Fill your house with stacks of books, in all the crannies and all the nooks. ~ Dr. Seuss







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Be the Change

Be the Change

by Arun Gandhi, Bethany Hegedus (Author), Evan Turk (Illustrator) 

A Grandfather Gandhi Story

Arun is spending time on Grandfather Gandhi’s aashram to learn and complete the 11 vows of aashram living. Among the 11, the one Arun found the hardest to follow was the vow “Not to Waste”.

Be the Change eleven vows

Grandfather Gandhi preached a non-violent life. But Arun struggled to understand how “not wasting” had anything to contribute towards living a non-violent life! So Grandfather asks Arun to accompany him on one of his trips where thousands of people would come to listen to Gandhi speak. Arun would listen but not fully understand his lectures.

Be the Change Grandfather speaks

One afternoon, as Arun walked back after Grandfather’s lectures, his thoughts grew clouded and muddy.  In frustration, he tosses a nubby pencil, tired of his vow of not wasting anything and tired of not understanding and getting the point.

When bapuji finds out, he asks Arun to go back and look for it. When Arun returns, bapuji  explains the significance of wasting. He introduces to him how “waste” is a violent action. He asks Arun to draw a tree of waste. As days pass, Arun works hard at adding to the tree and is shocked at the results.

“Be the Change” is the second book in the Grandfather Gandhi series of picture books for kids. This one particularly was exciting and interesting to read. What bapuji teaches to little Arun is fully relevant and completely relatable to today’s world. In fact, “waste” as a form of violence seems more relevant today than before.  Indeed, the concepts introduced in this series can be particularly heavy. However, author Bethany Hegedus writes in simple language and the dramatic collage style art by Evan Turk cleverly simplifies the “tree of waste” for children. Shifting perspectives, double spread illustrations, collage work portraying Gandhiji’s form of life all work excellently in this power packed, heavy yet necessary read for children.

Needless to say this one is a book i will read , re-read, read to my little one, read to others, gift to friends and family for a long time to come! More importantly, the book has encouraged active dialogue to me personally as well as a household conversation. Can’t wait to read the third in this series.

Highly recommended!

Find it here: Library, Amazon


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Dining With Dinosaurs

Dining With Dinosaurs

by Hannah Bonner (Author)

A Tasty guide to Mesozoic munching

We have read so many books on dinosaurs. From a toddler books to middle graders, there are a ton of books featuring dinosaurs. Nothing fascinates us more than this specific extinct species. National Geographic’s publication, called “Dining with Dinosaurs” takes a look at the different food groups that the various dinosaur species dined on.

Dining with Dinosaurs inside

The book is sectioned into the many “vores” from the mesozoic food web. For example the “Dinovores” were meat eaters and ate other dinosaurs for food. The double spread lists the largest dino in this category ( 2 crocodiles: Deinosuchus, Sarcosuchus) , the strangest (snake called Sanajeh), the smallest (fossil fleas and a microscopic parasite) and the furriest (mammal called Repenomamus)!

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Other sections have interesting snippets called “Ask a Scientist“. This comic strip presentation gives us an opportunity to find out a scientist’s answer to interesting questions or discover some fun facts.

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Each section of “Dining with Dinosaur” is unique in the facts presented about the dining habits of that category of dinosaurs. What we enjoyed most was the easy flow from section to section and the sketch diagram illustration style that is very eye catching.  The author / illustrator Hannah Bonner keeps things interesting and breaks the monotony by scattering comic book style call outs and dialogues.

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Extra Helpings” glossary items educate us on further readings and background information such as a chart of the food web for dinosaurs and what photosynthesis means.

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I would recommend “Dining with Dinosaurs” for advanced elementary readers, middle graders and above.

Find out how the dino’s dined and what was on their plate a long long time ago

Find it here: Library, Amazon

FTC DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of the above books from the publishers for an honest opinion. I have NOT received any compensation for this review. All reviews and opinions are entirely my own!


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Tales from the Arabian Nights

Tales from the Arabian Nights

by Donna Jo Napoli (Author), Christina Balit (Illustrator) 

Blast from the past

One of the earliest memories of stories from my childhood were from the Arabian nights. The charm and mystic around Scheherzade’s 1001 stories enchant and enthrall kids today. So when I came across National Geo’s publication of Donna Naploi’s collection from the”Tales from the Arabian Night”, I was delighted to read this one to my little one. And to my pleasure our little one read it cover to cover!

