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Madeline Finn and the Shelter Dog
written and illustrated by Lisa Papp
If you like kids and reading and you have a heart for shelter dogs, then you will enjoy sharing Madeline Finn and the Shelter Dog by Lisa Papp with a child in your life. The storyline is simple. A little girl, Madeline, begs her mother for a puppy. Mrs. Dimple, who volunteers at a shelter, has a rescue dog, Bonnie, with some pups. Madeline is allowed to choose one, and in the process she learns about shelters where animals wait for their forever homes as well as how to care for her new puppy. Madeline is a girl of action. She not only helps at the shelter, she also rallies her community to bring blankets and books to read to the shelter animals. Madeline Finn and the Shelter Dog is a sweet read with gentle and engaging illustrations.
I would like to extend my thanks to netgalley.com and to Peachtree Publishers (Myrick Marketing) for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Category: Children’s Fiction
Publication: March 1, 2019—Peachtree Publishers (Myrick Marketing)
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
The Poetry of Mister Rogers
Lyrics by Fred Rogers and Josie Carey
Music by Fred Rogers
Illustrations by Luke Flowers
Mr. Rogers (Fred McFeeley Rogers) influenced several generations of children with his kind and gentle ways in his television neighborhood. He understood that children need routines to feel safe so he started and ended his show the same way each day. Now we have a compilation of his poetry which, as a trained composer, he put to music as well.
I enjoyed reading his poems. They have a wide range of topics, but contain reassuring verses to help children understand their feelings, and the world around them. He is not shy about sharing his love and encouraging children to do the same. Other topics he addresses include positivity, doing your best, feeling good about yourself just the way you are, and parents. One poem that I think particularly demonstrates his understanding of childhood fears is “You Can Never Go Down the Drain.”
I think this would be a fun book to share with children, choosing poems at random or when a child has a particular need. The illustrations are colorful and reflect the magic of Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood. This book ends with a brief biography for adults of a fascinating man who has influenced so many in a positive way.
I would like to extend my thanks to netgalley.com and to Quirk Books for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Category: Children’s Nonfiction, Poetry
Publication: March 19, 2019—Quirk Books
You’ve made this day a special day by just your being here.
It isn’t by size that you win or you fail. Be the best of whatever you are.
It is the people you like the most
Who can make you feel the maddest.
It’s you I like.
It’s not the things you wear.
It’s not the way you do your hair.
But it’s you I like.
Storytime: The Not-So-Brave Penguin
by Steve Smallman
Join Percy penguin and Posy penguin doing what Antarctic penguins do—and bring along some kids for a fun time together. Storytime: The Not-So-Brave Penguin is an adorable picture book written and illustrated by Steve Smallman. It tells the tale of the adventurous daredevil Percy and his timid friend Posy. When Percy’s penchant for rollicking fun takes him over the edge, Posy finds the courage to overcome her biggest fear, the dark, to rescue him.
Children can identify readily with both characters and will enjoy talking about the plot, characters, emotions, and setting. The illustrations are outstanding and such that a non-reader could retell the story. The author follows up with suggestions for discussion and activities to enhance comprehension with charts and art activities.
I would like to extend my thanks to netgalley.com and to Quarto Publishing for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Category: Children’s Fiction
Notes: Age Range: 4-8 years
Grade Level: Preschool-2
Publication: November 15, 2018—Quarto Publishing
Percy penguin wasn’t scared of anything.
He loved WHIZZING down snowy slopes on his tummy.
Posy penguin was not so brave.
She shuffled down slopes on her bottom instead.
by Becky Kiser
I’ll admit it: I have a love/hate relationship with the holidays. My efforts to achieve a Norman Rockwell holiday a la Pinterest are integrated into the midst of a mishmash of emotional chaos and wonderful childhood memories. Sacred Holidays caught my eye as I realized Becky Kiser had written a book dealing with some of the issues I and many others have with the holidays. She aptly subtitles her book Less Chaos, More Jesus. This is in many ways a reference book designed to be adapted to the reader’s choices about holidays. it should be written in and referred back to during the year and over the years.
First, Kiser talks to the reader about her own journey at simplifying the holidays and putting the focus on Jesus. She stresses the need to change your mindset about the holidays before you begin, in the second part, to baby step your way through individual holidays and decisions about how and why you choose to celebrate the way you do. Lastly she addresses “common struggles” people face. She discusses how to have a Jesus focus without losing the whimsy that makes a holiday special for both children and adults. Other topics include grief during the holidays, realistic expectations, and budgets and generosity. She talks openly and honestly about the Santa Claus dilemma for Christians. Spoiler alert: there is no one right answer! It’s a decision you need to prayerfully make for your family.
