Tag Archive: children



Guardians of the Trails: Secret Agents of the Wilderness Volume 1Guardians of the Trails: Secret Agents of the Wilderness Volume 1 by Ron Guiley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I recently went to the eye doctor. Yes, the one that didn’t give me new glasses as he is setting up cataract-removal surgery for me. I can’t wait! It will be so nice when I can read all books again. Until that operation happens, I guess children’s books or Kindle and Audible are my only way to read. As the doctor and I discussed how I couldn’t even see the big E with my left eye, I told him how important it was that I be able to read. “I’m a writer!” I said as I pointed to my 2020 NaNoWriMo winner’s T-shirt. He pulled out his bookmark to prove he not only wrote but actually had published his masterpiece. I couldn’t wait to get it and read it.

Luckily, this book is a wonderful picture book. The poodles pictured in the book are the doctor’s own. He enjoyed taking them on hikes and snapped pictures. A story evolved with the pictures, as with children’s books, the writing is large enough for most of us to read. And the illustrations are adorable. Don’t think for a minute it is just a bunch of poodle pics. The story is fun. The poodles are secret agents solving nature puzzles. I can’t wait to see what they get up to in volume 2!

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The Boy Who Was Left BehindThe Boy Who Was Left Behind by Gita V. Reddy
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Can you remember things that happened in childhood that impacted you? Did you interpret what was said or done around you? I can remember my aunt was trying to get me to eat. I was always a picky eater. Still am. So she pointed down the street of my grandmother’s house toward the dairy, “If you don’t eat, you’ll dry up and fly away, and the cows will eat you!” I ate.

I remember interpreting from a bedtime tale that castles were dragons. The nightmare that night caused me to scream out that there was a castle under my bed. Children can misunderstand words and deeds. The Boy Who Was Left Behind presents that theme. Here’s the blurb on the GoodReads and Amazon pages:

“Vimal lives with his grandmother. His parents, who are NRIs – non-resident Indians – leave him with his grandmother when he is two. Vimal grows up in Jaipur, happy and secure in the loving care of his grandmother. His parents are a blurred memory made up from short visits. When Vimal is eight, a phone call in the night turns his world topsy-turvy. His grandmother leaves him with relatives and goes to London.

Once again, Vimal is left behind – this time with a secret that is too big for a young boy.”

This book would be a great read-aloud for parents/teachers/counselors, and children. It could instigate conversations of help and healing.

Rarely do I share another review. Not because mine is so good, but rather I don’t want to overwhelm myself or others. If I put it out there, the readers would find others to read for themselves if it struck interest. But Grady’s Review on Amazon and GoodReads is super and tells what I feel about the author.

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The Chicken-Chasing Queen of Lamar CountyThe Chicken-Chasing Queen of Lamar County by Janice N. Harrington
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was an adorable tale! The little girl, Baby, as Big Mama calls her, sees it as her mission to catch every chicken. But one eludes her.

Shelley Jackson makes the story come alive with illustrations that seem real yet whimsical with a bit of collage throughout the book.

My children and I would have loved this when they were 5-8ish years old. It might have helped as educational moments as we had chickens back then. Learning that you must chase down a chicken every now and thing to medicate or isolate certain ones. But chasing, as fun as it could be, frighten the chickens and can be bad for them. My kids never found that a goal. Instead, they learned to gather eggs and mostly leave the chickens to live their own lives. They saw hens clutch and babies hatch and follow mothers around.

This fits in the Black Lives Matter category as the child, and her mom are black. It is incidental. This could have been any race living in rural areas. I like that. I can’t wait until things like this book become commonplace. Books and the arts should reflect our lives. All kinds of people live on this earth. Why not enjoy the variety?

Now that I am finished reading this book, I will donate it to the local library as I think it might be a good addition.

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How to Draw Cute Stuff for Kids: A step by step Drawing Guide for Kids to Learn How to Draw 180 Cutie Stuff in 4 Easy StepsHow to Draw Cute Stuff for Kids: A step by step Drawing Guide for Kids to Learn How to Draw 180 Cutie Stuff in 4 Easy Steps by JAY T
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This a how to draw for children. Yet I learned that drawing things from memory is helpful as we age. It was one of the things tested on the brain-age app on the Game Boy. I found that when I was tired my drawings of the test didn’t fair well. So a little practice book like this can be helpful to everyone. I might look up other books by JAY T to find cute drawings to play with.

You can find a book or two on Amazon but this on isn’t currently available. Any would be great for step by step drawing instructions. And this one was free.

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The Whizz Pop Chocolate ShopThe Whizz Pop Chocolate Shop by Kate Saunders
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Kate Saunders has written a delightful children’s’ book that is fun for all ages. I would have loved to have this around while raising my kids. It would have been a favorite for me as a child. For those two reasons, it reaches four stars in rating. But the narrator, Jayne Entwistle, brings the listeners into the Whizz Pop world, and therefore I have to give this story five stars.

If the real world is getting you and your family down, this is such an uplifting story. The characters are marvelously brought to life with Ms. Entwistle’s acting. I imagine families gathering around the audio machine you all may use (I used my Kindle Fire). Adults can find as much fun here as children. I even see great family discussions coming from the book.

I am sad to leave this behind. I will see if, like this one, my online library has book two. Libby is how I heard it. So even if you haven’t the money to buy the book or audio version, your library may have it, or you can request that they order it.

Happy Listening!

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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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