940s until 1965 when she was forced to retire, but they called her back in 1967 and she continued to work until she was 80 years old.

New motto for kids: find a job that will intrigue you even if you work at it until you’re 80 years old.  What an amazing lifetime though–developing computers from the time when they were literally as big as entire rooms, and watching the technology improve within a specific field for decades.  It’s an incredible thing.

I love that there are so many wonderful picture book biographies for kids these days, and this is one of the great ones!

 

#3. I Am Amelia Earhart by Brad Meltzer

 

Yes, we’re really on a kick with the biographies.  There are just so many! This one is particularly fun if you read/enjoyed Calvin and Hobbes.  The illustrations remind me SO much of the Calvin and Hobbes Comic Strip.  I can’t help but love it.  And the kids really loved it too.

I am Amelia Earhart shares a lot of the “fun” details of her life, without going into her disappearance or death.  I’m not one to want to varnish the truth for my kids, but when it’s a fun children’s story that teaches a little history and reads like a comic book, it would just be weird to end it on the ‘she disappeared and nobody ever heard from her again’ note.

 

 

 

#4. A Bad Case of the Stripes by David Shannon

 

A Bad Case of the Stripes is an entertaining story about the danger of worrying what other people think of you.  Camilla Cream loves lima beans but she’s afraid of what the kids at school will think of her if she eats them.  When she doesn’t eat them, her whole world turns upside down and she develops a very unique skin condition: the Stripes!

Our librarian recommended it after she noticed we were checking out Pinkalicious (for the 400 billionth time) and she was right!  It was an instant hit in our house!

I’ll admit, part of my like for it is related to it not being Pinkalicious.  Another cute story, don’t misunderstand me, but somewhat less enamoring when you’re reading it for the umpteenth time.

 

 

#5. M is for Melody: A Musical Alphabet by Kathy-jo Wargin

 

This is a particularly pleasant jaunt through musical terms and the alphabet.  Each letter/term is accompanied by a rhyming verse and a more in depth educational paragraph.

We had a lot of fun going through and checking our musical knowledge, and it did double duty as an alphabet study for Klaus.  Klaus was disappointed that he didn’t see a didgeridoo parked in there with the wind instruments, which was an entertaining rabbit trail, but overall this one was a favorite!

 

So, those are our favorites out of the library haul this week.  What were your favorites of the week?

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KBR: Books that Drive Kids Crazy

Kids Book Review: Books that Drive Kids Crazy by Beck and Matt Stanton

books-that-drive-kids-crazy books-that-drive-kids-crazy

Today, I just have to give a shoutout to this series by Beck and Matt Stanton. It’s called Books that Drive Kids Crazy, and boy do they. I know I mentioned one of them in a recent book post (here) but they really deserve their own blogpost. Any book that makes the entire family dissolve into a pile of giggles is a keeper, you guys. There are two books in the series, called “This Is A Ball”, and “Who took the B from My _ook?”. AND there’s another coming out next year! We’ve just read them from the library so far. However, these will make their way under our Christmas tree for sure this year. For a few of the reasons why these books need to go into your Amazon cart pronto, keep reading 🙂

1. They’re educational. Seriously. Here’s why.

These books are fantastic introductions to logic and scientific reasoning. They encourages kids (and adults) to think systematically and identify problems. You can get the gist of this just by looking at the covers. If your kids are anything like mine, the instant you read the title “This is a ball”, and point to the very orange square on the cover, they will erupt in laughter and protests.
Through this, they begin to discern that a couple of similar elements does not a true correlation make. It’s really a beautiful thing, and very elegantly done.

2. Books that Drive Kids Crazy create a healthy opportunity for your kids to disagree with you and actually be right.

Let’s just admit it–kid’s aren’t always right. In fact, they are very frequently wrong and we must teach them the proper ways to interact with the world. But when they have an opportunity to be right–even if it’s in the context of a silly book–and when they can prove their case, it’s a beautiful thing.

3. They make everybody laugh!

The kids laughed. I laughed. When my Superman came home from work, they begged him to read it, and we ALL laughed. Books have the power to unite, and when half the books your kids “love” make you cringe after reading them once, it’s such a joy to find a book that everybody loves. Books That Drive Kids Crazy are uniquely entertaining with an inquisitive twist.