As a reader preparing to review the book, it seemed top-heavy with Scriptures, BUT if I were studying a particular holiday trying to ferret out the traditions I would most like to choose for my family, I think they would be valuable. What appeals to me most about this book is the emphasis on creativity. Readers bring to the table traditions they might want to continue, but they can also use suggestions from the book or create new traditions all on their own. The place to start your planning is probably not the 50 pins you scored on Pinterest last night. Simplifying and being able to say “no” are key tools in making memories for your family’s holidays.
I would like to extend my thanks to netgalley.com and to B & H Publishing Group for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Category: Christian, Crafts & Hobbies
Notes: This book is not just for families, but can be used by singles equally well. It is for those with and those without kids.
Publication: October 16, 2018—B & H Publishing Group
Holidays can be especially tricky to navigate as a Christian—wanting to celebrate and focus on Christ yet being pulled into the chaos or whimsy of each holiday.
Let’s stop living life in survival mode, constantly on the defense, a victim of our schedules and the expectations of others. Instead, let’s live sacred—holy and set apart—with our holidays having less chaos, and more Jesus.
I am better for the choices I’m learning to make. I am doing exactly what I feel most called to do, and it’s because I am learning to say no to all the little good things that may not be my best things.
So let’s take our eyes off of what everyone else seems to be doing and focus more on what God says we should be doing.
Stowing Away with the Vikings
written by Linda Bailey
illustrated by Bill Slavin
Author Linda Bailey takes us back in time to the Age of the Vikings in her graphic novel Stowing Away with the Vikings. The Binkerton children have been avoiding the Good Times Travel Agency ever since their surprise trip to Ancient Egypt, but a hailstorm leads young Libby to shelter near the shop door, owner Julian T. Pettigrew offers a guidebook to the Vikings, and the rest, as they say, is history. Stowing Away with the Vikings is a delightful way to learn things about the Vikings that Hollywood will never tell you. Part fiction (the Binkerton storyline) and part nonfiction (clearly delineated explanations accompanying the storyline), this graphic novel is all fun and fascination. Bill Slavin’s pictures in comic style are perfect for entertaining, moving the story along, and illustrating the facts.
This book will delight children as they immerse themselves in history. Just as children reread comic books until the covers fall off, kids will want to reread this book absorbing the information about a culture that no longer exists but has affected our own. Although the author honestly discusses the violence of the Viking way of life, there is no depiction of murder. The Binkerton storyline contains a lot of humor that children and adults will appreciate. I learned a lot from this graphic novel and had a great time reading it. I recommend it for homes, classrooms, and libraries.
I would like to extend my thanks to netgalley.com and to Kids Can Press for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Category: Children’s Fiction, Comic & Graphic Novel
Notes: Grade level—3-7
Age Range—8-12 years
The Time Travel Guides as a series is being republished by a new publisher. Upcoming books to be released are: On the Run in Ancient China and Game on in Ancient Greece
Publication: October 2, 2018—Kids Can Press
Does it seem a bit smoky in here? Hazy? Dark? Look around. There are no windows—just a hole in the thatched roof to let out the smoke. The only light comes from oil lamps. P.S. I hope you like fishy smells. The oil in those lamps comes from fish or whales.
Viking laws aren’t written down, so somebody has to remember them. That’s why they have the law-speaker, a man who memorizes all the laws and shouts them out loud for everyone to hear.
The word “berserk” means bearskin. Berserkers are the most feared of all Viking warriors. Before going into battle, they get into a fighting rage. They howl like wolves. They leap like dogs. They grind their teeth and bite the edges of their shields…Have you ever heard the expression “going berserk”? Where do you think it came from?
Meet Me at the Farmers Market
written by Lisa Pelto
illustrated by Paula S. Wallace
Sophia is seven years old and one of her favorite things to do is to go to the local Farmers Market every weekend with her mom—regardless of the weather and even if they are on vacation. Meet Me at the Farmers Market has appealing, colorful line art created by Paula S. Wallace. Author Lisa Pelto has tapped into the current revived interest in buying local and organic and entertainingly walks children through what it is like to go to a farmers’ market. Sophia meets her friends there, and it is a community event complete with pets and musicians. There are fun things for kids like face painting, balloon animals, and delicious food snacks. Sophia and her mom buy fresh seasonal vegetables, eggs and meat.
This is a fast and easy read that children can enjoy as a read aloud and later read by themselves. It offers many possibilities for discussion about families, friends, community and eating clean and local.
I would like to extend my thanks to netgalley.com and to Reading is Key Publishing (Concierge Marketing) for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Category: Children’s Fiction, Food
1. Age Range: 3-7 years
2. I wonder if it is typical for animals (besides service animals) to be allowed at a Farmers Market.
Publication: June 8, 2018—Reading is Key Publishing (Concierge Marketing)
Mom always tells Farmer Dan, “Your eggs are the freshest, and that’s no yolk!” Farmer Dan says, “You crack me up! See you next week.”