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







next page next page close

My Forgotten Self

My Forgotten Self
by Lynyetta G. Willis PhD (Author), Michele Phillips (Illustrator)
My Forgotten Self cover

 My Forgotten Self is the story about a girl Tiev and her journey into self discovery. The story begins with Tiev wondering what she would be when she grew up. She discovers many wonderful things that she wants to do. An explorer or a performer, maybe an artist or a teacher. However, she discovers that every time she shares her dream with her near and dear ones, they discourage her or demotivate her. Finally, one day she shares her dream with her grandmother who encourages Tiev to do “more”. Tiev hears her own inner voice re-assuring her that she could succeed at many things.

I struggled hard to enjoy this story line. I also didn’t find kid appeal in the book. I like the idea or the theme of self-discovery, however, the predominant negative theme that the book opens with was not appealing. The author clearly had good intentions and a strong desire to empower children in the face of negativity. However, there was so much lacking that it left me disappointed.

First, this was a story of a young girl of color deduced only through artwork. This book was also presented as a “Diversity” reading. However no where in the story does the character stand out based on her background or culture. Just because the book is about a child of color, does not equate to building an understanding of culture. It did seem like a lost opportunity.

Secondly, the title “My Forgotten Self” itself felt misrepresented. I expected the child to follow a path not of her choosing and then course correct as a matter of self discovery — hence the title “Forgotten Self”. However, that was not the case.

Also, I really failed to see the kid appeal. To relate such a challenging abstract concepts as “self discovery” or “empowerment” and “enlightenment”; there needs to be extremely strong story telling AND character building.

Finally, I would love for this work to really come to life. The idea of showing choices but being beaten down by reality .. the theme had such potential. I wish the illustrations had brought that to life.

Overall, I felt really let down by “My Forgotten Self”. I wish there was more and that the author / illustrator had put more thought into the character building as well as showcasing the situation better.

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!

 From MCCBD team:

Our Mission: The MCCBD team’s mission 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 the fun book reviews, author visits, event details, a multicultural children’s book linky and via our hashtag (#ReadYourWorld) on Twitter and other social media.

The co-creators of this unique event are Mia Wenjen from Pragmatic Mom and Valarie Budayr from Jump Into a Book/Audrey Press. You can find a bio for Mia and Valarie here.

Sponsor Mentions

Multicultural Children’s Book day 2016 Medallion Level Sponsors! #ReadYourWorld

Platinum: Wisdom Tales Press * StoryQuest Books*Lil Libros

Gold: Author Tori Nighthawk*Candlewick Press

Silver: Lee and Low Books*Chronicle Books*Capstone Young Readers

Bronze: Pomelo BooksAuthor Jacqueline Woodson*Papa Lemon BooksGoosebottom Books*Author Gleeson Rebello*ShoutMouse Press*Author Mahvash ShaheghChina Institute.org*

CoHostsMulticultural Children’s Book Day has 12 amazing Co-Host and you can view them here.

Classroom Reading Challenge:Help spread the word on our  Classroom Reading Challenge . This very special offering from MCCBD offers teachers and classrooms the chance to (very easily) earn a free hardcover multicultural children’s book for their classroom library. These books are not only donated by the Junior Library Guild, but they are pre-screened and approved by them as well.


next page next page close

Multicultural Children’s Book Day

Multicultural Children’s Book Day

Please join in me in celebrating Multicultural Children’s Book Day this week. We love to read books from different cultures and love to participate in multicultural activities! As part of an effort to promote multicultural reading, I have joined hands with a fantastic groups of passionate bloggers to bring forth some unique kidlit!

Here is their Mission Statement:

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.

 Two books from Chinese culture were chosen for book review at Stacking Books. Here is a sneak peek!

Bowls of Happiness

Bowls of Happiness: Culture and heritage at its best!

This is a story about little “piggy” and her mom who is making a special bowl for her. In  Chinese culture, making a bowl is an intricate process. Every color and item is chosen carefully as each of these elements have a deeper meaning. As mom adds first the base color, and then symbols, we learn about what they symbolize. This book is just lovely!