Anyways, I truly hope you can find your way to a copy of these somewhere. Let me know if you love them as much as we did!

Our rating: 5 out of 5 stars

**This post contains affiliate links. Thank you!**

Favorite Summer Kids Reads

Today I’m going to share some of our favorite summer reads for kids that we have devoured this year. Summer isn’t really over yet, but school has started. So, I’m just going to go ahead with this list. If you see any you want to be on your child’s summer reads… well, it IS still summer, after all 😉

All Our Summer Reads

We have read 290 kids books since May. It kind of shocked me, and made me glad that I started keeping a booklist for the kids. It also doesn’t account for the many books that we read, and reread, and reread. For this list, I picked books that a) I clearly remember because b) they were enjoyed by all of us. So, without further ado, here we go!

Disclosure: All links to Amazon are my affiliate links. All that means is that I may earn money for any traffic to Amazon through my site–it in no way affects the price you pay. Each book cover image will take you straight to it’s page on Amazon. It’s handy 🙂 Thanks for your support!

Nonfiction Summer Reads

Here are three of our non fiction favorite summer reads.
#4. This is a Ball by Beck and Matt Stanton
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This one should possibly be in the fiction list, but it seemed like such a great experiment with logic that it won a place in the nonfiction list. This book is so much fun to read with kids, and it is all about getting kids to pick out the differences and find faulty logic in statements. E.g. “It has four feet and a tail; it is a dog.”

#3. It’s Disgusting and We Ate It! by James Solheim
summer-read-kidsThis is a really fun one that is great for history, geography, and challenging your picky eaters. Somehow broccoli doesn’t sound so bad after reading about the many ways that people eat insects around the world.

#2. If… A Mind Bending New Way of Looking at Big Numbers and Ideas by David J. Smith
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Breaking up challenging numbers that are just to big to grasp entirely, this book relates those big numbers to large numbers of smaller, more relevant things. It is really interesting, and puts some perspective to some of the vast numbers we see within the universe.

#1. Rivers of Sunlight: How the Sun Moves Water Around the Earth
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This book demystifies the water cycle. With beautiful illustrations and language even small children can understand, it’s a great first look at weather cycles.

Fictional Summer Reads

This was definitely the summer of a few different series for us. We have absolutely LOVED the Frances series and the Five Little Monkeys by Eileen Christelow, but since I’ve already mentioned those in a few other posts (here, for example) we’ll just move on today.

#5. One Small Blue Bead by Byrd Baylor
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The language in this book is just beautiful. It’s reminiscent of the epic poem in style, and a wonderful book to read aloud.

#4. One Morning in Maine by Robert McCloskey
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McCloskey’s classic books are a joy to read, and also to look at. The illustrations are completely charming, especially if you’re mildly obsessed with vintage-looking books and things.

#3. Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney
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I’ve heard this book recommended so often, it probably is a surprise to no-one, but it is just as lovely as everybody says. I love the message too: Find a way, in your life, to make earth a more beautiful place.

#2. The Nuts: Bedtime at the Nut House by Eric Litwin
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The Nuts books are a riot to read through, for kids and adults alike. Very funny to kids, but with that element of truth that tends to crack adults (okay, me…) up.

#1. Three Scoops and a Fig by Sara Laux Akin
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This was a delightful story about a little Italian girl who wants to find a role in the family restaurant. It is a sweet story, all around! The little girl was names Sofia, so my Sophia, of course, was especially drawn to this story.

Those were our favorite summer reads for kids this year. What were yours?

Let us know! We love to talk books and get new recommendations!

Kids Book Reviews ~ Library Haul #24

libraryhaul

Yay!  We’re finally back from our no-library induced library haul hiatus!  Our local library just reopened at their new location–conveniently located within walking distance of my house (!!!) and I am extra excited to discover all the new little goodies in store for us there.  But, that’s a post for another day.  Without further ado, welcome back to our Kid’s Library Haul series.  This is a usually-weekly series where I give you quick and snappy reviews of our favorites from our weekly library haul. We read a LOT of children’s books from the library and I like to keep things positive too, so books that I thought were terrible don’t usually make it into the list… unless I just really want to rant about it for a while. That has happened too! Let us know in the comments which books were winners in YOUR library haul!

