Tag Archives: children’s books

Book Review: Pugtato Finds A Thing

5 Aug

Enchanting illustrations. Giggle-inducing text. Unique and loveable characters. Join Pugtato and his cute and quirky pack of pals in this heartwarming picture book that celebrates the power of friendship, compassion, and believing in your own unique gifts. 

When Pugtato’s simple, quiet life is disrupted after he digs up a strange object in his garden, he enlists his best “spuddies” to help (they are more clever than he is, after all). Tweetroot is certain it’s a new egg for her nest. Tomatoad is quite sure it’s a toy just for him. And Purrsnip simply won’t stop scratching it! Luckily, Pugtato has another very special spuddy to ask . . . .

Sophie Corrigan is a freelance illustrator and authour from Lancashire, UK. She graduated from University of Central Lancashire in 2013 with a first class degree in Illustration, and recieved a Distinction in her Masters degree in Children’s Book Illustration from the same university. In 2017, her children’s picture book I’m a Little Monkey was Highly Commended in the Macmillan Prize for Children’s Book Illustration, and she has since worked with publishers such as Bloomsbury, Chronicle Books and Wicked Cow.

Sophie has produced illustration work for Hallmark Cards, Papier, Moonpig, Ohh Deer, Jellycat and Boomf, and her work has been stocked by John Lewis, Paperchase, Urban Outfitters, Sainsbury’s, Clinton Cards, Hot Topic, Topshop, Tesco, The Range, Ryman Stationery, Calendar Club, SOMA Gallery, Yard Gallery, ASOS and the RSPCA shop.

When not illustrating and maintaining her online art shops, Sophie spends the spare time she has going to shows, watching nature programmes, eating vegtarian food, hanging out with her pet cockatiels, and occasionally crafting cute things from wool and clay.

 

My Impressions:

Pugtato Finds A Thing is a quirky and cute book — a delight for kids of all ages. The rhyming story follows Pugato, a charming character that is part pug dog and potato, as he searches for the answer to the mysterious thing he has dug from his garden. He asks all his friends, including Purrsnip, Colliflower, and Croccoli, to help him puzzle out what he has found. I thought the combination of vegetables and animals was very original, and I can’t help but imagine a child’s eager turning of the pages to discover what fantastical creature awaits them and probably coming up with combos of their own! The whimsical illustrations complete the fun. Each character’s individuality is emphasized, and in the end Pugtato discovers the key to who his newest friend is. I have a young niece who is going to love this book. Cannot wait to share it with her.

Recommended.

Audience: preschoolers to young elementary-aged children.

(Thanks to Zonderkids for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

Children’s Corner: Honesty Counts

23 Jul

In The Berenstain Bears Honesty Counts the Bear family is headed out for the annual cub campout and are especially excited about the canoe race down Rapid River. Who will win the big race and ribbons? The competition between Brother and Sister’s team and Too-Tall’s gang is fierce. But when Too-Tall and his gang decide that winning is the most important thing — even more important than telling the truth — Preacher Brown makes sure the cubs remember just how important honesty is!

This fun, new book in the popular Zonderkidz Living Lights series — beloved by parents, grandparents, children, and grandchildren alike — will earn a quick spot on your child’s bookshelf. But not for long! Your child will want to read along with you again and again as the kid-friendly text and easy-to-read, easy-to-remember Scripture verses teach valuable life lessons, encourage discussion, and take you down memory lane with each subsequent reading.

Parents and grandparents looking for a Bible-based, read aloud story that encourages faith in Jesus and instills a love of reading in their children and grandchildren need look no further than the newest book in the Living Lights series — The Berenstain Bears Honesty Counts.

 

My Impressions:

If you are looking for a book that will allow your kids to keep up with their reading skills during this long break from school and learn a valuable lesson, then The Berenstain Bears Honesty Counts is a great choice. As always the Berenstain Bears look for the right ways to do things, and honesty, even when there may be a shortcut available, is the focus of this book. I found the vocabulary challenging enough to polish skills, while the story engages the reader. Scripture to back up the moral to the story is naturally inserted into the narrative. Whether you use this book as a family read-along or as a means to encourage reading in an early reader, Honesty Counts is a winner!

Recommended.

Audience: early elementary ages.

