Monday, May 13, 2013

Magic Monday - My Children's Book Reviews for the Week, Monday Memes, Celebrating Children's Book Week


This week is Children's Book Week - May 13th - 19th.
What is Children’s Book Week?
Established in 1919, Children’s Book Week is the longest-running literacy initiative in the country. Each year, books for young people and the joy of reading are feted for a full week with author and illustrator appearances, storytelling, parties, and other book-related events at schools, libraries, bookstores, museums, and homes from coast to coast!

For more information please visit: http://www.bookweekonline.com/

As part of this, I am participating in a giveaway hop - you can enter the giveaway on my blog here and from there, make your way to the other amazing blogs in the hop for chances to win more.

As part of my regular Magic Monday feature, here are a few children's book reviews to start off this week. I will be reviewing one or more children's book each day of this week so come back to discover more books throughout this week.

Which book among these would you pick? 

Willow Finds a Way
Lana Button
Kids Can Press
Pub Date   Mar 1 2013

My thoughts: This book is about asserting yourself and doing what is right, even if everyone else goes the other way. It is also about teaching kids that having everyone do what you want them to do always by holding back on things for them is not good. It is about standing up to bullies. This story relates all these messages in easily understood words with expressive and bright illustrations to accompany them. Young kids will understand and appreciate the story.
Willow is a perfect role model – just like anyone else in class – wanting to be included and liked – but when she realizes her friend is being a bully - she shows courage and by doing so, she at once frees herself and her friends from being bullied.

My kids' thoughts: I loved how Willow was able to change her friend's mind and convince her to invite everyone to her party without any silly rules. Her rating for this book 5*s.

Rating: B+
Reading Level: 3 to 7 years
Reread Level: 3/5


The Fantastic Adventures of Krishna
Written and Illustrated by Demi
Wisdom Tales
Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) Members' Titles
Pub Date   Mar 1 2013

My thoughts: Beautiful illustrations and simple text tell the story of one of the most loved and popular gods of India – Krishna – the flute playing, demon slaying, and beloved cowherd. Having grown up listening to, seeing, and reading these stories, I was not sure of what to expect. This book does justice to both the richness of Indian folk art in its illustrations and to the story of Krishna – told in a simplified fashion to appeal to younger audiences who are new to this story. An epic retold well and one that will inspire kids to read more of Krishna’s wonderful adventures.
The illustrations in this book are worth framing!  

My kids' thoughts:Love reading about Krishna.

Rating: A
Reading Level: 4 to 10 years

Reread Level: 4/5

Isabella: Star of the Story
Jennifer Fosberry
SOURCEBOOKS Jabberwocky

My thoughts: Isabella is a girl with so much energy and enthusiasm that it is contagious. The familiar classics are introduced with a fresh touch to young readers and kids will be thrilled as they try to guess the books Isabella is picking up next. I am pretty sure I know what the next set of books from our library trip will include:)
I loved Isabella as she zoomed through different careers and am looking forward to more of her everyday adventures.  This one is one of those books I will keep in my list of to have and to gift books for kids this age.

My kids' thoughts: Love Isabella! especially when wears red shoes on the yellow brick road!

Rating: A
Reading Level: 4 to 8 years
Reread Level: 4.5/5


The Thank You Stone
Dr. Kathryn T. Hegeman
Aesop Publishers
Bookmasters, Inc
Pub Date   Jan 20 2012

My thoughts: A sweet story that teaches many lessons that you can impart to kids. Simon is a little boy who is still missing his father lost at sea and dealing with living in a new place at the same time.  How he learns to cope and how his feelings are transformed to positive ones make this story a great read.  The illustrations that accompany this story are perfect. You can talk to your kids about concepts like - What goes around comes around/time heals/by helping others you help yourself/ and more – as you read this book.

My kids' thoughts: Especially loved the idea of 'The Thank You Stone' and already hunting for one in the backyard.

