Bergers Book Reviews

Look at Me!


Author & Illustrator: Jim Arnosky
Publisher: Sterling Children’s Books
Genre: Children / Nature / Animals
ISBN: 978-1-4549-2809-6
Pages: 40
Price: $16.95

Author’s website
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Many animals have coloring that allows them to blend in with their surroundings, camouflaging them from being seen by predators. But some animals have colorful and unusual features that are meant to attract mates, as well as avoid being eaten. Look at Me! shows us some of these creatures and their stunning displays.

Male turkeys spread their tail feathers, and strut to attract females. African bullfrogs blow up to twice their size to avoid frog-eating snakes. Deer have antlers and sheep have horns for battling other males during mating season. These as well as many other interesting animals are introduced with beautiful illustrations, including some fold out spreads.

Nature’s wonders never fail to please children, and Look at Me! is a delight to read. Kids (and teachers) will love it.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

November 9, 2018 Posted by | animals, children, nature | Leave a comment

Which Animal Is Fastest?


Author: Brian Rock
Illustrator: Carolyn Le
Publisher: Arbordale
Genre: Children / Animals
ISBN: 9781607187455
Pages: 32
Price: $9.95

Author’s website
Illustrator’s website
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King Lion is hosting a race to determine the fastest animal. But before he can crown cheetah the champion, the other animals protest. Why should the race be for quickness over a short distance? There are other ways to measure speed – why won’t he use those instead?

After listening to all their pleas, King Lion finally decides to hold an Olympics. Each animal now has the chance to show off its skills in the best possible setting, and the winners of each event are congratulated.

The final pages detail each of the speeds of the winning animals in their specialty. Activities and questions are also provided for teachers who might want to use this book for science lessons. Which Animal Is Fastest? is a fun read for animal lovers, and will be a big hit in the classroom.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

November 2, 2018 Posted by | animals, children | Leave a comment

Proggy Menagerie


Author: Hayley Smith
Publisher: Good Books
Genre: Crafts
ISBN: 978-1-68099-337-0
Pages: 128
Price: $14.99

Author’s website
Buy it at Amazon

Have you ever imagined making your own soft and snuggly rag rug animals? This process isn’t as hard as it might seem. Using simple supplies like fleece and burlap, you can build adorable critters. Proggy Menagerie will show you how.

In this unique craft book, you’ll learn how to make woodland creatures (fox, badger, hedgehog, squirrel), farmyard favorites (lamb, pig, bat, duck), perfect pets (kitten, puppy, bunny, tortoise), feathered friends (parrot, owl, robin, penguin), and water babies (clown fish, seal, turtle, frog). The creation of each animal is demonstrated with pictures and written instructions explaining each of the steps. Reduced-size patterns (with instructions for enlarging) are provided for cutting the pieces to be assembled.

Although I didn’t attempt one of these adorable proggy animals, I felt confident in reading the detailed instructions that I could have easily created them. Children will need an adult’s assistance in assembling these, but will easily grasp the proggy technique. I highly recommend Proggy Menagerie.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

October 29, 2018 Posted by | art, children, crafts, creativity | Leave a comment

Figley vs. the Mookling Hat (Mutasia)


Authors: Suzanne Cotsakos & Ryan McCulloch
Illustrator: Ryan McCulloch
Publisher: Mutasian Entertainment
Genre: Children
ISBN: 9780692106327
Pages: 48
Price: $15.99

Author’s website
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When everyone in Mutasia starts wearing Mookling hats, Figley decides he needs one, too. After all, he can’t be left out of the fun. But when he tries to find one for the party that evening, his efforts end in failure. So he does the best he can, and arrives at the party with a Squonk hat, instead.

Initially, the others are puzzled by this silly, squishy hat. But when they decide his hat is so much more special than their Mookling hats, they all have to get one, too. Once everyone is wearing Squonk hats, they wonder why they don’t feel as unique as they thought they would. Figley knows the answer, and after sharing it with the rest of the Mutasians, they know what to do. Soon everyone is sporting the hat that best fits their personality.

Figley vs. the Mookling Hat is a silly story that encourages individuality. By exaggerating the ridiculousness of everyone doing the same thing, it shows kids that it’s best to be themselves, even if they’re different from their friends. And they might discover that their way is just as cool as everyone else’s.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

Suzanne and Ryan stopped by Bergers Book Reviews for an interview. Please be sure to check it out here!

October 18, 2018 Posted by | children | Leave a comment

Mission Defrostable (Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast)


Author: Josh Funk
Illustrator: Brendan Kearney
Publisher: Sterling Children’s Books
ISBN: 978-1-4549-2811-9
Pages: 40
Price: $16.95

Author’s website
Illustrator’s website
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The refrigerator is too cold, and Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast are worried. What is causing this deep freeze? Suddenly, Agent Asparagus arrives, pleading for help. He’ll lead them to the freezer so they can see what’s going on.

But when Agent Asparagus is whooshed away, the pair have no idea how to get to the freezer. Lucky for them, Baron von Waffle knows the way and agrees to lead them. But this time, they are captured while the Baron escapes. All ends well when the Baron sneaks back to rescue them both, which prompts teary-eyed sniffles from the perpetrator of this frozen situation, along with a promise to turn the temperature back to normal in the fridge.

