Thursday, June 18, 2015

Twenty-Two Children's Stories

Genre: Picture Books
Source: I received copies to facilitate my reviews. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Parents for Sale by  Nicole Audet
When twins Lucy and Luke fail to take care of their dog Pistachio, their parents have no choice but to sell the dog.  The kids decide that they can’t let this happen.  Instead they decide to sell their parents. They change the sign in the front yard from “Dog for Sale” to “Parents for Sale”. Children from all over the neighborhood come to see about these parents because they aren’t happy with their own.  Some suggest trading parents.  None of this seems like the best solution. Finally a fairy comes and offers to take the parents off of their hands.  What she offers is too much for them to turn down. Then her true colors show through. She is actually a witch.  Read to find out how this book turns out.

The Jumble Jungle by Michael Sasson
Jumble Jungle is a story of differences.  The author talks about different animals and how they are all different yet are all the same in some ways. He then points out that we are all a part of this conglomeration of animals. We are all different in our own ways yet must learn to get along together. This is a great story to teach your children about appreciating differences.

Sunny the Snail and Colorful Crayons by Karmen Sanda
This story is about Sunny the Snail. He is one of seven baby snails. Since they all have yellow shells their mother Sally Snail has trouble telling them apart. Sunny goes for a walk to try to find a solution to the problem. Read this wonderfully cute book to see if Sunny finds a solution. Great story about individualism.

The True Spirit of Christmas by Dorothy Thurgood Manning
First let me say that these pictures are absolutely gorgeous. Maddie is a young girl who loves everything about Christmas. Unfortunately she always wants more. On Christmas Eve she sees Santa putting presents under her tree and wants to know why she doesn’t have more gifts. What he tells her is a lesson all children should learn.

The New Cat by Patrick S. Stemp and Anita Soelvar
I loved this book. Cat loves chasing shadows, playing with her catnip ball eating fish and sleeping on her rug in the rays of sunshine.  One day her owners bring home a bundle. Cat sets out to teach “new cat” the ropes. Cat keeps hoping to find something in common with new cat.  Cat tries to share her catnip ball, but new cat likes his chew toy. Instead of chasing shadows, New Cat is taken for a walk.  Will cat and New Cat ever find something in common?  Read this cute book to find out why Cat and New Cat are so different.

Too Many Fairies: A Celtic Tale by Margaret Read MacDonald
Once an old woman was cleaning her house when she began to grumble about all of the work. A fairy knocked on her door and took over her chore. Every time the old woman started a new chore and then grumbled a new fairy knocked and took over. Soon there were too many fairies in the house and they were driving the old lady nuts, because they refused to leave.  How will she ever get rid of all of these fairies?

Lucy the Tortoise: My Big Adventure by Sheila Rockley
This story is about a real tortoise and her real life disappearance. Some of the story was made up to appeal to children. Lucy is happy living with her family. She loves the food they give her, the fun she has with them, and her comfortable bed. One day Lucy meets a bunny and follows him out of her yard. She can’t find the bunny and becomes lost trying to find her way back home.  A woman finds her and takes her to a pond, demonstrating she doesn’t know the difference between a turtle and a tortoise. This story teaches children about the dangers of talking to, and following strangers, which is what Lucy did when she followed the bunny. It also teaches kids the differences between turtles and tortoises.  Read to find out what happens to Lucy.

Please Don’t Tickle the Tiger by Ryan Cedar

This is a collection of simple and short poems that cover everything from the “Marshmallow Tree”, one of my favorites, to why it is important not to tickle tigers. These are fun, simple rhyming poems. If read to a child without the illustrations they have enough vivid language for the child to create their own mental picture. This is a book I want to use in my poetry unit next year at school.

The Story of Noah’s Ark by Jonathan West 
This is a very accurate (according to the Bible) retelling of Noah and the Ark. The illustrations are beautiful. This is a great book to read to children and grandchildren to teach them not only the story, but the message of listening to and following God’s instructions.

Nuts About Nuts – Shir Guez
This book is written to teach about the value of nuts. The author does a great job describing the different kinds of nuts as well as their importance to the body. She discusses which nuts contain which vitamins. Although this is written to inform children, I learned a lot about nuts.

Dinosaurs by Rose Leo
The author takes us through the different types of dinosaurs, their habitats, where they were found, foods, fossils, and even when and where they have been found. The book talks about how scientists have figured out where they lived or what they ate, and how they got their names. As I read this book I kept thinking about a former student who wants to be a paleontologist. I thought that this is the type of book that would inspire kids like him

The Enterprising Chipmunk by Gramps Doodlebug
Khalee the chipmunk prefers digging burrows to hunting for food. When their supplies run low he is forced to find his own food. His first trip out he finds some mushrooms. When his luck runs out he takes food he didn’t know belonged to a squirrel. He leaves on a journey to find food for his family. Read this wonderful tale to find out how Khalee outsmarts an alligator, fox and snake and provides food for his family.