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#1. The Sugar Child by Monique De Varennes

Matine is a magical child, created by her brilliant baker father out of marzipan and his desire for a child.  The problem with being made out of marzipan, of course, is that it is very fragile.  She must avoid heat and rain and tears… anything that might make her marzipan melt and run away.  When she finds that her friend is sick, only love can save him, and Matine from the bitter effects of her own tears.

This is a beautifully written story.  It’s very classical in tone.  Also a little classically morbid.  I mean, a child who melts if she cries?  That’s a little depressing, not going to lie.  But it’s beautiful writing, and the story ends well, so I’m going to call this one a win for children’s literary fiction, and just rank it along the classic fairytales that are pretty morbid in their original, un-Disney-ified states.

We really liked it: 4 out of 5 stars

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#2. D is for Dancing Dragon: A China Alphabet

Another one for the seemingly endless list of alphabet books.  Someday when I have time I’m going to make up a list of ALL the alphabet books for your preschool entertainment.  That day is not today.  ‘D is for Dancing Dragon’ had the additional bonus of including quite a significant amount of information regarding different aspects of Chinese culture.  Honestly, it was too much for us to read in one session, but we charged on through the alphabet, stopping here or there to read more about whatever caught the fancy of my Sophiapea.

We really liked it: 4 out of 5 stars

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#3. Brave Girl: Clara and the Shirtwaist Makers’ Strike of 1909 by Michelle Markel

This was one of two real gems this Library Haul.   Brave Girl is the true story of Clara Lemlich, an immigrant to New York, who fought to improve the working conditions of factory workers in the earliest part of the 20th century.  The garment making industry was marked in its early days for using young girls and women at impossibly low wages, high standards, and back breaking conditions.  Clara Lemlich helped establish the first labor unions.  Nowadays labor unions do more harm than good, but in the early 1900s, they had a role to play in creating safe work environments, and they definitely succeeded.

I loved that this book took an aspect of history and introduced it as a story that young children can enjoy and learn from.  If you know me or have been reading this blog long, you’ll know that I adore history.  The only thing I love more than a good history book, is a great history book that might inspire some kid somewhere to love history and learn from it too.

Bonus: This is a great girl-power book.  I was going to put a quote in here, but not sure whether that violates any copyright laws, so I’ll abstain until I’m more sure on the subject.  Just take my word for it 😉  Get this book and read it to your children for an inspirational, educational foray into history.

We loved it: 5 out of 5 stars

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#4. Night Flight: Amelia Earhart Crosses the Atlantic by Robert Burleigh

Another great win for historical, educational books that fit with the younger crowd.  Night Flight tells the story of Amelia Earhart’s historic crossing of the Atlantic.  Also, again with the girl-power theme.

Basically, I love this book for all of the same reasons I loved Brave Girl, probably more.  Amelia Earhart is just a much more inspirational character to me than Clara Lemlich, but they both accomplished impressive things in their fields.

Airplanes are still an object of immense fascination to my little Peas, so they really enjoyed this one too.

We loved it: 5 out of 5 stars

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#5. Arctic Animals by Tad Carpenter

Arctic Animals is a board book, so definitely more for the youngest crowd, but both of mine loved it.  Primarily because each page is a ‘lift-the-flap’.  Kids love lifting flaps in books.

I liked it because it had some variety beyond the animals one finds in most animal-related books for the youngest set.  Walrus, seal, reindeer, and owls all get a great little introduction in this quick, baby-friendly read.

We really liked it: 4 out of 5 stars

Kids Book Reviews ~ Library Haul #23

libraryhaulWelcome to our Kids Book Review Library Haul post! This is my mostly-weekly series where I give you quick and snappy reviews of our favorites from our weekly library haul. We read a LOT of children’s books from the library and I like to keep things positive too, so books that I thought were terrible don’t usually make it into the list… unless I just really want to rant about it for a while. That has happened too! Let us know in the comments which books were winners in YOUR library haul!

 

 

 

giggle_giggle_quack#1. Giggle, Giggle, Quack by Doreen Cronin

Giggle, Giggle, Quack is a story about some farm animals that get up to mischief when the farmer goes on vacation and leaves somebody else in charge. He warns his brother to ‘Watch out for the duck’, but the duck gets the better of him anyways.
Giggle, Giggle Quack is a board book with lots of funny-ridiculous quirks that most kids find hilarious. What kind of farm animals write notes and eat pizza? Farmer Brown’s animals, that’s who. It was cute enough, as farm books go, and an easy read.

