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

Author’s website
Illustrator’s website
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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

children

Herman Jiggle, Say Hello!


Author: Julia Cook
Illustrator: Michael Garland
Publisher: Boys Town Press
Genre: Children
ISBN: 978-1-944882-51-8
Pages: 32
Price: $10.95

Author’s website
Illustrator’s website
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Herman Jiggle has trouble speaking when he gets nervous around people. His words get jumbled up and he would rather just stay silent. But his mom begins to encourage him to be more social.

Although Herman is reluctant, his mom suggests taking a deep breath before speaking, so his words come out clearly. A big smile helps him relax, and he can even imagine the other person wearing funny jammies. But when Herman gets to be really good at speaking, he is reminded that sometimes it’s better not to talk, like in class when everyone is supposed to be quiet.

Social anxiety is a very real fear for children, and they may need some coaching to find their voice. Tips for parents and educators are also included to assist in working with these kids. I highly recommend Herman Jiggle, Say Hello! for home and classroom.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

children, self improvement

Pause Power


Author: Jennifer Law
Illustrator: Brian Martin
Publisher: Boys Town Press
ISBN: 978-1-944882-49-5
Pages: 32
Price: $10.95

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A boy realizes that it’s easy for people to push his buttons when he gets upset. But until a button named Preston begins to speak to him, he has no idea that HE has control of those buttons – not other people.

Now that he knows he can stop those people from getting to him, he has to learn some techniques. He needs to use “pause power” to take deep breaths, count slowly, and notice how he’s feeling. Then he can make the right decision on how to respond. As he practices, he finds he gets angry less often, knows when he needs to visit the cool down spot, and has a lot more friends.

When kids get angry with others, they don’t usually realize they’re giving their power away. Pause Power helps them take that power back, so they can gain control over their emotions. I highly recommend this book for home and classroom.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

art, children

Modern Art Explorer


Author: Alice Harman
Illustrator: Serge Bloch
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
Genre: Children / Modern Art
ISBN: 978-0-500-65220-6
Pages: 96
Price: $19.95

Author’s website
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Modern art is certainly… different. Visiting a modern art gallery can leave us scratching our heads, wondering what the artist had in mind. So how can we learn to appreciate it?

Modern Art Explorer offers kids a glimpse of some of the more famous pieces from the modern art era of the 1860s to the late 1960s. In the introduction, we learn a little bit about this movement in art history, and find some suggestions on how to look at the featured pieces. Then we explore 30 different artworks, which are shown along with the artist’s name, date created, and other interesting details about the piece and the artist. The final section presents a timeline of the period which includes the happenings of the day, along with a glossary and list of artworks.

Kids and adults will find Modern Art Explorer fascinating. I highly recommend it.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

children

Marvelous Magicians


Author & Illustrator: Lydia Corry
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
Genre: Children / Magic
ISBN: 978-0-500-65221-3
Pages: 48
Price: $19.95

Author’s website
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Magicians have been dazzling audiences for 5,000 years, but some were renowned for their spectacular tricks. Marvelous Magicians features eight groundbreaking illusionists who shaped modern magic, plus it showcases other interesting facts about magic through the years.

The magicians appearing in this volume are Jean Eugene Robert-Houdin, Richard Potter, Harry Kellar, Long Tack Sam, Adelaide Herrmann, Harry Houdini, Howard Thruston, and Dante. In addition to sharing these mini biographies, this magical book also explains the art of illusion, the role of the magician’s assistant, and why magicians guard their secrets so closely.

Children will enjoy reading about the wonderful tricks these talented magicians were able to perform. I highly recommend Marvelous Magicians.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

children

If I Had a Unicorn


Author: Alex Barrow & Gabby Dawnay
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
Genre: Children
ISBN: 978-0-500-65226-8
Pages: 32
Price: $14.95

Gabby Dawnay’s website
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Finding the right pet can be a challenge for kids, but one little girl thinks a unicorn would be just perfect. Unicorns are fun and friendly, and they make everything sweeter. But unicorns are very rare, so she’ll have to wish extra hard to find one.

If I Had a Unicorn is a cute rhyming book that details all of the delights of having a unicorn for a companion. I highly recommend it.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

cats, children

Why Do Cats Meow?


Author: Dr. Nick Crumpton
Illustrator: Lily Snowden-Fine
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
Genre: Children / Cats
ISBN: 978-0-500-65238-1
Pages: 48
Price: $16.95

Author’s website
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Cats make wonderful companions, but do we really know everything there is to know about them? Well, no cat would reveal all its secrets, but Dr. Nick Crumpton offers some insights about our feline friends.

Do all cats hate water, or just some? What do their whiskers really do? And how can we interpret their various meows? These questions and many others are answered in this fun and informative book.

If you’d like to learn more about the cats you live with, I highly recommend Why Do Cats Meow?

Reviewer: Alice Berger

children

Mr. Business – The Adventures of Little BK


Author: B.K. Fulton
Illustrator: Salaam Muhammad
Publisher: Owl Publishing
Genre: Children
Price: $9.95

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Book 1: The First Day of School
Book 2: Science Project
Book 3: Secret Places
Book 4: My Favorite Thing
Book 5: Smart Guy Glasses
Book 6: The Cow
Book 7: Represent

Brian Keith (B.K.) has just started at a new school. He faces bullying on his very first day, and needs to learn how to handle it in the best way. He faces racism, and realizes he doesn’t have to worry about what others think about him as long as he likes himself. He learns to defend his “secret places” but also knows when he is safe. He takes something that doesn’t belong to him, and tries to make things right. He starts to wear glasses, and realizes they actually make him smarter. He speaks his mind and makes someone unhappy, but learns that the right words can fix things. And he learns that he needs to be himself, even if he feels like he’s not fitting in, especially when those people are actually looking up to him.

Little B.K. is a smart black boy who tries to the right thing. He dresses nicely, is kind to his parents and others, and he wants to be a good student. While the plots are a little thin in these books, B.K. is a great role model for black children on how to live a good, productive life. I admire the author for creating these books, and I would recommend them to anyone who feels their children may need to hear these messages.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

children

Goddesses and Heroines


Author: Xanthe Gresham-Knight
Illustrator: Alice Pattullo
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
Genre: Children / Mythology
ISBN: 978-0-500-65191-9
Pages: 128
Price: $19.95

Author’s website
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Most people have some knowledge of Roman and Greek mythology, but what about China, Russia, or Mexico? In Goddesses and Heroines, kids will be introduced to 13 goddesses and heroines from various cultures, told in a unique and creative way.

The goddesses featured in this book are Aphorodite, Isis, Hekate, Inanna, Mulan, Baba Yaga, Parvati, Mayahuel, Nangsa, Osun, Amaterasu, Simorgh, and Brigit. With colorful imagery, poetry, and imaginative illustrations, each of these women comes alive for us on the page. In addition to their stories, a full page is dedicated to symbols and information about each of the women.

Goddesses and Heroines provides fun and interesting insights into the lives of these fascinating women. I highly recommend it.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

children

Eyelike Stickers: Trains


Publisher: Workman Publishing
Genre: Children
ISBN: 978-1-5235-1127-3
Pages: 12
Price: $6.95

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Trains, trains, and more trains! Crossing signals, tracks, and conductor hats. Railroad logos, tunnels, and bridges. This sticker book has anything you can think of that relates to trains.

These 400 stickers are reusable and can be placed in the two scenes inside the book or on windows, notebooks, lunch boxes, and scrapbooks.

Train lovers will absolutely love Eyelike Stickers: Trains.

Reviewer: Alice Berger