Peculiar Children Books Series with Virtues: Tall Tales
The Karate Shepherd by Walter Rouzer
This is a story of a banjo playing farmer and his sheep. When he ends up in the hospital the sheep are taken care of by a karate sheep the farmer had ordered. But, what will happen when Woolley Lee is captured by the wolves?

Perfect Pam and the Big Bad Wolf by Walter Rouzer
Perfect Pam doesn’t follow her mother’s rules about staying on the road to school When she takes a shortcut through the woods she finds herself in trouble. A wolf starts following her. Will her persistence pay off?

Wolf City by Walter Rouzer
This is a kind of reverse fairy tale. Binky Pig drives to a restaurant run by wolves. ON the menu is the world’s best and lightest popcorn. What happens when Binky demands more and tries to force his way into the wolf’s house? What are the consequences of “making a pig” out of himself?

Diary of Chris B. Bacon by Walter Rouzer
This is a look at one week in the life of Chris and is full of lines of wisdom throughout the book.

Stories for Children 7 by Francois Bissonnette
I love this author’s stories. I actually used this book in my fairy tale unit at school this year. The first story was about a beautiful princess. A king in a nearby kingdom wanted to marry her because of her beauty so he sends a nobleman to convince her to marry him. She sends the nobleman on three tasks before she will agree. He fulfills each of the tasks and they realize they love each other. However,  he is loyal to his king so she goes with him. Read to find out how this story ends happily ever after.

The second story is of three brothers and a princess. Leopold the oldest is in love with a princess. He needs to present the king with a rare gift so he will agree to the marriage of his daughter to Leopold. All three brothers set out to find the rarest gift. They end up using all three gifts to save the princess and win her hand for Leopold.

Stories for Children 8 by Francois Bissonnette

The Magic Lamp is the first story in this book. A young merchant finds a beggar in the street and takes him home where he feeds him and allows him to sleep in his bed. He learns the man lost everything searching for a treasure from a map he had bought.  Now all he wants is to go home.  The merchant buys the map and helps the man get back home.  The merchant looks for the treasure and finds a chest with a magic lamp inside. What will he wish for?
The second story takes place in India. Kanak is a small dog chased by bigger dogs. He is welcomed into a bakers shop with the hope that Kanak’s owner will find him. Kanak helps the baker by finding fake coins people try to give him. One day a young woman enters. She buys bread and the dog points out the fake coin. The woman motions for Kanak to follow her.  She is a magician. What has she discovered about Kanak?

Oliver and Jumpy stories 10-12 by Werner Stejskal
In “Unhappy Dog” Oliver the elegant cat goes to play golf. Every time he passes a dog ,the dog barks at him. He learns the dog is lonely. Can Oliver help him?
In “Kite High” Oliver, Jumpy, and Joey attach a parachute to their cart and go flying down the beach. Suddenly the strong winds lift them high in the sky. How will they ever get down?
In “Butterfly Trouble” a butterfly lands on Oliver’s nose while he is napping.  His sneezing wakes him up and the butterfly asks for his help rescuing his friends.
This trio of stories is all about friendship and helping each other.

Oliver and Jumpy Stories 13-15 by Werner Stejskal

In “Babysitting” Oliver helps out Mr. and Mrs. Bear by babysitting their son. One of Bearly’s favorite games is hide-and-go-seek.  They each know all of the hiding places. What happens when Bearly hides so well that Oliver can’t find him?
In “Good Deed Day” Oliver helps his friends Stripey and Mrs. Piggy.  Stripey is sad because she lost her baby. She doesn’t eat any more and she is sad all the time.  Mrs. Piggy has so many piglets she is having trouble taking care of all of them. Can Oliver find a solution to this problem?
In “Magic” we have a story of the Land of Sillandia where Oliver and his friends live. Everyone who lives here must learn basic magic. Follow Oliver and his friends as they take their first lessons.

Oliver and Jumpy Stories 16-18 by Werner Stejskal
In “Who Am I” Oliver gets hit in the head by a falling coconut. He doesn’t remember who or what he is. Follow along as he tries to get his memory back.
Next we have “Up the Tree”. Oliver has always wanted to climb a really tall tree not too far from his treehouse. He starts his journey and meets many animals who live in the tree. At the top he meets a group of gnomes who throw a party for him. 
In “Moon Crystal” Oliver is asked by the president of Sillandia to travel to the moon to get more moon crystals for their hospital. He agrees to go if he can take his top hat, Joey and Jumpy. A giant flings them to the moon where they collect the moon crystals.  How will they ever get back since there is no giant on the moon to fling them back to earth?

If You Were me and Lived in China by Carole P. Roman

The author takes us on a trip to China where we learn that there are 135 billion people living there. We learn that names for children are chosen for their meaning, not just because they like the name. Most people who visit China visit the Great Wall of China.  They estimate it to be about 5,500 miles long.

The food you eat depends on where you live. In the north you eat Mandarin food; in the south you eat Cantonese food.  In the southwest you would eat Szechuan style food that is spicy, and in the southeast you eat seafood. Ping Pong is the favorite sport.  They have special things they do to prepare for the New Year.  As always this is a wonderful book to teach you about the culture and many wonderful things to do and see in China.

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