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

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by John Patrick Green (Author, Illustrator)

Talent or Hard work?

Hippopotamus and his friend Red Panda live in a zoo. A zoo so very neglected and dilapidated that no one visits the zoo anymore. One day, fed up by the living conditions, Red Panda decides to go out in the world and try out a different life. A few months pass and Red Panda comes back to visit his old friend Hippopotamus. Nothing has changed in the zoo. But Hippopotamus is now at his wits end and wants to try out a different life too!

Red Panda is super excited! “Hippopotamister” (human name for Hippopotamus in the human world) knows the Red Panda will find the perfect job for both of them.


At first, Hippopitamister is worried. “How do i know i can do a good job?” he asks. But his buddy red Panda reassures him and helps him build his confidence. So begins their many adventures! They try several different things.. they try their hand at being hair dressers and musicians then plumbers.. chefs, construction workers and so many more! As soon as they are hired, Red Panda manages to get them fired! So from one job to another they “travel”.. and along the way something wonderful is happening!


Through their many “adventures”, Hippopotamister is discovering the many things he is good and not so good at. This journey of self discovery and possibilities is not unique, but wonderfully told through graphic novel feature. Little ones will relate to the “Babar” styled Hippopotamister and his buddy the Red Panda. Older readers will love discovering the many professions/possibilities that are out there waiting to be tried out. And also the idea that one need not be tied to what “you are born to do”.

Hippopotamister finally decides to take a break and go to his old zoo to see if anything has changed. Of course nothing really has changed for the zoo. But Hippopotamister has definitely changed. Changed in the way he now sees things around the zoo. He sees things that need fixing. And he now knows how to fix them too! Thanks to the many many jobs that he has tried out and learned so many new things!


I will let you read this one to find out how it ends. But what a lovely ending. Absolutely recommend this one to readers of ALL ages

Find it here: Library, Amazon, Better World Books

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Rose and the Wish Thing

Rose and the Wish Thing
by Caroline Magerl (Author, Illustrator)

A Journey of Friendship

Little Rose had just moved into a new home. Outside her window was a whole new city. Inside her home, things were getting unpacked and old things were put in place. And in the midst of all that, Rose wished for a “thing”.

So Rose calls for it.

Rose and the Wish Thing calling

But the Wish Thing has no name. So she tries to draw and look for it. But the Wish Thing does not come.

Rose can not be comforted. She wants more than ever for the wish to come to her. So she searches everywhere for her wish. Everyone searches for the Wish Thing along with Rose. Yet, there is no sign of it!

Rose and the Wish Thing in the sea

This is a lovely story of longing and wanting comfort and friendship in face of change. I loved the story that was told with almost poetic narrative and then the part that was untold. The story unfolds with narrative about Rose and her search of the Wish Thing on one side and simultaneous wordless story unfolding on the other spread. This cadence of Rose’s searching and the Wish Thing “arriving” is a wonderful symmetry of story telling. The pencil, water color artwork is reminiscent of Quentin Blake’s art style. The pencil strokes in the book seem to give motion to the story of bringing the two pieces of searching and finding closer to each other.

Rose and the Wish Thing tells a story of looking for friends and comfort in a place which is new. Although this isn’t a new theme, the author does justice via a very unique perspective of wordless story telling and narrative alternating.

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!

Find it here: Library, Amazon

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This Little President

This Little President
by Joan Holub (author), Daniel Roode (Illustrator)

A “little” primer to American Presidents!

Joan Holub does it again! This time she brings a little introduction on American Presidents to baby board books

Written in verse, the author talks about many popular presidents and what they were most known for. For example George Washington the First President of our country

This little President Washington

This Little President introduces you to John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln,Ulysses S Grant, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, John F Kennedy, Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. The book ends with a portraiture of all the Presidents from Washington to Obama and ends with a little “?” and a “You” underneath.

 Anything can happen in the USA.

Hey! Maybe you’ll be president someday!

This Little President is a very accessible read to kids of all ages. I have to admit, I absolutely loved the art work. The cute mini figures of Presidents, their bold black eyes and simple smiley faces are simply adorable. One can’t help but think what an appropriate title “This Little President” makes for this book.