Mission Defrostable is told in rhyming verse with some larger words that children may have trouble pronouncing or understanding. But the story is so much fun that they (and their parents) will enjoy reading it over and over again. I highly recommend it.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

October 2, 2018 Posted by | children | Leave a comment

Shh… God Is in the Silence


Author & Illustrator: Fiona Basile
Publisher: Loyola Press
Genre: Children / Christian
ISBN: 978-0829446579
Pages: 26
Price: $8.95

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If children don’t know how much God loves them, they will find out when they read Shh… God Is in the Silence. Phrases including I love you, You are precious, and There is no one else like you, as well as many others are repeated, reminding children of these awesome truths. Illustrations of children in peaceful settings accompany these beautiful words.

God may be silent, but He lives in their hearts, and He wants them to know how precious they are to Him. Shh… God Is in the Silence is a wonderful book to read when children need reassurance, and it’s perfect for bedtime.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

September 28, 2018 Posted by | children, Christian | Leave a comment

Business Pig


Author & Illustrator: Andrea Zuill
Publisher: Sterling Children’s Books
Genre: Children / Animals
ISBN: 978-1-4549-2684-9
Pages: 32
Price: $16.95

Author’s website
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Jasper the piglet is born at the Sunshine Sanctuary for Farm Animals, and immediately, everyone notices he’s different. He won’t play in the mud or root for grubs like the other pigs. Instead, he sits at his computer in a suit and tie, working on spreadsheets and presentations.

All the other animals are being adopted, but no one seems to pay attention to Jasper. Feeling he needs to do something about this problem, he takes on an advertising campaign, hoping to attract the perfect owner. When a little girl in a business suit with a briefcase sees his ads, she shows up at the sanctuary to meet him. She takes his business card, inspects his charts, and reads his resume thoroughly. And soon Jasper has a new job – and a new home – with his new friend. “It was a perfect fit!”

Business Pig is a delight to read. I highly recommend it.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

September 26, 2018 Posted by | animals, children | Leave a comment

My First Wild Activity Book


Author: Isabel Otter-Barry Ross
Illustrator: Maxime Lebrun
Publisher: Silver Dolphin Books
ISBN: 978-1-62686-957-8
Pages: 32
Price: $12.99

Buy it at Amazon

Children may not be able to take a trip around the world to visit natural habitats, but they can do this from the comfort of their own homes. With My First Wild Activity Book, kids will explore the rain forest, desert, ocean, mountains, forest, savanna, and polar ice.

Each location has several activities: search and finds, counting, mazes, matching, connect the dots, coloring, and stickers. An answer key is also provided. At the end of each section, there is a space for young adventurers to place their explorer completion badge.

This activity book is more about fun than learning, and the amount of actual information provided for each section is manageable for small children. But by playing with this book, they will discover these seven different habitats and hopefully be curious enough to want to know more. Kids will love this fun activity book.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

September 18, 2018 Posted by | children, nature | Leave a comment

Hey Goose! What’s Your Excuse?


Author & Illustrator: Lisa M. Griffin
Publisher: Boys Town Press
Genre: Children
ISBN: 978-1944882-18-1
Pages: 32
Price: $10.95

Author’s website
Buy it at Amazon

Boone doesn’t like to try new things. So when his mother and siblings decide to cross over to the other side of the pond, Boone has no intention of going with them. He has a list of excuses not to go. But soon he begins to think about all the fun they’re having without him and wishes he was there.

Paddling like a crazy goose, he heads over to the other side. When he realizes he did it all by himself, he’s amazed! His mom is so proud of him, and his siblings have even saved him a sweet treat as a reward.

Children who are uncomfortable with change will relate to Boone’s feelings. Hey Goose! What’s Your Excuse? addresses these fears of stepping outside their comfort zone, providing a helpful tips page for educators and parents.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

August 16, 2018 Posted by | children | Leave a comment

Night Night, Sleepytown


Author: Amy Parker
Illustrator: Virginia Allyn
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Genre: Children / Board book
ISBN: 978-1-4003-1003-6
Pages: 20
Price: $9.99

Author’s website
Illustrator’s website
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The residents of Sleepytown are hard at work, and soon they will wind down their day and head off to sleep. But first, kids will visit with them and say good-night. This cute rhyming book visits the mayor, the farmers, the police officers, teachers, and others as they work to care for the residents of Sleepytown. Each two-page spread ends with the refrain, “Night night, {persons, and other persons}, too! Thank you all for what you do.”

Night Night, Sleepytown shows a happy and positive scene of each person’s role in the community, expressing gratitude for everyone mentioned. It also helps to put kids in the mood for sleep as parents read it to them before bed. The closing note thanks God for looking down on Sleeptown, which is an easy prompt for kids to be reminded to say their bedtime prayers. This cute book is perfect for bedtime routines.

Reviewer: Alice Bergr

August 15, 2018 Posted by | children | Leave a comment