Tag Archive: children



Children's book: The Recycling Party: A happy book that turns cycling into a celebrationChildren’s book: The Recycling Party: A happy book that turns cycling into a celebration by Anat Gonen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Safety issues aside. This could be a good book to start talking about recycling. Regardless that the text speaks of a yellow bottle that isn’t in the accompanying picture. Imagination and fantastic artwork make this book worthwhile. It felt like collage-work with paints.

Children don’t play with Tim cans without an adult and talks of keeping safe. Kids can’t ride a Coke bottle like a train. But let’s talk about glass and dangers. I would have rather not had text as it wasn’t needed and often confused the pictorial story.

There were suggestions teachers and parents could use to help the students learn ways to recycle nearly everything. Recycling can become an exciting way of life.

Though I found the text inconvenient, this book is worth it for the artwork and ideas that one can glean with proper adult supervision.

By the way, I was gifted this book for an honest review.

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Children's book: The Unruly Orchestra: Learn about musical instruments and the symphonic orchestraChildren’s book: The Unruly Orchestra: Learn about musical instruments and the symphonic orchestra by Daphna Lustiger
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I voluntarily read to review this book.

Almost. That is the best thing I can say. I was excited, as a former music major, to see a picture book about the orchestra. But on the first page, I got disappointed. Two of the instruments named were not shown.

The text wasn’t rhythmic or as fun as it could be. And I think it still needs a good editor.

The pictures were fun and I wanted the story to be as fun.

Still, I would have read it to my children. I think I could have made it more fun with sounds of the instruments lined up to actually introduce each part. It could be a fun story, if cleaned up a bit, to a field trip to a concert or an educational segment about Peter and the Wolf, and possibly pulling out triangles and fun band percussion instruments. and a good old march around the classroom.

My deepest disappointment was the piano not named as it was being called a pipe organ (not usually in an orchestra, and no pipes).

Still, the book could have hope with a bit more clean up.

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The Unicorn GirlThe Unicorn Girl by M.L. LeGette
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is NOT McCaffrey’s Unicorn Girl which is taking me forever to read. It is not on another planet or sci-fi interplanetary travel. In fact, it is set in a past of no cars. Horses provide the travel.

Though it is set in the past in a land I have never heard of, the author doesn’t let it feel antiquated. She often uses modern colloquialisms that don’t feel out of place even in the ancient world.

I was sad when the book ended. That doesn’t happen often. Young People will love this, I think. The main character is strong and knows what she doesn’t want. She isn’t sure what she wants but that is part of growing up.

Maybe that is all I need to say here. Except–I might want to read this again someday and look at why it works so well for M.L. LeGette.

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Mary Poppins: 80th Anniversary CollectionMary Poppins: 80th Anniversary Collection by P.L. Travers
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When I was in fifth grade, I was a library regular. I would check out the limit of ten books at a time. Mary Poppins was a series I got into and read all of them. I never had seen Julie Andrews version. We weren’t allowed to go to movies in my family. Maybe that’s the reason I am so into movies now?

Anyway, I wasn’t a fan of the illustrations, still don’t care for them. I got irritated with Michael getting so much attention. I felt that this read through, too.

Something that I noticed that I don’t remember my childhood thoughts on. How prideful Mary Poppins was, and how grumpy/bossy she was. But now that it’s been a couple days since I finished this quartet of books I think I’m glad she was that way. She didn’t feel she needed to tell the family when she’d be leaving. She rarely admitted to the kids about her friends or her habits with them. It was like she had her own life apart from the wards of her job. I think she shows women and girls that they don’t have to tell everything and they can be independent.

Since I read these four books in a row using text-to-speech, I didn’t notice where one book ended and another began–except when she left and said she wasn’t coming back–but then she came back.

I don’t remember finding the adventures tedious as a child. But as an adult, I see they are far too similar and I lost interest sometimes.

Particular to this version, the Audible available as whispersynch to this book was just for the first book. Most folks would probably read on without a problem. I need the text-to-speech to take over and it was hard to make my Fire understand that. The good news was that I called Amazon and they made it all good. I had loved the Audible narration. I just didn’t have the money to get the rest of the books at that time. They let me remove it and then my text-to-speech with the British voice that always sounds like Julie Andrews got me through the rest of the books.

Now I feel ready to watch the new Mary Poppins movie.

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The Boy Who Flew With EaglesThe Boy Who Flew With Eagles by Ben Woodard
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Overall, I loved this story. Having been on a female author/leading female character entertainment diet, I saw how female empty this book was. (My youth was spent on a diet fed to females by males).