So whether you read this as a quick primer to Presidents or read this as part of regular read aloud time, “This Little President” will leave you smiling.. just like the lovely smiling faces inside this book.

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!

Find it here: Library, Amazon

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by Odile Weulersse (Author),Rebecca Dautremer(Illustrator)

Wise words!

Ihad read a ton of Nasreddine Hodja stories in my childhood. In those stories, Nasreddine was a clever young man who would outwit others, come up with clever solutions to strange problems and help the needy with his quick thinking and wit! So imagine my  surprise and pleasure when I found a Odile Weulersse’s version at our local library!

In this rendition, Nasreddine is a young hard working boy, who helps his father in his daily and weekly tasks.

One morning Nasreddine’s dad asks him to fetch the donkey form the stables. It was market day and they were going to take a bag of dates to the market to sell. Nasreddine helps his father load the basket on to the donkey’s back and then sets off on foot while his father rode on the donkey’s back. At the city gates a vizier looks at the duo and laughs out loud, ” There goes a lazy man who makes his son slosh through the mud”. Nasreddine face turns red while his father calmly says,” Your words hurt my ears, sir!” Ashamed Nsreddine makes an excuse and returns home.

Nasreddine inside

The next week Nasreddine helps to shear wool from the sheep. His father then loads bags of wool in a sack and gets ready to go to the market with the donkey. Nasreddine remembers the humiliation from last time. He pretends that he has a twisted ankle and begs to ride the donkey this time. However on the way a group of women complain about how the youth being lazy and the father having to do all the hard work and walking! Nasreddine embarrassed and angered again decides to go back home once again!

The following week Nasreddine helps gather a group of hens in a cage. When his father calls out to him for market duty, Nasreddine comes out with a clever plan. He decides that both of them along with the cage of birds will ride the donkey this time! His father smiles and agrees. At the marketplace, yet again, Nasreddine overhears nasty remarks from a group of old men. They claim that the poor donkey has been tortured by the owners and they had no mercy for the animal! Nasreddine’s face turns red and he makes another excuse to head back home.

Nasreddine inside2

The week after, Nasreddine decides he has the PERFECT solution! He can’t wait for market duty and must tell his father his plans. He knows that no one will make fun of him and his father this time!

Will Nasreddine succeed this time around?What was his plan and will he be able to convince his father to carry out on it?

Although this was Nasreddine set out in his childhood, it was still a wonderful story to read. The artwork in this book is superb! The watercolors and the use of white space to create drama was very effective. We couldn’t wait to see how the story unfolds and it doesn’t disappoint!

Definitely a story of wisdom and wise words from a father to son worth reading !

Find it here: Library, Amazon, Better World Books

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If an Elephant went to School

If an Elephant went to School
by Ellen Fischer (Author), Laura Wood (Illustrator)

Unique animal behaviors!

Have you ever wondered.. If an ELEPHANT went to school, what would she learn?

If an Elephant Went to School Classroom

 Would she learn to read and write like you do? NO! He would probably learn to use her trunk in different ways!

If an Elephant went to School collage

What if an OWL wen to school? What would he learn in class? Counting from one to hundred?

If an Elephant went to School Owl

This is another super sweet, quirky, silly but FUN installment from Ellen Fischer’s series of books. After her first “If an Armadillo went to a Restaurant” , we were looking forward to another “If a __” book and this one DOES NOT disappoint!

Laura Woods lovely illustrations of the various young animals learning survival skills that are so different than ours. We love that “If an Elephant went to School” is similarly illustrated and feels like a true companion book to her earlier “If an Armadillo went to a Restaurant”.

If an Elephant went to School is best suited for beginning readers and can be used in lessons for Cause and Effect. It also makes for a perfect read aloud for younger audiences. Each page follows a pattern where the author asks the reader what if an animal went to school, what would he/she learn? You will find animals such as the zebra, a frog, a honey bee and even a SKUNK!

With gentle pacing and simple language, little readers will be thrilled to learn how different animals require different skills for survival.

A great companion picture book non-fiction for libraries, classrooms and home reading.