Beautifully illustrated, each spread shows a detail of the bowl and the text matches it up with what the symbol or color depict. The book is divided into a story and then followed up with an activity plus a section which highlights different types of bowls, the artwork on these bowls and their symbolic meaning in the Chinese culture. The activity, as you might guess is to create your own bowl.

I really enjoyed reading this book. The Chinese artwork is captivating, the colors are lively and to read about the symbolism from a cultural perspective was enlightening. I definitely learned something new about the culture. A beautiful way to capture tradition, culture and pass it on to the younger generation. Don’t miss this one!

Find it here: Amazon

What was it like Mr Emperor

What was it like Mr. Emperor?

How was it like to grow up to become the emperor of the Forbidden City? As a child, what was the routine for an emperor? What happened if the first born was a girl and not a boy? Were there any girl emperor’s in those days?

These are a few of the questions that the book attempts to answer. Written in a dialogue mode between a child of today asking the questions, the author leads you through “a day in
the life of a Emperor”. This book is packed with tons of information and written to suit a younger audience. Readers will enjoy comparing the life style of a child from that era to
their lives today. The bold black outlined illustrations are kid friendly.  Overall an interesting take on Chinese history and culture. Recommended for ages 8+

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!

 From MCCBD team:

Our Mission: The MCCBD team’s mission 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 the fun book reviews, author visits, event details, a multicultural children’s book linky and via our hashtag (#ReadYourWorld) on Twitter and other social media.

The co-creators of this unique event are Mia Wenjen from Pragmatic Mom and Valarie Budayr from Jump Into a Book/Audrey Press. You can find a bio for Mia and Valarie here.

Sponsor Mentions

Multicultural Children’s Book day 2016 Medallion Level Sponsors! #ReadYourWorld

Platinum: Wisdom Tales Press * StoryQuest Books*Lil Libros

Gold: Author Tori Nighthawk*Candlewick Press

Silver: Lee and Low Books*Chronicle Books*Capstone Young Readers

Bronze: Pomelo BooksAuthor Jacqueline Woodson*Papa Lemon BooksGoosebottom Books*Author Gleeson Rebello*ShoutMouse Press*Author Mahvash ShaheghChina Institute.org*

CoHostsMulticultural Children’s Book Day has 12 amazing Co-Host and you can view them here.

Classroom Reading Challenge:Help spread the word on our  Classroom Reading Challenge . This very special offering from MCCBD offers teachers and classrooms the chance to (very easily) earn a free hardcover multicultural children’s book for their classroom library. These books are not only donated by the Junior Library Guild, but they are pre-screened and approved by them as well.


next page next page close

Goodnight Selfie

Goodnight Selfie
by  Scott Menchin (Author), Pierre Collet-Derby (Illustrator)

Selfie taking obsession!

 A little girl gets her brother’s old camera phone. Her brother also showed her how to take a selfie! With a few tries, she is able to take a really good selfie! There it is!!!

Goodnight Selfie inside

Now little girl can take a selfie anytime she wants. When she wakes up with and her hair is all crazy… when she brushes her teeth.. when she puts too much jam on her toast and eats it!

Little girl can’t stop taking selfies! She is trying all kinds of  poses, and in all kinds of places. After a whole lot of days of many many more selfies, mom has an idea. “Why not take a picture of others in it?” she suggests. Will little girl take the hint and turn away from selfies?

Goodnight Selfie inside2

I am not personally into taking selfies, but found this book a real fun read. My 8 year old was also mildly amused at the selfie taking obsession going on in the book. We both really enjoyed reading this one. This book reminds me of when kids become obsessed with a new game and will obsess over it for a while until something else comes along We also really liked the illustrations. The sharp lines and crayon coloring makes this a fun book for kids to read.

Would you like to win a copy?? Enter here:-
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!

Find it here: Library, Amazon

 


next page next page close

Casey’s Bright Red Chhristmas

Casey’s Bright Red Chhristmas
by  Holly Dufek (Author), Paul Nunn (Illustrator)

A Christmas tale!