(Thanks to Zonderkidz for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Children’s Corner — Ten Little Eggs

18 Mar

Ten Little Eggs celebrates springtime and the bond between a parent and child. With sweet and silly read-aloud rhymes and adorable illustrations, this book reminds readers that families come in all shapes and sizes, but what holds them together is love.

Perfect for Easter or any time of the year, children will enjoy turning the pages of this playful picture book to discover what unusual critters are inside each of the ten little eggs.

FIVE little eggs in a nest
in a tree.
What in the world will my
little egg be? 

One cracked open
and what did Mama see?
A fuzzy little penguin,
walking wobbly as can be.

 

My Impressions:

I first thought Ten Little Eggs would be an Easter-themed book because of, well, eggs! But this book is a fun family read-aloud for the whole year. There is so much to love about this book — its repetitive rhyme and countdown to the final egg will have your kids “reading” along. The ten eggs in momma bird’s nest reveal some very surprising family members — fun and funny.  As the book progresses, the anticipation increases as readers will be guessing just who will show up in the nest next! Illustrations are detailed and oh so cute. I guarantee his book will become a favorite.

Recommended.

Audience: preschoolers and their families.

(Thanks to Zonderkidz for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Children’s Corner: Nighty Night Narwhal

10 Mar

In this sweet, humorous tale about an imaginative narwhal named Nolan, children and parents alike will giggle at, and likely recognize, all of Nolan’s excuses for avoiding bedtime. With soothing, rhyming text and whimsical, playful illustrations, this charming padded board book is sure to help little ones go from deep sea silliness to sweet, soothing dreams.

Nolan the Narwhal tries to go to sleep. He really does. But he’s thirsty … and hungry … and there might be a giant sea horse in the closet … or under the bed … and his eyes won’t stay shut … and his horn is achy … and all the blankets are too hot … but no blankets are too cold … and maybe one more song would help … and one more story … that’s it! One more story and Nolan promises to go to bed.

 

My Impressions: 

Nighty Night Narwhal is another cute edition to your bedtime repertoire! Your child will discover they have a lot in common with Nolan the Narwhal — he thinks up all kinds of things to avoid going to bed! I loved the whimsical illustrations of a narwhal’s world, and the interactions between Nolan and his parents. It also spurred me to know more about this fascinating creature — your child (and you) will want to know more too! This is a great book for the preschool set!

Recommended.

Audience: preschoolers

(Thanks to Zonderkidz for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Children’s Corner — 2 Board Books for Easter Fun!

4 Mar

Looking for some Easter books for your preschooler? Check out the two cute and colorful board books below

It’s time for Easter eggs — yellow, green, blue, and red! In Easter Egg Day, written by Tara Knudson and illustrated by Pauline Siewert, kids will love watching how plain white eggs turn to colorful zig-zags, stripes, and patterns as this board book celebrates the classic Easter family tradition. 

Neighbors, friends,
At the door,
Baskets held,
Eggs galore!

Easter Egg Day’s sweet read-aloud rhymes and bright illustrations are perfect for cherishing holiday memories—and making new ones! Parents and grandparents will love sharing this book with their little ones — who will be inspired to create their own unique eggs after reading this adorable story.

 

My Impressions:

Easter Egg Day captures all the excitement of an egg hunt — the decorating, the hunt, the family fun. I loved how each boldly illustrated page introduces a young child to the wonder that is an egg hunt. This book will get your kids begging  to break out those eggs, so it is a big plus that the back cover has instructions for perfecting your own dyed eggs. Don’t wait until Easter morning for this one!

Recommended.

Audience: preschoolers and their parents.

(Thanks to Zonderkidz for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

In Little Duckling’s Easter Prayers, Duckling and his woodland friends explore the many blessings of spring through rhyming poems based on inspirational Bible text that will inspire your child to appreciate and give thanks as they celebrate the new season and prepare for Easter.

Dear God, I thank you for this day —
and everything I see.
For puffy clouds and tiny bugs,
and sunshine chasing me. 
I’m glad you made the gentle breeze
I feel against my face.
I’m glad you made this perfect day
that’s filled with love and grace.
Amen

With simple but powerful text and bright, engaging illustrations, Little Duckling’s Easter Prayers explores the many wonderful parts of spring — from new flowers and happy showers to the reminders of God’s great love for us and the miracle of Easter. And with text perfect for morning snuggles, bedtime prayers, and anything in between, you and your child can celebrate God’s blessings together any time of day.