Find it here: Library, Amazon

FTC DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of the book 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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by Mara Rockliff (Author), Iacopo Bruno (Illustrator)

How Ben Franklin Solved a Mystery that Baffled all of France

 “Mesmerized” is a story about Ben Franklin as he sets out to travel to France to recruit “help” for struggling revolutionaries. In France, he discovers many interesting scientific discoveries and amazing experiments. But one particular phenomenon has caught his attention.

People in France are talking about one Dr. Franz Mesmer who has discovered an amazing “Force”. A force that only Dr Mesmer can use to cure any ailment! People have been flocking to his residence for a cure by dozens.

Mesmerized Ben investigates

But not everyone is thrilled by this miraculous force. Doctors who practice traditional medicine are furious. Their patients won’t take their medicine any more. All they want is to go to Dr. Franz and be charmed by his magical wand that seems to cure all their ailments! Indeed, it seems as if Dr Mesmer has uncovered a force that is not like electricity or a gas or hot air inside a balloon.

So what was it then? asked the doctors. They presented their dilemma to the king of France. Finally, the king decided to call the one person who could figure out this whole mystery… Ben Franklin!

I love how this story is presented and the layout of the pages. The authors choose to highlight the principles of the scientific method: Observe, hypothesize, test and supporting evidence. Through the means of this incident of scientific mystery, the author engages the young reader through these principles. The layout of the pages and art work pop out and clarifies how Ben Franklin carries out his investigation and clears out the mystery for everyone.

Mesmerized the Scientific method

At the end there is a short write up with more information about the incident of Dr Mesmer and the discovery of hypnosis and Placebo effects.

A great real story to read about Ben Frankiln, about scientific method and a mystery to be solved.

Find it here: Library, Amazon, Better World Books

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My Dadima wears a Sari

My Dadima wears a Sari
by Kashmira Sheth (Author), Yoshiko Jaeggi (Illustrator)

A Warm Generational story!


Little Rupa wonders why her “Dadima” (grandma) wears her traditional Indian outfit, her Sari. She notices her dadima wears it every day. She wears them all day and wears them every where. Her saris are bright and colorful and cheerful.  But it makes Rupa curious.. why does her dadima wear only saris?

So she asks “Dadima, don’t you ever feel like wearing something other than saris? What can you do with a sari?” So Dadima explains..

How she can use her “pallu” (the end of her sari) to cool her on a hot summer’s day.

My dadima wears a sari fan

 And how her sari can help carry all the seashells that Rupa collects

 My dadima wears a sari seashells

And how her sari can quickly protect her from falling raindrops!

My dadima wears a sari umrella


“Dadima wears a Sari” is a wonderful heartwarming tale about a tradition followed by women for generations in India. Gently told, the story is easily relatable. So many girls love to dress up and look for ideas and examples around them. In this tale, little Rupa and her sister see their grandma wearing something unique, something beautiful and become curious about her habit of wearing a sari.

We loved the gentle water color illustrations and the warm colors. The sway of dadima’s sari reminded us of our own collection sitting in the wardrobe! Can you guess how we decided to spend the rest of our evening? Smile

This review is part of celebrating Multicultral Children’s Book Day. We believe diversity in reading children’s literature helps expose the world to our kids, make them tolerant of differences and create empathy and awareness that is so much in need today.

More about Multicultral Children’s Book Day:MCBD


Our mission is to not only raise awareness for the kid’s books that celebrate diversity, but to get more of these of books into classrooms and libraries.

Children’s reading and play advocates Valarie Budayr from Jump Into a Book and Mia Wenjen from Pragmatic Mom teamed up in late 2013 to create an ambitious (and much needed) national event. On January 27th, 2015 this dynamic duo will be hosting yet another Multicultural Children’s Book Day as a way of celebrating diversity in children’s books.

The Multicultural Children’s Book Day team hopes to spread the word and raise awareness about the importance of diversity in children’s literature. Our young readers need to see themselves within the pages of a book and experience other cultures, languages, traditions and religions within the pages of a book. We encourage readers, parents, teachers, caregivers and librarians to follow along via book reviews, author visits, multicultural booklists and visit the huge multicultural book review link-up that will occur on the MCCBD website 1/27/15.

