Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The long, long line

The Long, Long Line - Tomoko Ohmura
by Tomoko Ohmura
Age range: 2 to 6 years old

Fifty animals are lining up in a single long line to take a ride on the whale. Everybody knows how long and slow lines are... The moles falls asleep, the flying squirrel can't be still, armadillo and porcupine have to endure skunk's smell, the lion gets hungry, what makes the zebra really worried, some play word chain.
And finally is their turn! The adventure is so amazing that everybody wants to get back in the line!

The plot is very simple, but kids love to see all the different animals in the line. After reading this book to them once, they actually would rather to "read" it to themselves.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Squirrel me timbers!

Squirrel Me Timbers (Fiction Picture Books) - Louise Pigott, Louise Pigott
by Louise Piggot
Age range: 3 to 6 years old

Sammy is a squirrel and considers himself a pirate. He "sails" the forest looking for pirate affairs. And one day it finally happens, Sammy finds a treasure map! The X marks the spot where hundreds of nuts are. Sammy is ready to go! A trip full of dangers and adventures is waiting for him ahead, but Sammy triumphantly goes through them all having always in mind the hundreds of nuts in the spot marked with the X. 
What at disappointment when he finally reaches the spot and not even one nut is there! Sammy is so mad he kicks a tree as hard as he can. Thousand of nuts fall from the trees! Trees that grew from the hundreds of nuts some pirates buried in the spot marked with an X!

Sammy is incredible funny and lovely, the story is hilarious, the rhymed text is really enjoyable, and the illustrations are perfect for the tale. 5 Stars for this great book!
Expected publication date: January 1st, 2016!

I received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015


Ribbit! - Rodrigo Folgueira, Poly Bernatene
by Rodrigo Folgueira
illustrated by Poly Bernatene
Age range: 3 to 6 years old

This sound shouldn't be surprising in a frog's pond... unless it comes from a pig...
Nobody understands what's going on. The frogs are confused. The rest of the animals think it's hilarious. Is the pig making fun of the frogs? Why would a pig want to be a frog?
But the pig only wants to make new friends, even if that means to ribbit in the pond like a frog or tweet on a branch like a bird.
We really enjoyed this story, that is funny and thoughtful at the same time.The pig looks cute and ridiculous in the pond. But this doesn't prevent you to feel he is doing his best effort to connect with the frogs. And when the only thing the frogs do is get suspicious, he just moves forward to the birds. He is stubborn and optimistic in equal parts. He is such a great character!
The illustrations are awesome and add so much to the story.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Are you sleeping little one?

Are You Sleeping Little One? - Hans-Christian Schmidt, Cynthia Vance
by Hans-Christian Schmidt and Cynthia Vance
illustrations by Andrea Nemet
Age range: up to 5 years old

One by one each baby animal goes to sleep. You can pry how and where each of them sleeps. The baby giraffe stands still; baby fish sleeps swimming with its eyes open; the little bat hangs upside down; the flamingo balance on one leg. The text is rhymed and very sweet. The illustrations are cute and transmit a sense of calm. A perfect bedtime story.

I received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Sam's Top Secret Journal: Memorial Day

Sam's Top Secret Journal: Book 3- Memorial Day: Memorial Day - Sean Adelman, Siri Bardarson, Dianna Bonder, Andrea Hurst
Sam's Top Secret Journal #3
by Dr. Sean Adelman
Age range: 10 to 12 years old

Sam is in ninth grade and has Down Syndrome. Writing and drawing in her journal helps her think and make sense of what looks messy at the beginning.
In this third book in the series Sam's family is having a short vacation during the Memorial Day long weekend in a rented house near a retired military base. There they gather with other relatives, including Madison, Sam's teenage cousin whose father was injured while serving in Afghanistan and is still being treated in a hospital. It's a difficult time for Madison and she is not coping really well. It's really hard to get along with her. At some point Sam sees Madison doing something really bad, and she struggles about the best way of handle the situation to make things right without hurting anybody's feelings.
Sam is a sweet girl, and the story is focused in her strength and skills, and not in her differences. I think the approach is fantastic. Any kid of her age can relate with her.
I suggest you take a minute to stop by at Sam's top secret journal and Raise expectations facebook pages.