 

My Impressions:

All the woodland animals join Little Duckling in praising God in Little Duckling’s Easter Prayers. The colorful illustrations match the simple rhyming prayers that talk of the wonders of nature and God’s love and promises. I especially liked that at the end of each simple prayer there is an accompanying Bible verse. What a great way to introduce a habit of devotional time for the family. If you are looking for a non-candy alternative for the Easter basket, this one is perfect.

Recommended.

Audience: preschoolers and their parents.

(Thanks to Zonderkidz for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

Children’s Corner — Two from Zonderkidz

15 Jan

Zonderkidz has two adorable children’s books for your special child. Check them out!

 

Love You, Love You is a cute and cuddly board book that shows the love between family members of all kinds. With heartwarming read-aloud rhymes and sweet illustrations by international artist Alison Brown, Love You, Love You is the perfect way to say, “I love you!” to the little ones in your life any time of year.

With an adorable cover case adorned with glitter, this book is perfect for Valentine’s Day, baby showers, baptisms, birthdays, new parents or grandparents, aunts and uncles, brothers and sisters, or anyone who wants to express love to the precious child in their life.

Love you, Love you,
Mama squeaked.
Into her nest she quickly peeked.
Sleeping babies
softly snore.
I couldn’t love you any more.

My Impressions: 

Love You, Love You is headed to my new grand baby this Valentine’s Day. The sturdy board book perfect for the littlest reader shares how much a child is loved — any time of the year. Every member of the family gets involved — parents, grands, and siblings. I thought the illustrations were adorable, even when Nana is portrayed as a snake 😉 ! Simple rhymes and bright colors will keep your child engaged.

Recommended.

Audience: babies and toddlers.

(Thanks to Zonderkidz for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

Piper & Mabel is written by Melanie Shankle, New York Times bestselling author of four books and the hilarious voice behind the wildly popular Big Mama Blog. In her debut children’s book, Melanie shares the adventures of her two very wild but very good dogs, Piper and Mabel.

When the family plans a vacation to the beach, Piper and Mabel are shocked to discover they won’t be joining their people. Instead, they’re headed to doggie day care at the Happy Tails Ranch where they create all kinds of mischief when they discover the accommodations are not exactly what they were expecting.

Dog-lovers everywhere will enjoy the adventures of Piper and Mabel. 

My Impressions:

Piper And Mabel is so stinking cute! The two dog sisters are described as wild, but very good — a pretty apt description as they navigate being left behind when their family goes on vacation. An engaging story with two adorable main characters is complimented with highly detailed and whimsical illustrations. This book is great for a family read-along or for readers practicing their skills. It is definitely a must-read for the dog-loving child in your life!

Recommended.

Audience: children ages 4-8.

(Thanks to Zonderkidz for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

Children’s Corner — Exciting Christmas Books from Zonderkidz

4 Dec

Looking for some books to put under the tree for your favorite child? Then you are in luck! Zonderkidz has you covered. Check out some of the books available below. And if those aren’t enough, they have a handy gift giving guide too!

 

Board Books

Christmas Cookie Day!, written by Tara Knudson and illustrated by Pauline Stewart, celebrates the beloved tradition of making Christmas treats and even features a special Christmas cookie recipe for you and your child to create. The bright illustrations by Pauline Siewert and sweet, rhyming text by Tara Knudson are sure to capture the wonder of young readers and parents alike. Perfect for building new memories, this board book has a beautiful, glittery cover.

My Christmas Story Tree, written by bestselling author Mary Manz Simon and illustrated by Gavin Scott, is a board book that sparkles with glitter and foil and leads little ones through the tradition of decorating the Christmas tree. Follow along to add the angel, ornaments, candy canes, lights, and finally place the star on the top of the tree while learning the story of the very first Christmas.