Rating: B+
Reading Level: 5 years and above
Reread Level: 3.5/5


In the Tree House
Andrew Larsen
Kids Can Press
Pub Date   Apr 1 2013

My thoughts: I really enjoyed this book – the illustrations, the dialogs all flowed together in this short story. The affection between siblings, the shared love of doing something which is multiplied when done together as a family, the simple pleasures of life – like gazing up at the night sky, the joys of a tree house – all of these are portrayed sweetly in this story. It shows a glimpse of how life is sometimes lonely with everyone in their own little world but we can make it so much better with something as simple as being outside and spending time with family, with our community, and nature.
The simple pen illustrations are amazing.

My kids' thoughts: Cute story; 'cartoonish' and wonderful drawings

Rating: A
Reading Level:
Reread Level: 4/5


In Lucia's Neighborhood
Pat Shewchuk
Kids Can Press
Pub Date   Mar 1 2013

My thoughts: Diversity, culture, all celebrated in this story as Lucia takes the reader on a tour of her neighborhood. In addition to children getting introduced to urban visionary Jane Jacobs, this book, with its bright, eye-popping illustrations, and simple descriptions of the neighborhood will help children rediscover where they live, no matter where it is.

My kids' thoughts:  Loved the colors; told from a kid's perspective; this is something I would write in my journal, so makes it easy for me to understand.

Rating: B
Reading Level: 3 to 7 years
Reread Level: 2.5/5



Mr. Flux
Kyo Maclear
Kids Can Press
Pub Date   Apr 1 2013

My thoughts: I loved this – change is good – that is the theme of this book – and Mr.Flux is the mascot for change. The book delivers this message in a charming and humorous fashion with awesome artwork to match. Kids will have a laugh while appreciating the art work and will definitely understand the underlying message.
I loved Mr.Flux and would campaign to have one Mr.Flux in every community if possible – and since that might not be possible, will settle for this book in every library instead!
The book also provides a brief introduction to the ‘Fluxus’ art movement (something I discovered after reading this book as well!)

My kids' thoughts: Funny Mr.Flux; unique illustrations.

Rating: A
Reading Level: 3 to 7 years (and up too)
Reread Level: 4.5/5


Disclaimer:Thank you to NetGalley for sending me a digital review copy of the books above. I was not compensated for my review. My thoughts on these books were in no way influenced by the author or publicist. They are my personal opinions formed when I read the books.

For my Monday kid’s books reviews, all the books reviewed here today goes towards the weekly meme at Jen and Kellee's - What are You Reading? From Picture Books to YA 
For What are you reading? @ Book Journey  

Completed reading:

All books reviewed here
Books reviewed at Brazen Reads by me
A few more that I have to review

Currently reading:  
The Wig in the Window  by Kristen Kittscher  (advance copy from the publishers)
'Til the Streetlights Came On: Lessons Learned from Neighborhood Games by Daniel J. Porter (arc)
A couple more books
Next on my list:
Many to choose from

For Musing Mondays at Should Be Reading,  
I am celebrating Children's Book Week and will try to keep all my posts around Children's Books - even the memes - as much as I can. While you are here, do enter the giveaway on my blog here and look for more interesting giveaways in the other blogs participating in the hop.

I love reading and today someone asked me what I read - my answer was the same as always, just about anything - fiction, non-fiction; children's, YA, adult, comics, magazines, text books, cookbooks, self-help; in short, just about anything that can be read. I admit I do have my favorites and tend to spend more time on reading certain types of books than others. 

My favorites, if someone should ask, are children's books, historical romances, cook books, puzzles, travel related books, well I could go on but will stop here.

What are your favorite type of books to read? Do let me know... 

Also peeking in over at Monday Mingle over at Tough Cookie Mommy - This is a place for networking:) So please link up and follow other blogs on this blog hop/linky on Google Friend Connect, Facebook, or Twitter.

2 comments:

  1. Some very cute picture books! I will have to check out some of those titles.

    The Monster Report

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  2. Would love to get the Krishna book, my middle schooler is learning about Indian mythology in school and my family is from India so looks like a lovely book to introduce my younger ones to the Hindu religion. Hope you and kids enjoy your reading this week!

    Here's my Monday Post if you'd like to stop by.

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