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







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What a Beautiful Morning!

What a Beautiful Morning!
by Arthur A Levine (Author), Katie Kath (Illustrator)

Beautiful inside and out!

L ittle Noah loves those days when his grandparents come to visit. Every morning is a wonderful, beautiful morning. Grandpa and Noah are first to get up while grandma sleeps in. They sing to a lovely tune while they cook up some breakfast and coffee for grandma.

What a Beautiful morning together

Grandpa and Noah look up their “docket of ideas”.. they always have so very many. And so many lovely mornings pass, until one day Noah finds that his grandpa forgets how to cut his french toast!

What a Beautiful morning forgetting

 A few days later, grandpa gets up startled from his nap and has forgotten who Noah was!!! Noah dashes outside, broken-hearted and not sure what has become of his beloved grandpa.

What a Beautiful morning forgetting things

Arthur Levine’s “What a Beautiful Morning” is a poignant, touching tale of aging and memory loss. The author’s simple to follow text highlights the joys of togetherness and the sorrow and hurt that comes with finding out something is wrong with your loved ones. Katie Kath’s brilliant watercolor artwork adds a superb dimension to the tale. The gentle yellow and brown hues draw you in enveloping the reader in the warmth of the relationship between grandchild and grandparent. The contrasting grays subtly draw out the feelings of sadness and loneliness.

With the help of his grandma, Noah learns to cope with his grandpa’s sudden forgetfulness. He learns to celebrate the times when grandpa is around and then be patient and wait until the next moment comes.

“What a Beautiful Morning” is a beautiful picture book, a tale of love and empathy, about finding your way back through compassion and patience. Highly recommended!!

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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Hippopotamister

Hippopotamister
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.

Hippopotamister-new_job

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!

Hippopotamister-new_job_more

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!

Hippopotamister-back

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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Journey trilogy

Journey trilogy
by Aaron Becker (Author/Illustrator)

The finale!

Wordless Books are not a new phenomenon in children’s picture books. But Aaron Becker has mastered the art of visual storytelling through absolutely stunning artwork.

In his first book, Journey (winner of many awards!), Aaron Beckers tells us a story about a girl who is extremely bored! Mom’s cooking, dad’s on the computer and her sister is glued to an electronic device. So when girl spots a red crayon, she starts painting a bright red door.. which magically opens to a wondrous  imaginary world. Girl goes on an adventure of a daring rescue in this fantastic world.

Aaron Becker Journey inside

What is more magical, the visual story that the author draws us into page after page, or the amazingly detailed world that you discover as you read through the book? Hard to tell! We were hooked!

So when the author’s second book “Quest” came out, we made a beeline to the bookstore to take a look. This time, girl has a friend with whom he goes on an adventure.. a mystery they must solve by collecting a few crayons and rescuing a very important person! “Quest” is equally beautifully, equally engaging and just as fantastic as “Journey”.

Aaron Becker Quest inside

Wordless picture books takes not just artistic skill but the vision to create a compelling storyline. I can imagine that it would be easy to lose the reader or to have too much on a page and distract the reader. So the skill lies in having the right balance of art and leading the reader in the right direction. Aaron Becker has done so magnificently! So ready for the last one in this series? We just had the cover reveal:

Aaron Becker Return cover

 Meant for young and old, seasoned readers and reluctant readers alike, there is really no age bar for the Journey trilogy. And when you have read the Journey trilogy, I am sure you will agree that this set is truly stunningly beautiful!

And thanks to Candlewick Press, here is how you can win a prize pack of 1 copy of Journey and 1 copy of Quest! (Open to US/CA only!)
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, Better World Books


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Elephant Man

Elephant Man
by Mariangela Di Fiore (Author), Hilde Hodnefjeld (Illustrator)

A story of courage and compassion

“Gather around—prepare to be amazed!” At a tiny little theater in London, every evening, the Elephant Man steps out from behind a curtain. One look at “The Elephant Man” makes one gasp with dismay. They scream in horror and call him “hideous” and a “monster”. But the Elephant Man , whose real name was Joseph Merrick, would rather make people laugh and laugh with them.