Here are some ways you can help us celebrate Multicultural Children’s Book Day

  • Visit The Multicultural Children’s Book Day website and view our booklists, reading resources and other useful multicultural information.
  • Visit our Multicultural Books for Kids Pinterest Board for more reading ideas.
  • Have children bring in their favorite multicultural book to school on this day and share it with the class.
  • Watch for the #ReadYourWorld hashtag on social media and share.
  • Visit our Diversity Book Lists and Resources for Educators and Parents on our website.
  • Visit MCCBD sponsors (you can find them HERE)
  • Create a Multicultural Children’s Book Day display around the classroom or library.
  • Visit The Multicultural Children’s Book Day website on January 27th to view and participate in our huge blogger link-up, multicultural book reviews, giveaways and more!

Other Fun Details:

2015 Sponsors include Platinum Sponsors: Wisdom Tales Press, Daybreak Press Global BookshopGold Sponsors:  Satya House,,   Author Stephen Hodges and the Magic PoofSilver SponsorsJunior Library Guild,  Capstone PublishingLee and Low Books,  The Omnibus PublishingBronze Sponsors:Double Dutch Dolls,Bliss Group BooksSnuggle with Picture Books Publishing,  Rainbow Books,   Author FeliciaCapers,   Chronicle Books   Muslim Writers Publishing ,East West Discovery Press.

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Grumbles from the Forest

Grumbles from the Forest
by Jane Yolen, Rebecca Kai Dotlich (Authors/Poets), Matt Mahurin (Illustrator)

 ” Spell’s over, Imagine this! All because of a stupid kiss”

For a long time now we have enjoyed reading the classic fairy tales such as the Princess and the Pea, Snow White, Beauty and the Beast and Three Billy Goat Gruffs. But have you ever wondered, what these popular fairy tale characters were thinking?

Did you ever wonder whether Cinderella really enjoyed wearing glass slippers? Or whether it was the mattresses and not the Pea that kept the Princess awake in the night? Jane Yolen and Rebecca Kai Doltlich gave some thought to these questions and came up with some interesting answers! “Grumbles from the Forest” is a collection of 13 creative poems, each beautifully illustrated on double sized pages, each giving you a glimpse on the alternate reality of these characters. Smile

In “Beauty and the Beast”, Beauty wonders whether she has made the right choice of spouse.

Grumble in the Forest Beauty and beast1

Snow White looks into the magical Mirror and wonders if really she is the “prettiest” woman in the kingdom!

Grumble in the Forest Snow White 2

And the troll wonders what he would be having for dinner tonight Smile

Grumble in the Forest Billy Goats

These are poems, some rhyming, a haiku .. each a voice from a character of these fairy tales. They grumble, plead and confide.  And if you can’t get enough, the authors invite you to think some more of your own!

It was hard to pick a favorite one from this surprisingly creative list of poems. Here is one that I really liked.. Can you guess which character this one is?

Wake up, princess, time to rise.

Open up your dreamy eyes.

Never mind the prince or kiss.

By no means were you raised for this.

Take the plot back from the witch.

Kick her spindle in the ditch!

Find it here: Library, Amazon, Better World Books

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And the Award Goes To..

And the Award Goes To..

Randolph Caldecott Medal

for the most distinguished American picture book for children

2013 Winner: This Is Not My Hat (Jon Klassen)

This is Not my Hat


1. Creepy Carrots (Aaron Reynolds (Author), Peter Brown(Illustrator))

Creepy Carrots


Creepy Carrots inside 2

Find it here: Library, Amazon, Better World Books

2. Extra Yarn (Mac Barnett (Author),Jon Klassen (Illustrator))

Extra Yarn by Marc Barnett & John Klassen

Extra Yarn inside

Find it here: Library, Amazon, Better World Books

3. Green (Laura Vaccaro Seeger (Author, Illustrator))


Green Inside

Find it here: Library, Amazon, Better World Books

4. One Cool Friend (Toni Buzzeo (Author), David Small(Illustrator))

One Cool Friend

One Cool Friend inside

Find it here: Library, Amazon, Better World Books

5. Sleep Like a TigerMary Logue(Author), Pamela Zagarenski(Illustrator))

Sleep Like a tiger

Sleep Like a tiger inside1

Find it here: Library, Amazon, Better World Books

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