I received this copy from the author via Bostick Communications in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, December 18, 2015

My family tree and me

My Family Tree and Me - Dusan Petricic
by Dušan Petričić
Age Range: 5 years old and up

My family tree and me introduces the idea of genealogy in a very innovative way. A little boy explains how his mother and father's families converge in him. It is creatively built in a mirrored way. You should read it in two ways. When you read it starting form the front cover you meet sequentially the father's side of the family, starting from the great-great-grandparents. Then you start the book from the back cover to meet now the mother's side. Both sides will meet in the boy, and in a beautiful double page illustration of the whole family. Everybody is there, including also aunts, uncles, cousins and pets. Even a meddling neighbor!
The book is funny, the message is delivered in a clear graphic way, and the illustrations are really nice.

I received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

I dream of an elephant

I Dream of an Elephant - Ami Rubinger
by Ami Rubinger
Age range: up to 4 years old

I dream of an elephant is written in a smart rhymed way. In each page the reader dreams of an elephant of different color, and the last word of the paragraph, that is always the color, is missing. Since the text seems singed it easily induces the kids to shout the last word. It's a very interactive book, and this is definitively the best thing about it. Elephants of eleven different colors are portrayed. The pictures are very simple and, of course, very colorful. Excellent choice for toddlers.

I received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

A friend for Mole

Friend for Mole, A - Nancy Armo, Nancy Armo
by Nancy Armo
Age range: 3 to 6 years old

Mole is happy living in his burrow, but one day he gets curious about what's going on above. He can hear laughter and decides to take a look. Immediately he gets lost blinded by the bright light of the outside. Poor Mole trips over a tree's root and ends into a bush. Relieved in the shadow and very tired because of the whole experience, he falls sleep. It's night when he wakes up. In the dark he finds Wolf, who is hiding. While Mole is glad that it's night, Wolf finds darkness frightening.

Both of them are eager to help each other. Mole decides to stay with Wolf while is dark, and Wolf helps Mole to find his burrow in the morning. Mole and Wolf become great friends.

The story is absolutely sweet. Mole and Wolf learn that they are not the only ones afraid of something, and that they can help and be helped. The illustrations are so beautiful! Every single animal looks so cute. I'm glad this I crossed paths with this author.

I received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, December 14, 2015


Spoon - Amy Krouse Rosenthal, Scott Magoon
by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
illustrated by Scott Magoon
Age range: 3 to 7 years old

Lately Spoon has been thinking how his friends can do amazing things., while there's nothing special in what he does. Knife gets to cut. That's awesome. And Fork knows how to tame spaghetti. That's really skillful. And Chopsticks are so exotic!
But Knife, Fork and Chopsticks also think Spoon is very cool. And along the book Spoon will find out all the wonderful things that make him so special. Diving headfirst in a bowl of ice cream! Come on! That's hard to beat!
Very funny story with a beautiful message about valuing ourselves.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Feathers not just for flying

Feathers: Not Just for Flying - Melissa Stewart
by Melissa Stewart
Illustrated by Sarah S. Brannen
Age range: 5 to 10 years old

Feathers is designed like a scrapbook, and it counts with wonderful illustrations. The text is concrete and easy of understand. Its goal is to show all the different uses feathers have for different birds. Each use of a feather is compared with common objects well known by kids and that have this same use for us: feathers are warm as a blanket, protect the skin like sunscreen, soak water like a sponge, or attract attention like jewellery. These are only a few of the "jobs" feathers have. You will be surprised!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Walk on the wild side

Walk on the Wild Side (Life in the Wild) - Nicholas Oldland, Nicholas Oldland
by Nicholas Oldland
Age range: 4 to 8 years old.

Beaver, Bear and Moose are really good friends, but sometimes they can be a little competitive. That's what happened that day they decided to climb the mountain together. Things went well while they friendly enjoyed the walk, but it turned less pleasant, and even dangerous when they agreed on turning the trip into a race. Moose got into trouble, and his friends had to decide between helping him or winning the race. Thankfully they are better friends than rivals. The race is over. Once at the top of the mountain, Beaver, Bear and Moose felt happy they decided to slow down and take the time to explore, discover and enjoy each other.