 It’s Christmas time on the farm. Casey and her friend Tillus, the worm, are excited about Christmas day! So many things to do and so little time! Casey has to finish her chores before she can start setting up the farm for Christmas.

Casey chores

“A-choo!” Casey sneezes. It looks like she is certainly coming down with a cold. But she has to finish her chores. So off she goes to clean the stalls. As she cleans up, she notices the box of Christmas lights. She takes them to the shed for decoration after she finishes her chores.

“A-choo!” she sneezes again! As she makes her way to the shed with the Christmas lights, she notices that the fence is broken. She immediately sets about to fix it.

She sniffles and sneezes but manages to finish the gate. Inside the shed she finds a box full of stockings that needs to be hung before tonight. “There’s so much to do!” she murmurs to herself and starts to hang the stockings. Thinking about chores, she starts to think about all the remaining chores. How is she ever going to finish and start decorating for the party?

Casey warms herself a bowl of soup as Tillus looks upon his tired friend. But Casey’s eyes are closing.. she falls asleep at the table. Its up to Tillus now to figure out how to help Casey make the best of Christmas!

Casey's Bright Red Christmas help

“Casey’s Bright Red Christmas” is a great addition to Casey & Tillus series of farm tales. Although this is a Christmas tale, the story runs a theme of team work and friendship. Bright Christmas themed colors run through the tale, making this a lovely book to read for holidays.

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 more here: Library, Amazon


next page next page close

The Not Very merry Pout-Pout Fish

The Not Very merry Pout-Pout Fish
by  Deborah Diesen(Author), Dan hanna(Illustrator)

Search for the Perfect Gift!

 

 

Mr. Fish is back in this new installment in the beloved “Pout Pout Fish” series of books. This time he is faced with a new dilemma. Mr Fish needs to find the “PERFECT” gift for all his friends. And he has a good idea of what a perfect gift looks like. In his own words:

 

A gift should be big,
And a gift should be bright.
And a gift should be perfect-
Guaranteed to bring delight.
And a gift should have meaning
Plus a bit of bling-zing,
So I’ll shop till I drop
For each just-right thing!

Mr Fish is ready to shop till he drops! He goes to the first store and finds many shiny things… too many things! How is poor Mr. Fish to decide?

Pout Pout Fish Christmas Inside

Its a busy shopping season. Fishes and sea creatures all around are in a tizzy crowd looking for the seasons best “thing”. Unfortunately for Mr. Fish, they are all SOLD OUT!!!

Poor Mr Fish is busy going from shop to shop. Soon its too late and stores are all closed or sold out. Whatever is Mr Fish going to do now??

In yet another fabulously silly and fun rhyme, author Deborah Diesen and illustrator Dan Hanna, give us a heart warming tale of Mr Fish’s deary weary woes and how one special friend lends a helping hand to find the TRUE meaning of Christmas cheer and giving.

A wonderful read aloud (once again), “The Not Very Merry Pout Pout Fish” comes to us at the right time reminding us about the true holiday spirit!

A BIG Thank You to MacmillanChildren’s Publishing group for hosting a GIVEAWAY of a copy of “The Not Very Merry Pout-Pout Fish”!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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!


next page next page close

In The New World

In The New World
by  Christa Holtei(Author), Gerda Raidt(Illustrator)

A Family in Two Centuries!

“In the New World” : A Family in two centuries is a fascinating story about a fictional German immigrant family and their 5th generation descendants. The story opens with an introduction to what life was in the 1850’s in the country of Germany. Lack of food due to various conditions had made it difficult for people to survive. Many people chose to migrate and come to the “New World”, America. The picture book introduces to us a German family of 4: Robert and Maragaret Peters (Dad and Mom), and their two children Johannes and Dorothea (son and daughter).

The story then intrduces to us life in the village and invites us into the home of Robert and Maragaret. We soon discover that the family faces many challenges and inevitably they are forced into making the decision to move to America. Preparations for departure begin. The family must sew cloth sacks to carry their possessions after selling off their belongings. They pack a large trunk to carry the rest. And they take a souvenir picture to take with them as a memory of their days in the village. Finally they are on their way..