We liked it: 3 out of 5 stars

 

bubble_trouble#2. Bubble Trouble by Margaret Mahy

When Mabel blows a bubble that scoops up her baby brother, the entire town rushes into a panic, following his journey through the sky and brainstorming ideas to get him back safely.

This book was definitely the star of our library haul. The entire thing is written in the most lilting, perfect rhymes a la Dr. Suess, but with a VERY impressive vocabulary. There are a few made up words, but a very impressive collection of actual words that fit into the story and the rhymes. Cavil, nefarious, groveling… you get the idea. You guys, I had to look up one of the words. That NEVER happens with little kids books, but it thrills my soul. My kids loved it too, lest you think my adoration is tainted by my love of vocabulary. It was Sophia’s second choice to the (TERRIBLE) Barbie book that she chose, loved, and wanted to read at least once every. single. day.

We all loved it: 5 out of 5 stars

cold_snap#3. Cold Snap by Eileen Spinelli

The town of Toby Mills is experiencing the coldest snap anybody has seen in a very long town. The icicle on the statue of General Toby is growing daily, and there’s no end in sight. The inhabitants of Toby Mills are having to get more and more creative just to stay warm, and everybody is wondering… When will the cold snap break?

Cold Snap was a particularly fun book to read since it hasn’t gotten cold here yet. The idea of snow and cold snaps is still firmly lodged in that nostalgic part of my brain, and the wondrous, magical part of my kids’ brains. I know… give us until January, y’all.

We really liked it: 4 out of 5 stars

hilda_must_be_dancinng#4. Hilda Must Be Dancing by Karma Wilson

Hilda is a hippo who loves to dance, but when she dances the ground shakes, trees lose their leaves, and the other animals clutch their heads and groan. They try to convince her to take up different hobbies, but nothing makes Hilda feel quite as good as dancing. They’re at an impasse until one day Hilda discovers something new…

This was a cute picture book story about doing what you love and solving problems. Hilda’s perseverance and creativity go a long way towards helping her find the perfect solution. Plus, it rhymes. Have I mentioned that my kids are really into rhyming books lately? To be fair, I enjoy them a great deal myself, but they really do love them.

We really liked it: 4 out of 5 stars.

Kids Book Reviews ~ Library Haul #22

libraryhaulWelcome to our Kids Book Review Library Haul post! This is my mostly-weekly series where I give you quick and snappy reviews of our favorites from our weekly library haul. We read a LOT of children’s books from the library and I like to keep things positive too, so books that I thought were terrible don’t usually make it into the list… unless I just really want to rant about it for a while. That has happened too! Let us know in the comments which books were winners in YOUR library haul!

 

 

 

grandmas_hurrying_child#1. Grandma’s Hurrying Child by Jane Yolen

Grandma’s Hurrying Child is a sweet tale about remembering a baby’s birthday.  When Maddy asks her grandma what happened on the day she was born, Grandma tells the story of how Maddy was a hurrying child, impatient to arrive, while Grandma was hurrying from far away, worried she wouldn’t make it in time.    It’s a wonderfully crafted story and makes that leap from kids book to children’s literature.

We loved it: 5 out of 5 stars

 

 

princesses#2. Princesses by Fiona Watt

Princesses have very busy lives, between all the dancing and dresses, and walks in the woodland, but when it comes down to it, they still have to read stories and be tucked into bed at night-time–just like everybody else.  This is one of the Usborne board books.  I’ve heard great things about the company, but I think this is one of the first books I’ve seen myself.  I was duly impressed.  It’s a touch-and-feel book, but there is much more artistic detail than the average touch-and-feel toddler book, plus a real variety of textures.

We really liked it: 4 out of 5 stars

 

eyes_nose_fings_toes#3. Eyes, Nose, Fingers, and Toes by Judy Hindley

Rhyming books about babies are always fun, and this one was no exception.  It went a step beyond the ordinary baby anatomy book with these cute little rhymes for every body part.  It’s more grown up than the cute little board book we found last week (“All of Baby: Nose to Toes”) with actual pages, and quite a long list of body parts, but it’s great for expanding your child’s repertoire of random body parts.