Aladin

This rendition of the “Tales from the Arabian Nights” is a selection of the 1001 stories. This book has the popular Sinbad, Aladin and Ali Baba stories and a few other interesting stories. Author Donna Napoli does the stories justice by weaving them into one another seamlessly. The stories within the story is superbly executed, keeping the reader wanting to find out “what happens next”! Christina Balit brings these beloved stories to life with beautiful bright and colorful illustrations. The double spread of pages alternating between text and illustrations makes this book a great addition to the home library.

Theives

What makes this book extra special are all the “extras” in the book. Side notes and snippets educate to various cultural aspects of the original stories.  The glossary has a a beautiful map of the middle east with a detail on the time period for these stories. The author has also tried to identify various cities and places that were highlighted in the original stories.

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I would recommend for middle graders and above. The stories although selective, flow very well and make this book a very gift worthy, library worthy book.

Highly recommended!

Find it here: Library, Amazon

FTC DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of the above books from the publishers for an honest opinion. I have NOT received any compensation for this review. All reviews and opinions are entirely my own!


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The Storybook Knight

The Storybook Knight

by Helen Docherty & Thomas Docherty (Author, Illustrator) 

A gentle Knight

Leo was a gentle knight! He liked to mostly sit and read. But that is not what Knights are “supposed” to do, is it? So Leo’s parents decide to “encourage” him to go out into the world and fight some dragons and win some fame and glory!

The Storybook Knight Parents

So Leo packs his bags, carries all the books he will need on his journey and his new shiny sword and shield. First he meets a beautiful griffin! Leo is unafraid and “reads” his way out of a fight. Next he meets a troll. Leo manages to charm him with his story telling skills. Finally, Leo reaches a town stinking and filthy. Scared faces look out of the window. A ferocious dragon approaches Leo. Will Leo be able to escape this one without any harm?

The Storybook Knight fierce dragon

Written in verse, “The Storybook Knight” is a wonderful tale about courage viewed from a different lens. The message for little ones if very strong: look for different ways to solve the problem! or one need not “fight” to be brave! We loved reading this book by ourselves as well as aloud many times. The beautiful detailed artwork with lovely kid friendly shades of colors are eye catching to say the least. The Storybook Knight will delight all ages, but is ideal for ages 3-5. Highly recommend for your home or school libraries!

And finally, here’s your chance to win a copy of art!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

FTC DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of the above books from the publishers for an honest opinion. I have NOT received any compensation for this review. All reviews and opinions are entirely my own!


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Max at Night

Max at Night

by Ed Vere (Author, Illustrator) 

Its time for bed!

Max is ready to get to bed. He drinks his milk, brushes his teeth and cleans behind his ears. It is time to say “Good Night” to his friends.

He wishes the gold fish good night. He wishes the box good night. He wishes the spider good night. Finally, he wishes good night to the moon. But wait! Where is Moon?

Max at Night goodnight 2

“Max at Night” is such a sweet super simply story for bedtime. Max has his regular routine for bed time and won’t deviate from it. Obviously, when something goes wrong, he has to fix the situation. Otherwise, how is he to go to bed?

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Ed Vere’s illustrations are appropriate for the toddler+ age group, with bright colorful pages and expressive eyes for the cute cat Max. The simple language and limited text on each page is paced so well for bedtime stories. and for the kiddos who want more of Max, find an activity page for Max at Night here.

And finally, here’s your chance to win a copy!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

FTC DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of the above books from the publishers for an honest opinion. I have NOT received any compensation for this review. All reviews and opinions are entirely my own!


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Race Car Dreams

Race Car Dreams

by Sharon Chriscoe (Author), Dave Mottram (Illustrator) 

Ready for bed!

After a long day full of zipping and zooming, a race car needs to rest and relax.

As his friends head back home, Race car’s engine revs down and his headlights blink on. As he rolls of the track, he is looking forward for his bed time routine.

First, its time for a nice bubbly foam bath; making sure to get his rims all shiny too! Next its time for an long oily gulp at the Guzzle and Gulp. Finally as his head gets sleepy, its time for a nice bed time story!

Race Car Dreams inside

Sharon Chriscoe’s simple rhyming text in her “Race Car Dreams” is a perfect addition to your bedtime routine. Little ones will love that the author uses their favorite car specific language (“octane”, “rims”, “headlights”). Each page has no more than a 3-4 sentences, making this perfect for your 3-4 year old.  Dave Mottram’s colorful spreads are engaging. But our favorite illustrations were the cute Race Car art work . The little blue shiny race car, with the perfect “smiley” face and the neat expressions of getting sleepy and finally falling asleep are very endearing.

