Saturday, December 29, 2012

Picture Book Bonanza

Yesterday I spent time reading picture books with my granddaughter.  Today I present to you my reviews of these books.  They were simple and fun and a great way to bond over a book.  I hope you enjoy them.

The Treasure-Hunt Three and Judge Mia’s Decree – Brenda Darnley Martin
Publisher:  Robertson Publishing
Pages:  28
Source:  Review Copy from author
Genre:  Children’s Picture Book

Freddie, Hector and Tish head out to visit the sunken ship the Carrie Lee.  On their way there Hector is surrounded by a group of bull sharks.  They bully him, calling him names.  Freddie and Tish race off to get help.  Officer Muldoon, an octopus comes back and arrests them.  They go before a judge who pronounces an appropriate sentence.  This is a book that kids will identify with.  There is so much bullying in schools today.  Kids need to know that they can go to someone and that justice will be served.  Brenda has done an excellent job of telling this story in a manner that will appeal to young and older kids alike.  The illustrator, Rosemary Rowan Tyler did an excellent job of creating beautiful pictures to go along with the story.

Freddy, Hector and Tish The Treasure-Hunt Fish – Brenda Darnley Martin and Mary Lee Gibbons
Publisher:  PublishAmerica
Pages:  36
Source:  Review copy from author
Genre:  Children’s Picture Book

Freddie, Hector and Tish are the best of friends.  They are each different.  They share a love of exploring.  Their favorite place to explore is the Carrie Lee.  The maiden on the front one day begins to tell them stories of when she sailed the great sea.  She tells them about a special treasure on board the ship.  It is a gold framed mirror.  The three friends swim inside and take a look at themselves.  Freddie realizes he is different and believes this is a bad thing.  The maiden sends them to find the great Flounder Detective.  When they see him, Freddie realizes he looks just like him and that it is okay to be different and to have different talents.  Once again the author has done a great job of letting children know that it is a good thing to be different.  There is nothing to be ashamed of in our differences.

Christopher Sat Straight up in Bed – Kathy Long
Publisher:  Eerdmans Books for Young Readers
Pages: 32
Source:  Won a copy from LibraryThing
Genre:  Picture Book

Christopher is a young boy spending the night with his grandparents.  He goes to bed and keeps hearing a scaring noise.  He decides to investigate the noise checking outside his window, under his bed and inside his closet.
I could definitely identify with this book.  I grew up in a very old house. My grandmother’s house was over 100 years old.  It creaked and groaned.  I would lay there and try to figure out what the noise was.  I loved Christopher’s creative thoughts as to what the noise could be, an elephant, dinosaur, bear.  I considered him very brave because he actually got up and investigated each of his ideas.  This is a delightful book to read before bedtime to set aside any fears a child may have when they go to bed.  The pictures are very cute.  I look forward to reading more books by this author.

Paddy Platypus and the Ring-Tail Squatteroo – Tom de Paolo
Publisher:  Authorhouse  
Pages:  36
Source:  Copy for review from author
Genre:  Picture Book

This is the second book I have read by this author.   I enjoyed it very much  Paddy Platypus has a friend named Rollo, who is a Ring-Tailed Squatteroo.  Rollo is very sad that he has found no other ring-tailed squatteroos.  Paddy and his friends set out to help Rollo search for another one just like him.  They ask the wise old owl, they visit the woods, and finally they visit the Mugwump.  This is a story of being unique and different and accepting that uniqueness.  Kids will love Rollo.  They will feel sorry for him when he is sad and travel with him on his adventure to discover whether he has someone out in the world like himself.  This is a great self-esteem builder.

Tears for Nanertak – Skip Hofstrand
Publisher: Outskirts Press
Pages: 32 pages
Source:  Review Copy from Author
Genre:  Children’s Picture Book

This book has a message everyone, old and young alike need to hear.  It is a wonderful way to teach children about global warming and the consequences it has on our world.   The story begins with the sound of dripping.  Nanuck the polar bear is crying because she and her cub Nanertak will have to leave their home in the arctic.  It is melting.  Many other animals are forced to leave as well.  The two polar bears are rescued and taken to an arctic zoo.  Once again tears flow.  The tears are from children who read about this tragedy.  Nanuck realize the children are their future hope and cries tears of joy and hope that one day things may return to the way they were.  The beautiful pictures carry so much emotion.  They are a great asset to the story which is extremely important.  It is a story and lesson that should be taught to a child the minute they can sit still long enough to listen to and understand the story.  This book will pave the way for conversation with your child about global warming.