We really liked it: 4 out of 5 stars

tacky's_christmas#4. Tacky’s Christmas by Helen Lester

Yes, this is an actual Christmas book.  No, we aren’t sorry.  We’re celebrating Thanksgiving too, don’t worry.  We’re just also very enthusiastic about Christmas 🙂  Tacky’s Christmas is about one Tacky Penguin, his not-so-tacky friends, and how he manages to save Christmas with his tackiness.  It’s subtly entertaining as an adult (especially an adult reading the book in the beginning of November) but overall a pretty original plot for a Christmas story.  It’s not a Christmas story I’ve read before, and I do love a Christmas story!

We really liked it: 4 out of 5 stars

 

Kids Book Reviews ~ Library Haul #21

libraryhaulHi everybody!  We’re officially moved from Washington to Kentucky (!!!), have a house, AND found the library, which means, of course, the return of our Kids Books Library Haul! So welcome to our Kids Book Review Library Haul post! This is my mostly-weekly series where I give you quick and snappy reviews of our favorites from our weekly library haul. We read a LOT of children’s books from the library and I like to keep things positive too, so books that I thought were terrible don’t usually make it into the list… unless I just really want to rant about it for a while. That has happened too! Let us know in the comments which books were winners in YOUR library haul!

 

 

fancy_nancy_favoritewords#1. Fancy Nancy’s Favorite Words: From Accessories to Zany by Jane O’Connor

Ah yes, the return of library day, which practically means the return of Fancy Nancy.  Sophia loves these books.  This one was a bit of a twist on an alphabet book.  Each word began with a different letter of the alphabet, and there were definitely some fancier words in there, plus easy-to-understand definitions.  It was not my favorite to read aloud.  In fact, it was a little bit annoying to read aloud since it was basically a vocabulary drill, but there were definitely some great educational benefits there and Sophia did love it so…

We liked it: 3 out of 5 stars

 

let's_sing_a_lullaby#2. Let’s Sing A Lullaby with the Brave Cowboy by Jan Thomas

This fun little rhyming bedtime caper tells the story of a cowboy who is trying to sing his cows to sleep, but keeps getting distracted by big scary shapes in the night.

I personally loved this book–partly because it was entertaining with it’s cute little bedtime song and shadowy interruptions, but mostly because this is the first book Klaus has loved.  He’s 18 months old, and thus far in his life, he has had a take-it-or-leave-it attitude towards reading.  He’ll sit with me on the couch for about 2 minutes when we’re reading, and then he’s done and ready to move on.  You guys, he brought this book to ME! He fished it out of the library bag, trotted over to my lap, and actually sat there for the entire.book. Yes.  I was amazed too.  And then he did it again a couple hours later. It made my day.

We loved it: 5 out of 5 stars

too_purpley#3. Too Purpley by Jean Reidy

Too Purpley is all about one girl’s struggle to find the right outfit.  Nothing is just right.  Things are too purpley, too taggy, too stripey, and too polkadotty.  Naturally, she has to try on a hundred different things before she finds the perfect outfit, but when she does it is comfy and just right.

If the cowboy book was Klaus’ favorite from the week, this was Sophia’s favorite.  We had to read it every. single. day. And sometimes more than once.  It’s a cute little book, don’t get me wrong, but even some cute books lose their charm on the three-thousandth reading. Luckily, it’s a pretty speedy read.

We really liked it: 4 out of 5 stars

all_of_baby#4. All of Baby: Nose to Toes by Victoria Adler

This was a sweet little twist on the traditional baby anatomy books. It had a bit of a rhyme to it, and the little verses that went along with the body parts were super cute.  Bonus points for being a board book, but not a bored book. (:DI crack myself up…). There are enough words/enough of a cadence to this story that even Sophia got a kick out of it, and I didn’t have to have a panic attack every time one of the kids grabbed at the pages.  I call that winning. This is definitely a board book that I’m going to be looking to add to our home collection.

We loved it: 5 out of 5 stars.

 

Kids Book Review: Fort Applegate and The Battle of Wounded Knee

fort_applegateBook Review of: Fort Applegate and The Battle of Wounded Knee by Brian Wu

Genre: Children, Fiction

This book was sent to me as an advance review copy by the author for no compensation.  All opinions expressed are my own. It is available for pre-order through Amazon, and will be available early in November.

