Tuesday, July 27, 2021

REVIEW: Home Alone...but not the one you're thinking of.

This new book was of interest to our young readers, in part, because the title reminded them of the popular film by the same name. They also are familiar with the other Thames & Hudson book, Stay Benson which they loved.

For anyone who doesn’t have security cameras, where they can check in on their dog during the day, when away, this book may cause them to go right out and get one. It also makes the reader think of a book like The Cat in the Hat because, unlike the children in that story, this is a dog left home alone all day to get into all sorts of mischief.

A fun read for kids.

Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/Home-Alone-Barbara-Nascimbeni/dp/0500652619/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=home+alone%2C+barbara&qid=1627419044&sr=8-1 

Thursday, June 10, 2021

REVIEW: The Secret Life of Whales

Just about everything young minds would want to know about whales in the deep is contained in the pages of this attractive, informative book. Have you ever looked out at the ocean and wondered what’s really going on under the surface? I have. 

Last summer our family spent a week vacationing on the Gulf Coast. We took a boat trip out to watch the dolphins play in the waves and race along beside out large excursion vessel. 

This book is the next best thing to observing sea creatures from a submarine, under the waves. The majesty of these amazing animals, along with the dangers they face, are well documented.


Meet some of the ocean’s most incredible creatures in this beautifully illustrated and expansive exploration of whales.

Whales are amazing and ginormous mammals―they are some of the biggest creatures to have ever lived on Earth! This beautifully drawn children’s nonfiction book shares some of the most incredible and thrilling truths about the many different kinds of whales. From where they migrate to how they care for their young, The Secret Life of Whales is full of fascinating facts. With so many things to learn, young nature lovers won’t be able to put down this charmingly illustrated introduction to these elusive animals. Illustrated in color throughout

Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0500652678/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_taft_p1_i0 

REVIEW: Out to Sea

Being a five time grandparent myself, I easily identified with the theme of this book. We are both in our seventies and our granddaughters range from ages three to nine. It’s difficult to approach the subject of death with any of these little ones because the concept is hard for them to understand. 

To help them, along with other young children, I also wrote a short story on the same subject, Grandpa's Old Oak Tree. http://booksandboys.blogspot.com/2020/04/grandpas-old-oak-tree-free-short-story.html  

In their young lives, pets have died, and that helps their understanding a little. If there is a death in the family, I’m sure Out to Sea will provide a good starting point for discussions about this subject that might help their understanding of such a complex issue.


A charming and sensitively written story about learning to cope with anxiety and grief featuring the beautiful illustrations of award-winning artist Helen Kellock.

From the award-winning author of The Star in the Forest comes this heart- felt story about learning to cope with anxiety and grief. Out to Sea follows the journey of a young girl named Lara who is so sad after the death of her grandmother that her tears flood her room, her house, her town, and eventually sweep her out to sea. Adrift, she struggles to overcome her sadness until she discovers a pearl at the bottom of the ocean that triggers happy memories of her grandmother and the times they shared. With that pearl tucked in her pocket and the realization that she’s not alone, Lara finds the strength to pick up her oars and row herself back home.

Beautifully illustrated and written with sensitivity, this moving tale of social and emotional learning expresses the experience of anxiety and grief and shows readers how they might ride the waves of emotion without losing perspective.

Illustrated in color throughout

Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.com/Out-Sea-Helen-Kellock/dp/0500652368/ref=sr_1_6?dchild=1&keywords=out+to+sea&qid=1623273240&sr=8-6 

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

REIEW: Pop-up Moon

This publisher has pop-up books figured out. The young readers at our house were captivated with this book right away. They also wanted to look at it along with the previous Pop-UP Volcano! and Pop-up Earth books. Each book in this series is beautifully illustrated and intricately constructed to provide a treat to the eyes. In addition, there is much to learn every book. They want to take them to school next year and use them in their projects and research. Well done once again!!


A dazzling pop-up book full of amazing facts about our moon, certain to illuminate the entire family!

You see it almost every night, but how much do you really know about the moon? In this incredible pop-up book, discover where the moon came from, why it appears to change shape, how it affects our oceans, and what a blood moon is. Shoot into space with the Saturn V rocket and travel back in time to join the first astronauts to set foot on the moon.