In The New World inside3

The kids are excited about their voyage. The boat is a noisy place to be in. Space is cramped with everyone sharing sleeping bunks. Conditions are not sanitary and the air stinks! But despite everything, the people on the boat keep their spirits up. They play music and pass time by helping each other. Soon enough the 310 passengers arrive in the port of New Orleans.

But New Orleans is not the final destination for the Peters family. They must travel onward via the Mississippi to St. Louis, Missouri. From there they take the Union Pacific Railway to Omaha, Nebraska — their final destination.

In Omaha, the Peters family is allotted a square piece of land. In Omaha the family buys supplies and load up their brand new wagon to travel 10 long days to their allotted piece of land where they will finally settle down and re-build their lives.

Time goes by and the generations of Peters family who live in there now are the 5th descendants. One day they discover the photo sovenier of their ancestors and wonder where the family came from. To learn more the descendant family of 4 travel back to Germany to find out more…

In The New World inside2

This picture book is really a portrait of two generations of families highlighting immigrant experience from back in the late 1800’s. Through carefully crafter verse and beautiful pencil and color illustrations, the book brings to life a challenging experience for the many people who travel thousands of miles for a brand new start.

We really enjoyed reading through this book. This book is great as conversation starters for current immigrant families. I loved looking through the art which so beautifully captures the mood and period of the book.

“In The New World” is really a beautiful example of non-fiction and fiction, tender and insightful, emotive and informative for readers of all ages!

Find it here: Library, Amazon, Better World Books


next page next page close

Daredevil Duck

Daredevil Duck
by Charlie Alder (Author, Illustrator)

A tale about being brave!

 Daredevil Duck has as super-duper cape, an extra strong helmet and x-ray goggles! He is the bravest duck in the whole wide world…

Well.. kind of..

Daredevil duck WANTS to be brave.. he is always dreaming of being brave.. but he isn’t exactly “brave” L As a matter of fact, he is afraid of a lot of things. Like dark things or fluttery things or things that are too wet!

And sometimes the other ducks say mean things to him and tease him.

Then one day something unexpected happens. At first this scares Daredevil duck very much. But slowly and surely, Daredevil duck finds a way to go past his apprehensions. Daredevil duck takes the plunge and realizes he feels happy and very accomplished indeed Smile

Daredevil duck tries hard

Maybe being brave is not that difficult after all! 

Charlie Alder’s Daredevil Duck is a lovely picture book for all the little kids who feel overwhelmed or fearful of new adventures out there. Whether its conquering the monkey bars or sliding down an extra high slide, kids will relate to feeling bold and being joyful in small achievements.

What we loved about this picture book is the creative “lift the flap” feature which leads to discovering the various hilarious situations that the Daredevil duck finds himself in. Charlie Adler illustrates the book in charming bright colorful spreads to keep little readers and listeners engaged. We loved the silly worried expressions of the duck and the free flowing text that leads the eye to Daredevil’s mis-adventures.

If you have a little one who sometimes needs motivation to take on challenges, then this is a perfect book to add to your collection.

This blog post is part of a Blog Tour. Do visit the following links to read more about Daredevil Duck!

5/4 Wife Hat, Mom Hat

5/5 Geo Librarian

5/6 In The Pages

5/7 Stacking Books

5/9 Bea’s Book Nook

5/10 ReaderKidz

5/11 Coffee for the Brain

5/12 The Picture Book Review

5/13 Mrs. Brown Loves Bookworms

5/14 Mom Read It

5/15 Unpacking the POWER of Picture Books

5/16 Cheryl Rainfield

5/17 Unleashing Readers

 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, Better World Books


next page next page close

Go, Pea, Go!

Go, Pea, Go!
by Joe Moshier , Chris Sonnenburg (Author/Illustrator)

Eyes on the goal!

Pea Junior is on a mission and an important one too. A mission where he needs all his focus and concentration. Pea Junior must keep his faith and have a can do attitude. His mission is to get to his potty .. Go, Pea Go!

