children

This is NOT a Book!


Author: Kellie Byrnes
Illustrator: Aśka
Publisher: EK Books
Genre: Children
ISBN: 978-1-925820-50-8
Pages: 32
Price: $18.99

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A boy declares that what we’re reading is NOT a book. He explains that a book needs a main character, interesting places to visit, action, problems, and a solution. And as he explains each, he finds himself in the exact situation he’s describing.

The boy’s reactions to what’s happening in this NOT-book are hilarious, and kids will laugh as they learn the various pieces of a published story. I highly recommend This is NOT a Book!

Reviewer: Alice Berger

children

This Small Blue Dot


Author & Illustrator: Zeno Sworder
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
Genre: Children
ISBN: 978-1-760-76111-0
Pages: 32
Price: $17.95

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A baby’s big sister welcomes a newborn to earth, excited to share all the things she’s learned about life so far. The earth is small blue dot in a universe of stars, and it holds a wealth of things to explore. Nature, playtime, sunny and dark days, and interesting people fill her world. The earth is full of dreamers, and this newborn is its newest explorer. Big sister can’t wait to show off the things she’s discovered.

This Small Blue Dot shares some of the wonders of life through the excited eyes of a child. I highly recommend this book and its positive message.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

children, history

So You Want to Be a Knight?


Author: Hannah Pang
Illustrator: Takayo Akiyama
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
ISBN: 978-0-500-65211-4
Pages: 96
Price: $14.95

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Eddie, Kate, and Angus are back again, and this time they’re exploring the possibility of becoming a knight. But their dream of swapping their backpacks for a suit of armor and riding off to join their fellow knights on a quest might turn out to be more difficult than they expect.

In order to be successful as a knight, they will need to be physically fit, accomplished horseback riders, and great on the dance floor. Having wealth and a family of influence also helps, since a knight’s suit of armor can be expensive. Knights thrive on chivalry, and socializing and jousting are a big part of their job description. But on the battlefield, expertise with a sword, lance, and shield is expected, and this can pose a problem while riding, since the equipment is very heavy.

So You Want to be a Knight? is a fun, tongue-in-cheek look at how to be a knight. I found it very entertaining, and it will be a big hit with kids, who will enjoy the author’s sense of humor. I highly recommend it, along with all the others in the “So You Want to Be a …” series.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

animals, children, nature

Whose House Is That?


Author & Illustrator: Stan Tekiela
Publisher: Adventure Publications
Genre: Children, Animals, Nature
ISBN: 978-1-64755-074-5
Pages: 48
Price: $14.95

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Animals create unique and interesting places to live, and Stan Tekiela invites us into their homes for a virtual photographic visit.

Each home is pictured on the first spread, with an opportunity for children to guess who built it. The following spread shows the animal and provides facts about it. Animals featured are the: bald eagle, American robin, bald-faced hornet, Monarch butterfly, American beaver, black bear, garden spider, prairie dog, sunfish, cottontail rabbit, and common ant. The final page invites kids to look for animal homes near them.

Whose House Is That? is a fun exploration of animals and their living quarters. I highly recommend it.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

children

Keep an Eye on Ivy


Author & Illustrator: Barroux
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
Genre: Children
ISBN: 978-0-500-65253-4
Pages: 32
Price: $18.95

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It’s a boy’s birthday, and he has received a very special gift – an ivy plant. The following day the cat isn’t around, but his sister says he must be outside. The next day, his sister goes missing, but dad thinks she’s at her music lesson. The next day, dad is missing… and so it goes. Every day someone disappears until finally the boy finds himself alone.

As he looks at Ivy, a magical pop-up surprise awaits him, and he finds himself inside the plant, along with all of his missing family members. Scolding the plant, he announces that it’s not polite to swallow people, and that EVERYONE will be keeping an eye on Ivy from now on.