Pansy at the Palace – Cynthia Bardes
Publisher:  Octobre Press
Pages:  32
Source:  Received a copy from the author for review
Genre:  Children’s Picture Book

Pansy is a toy poodle who started out life living in an animal shelter in Los Angeles, California.  She is sad that everyone else is finding a home.  Then Avery enters and falls in love with Pansy.  They take her to live with them at the Palace Hotel in Beverly Hills.  Everyone loves Pansy.  She meets a cat named Desiree.  Pansy can’t put her paw on it, but something seem wrong about the cat.  One day chaos erupts.  Expensive jewels have gone missing from several of the guest’s rooms.  The police are called in.  They dust for prints and can find nothing.  Pansy on the other hand has found a clue and follows it to the thief, setting everything back to normal.  Read this wonderfully written book about Pansy and her adventure to learn who the thief is.

Wisdom the Midway Albatross:  Darcy Pattison
Publisher:  MimsHouse
Pages:  32
Source:  Purchased
Genre:  Children’s nonfiction Picture book

Gooney is an albatross who lived on an island.   Gooney survived many things such as sharks and a tsunami.  She finally mated and had a chick of her own.  A scientist found her and put a band on her leg so they could keep track of her.  Throughout her life thunderstorms, tropical storms and hurricanes threatened her and she survived.  When many albatrosses died from eating plastic floating in the water Gooney survived by not eating it.  She managed to not get tangled like so many others in discarded fishing lines.  She was banded again and was given the name wisdom because she had lived over 50 years.  She had a chick each year.  In 2011 she had a chick and a big storm came and washed many of the chicks away.  Wisdom  and her chick survived.   She is known as the oldest living albatross.  The author not only tells a great story about an actual event, she has done a tremendous amount of research.  Check out her book and learn about the research she has done and this wonderful bird.

These following were books that I had downloaded free from Kindle Nation  to my Kindle quite some time ago. My grand daughter loved being able to turn the pages on the kindle by herself and actually read some of them to me.

Animal ABCs – EM Jade
29 pages
This was a very cute ABC book. It was easy enough for my granddaughter to read to me. Some of the words were challenging enough she had to employ her reading skills to sound them out.

Ellena the Elephant – Cressida Elias
28 pages

Ellena the Elephant Learns Why She Needs to Tidy Up Her Toys – Cressida Elias
30 pages
Ellena the Elephant has been told repeatedly to tidy up her toys.  She begins to pick them up and is distracted before she gets them all put away.  She runs off to play.  Her brother walks into the room and accidently steps on Ellena’s favorite toy.  It breaks and he injures his foot.  He apologizes to Ellena for breaking her favorite toy and she takes responsibility for leaving them down and causing her brother to hurt his foot.  It is a tough way to learn a lesson about being responsible for your toys but a great way to teach this lesson to little ones.

Tip of the Toes – Lily Lexington
21 pages
A ballerina practices daily.  She shares her favorite parts of dancing in the book.  When she is told about her upcoming recital she gets nervous.  Her instructor gives her a “magical” bow that will take away her fear of goofing up and being embarrassed.  The book is full of ballet vocabulary as well as the basics to ballet.  This book will interest the little dancer in your house.

Twelve Dresses, One Star – Robert Stanek
27 pages

This book teaches children to be happy with who and what they are.  This is simple and straightforward.  It doesn’t matter if you are sad, mad, or happy.  It doesn’t matter where you are or what you are doing.  You need to be yourself in all situations. This would be great for ages 4 to 6.  I think kids will love the little ladybug character.