Fort Applegate and the Battle of Wounded Knee is an educational foray into the science of the immune system: specifically, what happens inside the body to fight off infection. Nolan Applegate is out for a day of exploring the woods behind his parents house and searching out the perfect spot for a fort.  Right in the middle of his exploration, he falls in a stream and cuts his leg.  He’s been learning about the immune system in school, and he knows he needs to go home and wash the abrasion to help get rid of the bacteria from the stream.  He imagines his body is a lot like a fort and the many different things that happen beneath his skin to protect and heal from the cut are like a battle–the battle of wounded knee.

Technically, this book is for kids around the age of 9. Though not quite a middle grade novel, it does have a couple of chapters and full pages of words.  Even so, I think Sophia will be able to enjoy it a little at a time. The story is engaging and presents science to younger kids with a winning combination of age-appropriate narration and scientific explanations.

One thing I particularly loved about this book was the abundance of actual educational information.  Even though the immune system was reimagined into a more relatable context, the proper medical terms were still included and everything was thoroughly explained. Cytoplasm, Lymph Nodes, and the different kinds of cells working in the immune system are all explained briefly in the text and a little more thoroughly in the glossary.  I just think it is great to go ahead and teach kids the actual words.  Sure, they might stumble over Cytoplasm or butcher the pronunciation completely, but they’ll learn eventually and you can’t learn without trying.

Overall, I thought this was a cool blend of education and entertainment, and am looking forward to spending a little more time reading it with Sophia.

I really liked it: 4 out of 5 stars

Kids Book Review: Henry The Turtle by C. K. Sobey

henry_the_turtleReview of: Henry the Turtle by C. K. Sobey

Genre: Children’s

I was sent this book for review by the author, but all opinions expressed are my own.  Check out her website for more information, here.

Henry the Turtle is abandoned as an egg on a stretch of sandy beach near a duck pond, but when one of the mother ducks adopts the egg, the ducks welcome Henry to their midst, and he grows up perfectly happy and cared for–just a turtle in a duck pond.

Punctuated with some fun facts about nature and eggs, Henry the Turtle is a sweet story about adoption and the love of a family.  The general plot reminded me of the Dr. Seuss classic, ‘Horton Hatches the Egg’, but there was definitely a unique voice here too.

The educational facts about eggs and duck habitat were interesting, and struck a good balance of story/fact for a younger child.  I haven’t stumbled across very many children’s books about adoption during my forays to the picture-book section of the library and maybe that is only because I never particularly looked for them before, but I’m always pleased when they do turn up!

Now, I loved the story, but this has to be said. My sole complaint about this book is an issue with the grammar and typos.  I would never claim to be a model of perfection in the grammar department, but when I notice multiple typos or obvious grammar problems within a single book, it really has to be noted–if only to stop my own eyes from twitching.  Luckily, this is something that should be easy to remedy in the next edition or revision.

Overall, the story was lovely but the grammar made me wince, so I’m going to have to go with a basic ‘liked it’ rating until a revised edition comes out.

I liked it: 3 out of 5 stars

Kids Book Review: Outside Inside by Cindy Helms

outside_insideReview of: Outside Inside by Cindy Helms

Genre: Children’s

Outside Inside is the story of a bird who goes looking for his friends one morning.  When he can’t find them, he wonders where on earth they could be, and what they might be doing without him.  Opposites and colorful illustrations liven up the story as the bird is happily surprised when he does find his friend.

This is a great book for bridging that precarious childhood gap between reading board books and full blown picture books with lengthy stories.  The illustrations are much more in depth that one would expect for a baby, but the story itself is simple enough that even the youngest of children could sit through it.

While there are words, the majority of the story is told in the illustrations.  Without  the illustrations, the words are just a constant reiteration of the outside vs. inside relationship.  The illustrations themselves are clever and multi-faceted, although I doubt whether a preschooler or younger would necessarily pick up on all the undertones.  Still, who complains about something that makes a children’s book more enjoyable to read as an adult?!  Not I…

My only complaint/suggestion, is that I would love to see a sturdier version so that the medium matches the between-stages vibe of the story.  I’m not saying to make it into a board book, just use some stiffer paper products that will stand up to the rougher attentions of toddlers and preschoolers.

Overall, Outside, Inside was a cute, original story about waiting for friends and surprises.

We really liked it: 4 out of 5 stars