Three lovely characters in a funny story about friendship and its vicissitudes, with a happy ending. I'd love to read more Beaver, Bear and Moose adventures!

I received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Mr. postmouse's rounds

by Marianne Dubuc
Age range: 2 to 8 years old

This book is wonderful! Mr. Postmouse loads up his wagon and his rounds begin. There's not too much text, but all the magic is in the illustrations, beautiful and full of details (and jokes) to discover. Each page is an amazing opportunity to take a look at the inside of different type of homes, burrows, some under the ground, on trees, or underwater, on the top of the hill, inside the hive and the anthill, and many more.
Dubuc is certainly a skillful illustrator. It's evident in each picture all the care and thought that was put there. All and every page is worth a good few minutes to enjoy, look, laugh, comment and touch it.  It's not a book to read alone, but to share.
I highly recommend you to follow Mr. Postmouse in his rounds!

I received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Detective Gordon: The first case.

Detective Gordon: The First Case - Ulf Nilsson, Gitte Spee
by Ulf Nilsson
illustrated by: Gitte Spee
Age range: 8 to 11 years old

Many nuts have been stolen from Vladimir, the squirrel, and Detective and Police Chief Gordon has to solve the case.  In the process, which includes a lot of thinking, stamping and cake eating, he meets Buffy, a young mouse who becomes his assistant and friend. While Buffy wishes for many exciting cases to solve, Gordon, as the old and wise toad he is, wishes for a quite district with no crime at all. No crime. No punishment.
The first case is a cozy mystery for kids, with adorable characters and many beautiful teachings in it. The illustrations are absolutely cute. I would love to read more Detective Gordon adventures.

I received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Little one

Little One - Jo Weaver, Jo Weaver
by Jo Weaver
Age range 2 to 5 years old

Spring is here and mom bear has so many thing to teach her little cub before winter comes again. They fish and hunt. They wander through the forest and through the night. They meet other animals, and eat ripe berries. They enjoy each other until the day comes. Back to their old den, they curl up  together dreaming of the next spring.
Sweet story and lovely illustrations. Perfect for a bed time story.

I received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, December 4, 2015

The children of When: Florisia

Children of When: Book 1:  Florissa (Volume 1) - Jennifer Redmile
by Jennifer Redmile
Age range: 10 to 14 years old

Leah, Belle and Raff know when they turn 14 years old they must leave the foster homes were they have been raised, and go through the magic portals that will transport them to a new and unknown world, as the law stipulates. In this new place they meet each other building a strong friendship. While exploring the gifts the new life brought to them, these three friends will discover they are part of an ancient prophecy, and for that reason they are in great danger. The only way of fight those conspiring against them is to finally put together the parts of the Amulet, parts that have been looking for them even before crossing the portals.

The characters are lovable, and the plot, full of adventure and emotions, engaged me from the beginning. Looking forward to the next book in the series!

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

The farmer and the clown

The Farmer and the Clown - Marla Frazee
by Marla Frazee
Age range: 3 to 7 years old

Lovely pictures tell the story of a little clown who falls off the circus train and is found by a farmer.
At the beginning the little clown is the one trying to cheer up the farmer. After all he is a clown, isn't he? But when his face is washed out he starts feeling sad. Now is the farmer's turn to cheer the clown up, and this will transform his life. A beautiful friendship has born.
But the day arrives when the circus train comes back looking for the lost little clown. Then the farmer is left lonely again. Or is he?

We have enjoyed in the past other beautiful books illustrated by Marla Frazee, like Mem Fox's Harriet, you'll drive wild!, and Mary Ann Hoberman's The seven silly eaters. She is such a talented illustrator!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Dragon in the doghouse

Dragon in the Doghouse - Brandon Draga, Deanna Laver
by Brandon Draga
Illustrated by Deanna Laver
Age range: 4 to 8 years old

Imagine the surprise of this boy when he wakes up to find out his house was full of frightening dragons, goblins, kobolds, dark elves, gnolls, etc.
Now imagine his joy when he sees that fighters, wizards, cleric and rogue are here too to fight away all the scary beings!
A beautiful trip through the worst and the best of a kid's imagination.

"Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragon exist,
but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten"
Neil Gaiman, Coraline.