animals, children, classics

Sleep Tight, Sleepy Bears

Author: Margaret Wise Brown
Illustrator: Julie Clay
Publisher: Silver Dolphin Books
Genre: Children / Classic
ISBN: 978-1-68412-760-3
Price: $12.99

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A big sleepy bear and a little sleepy bear are settling in for the night. One at a time, they each give a big yawn, a big stretch, and climb into bed. Heads on their pillows, they close their eyes and sing softly. And then they go to sleep.

This classic from Margaret Wise Brown encourages sleepy little ones to willingly climb into bed and mimic the bears’ actions. I especially liked the revised version of the bedtime prayer “Now I lay me down to sleep” which has angels keeping watch and no mention of death.

Cute and cuddly bears, sweet words, and a soft and gentle rhythm make Sleep Tight, Sleepy Bears a perfect addition to your child’s bedtime routine. I highly recommend it.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

children, self improvement

What’s the Problem?

Author: Bryan Smith
Illustrator: Lisa M. Griffin
Publisher: Boys Town Press
Genre: Children
ISBN: 978-1-944882-38-9
Pages: 32
Price: $10.95

Executive FUNction Series
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Braden and Blake argue all the time. Savannah and Mary are having a misunderstanding. Braden wants to play sports, but his teacher has given him schoolwork. What do all of these have in common? A problem.

In this “Executive FUNction Series” book, kids are introduced to the SODAS steps to problem solving. They are encouraged to identify the problem, come up with options for dealing with the situation, weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each option, and choose one option as the solution.

In each of the three given scenarios, the reader sees how kids analyze the problem and identify possible ways to handle it. Since the characters are real kids, some of the options are terrible, but they soon realize the disadvantages of these bad ideas. The SODAS process is described in a positive way that works in action.

When good problem-solving skills are not modeled in the home, kids will react in less than favorable ways. But when they learn the proper way to deal with these situations, they will be successful at home and school. And these skills will help them long beyond their school years. I highly recommend What’s the Problem?.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

animals, birds, children

Greta the Great Horned Owl

Author: Christie Gove-Berg
Publisher: Adventure Publications
Genre: Children / Nature
ISBN: 978-1-59193-815-6
Pages: 32
Price: 14.95

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Greta the Great Horned Owl is out hunting one evening when she spots her prey. Intent on catching the field mouse, she doesn’t see the train coming her way. In a flash, she’s pinned against the front of the train, unable to move.

When the train stops moving, she frees herself and drops to the ground. But her wings hurt and she’s unable to fly. Greta is fortunate that someone sees her plight and carries her away. Soon she’s in a facility that cares for injured wildlife. She has a broken leg and wing, and the veterinarians are going to mend them for her. Once Greta is fully healed, she is released back into the wild where she can live out the rest of her natural days.

Greta the Great Horned Owl shares a wonderful rehabilitation story that kids will enjoy reading. The great horned owl facts at the end of the story, as well as the many spectacular photos, will be helpful in learning about these magnificent birds of prey. I highly recommend it.

Reviewer: Alice Berger


New York Day & Night

Author: Aurélie Pollet
Illustrator: Vincent Bergier
Genre: Children
ISBN: 978-3-7913-7378-2
Pages: 30
Price: $16.95

Author’s website
Illustrator’s website
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New York City is the city that never sleeps. Sandy the cat introduces the city at night, while Frankie the squirrel shows us the city during the day. Both have a very different perspective of the sights they see.

When Sandy is exploring, a plastic sheet covers the page, showing the images from her nighttime perspective. But when kids lift the sheet, they see the same place during the day, and Frankie explains it as it really is. Sandy’s imagination leads her to see spaceships and monsters, but these are just ordinary places in daylight.

New York Day & Night is a fun, interactive look at New York from two very different viewpoints. Kids will enjoy seeing the sights with Sandy and Frankie.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

children, dogs

Stay Benson!

Author & Illustrator: Thereza Rowe
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
Genre: Children / Dogs
ISBN: 978-0-500-65153-7
Pages: 32
Price: $16.95

Author’s website
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Before she leaves for school, Flick tells Benson to stay. But as soon as she’s gone, Benson runs outside to play. As Benson explores, the cat reminds him that he’s supposed to stay, not play! The day ends too quickly and Benson must rush home to be there when Flick arrives.

Creative page cut-outs allow the reader to see scenes from before and after the current page, and the artwork is minimalistic in bright colors. Kids will enjoy this whimsical day in the life of a disobedient pup.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

children, Christian

The World of the Bible

Author: Jill Rubalcaba
Publisher: National Geographic Children’s Books
Genre: Children / Bible history
ISBN: 978-1-4263-2881-7
Pages: 128
Price: $14.99

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Connecting Bible history to real world places and times can make the word of God come alive for readers. In The World of the Bible, National Geographic Kids shows us when these Bible stories took place and what the world may have looked like at the time.

Spanning the time periods of both the Old Testament and the New Testament, this book looks at early history, the Exodus, the judges, prophets, and the kings, as well as some of the places Jesus would have visited as he traveled around Judah and Samaria. Artifacts from excavations, photos of ruins, and artwork depicting the various scenes help readers to picture the events more clearly.

Although it isn’t truly possible to revisit the past, The World of the Bible makes it easier for kids to see these stories in a more realistic setting. I highly recommend it.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

animals, birds, children

The Song of Spring

Author & Illustrator: Hendrik Jonas
Publisher: Prestel
Genre: Children
ISBN: 978-3-7913-7379-9
Pages: 52
Price: $12.95

Author’s website
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It’s springtime, and all the birds are singing their mating calls. But one little bird can’t remember his song. He wants to find a birdie friend, so he attempts to discover it through trial and error.

Time after time, he sings a song, but his moos, meows, and oinks fail miserably. Soon he’s surrounded by farm animals but no birdie friend. Until one day a strange song comes from the distance – a little girl bird attempting to find her own song.

The Song of Spring is an adorable tale of friendship, as each of these animals come to keep little bird company. Kids will love these charming illustrations of cheerful animals in spring. I highly recommend this cute story.

Reviewer: Alice Berger