Tag Archive: picture-book



Antics!Antics! by Cathi Hepworth
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A couple of friends recommended this fun little treat. After their great reviews knew I had to find a copy.

Okay, so it might be a little advanced compared to other alphabet books. Still, the pictures and one word per page make it a quick memorized book. It may be more fun for older siblings to read to younger ones with a more advanced vocabulary. And parents and teachers can find a lot of conversation starters on each page.

First of all, ANTS! Hey, you could obtain a good ant farm for the kids to watch or a walkout to see ants in their true habitats. Hopefully, you haven’t been inundated by the ones that love your kitchen. But, heck, there’s another educational moment for you and the students.

The illustrations are so much fun! Who knew ants could be so expressive? This brings me to the choose your favorite page. My friends chose Deviant and Chant. I do like both of those. But my favorite is a psychological thriller with personal history. Hesitant. I remember graduating to the level of the high dive. I remember the first time actually climbing back down the ladder to my shame and embarrassment. I gave myself speeches for days and was determined to do it the next time. I did get all the way out on the board—no diving for my first few times. Even the first jump, I felt hesitant. I don’t remember ever getting confident on that dive. I preferred the sturdy diving platform, and I could dive from and reach the other end of the pool in one breath.

I think I will donate this to our little library.

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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 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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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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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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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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Horton and the Kwuggerbug and more Lost StoriesHorton and the Kwuggerbug and more Lost Stories by Dr. Seuss
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Now, here is a special book! A long lost treasure. And you know what? I couldn’t wait to read it. I had to read the first story out loud to the dog. I don’t think she appreciated the subtleties of the story. And my throat hurt since I haven’t read aloud in years!

What made this book a treasure is the Introduction. It told about this book and other stories. Then having a deeper understanding of where the stories came from made the reader even more happy to see how wonderful and crazy Dr. Seuss’s stories were.

And it isn’t just crazy. zaniness Ted’s stories there are always little morals or thought processes for the reader to get into and squeeze the life out of.

I hope you are able to get this book to enjoy.

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Stand Tall, Molly Lou MelonStand Tall, Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Wow, there are tons of five-star ratings for this book. Yeah, it’s cute, though it reminds me of Doctor Suess’s characters. Maybe a Who of Whoville?

This little girl has the stack against her. Her grandma gives her good advice. But the next part makes me question everything. Her talents save her from a bully. What about the kids that don’t know their own talents? How will they win over the bully?

Maybe I’m just having a bad day in my reviewing? I just didn’t enjoy this book, nor could I see my kids, when they were little, liking this book.

I’ll go sit in the corner until I feel better, I guess as it seems most everyone else loves this book. Enjoy!

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