Yes, the book spoke to sharing and caring for others on the planet, but it is entirely lacking female, except for the mother eagle. Even the boy had no mother or sisters. No human fem anywhere.

If, in fact, this kind of book was to help reluctant males to read, why do they go on and get better jobs and never get judged by what they wear or their size? If the males that read this kind of book were actually addressed, why is ecology poohed upon by the heavily male corporate and politicized world?

The overall lesson I learned from this book is that we have gentled males of their own responsibility for themselves and others to the point that if this book were about the female equivalent the boys wouldn’t have read it? How sad! Not only didn’t this story get the point across, but it also didn’t even embrace it, itself! Sharing and caring.

The minor truth was that father eagle flew away and gave the job to the mother eagle cause he couldn’t handle it!

No, I didn’t lose sight of the main objective of the book. It is marvelous that the boy got to learn how to fly and help the eagle family and eventually his own tribe. That is why the story got four stars. But the rest is lost for society.

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Little monsters, it's time to go to bed!: How to put little monsters to sleep with a toothbrush and dental floss (Bedtime Story Children's Picture Book, Ages 3-7)Little monsters, it’s time to go to bed!: How to put little monsters to sleep with a toothbrush and dental floss by Olivia Longray
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When my second oldest was a toddler he saw the commercial about how the tooth-monster can attack teeth that aren’t brushed. I never had to remind him to brush his teeth. That was an effective commercial for him. This book would have had the same effect for him and probably lots of children who might be reluctant to dental hygiene.

The pictures are delightful. The fantasy goes a bit too far but it just gives the readers more pictures to enjoy and there is plenty of room for discussion about tooth care.

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Mary Poppins (Mary Poppins, #1)Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I picked up the combo-version for four Mary Poppins books. I got the Audible for the book for whispersynch. But I wasn’t careful and found out that the Audible version was just for the first book.

I called Amazon and Audible about the problem that I couldn’t read the next books with Audible or text-to-speech. They made it right and took back the Audible and so I will continue reading with TTS. But I wanted to make sure that folks understood that the narrator was fantastic. She didn’t play Mr. Banks very well but Mary Poppins and the kids she acted out quite nicely.

I read all these books as a kid so it is fun to read them now with an adult (some find that hard to believe) point of view.

Hope others get the chance to read/listen to these books!

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Extra YarnExtra Yarn by Mac Barnett
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a review for the Audible version of the book. I can’t afford to buy the paperback or hardback right now but couldn’t wait to read it as I heard it was exquisite.

I love picture books. They inspire my inner artist. Still… I’m truly surprised to see how much fun just listening to the story without pictures was.

Narrated by Nicola Barber with accompanying music made this a beautiful story about never-ending yarn. Don’t think that this magic was lost on this knitter. I almost have that wonderful situation. I get to knit from donated yarn. I make comfort items for the homeless, homebound, cancer patients and others. It is a win-win craft for me. I get to knit forever and other people get warm hats or toys or scarves… I haven’t knitted a sweater yet, but it would be fun to yarn bomb everyone and everything around me!

I’m hoping to finally READ and enjoy the pictures in the book someday soon, but this Audible version does hold its own.

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The Magic of Friendship SnowThe Magic of Friendship Snow by Andi Cann
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a cute picture book for winter. The pictures are lovely and the story was sweet. I think my only problem was how the girl could give the snowman to her human friend when it wasn’t winter. But maybe I missed something. I read it just before bed and I was so sleepy. But nice to read that story of learning to be a friend.

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The Missing Girl: A Short Chapter BookThe Missing Girl: A Short Chapter Book by Gita V. Reddy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I love getting books from my favorite writers for review. It’s the best of both worlds. Getting to see their writing, getting to read new books.

Ms. Gita V. Reddy has created another fun story, mystery(?) for middle grades. I don’t want to give anything away here, but the story didn’t go the way I thought it would. But neither is it as scary as the title might imply. So go ahead and read it. It’s free right now on Amazon.

There is a bonus story in this book. If it wasn’t about a boy, I would have thought that Gita knew me in grade school. Yes, I was the talker that teachers moved around the room trying to find the person that would encourage silence in me. Nope. Didn’t happen. In fact, and I hate to admit this, even in college as a 40 something-year-old adult, even when I sat next to the teacher I found them interesting and willing to share conversation with me. Being social is a good thing and can teach you more than silence. On the other hand, as a teacher, I understand the disruption to the lesson plan. I did see that it can be useful for bringing up questions the class might have been afraid to bring up. I loved the kid of my heart in the second part of the book.

Both stories made for good reading before bed. You or your children might have fun with these, too.

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