Four breathtaking pop-ups reveal the inner workings of the solar system, demonstrate how eclipses occur, and more. Intricate illustrations and fact-filled pages bridge the 238,000-mile distance between us and the moon, making this the perfect gift for young stargazers. Budding astronomers and anyone curious about the night sky will find that the moon’s secrets are just “one small step” away!

Illustrated in color throughout

Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.com/Pop-Up-Moon-Anne-Jankeliowitch/dp/0500651868/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=POP-UP+MOON&qid=1623273133&sr=8-2 

Monday, April 26, 2021

REVIEW: If I had an Octopus

Our six year-old granddaughter throughly enjoyed one of the author's previous books, If I had a Sleepy Sloth. So she was ready to like this new book just as much. She enjoyed the rhyme and bright colored artwork. Now she's asking for the other books in the series.


From the duo behind the bestselling If I Had series, a humorous and entertaining tale celebrating octopuses.

Have you ever thought about what the best aquatic pet would be? It’s an octopus, of course! When a little girl fantasizes about having a crazy smart octopus pet, she pictures jumping rope with its tentacles, practicing different ball games simultaneously, and playing hide-and-seek with her camouflaging friend (just look out for the ink!).

With vibrant illustrations and playful rhymes, If I Had an Octopus is a laugh-out-loud story celebrating friendship between a child and her octopus. From the duo behind If I Had a Dinosaur, If I Had a Sleepy Sloth, and If I Had a Unicorn, Gabby Dawnay and Alex Barrow’s latest is a charming and imaginative tale about our favorite eight-armed creature.

Illustrated in color throughout

Amazon Link:


Wednesday, April 14, 2021

REVIEW: Mole in a Black & White Hole


You know you have a good book in your hands when a young child says, "Read it again." That's what happened the first time I read this book to our six year-old granddaughter. 

We usually spend an hour reading each day when she comes from school. After reading it to her, she wanted to know more about moles. So we looked them up on the Internet. The next day, when she came to the house, this was the first book she picked out again for our reading time.


An imaginative, charming tale about searching for beauty and light in the world around us.

When Mole looks around his underground home, all he sees is the black- and-white world of his cold, dark hole. Mole digs and digs, dreaming of finding something colorful at the end of one of his tunnels, but day after day, he is disappointed. One day, as Mole continues to search, he finds a pink radish poking through the top of his tunnel like a chandelier. Delighted with the knowledge that the world isn’t just black and white, he starts to talk to his chandelier about the world above. He learns that the world is full of colors! As Mole listens to his chandelier describe life aboveground, he imagines bright clothes, red roofs, vibrant green trees, pastel flowers, and the blush of the sun as it sinks through the sky.

The next morning, Mole wakes to find his chandelier is gone, leaving a hole in its place. He is so upset at first that it takes him a moment to realize how bright his home has become. Searching for his chandelier, he crawls out of his black-and-white hole into the world above and discovers a place more colorful than he ever dreamed possible.

Packed with vivid colors and striking illustrations, Mole in a Black-and-White Hole tells a charming tale about what awaits us when we seek out the light in the darkness.

Illustrated in color throughout

AMAZON LINK: https://www.amazon.com/Mole-Black-White-Tereza-Sediva/dp/0500652058/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=mole+in+a+black+hole&qid=1618406334&sr=8-1 

REVIEW: Pop-Up Earth


What child doesn't enjoy a book where the images literally pop-up off the pages in 3-D? That is exactly the attraction to this book.

Pop-up images include the entire Earth that opens up to see the core, an  underwater scene, volcano, and more.

An excellent companion book from the same publisher is Pop-Up Volcano! Our older granddaughter wants to take both books to school for show and tell.

A dazzling pop-up book full of amazing facts about our planet, certain to entertain the entire family!

You live on it, but how much do you really know about the planet Earth? In this incredible pop-up book, discover why the Earth is so special by learning about how it’s changed over time, how all living things are connected, how tectonic plates form mountains, and about different ecosystems around the world.

In Pop-Up Earth five colorful, breathtaking pop-ups reveal the inner workings of the planet. Intricate illustrations and fact-filled pages connect us to our world, making this a perfect gift for young ecologists and climate activists. Budding geologists and anyone curious about how our planet works will be amazed!

Illustrated in color throughout