Where Hummingbirds Come From – Adele M. Crouch (Bilingual version in Vietnamese)
52 pages

The illustrations in this book are absolutely beautiful. A young girl sits with her grandmother and listens to her tell a story passed down from her own grandmother.  The story is about where hummingbirds come from.  According to the story they come from some magic water around the grandmother’s house and they and the water appeared around the grandmother’s birthday.  This is a great story shared from one generation to another.  It shows the importance of sharing stories with our grandchildren, knowing that one day they may pass them on to their children.
This book has been translated into several languages, making it a true bilingual book that children of many languages can enjoy while either learning English, or learning their native language.

Why? Because I Love You – Mary Lee
24 pages

Little Pup is full of questions.  For every “why” question he asks, Grey Bear replies, “Because I Love You”.  Grey Bear then explains why what they asked or told Little Pup to do is important.  Grey Bear was not content to just leave the answer as, “Because I Love You”.  Grey Bear wanted Little Pup to know that there was a good reason behind the request and Grey Bear only asked because of the love for Little Pup.  Little Pup was quick to obey because he loved Grey Bear back.  Cute little story.  Great for helping kids understand that we ask them to do things for a reason and because we love them.

You Are There Bible Adventures With Joseph – Paul J. Loth
40 pages

Wow!  I loved the way this book was interactive with the reader.  The reader takes the role of a shepherd.  He meets Joseph’s brothers and then Joseph.  As the story is told the reader gets to decide what he will do in each situation.  After choosing the reader clicks on that choice and it takes them to another page.  No matter what the reader’s choice, the story line stays true to the Bible story. A wonderful way to make the story interactive and personal.

An Easter Story – Erich Bethel
42 pages

This was a wonderful story of a grandfather’s letter to his grandson reminding him of the great times they had spent together.  It was also a time he prepared him for his death by telling him about Christ’s death for us.  As the child reads the letter, his grandfather left him. He learns his grandfather is in heaven with Jesus and will see him again one day.  This was a wonderful way to talk about your Christian beliefs and what happens to Christians when they die.  It takes the scary out of death.

A Tish of a Dish, For a Fish – David Forgensi
26 pages
 This was a funny little story of the food chain.  The story starts off with a polliwog who disappears.  Each fish introduced is larger and also disappears.  The question is asked each time a new fish is introduced, “Where did he go? We may never know.”  The story ends with  the eyes and mouth of a human face.  This leads the reader to imagine that each fish is eaten by a larger fish and finally is eaten by humans.

Candy Trouble – Casey Crayne
21 pages

Logan and his dog Lucy love candy.  His mom tells them the dangers of eating too much candy.  She tells them that too much candy can cause them to gain weight, get cavities or make them sick.  Logan asks his mom what cavities are and she describes them to Logan.  Logan imagines them as monsters in his mouth that he must fight.  Logan asks Lucy to use her magic and shrink him so he can fight the cavities, but it doesn’t work.  He talks to his mom who explains the way to beat the cavity monster is to brush your teeth and not eat so much candy.  This is a cute way to express the importance of brushing and eating right.

A Necklace of Virtues – Calee M. Lee & Turbo Qualls
21 pages

This is a historical fiction story about a real princess that lived years ago.  Little Princess Audrey had everything she could want.  She had lots of dresses and lots of necklaces.  She loved her necklaces.  One day she put on her favorite necklace and went to the church to light a candle for her sick sister.  She loved the peacefulness of the church.  Suddenly it wasn’t so peaceful.  There was a lady with a crying baby praying.  Audrey mentioned the crying baby.  The baby grabbed her hand and necklace.  When Audrey tried to hand the baby back it was tangled in her necklace.  She told the mother that she thought the baby was hungry.  Food is what the lady had been praying for.  When Audrey realized  they had no food she gave the woman her neck to sell and buy food.  When she went home her mother found her crying in a closet.  She was so sad that they had so much and there were so many who had nothing.  Her mother talked with her about her kind heart and doing what was right.
She grew up and became queen.  She continued to give away her possessions to help the poor.  When she had given everything away she became a nun to continue to help others.  This was a wonderful story of compassion and giving of yourself.  It is wonderful to find such wonderful and motivating stories based on history for children.  

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