 

Storybooks

In Mouse’s Christmas Gift, written by Mindy Baker and illustrated by Dow Phumiruk, one tiny church mouse must find a way to bring Christmas spirit to his little town when Parson gets sick and the usual Christmas Eve service is cancelled. Mouse never gives up hope as he prepares the nativity set and lights a small candle in the window to signal the villagers. Mouse’s small act of faith sparks a chain reaction of hope and love, demonstrating that even the smallest creature can make a big difference. This adorable book, with a cover adorned with foil and glitter, captures the spirit of Christmas and the joy of doing for others during the holiday season.

Mary Engelbreit presents A Night of Great Joy, a delightful picture book that celebrates the joyful season of Christmas. This book tells the story of the nativity through the performance of a children’s Christmas pageant. With adorable illustrations and simple storytelling, Engelbreit paints a wonderful picture of the night that Jesus was born.

A Night of Great Joy recalls that fateful night with wonder and awe. From the arrival of Mary and Joseph in Bethlehem to the gathering of many before the baby Jesus, this holiday treasure leads children through the tale of the birth of Jesus, guiding them with the star of Bethlehem

For over 200 years, families have gathered on Christmas Eve to hear the much loved words of Dr. Clement C. Moore’s ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. This year, families can gather together to share the real Christmas story — the story of Jesus’ birth. ‘Twas the Evening of Christmas, by Glenys Nellist and illustrated by Elena Selivanovaechoes the familiar language and rhythm of Dr. Clements’ poetry, but instead of focusing on Santa, it focuses on the baby Jesus, who is, after all, the true hero of Christmas. All families will delight in this simple retelling of the most famous story ever told. With a cover that comes alive with foil and sculpted embossing, this book is sure to become a Christmas classic.

 

Bibles

Millions of children and their parents can’t be wrong. The bright and vibrant illustrations throughout and stunning binding of The Beginner’s Bible Gift Edition enhance every word, introducing boys and girls to the timeless stories of the Bible in a way they can read, remember, and, most importantly, live out. Kids will enjoy reading the story of Noah’s Ark as they see Noah helping the elephant onto the big boat. They will learn about the prophet Jonah as they see him praying inside the fish. They will follow along with the text of Jesus’ ministry as they see a man in need of healing lowered down through the roof of a house.

Parents, teachers, and pastors, if you’re looking for a gift that isn’t just beautifully presented but is also a proven, memorable way to introduce children to the beloved stories and parables of Scripture, look no further than The Beginner’s Bible Gift Edition.

All the beauty and love poured into the original Moonbeam Award gold medal winner in a clothbound gift edition that includes a ribbon marker. Whether for baptisms or First Communions, birthdays or Christmas, this is one gift that never fails to be a family favorite. If you are a parent, grandparent, pastor, or teacher looking for a way to teach the children in your life about God’s “Never Stopping, Never Giving up, Unbreaking, Always and Forever Love,” look no further than The Jesus Storybook Bible Gift Edition.

 

Children’s Corner — The Trouble with Tryouts

13 Sep

Sister Bear is a super soccer player. She should be a shoo-in at soccer tryouts … except for one little problem. Sister Bear is too small. Find out if Sister makes the team despite her size in this engaging early reader chapter book featuring all your favorite Berenstain Bear family and friends.

Sister is fast on her feet. She kicks the ball with the power of a cub twice her size. Yet, even Mama, Papa, and Brother think she has set her sights too high because, compared to the other cubs, Sister Bear is too small to make the team … or is she?

Featuring all your favorite Berenstain Bear family and friends, this early reader chapter book helps kids connect plot to chapter structure, taking their love of books and reading to the next level. And, as part of the beloved Living Lights series, it’s the perfect segue for emerging readers and fans of the brand.

The Berenstain Bears Trouble with Tryouts:

  • Helps early readers ages 6-10 graduate from following along with picture books to reading chapter books on their own
  • Is the perfect steppingstone for readers who are ready to take the next important step in their reading comprehension
  • Includes all the Berenstain Bears family and friends who have been beloved by parents, grandparents, children, and grandchildren for decades
  • Features kid-friendly text and easy-to-read, easy-to-remember Scripture verses
  • Teaches valuable life lessons about always believing in yourself and never underestimating the power of an underdog
  • Is a fun, new book in the popular Zonderkidz Living Lights series, which has sold over 8 million copies since 2008

To purchase, click HERE

My Impressions:

The Berenstain Bears are back in an easy-to-read chapter book for young elementary school-aged kids — The Trouble with Tryouts. The story — a soccer tryout that goes awry for Sister Bear — will definitely resonate with every reader. Sister Bear learns valuable lessons about perseverance, dedication, and going the extra mile. She expresses herself pretty clearly too — sure to elicit a few giggles, chuckles, and guffaws. 😉 And as Sister Bear learns that sticking it out in tough situations pays off in the end, your child will be challenged by the story and the reading exercise. Engaging for both boys and girls, The Trouble with Tryouts is a great choice for practicing reading and learning life lessons.