Keep an Eye on Ivy is a cute pop-up book with a slightly sinister houseplant. Sensitive children might be afraid of this book, but most kids will be amused by the situation this family finds themselves in. I highly recommend it.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

children, nature

Growing Pains


Author: Alison McLennan
Illustrator: Melissa Johns
Publisher: EK Books
Genre: Children
ISBN: 978-1-925820-52-2
Pages: 32
Price: $18.99

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Finn’s family has planted a tree, and Finn begins to worry about it. Do trees get cold? He provides a scarf for warmth. Do trees get hungry? A plate of toast is placed at its base. Will his tree get lonely? He spends some time near the tree talking to it and asking it questions.

But when Finn’s night light suddenly goes out, Finn is worried that the tree is also scared of the dark, like he is. Once he realizes that the tree is not afraid, he draws strength from his tree and faces his own fears.

Growing Pains is a story of a boy who is very much in tune with nature. Finn looks after the tree’s perceived needs, and the tree gives back when he needs it most. I highly recommend this sweet and gentle book.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

children

Make Yourself at Home


Author & Illustrator: Signe Torpe
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
Genre: Children
ISBN: 978-0-500-65214-5
Pages: 48
Price: $19.95

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People live in many different kinds of places. Their home can be an igloo, a castle, a tree house, or even a windmill. These and many other kinds of homes are featured in Make Yourself at Home.

In this charming book, children can see all kinds of homes around the world. Detailed illustrations cover fold-out spreads, and the pages are filled with fun facts. Kids will have fun exploring all the unique places that people of the world live.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

children, nature

Goodnight Great Outdoors


Author: Lucas Alberg
Illustrator: Megan Marie Myers
Publisher: Adventure Publications
Genre: Children / Nature
ISBN: 978-1-59193-888-0
Pages: 32
Price: $16.95

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A family is camping in the wilderness and is getting ready to go to sleep. But before they slip inside their tent, they say goodnight to the animals and environment around them.

This simple bedtime book repeats the word “goodnight” to all of the family’s surroundings. It also introduces the animals the family might see in the woods and provides a nugget of information on each. Goodnight Great Outdoors is the perfect bedtime book for families of outdoor adventurers.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

animals, children, fitness

Yoga Animals


Author: Paige Towler
Publisher: National Geographic Kids
Genre: Children / Animals / Yoga
ISBN: 978-1-4263-3752-9
Pages: 32
Price: $16.99

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Animals stretch, and so should we. In Yoga Animals, kids see animals demonstrating their stretches, and they’re encouraged to mimic their movements.

Fun photos of the animals in their poses show how they stretch their bodies. These poses are: Giraffe (Upward Salute), Flamingo (Tree Pose), Gorilla (Standing Forward Fold), Cat, Puppy (Downward Dog), Lion, Bunny (Rabbit), Cobra, and Crocodile. Additional details regarding each pose are provided in the appendix.

Kids will love learning about yoga from the animals in Yoga Animals.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

children

I’ll Never Get All of That Done!


Author: Bryan Smith
Illustrator: Lisa M. Griffin
Publisher: Boys Town Press
ISBN: 978-1-944882-50-1
Pages: 32
Price: $10.95

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Blake needs to sell some cookies for his team’s bake sale, and his mom expects him to bake them himself. He is overwhelmed with the thought of what he needs to do, so his mom breaks the project down into steps for each day in the week prior to the sale. He follows the plan and the sale is a success.

A few weeks later, he finds himself behind in his schoolwork and once again, he’s overwhelmed at all he has to do. His teacher reminds him of the steps he needs to take – Prioritize, Plan, and Post. He follows the plan and gets his work done.

Now that Blake understands the steps, he is able to use them in getting his schoolwork done, finishing his household chores, and playing video games with his friends. He even teaches these steps to his coach!

Kids can easily become frustrated when they think they have too much to do in too little time. This book offers a helpful reminder for them that prioritizing, planning, and posting their organized list can keep them focused and able to complete the tasks at hand. I highly recommend I’ll Never Get All of That Done!.

Reviewer: Alice Berger