Race Car Dreams releases September 13th! So grab a copy for your night time routine. A fun bed time book for your car loving little ones!

“Race Car Dreams” is on a tour! Find more upcoming reviews here:

9/6 My Word Playground

9/7 MomReadIt

9/8 Unleashing Readers

9/9 Once Upon a Time…

9/10 Stacking Books

9/11 Geo Librarian

9/12 Flowering Minds

9/13 Unpacking the POWER of Picture Books

9/14 Little Crooked Cottage

9/14 MamaBelly

9/15 #kidlit Book of the Day

9/16 Just Kidding

Find it here: Library, Amazon, Better World Books

FTC DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of the above books from the publishers for an honest opinion. I have NOT received any compensation for this review. All reviews and opinions are entirely my own!


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Beautiful

Beautiful

by Stacy McAnulty (Author), Joanne Lew Vriethoff (Illustrator) 

Re-defining beauty!

Every girl is unique! Every girls is talented and lovable. Every girl is BEAUTIFUL!

Beautiful girls are graceful.. beautiful girls are smart and talented.. beautiful girls light up the room! Challenging each frame is a vivid double page spread by Joanne Lew-Vriethoff’s breaking the stereotypical definition.

Beautiful move graceful

Stacy McAnutly redefines our preconceived notions of beauty. What makes a girl beautiful? Breaking away from each conceptual “idea” behind what makes a girl beautiful, Joanne Lew-Vriethoff’s bright and bold illustrations that upends the premise.

Beautiful dress

“Beautiful” is a picture book for both girls and boys. Colorful illustrations diversify the viewpoint of these bold, empowered and independent little gals.

“Beautiful” is a book after my own heart. Breaking away from stereotypical princess-y, floral “Pinkalacious” flavored themes, “Beautiful” is empowering and redefining. It is uplifting and real, it delights and makes you smile, and it completely surprises you! Re-think “beauty” and open your heart to these simply amazing little girls!

“Beautiful” is on a tour! Find more upcoming reviews here:

8/29 Flowering Minds

8/30 Kids’ Book Review

8/31 My Word Playground

9/1 Stacking Books

9/2 Unpacking the POWER of Picture Books

9/3 MomReadIt

9/5 Enjoy Embrace Learning

9/6 Geo Librarian

9/7 A Foodie Bibliophile

9/8 MamaBelly

9/10 Diapers and Daydreams

9/11 The Late Bloomer’s Book Blog

9/12 Unconventional Librarian

Find it here: Library, Amazon, Better World Books

FTC DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of the above books from the publishers for an honest opinion. I have NOT received any compensation for this review. All reviews and opinions are entirely my own!


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The Fall of General Custard

The Fall of General Custard

by Matthew Damon (Author), Gideon Kendall (Illustrator) 

The Overthrow of a Leftover!

Life in the refrigerator is peaceful and quite. Queen Honeydew is a just and fair queen. Various food groups have their respective shelves and they are nice and neat. Every food has its own place in the fridge.

Then one day a fresh jar of maraschino cherries arrive. The fruits called out “hello!, come join us!” and so the cherries find themselves next to the jar of olives on the top shelf. Rosaline the cherry makes a new friend with Romeo, the olive. They played hide-and-seek and have such fun together.

Fall of General Custard friends

But there are grumbles and rumbles in the bottom shelves. General Custard, an unhappy old leftover, is causing quite a stir. He has a bone to pick! and demands the cherries to join the desserts and not sit with the fruit! But the fair queen intervenes and allows the cherries to make the choice. General custard is furious that the cherries won’t join the desserts and in the stealth of the night hatches a plot.. a plot to “foodnap” the cherries!

Fall of General Custard battle

Oh what is to happen in the peaceful land of fruits? Would the cherries be separated from the olives? and who will make a stand against the evil intentions of the sour General custard?

“The Fall of General Custard” is a delightful and engaging tale about a food fight that needs to be resolved asap! Matthew Damon writes with wit and rhyme. His sense of humor, simple rhythm and play of words makes this story entertaining and engaging. Gideon Kendall’s delightfully detailed art work pulls the reader in and keeps one hooked. We kept looking through all the food emotions and reactions… the food fight was really the most fun page to “watch”.

A perfect read out aloud book or a bedtime story! This is sure to be a favorite among kids!

Find it here: Library, Amazon, Better World Books

FTC DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of the above books from the publishers for an honest opinion. I have NOT received any compensation for this review. All reviews and opinions are entirely my own!


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