Recommended.

Audience: early readers

(Thanks to Zonderkidz for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Children’s Corner — Great And Small Prayers for Babies

15 Aug

Thank You, God, for great and small animal friends!

Join these adorable animal pairs in a board book that’s meant for little hands to hold and explore. Each spread features a large animal and his little friend, who is hiding under the flap. A short thank-You prayer on each spread models simple thankfulness, and the text includes animal sounds to make the reading even more fun.

Six pairs of great-and-small friends to meet, six chunky flaps to lift and discover, and six simple prayers to pray— all to delight little hands and hearts.

To purchase, click HERE.

My Impressions:

I am going to be a grandmother for the first time in a few months. Woo hoo! So I am on the look out for books to share with my grand-blessing. Great And Small Prayers for Babies is a wonderful book for the smallest of children. Its sturdy board book construction will take any over-reading 😉 , while its sweet illustrations, simple rhyme, and multiple surprises will delight a toddler. I loved the contrasts that appear within the pages — a great way to engage young readers. I can’t wait to read this one with my grandchild!

Recommended.

Audience: toddlers.

(Thanks to B&H Publishing for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Children’s Christmas Corner — 3 Books from Zonderkidz

12 Dec

I’ve got 3 Christmas-y children’s books to share with you today — 2 pretty storybooks and a joke book sure to tickle the elementary set. All three are great for family time around the tree.

Mouse’s Christmas Gift by Mindy Baker

In Mouse’s Christmas Gift, written by Mindy Baker and illustrated by Dow Phumiruk, one tiny church mouse must find a way to bring Christmas spirit to his little town when Parson gets sick and the usual Christmas Eve service is cancelled. Mouse never gives up hope as he prepares the nativity set and lights a small candle in the window to signal the villagers. Mouse’s small act of faith sparks a chain reaction of hope and love, demonstrating that even the smallest creature can make a big difference. This adorable book, with a cover adorned with foil and glitter, captures the spirit of Christmas and the joy of doing for others during the holiday season.

My Impressions: 

Beautiful illustrations with old world charm accompany this sweet book featuring a small mouse with a big gift. The message is beautiful as well — Jesus fills our every need. This one is perfect for Christmas Eve around the tree.

A Savior Is Born: Rocks Tell The Story of Christmas by Patti Rokus

By arranging a few rocks together an entire story can be told. A Savior Is Born, Rocks Tell the Story of Christmas, created by Patti Rokus, is an unforgettable picture book that uses majestic rock art and simple yet powerful text to inspire wonder and awe as the miracle of Christmas unfolds across the pages. Readers will be absorbed in the nature-filled artwork that shows the birth of Jesus and the celebration of the very first Christmas in a powerful and unique way.

My Impressions:

This book is a clever and inventive way to tell the Christmas story. On each page rocks are arranged in the shape of angels, stars, animals, and people. Accompanying the unique illustrations are simple statements and scripture references. If you find rocks in the pockets of your child’s clothes, this one is for them!

Lots of Christmas Jokes for Kids by Whee Win

Christmastime just got a whole lot merrier with Lots of Christmas Jokes for Kids. Over 250 hilarious, kid-friendly jokes and riddles will make the whole family laugh out loud!

Q: Why is it always cold at Christmastime?

A: Because Christmas is in Decembrrrr.

Q: Who delivers Christmas presents to cats?

A: Santa Claws!

My Impressions:

Be prepared for jokes galore when your kids get their hands on this book. Jokes of all kinds revolving around Santa, snow, holiday food, decorations etc. will delight the elementary-aged kids in your family. I won’t pretend there aren’t a few (ok, a lot) of groaners in the bunch, but you will chuckle at the fun your kids will have.

(Thanks to Zonderkidz for the books. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)