But Pea Junior is not alone in this mission. He has his friends and family encouraging him along the way. He is tempted to stop and boogie with the backyard cats along the way.. He is tempted to stop and play with his friends at the pool. But Pea Junior is super charged and will not loose sight of greeting to his ultimate destination! Go, Pea, Go!

This is super sweet rhyming book on potty training for little ones. The story begins with Pea Junior suddenly realizing that he needs to “go”. The “race” to the potty begins. And although there are distractions along the way, Pea Junior stays on track.

Go Pea Go wont stop

Adorable and fun the illustrations are super cute with little Pea Junior and his friends colored brightly just right for little kids to look at. The bold shouts of “Go, Pea, Go!” which ends every verse add a nice fun rhythm to the narrative.

What we really liked about the book is that it comes with a nice race chart with stickers to keep score during potty training. And for those inclined towards a little bathroom singing, there is a nice little catchy tune that will keep the little ones on the potty long enough to accomplish their goal!Laughing

Go Pea Go chart

So grab this book if you are looking for potty inspiration!

This review is part of a blog tour:

4/22 A Girl and a Boy

4/23 Stacking Books

4/24 Geo Librarian

4/25 Art, Books, Coffee

4/27 Coffee for the Brain

4/28 Mrs. Brown Loves Bookworms

4/29 Unpacking the POWER of Picture Books

4/30 Booktalking #kidlit

5/1 Unleashing Readers

RAFFLECOPTER widget:

A Rafflecopter Giveaway

This contest will run from 4/22 to 5/4 @ 12 AM EST. We will give away ONE prize pack that includes a pea plush, pea beach ball, pea tote bag, pea hair clips, stickers, and a copy of the book. THREE people will win a pack including a pea beach ball, pea postcards, stickers, and a copy of the book. FIVE runners up will receive a copy of the book and stickers. Winners will be contacted by email and must notify us within 48 hours of the notification email with address and acceptance. Please note that winners can be from the US only.


Find it here: Library, Amazon, Better World Books

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!


next page next page close

Lost for Words

Lost for Words
by Natalie Russell (Author, Illustrator)
 

Writer’s Block!

Tapir has a brand new notebook and some nice pencils. He stares at the first blank page wondering what he should write! He stares and stares but nothing comes to mind. His page looks empty and he has no idea what to write!

Lost for words Not know

Tapir’s friend, Giraffe has some pretty good ideas about writing. In fact, Giraffe was writing an excellent poem about a tree. Giraffe sure had a way with words!

Tapir’s other friend Hippo is writing too.. Hippo is sitting in his nice muddy pool, making up a lovely rescue story with Hippo as the hero!

And then there is the lovely Flamingo. Flamingo is quite good with songs. This one poem that she currently writing about is how the sun shines brightly in the sky!

“I MUST be doing something wrong!” thought Tapir too himself. He felt quite lost for words Frown So he decides to find a nice quite spot, on the top of the hill, from where he could see a beautiful view and all his friends in it.. Maybe now he will find some ideas! Smile

Lost for words thinking

“Lost for Words” has a wonderful message. When Tapir finds himself comparing his abilities with the others, he suddenly feels quite incapable. But when he finds that nice quite corner to be alone and find confidence in what he can do.. he finds out that he could be quite unique too.. just like his friends!  I also love the three writing techniques that the author presented. Children will find inspiration in different techniques in which to express themselves.

The bright and colorful screen-print style illustrations in “Lost for Words” are very child-like and likable. The double spread art work with sunny skies, blue and green landscape will make this a fun to read book for kids.

“Lost for Words” may not be unique in its theme, but is very unique in the way the theme is presented. The surprise ending will leave a smile on every readers face Smile

Find it here: Library, Amazon, Better World Books


next pagenext page
thumbnail My Forgotten Self article post
thumbnail Multicultural Children’s Book Day article post
thumbnail Goodnight Selfie article post
thumbnail Casey’s Bright Red Chhristmas article post
thumbnail The Not Very merry Pout-Pout Fish article post
thumbnail In The New World article post
thumbnail Daredevil Duck article post
thumbnail Go, Pea, Go! article post
thumbnail Lost for Words article post