Joseph was not born this way. He looked like any other baby. His mother held him just as any other mother would hold her baby. But when Joseph was just a few years old, something unusual started happening to him. He started emitting an unpleasant smell. He developed unusual crumpled lumps all over his body. His mouth became heavy and he lost his ability to speak, smile and make different facial expressions. In short, his body completely transformed and became disfigured.

Elephant Man inside1

What follows is a tragic tale of heart ache and sorrow. Joseph loses his mother very early on. He is treated miserably by everyone around him on account of his disfigurement. Bullied, shunned, rejected and ridiculed, Joseph leads a life of an outcast. Finally Joseph ends up in London and on stage, which seems the only way he can earn money and live on his own.

Elephant Man inside2

Finally after a series of misfortunes, he finally meets a kind doctor who offers to host him in London hospital. Dr Fredrick makes sure Joseph lives in comfortable and has all the books that he can read. Finally Joseph has a place he can call home, a place he feels safe and most importantly a friend who he scientific study. And although Joseph never dared to leave his room, many people from London came to visit him, look at his models and listen to his stories. Joseph makes many good friends.

“Elephant Man” is an interesting biography, a story that highlights the worse and the best side of human nature. While Joseph underfoes horrendous trials at a very early age, he is also fortunate to find kindly souls who offer him comfort, friendship and solace. The author gives Joseph’s story a compassionate voice and highlights the important message to measure a person “by his soul” and not by appearances.

Engaging and highly affecting, this book is an excellent addition to your biography collection.

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


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Greater Estimations

Greater Estimations
by Bruce Goldstone (Author)

How many rubber duckies are on the cover?

Every day we see objects around us. We find clumps of rocks in the backyard, a line of trees or maybe a group of birds flying in the sky. Have you ever wondered how we can use simple tricks to estimate small Estimations?

Greater Estimations opens with an army of rubber duckies marching towards you! It’s literally a quack attack J Can you count how many are there in this army? Counting one by one, the author claims, is bound to give you a headache!

Eye training” is a simple and effective way to train oneself to recognize groups of say 10 rubber duckies. Now if you can eye train 10, then let’s try looking at a 100. Goldstone shows you that by seeing a small and then large and then larger groups, you can train your eyes to estimate how many objects you can see.

Or how about this batch of skydivers?

Greater Estimations how many

 “Clumping” is a way to divide and estimate. Identify a group of 50 and then mutlitply!

Can you try to estimate how many candies fill this picture?

Greater Estimations how many2

A large part of the book focuses on different estimation techniques like eye training, clump counting and box counting and estimating items in containers. The progression is from simple techniques to some more complex ideas such as how tall things could be or how heavy.

Greater Estimations how tall

What’s not to love about “Greater Estimations”? From growing math vocabulary to having fun counting real life objects, this book is for the whole family!

Find it here: Library, Amazon, Better World Books


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A Rock Can Be

A Rock Can Be
by Laura Purdie Salas (Author), Violeta Dabija (Illustrator)

Rocks are everywhere!

Laura and Violeta have done it again! The third in a series of non-fiction picture books (“Water Can Be” and “ A Leaf Can Be”), “A Rock Can Be..” is a stunningly beautiful, easy to read and fantastic non fiction reading for kids of all ages.

In “A Rock Can be”, Laura and Violeta asks the reader to imagine how and where you can find different types of rocks. A rock is not just a simple static stone lying in the backyard. It can be a Tall Mountain..

A Rock can be Tall mountain

Or a “lake skimmer

 A Rock can be cover Rock skimmer

Or even a “moon rock

 A Rock can be cover Moon Rock

This little picture book packs so much information. What is fascinating that with just a series of short rhyming couplets, the author and illustrator duo highlight that a rock can be found in so many places and can be used in so many ways. From fossilized bones and earth’s crust to a volcanic rock and cliff side home for birds, A rock can be so many many things!

The book ends with a double spread providing more detailed explanation of each of the rock presentations in the book. An absolute gem of a book, a conversation starter for classroom and home libraries!

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


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Mad About Monkeys

Mad About Monkeys
by Owen Davey (Author, Illustrator)

So many Monkeys!

Making a non-fiction subject kid friendly is always a challenge. But when it comes to a topic as broad and generic as “Monkeys”, the task becomes even harder. Owen Davey tackles this very uniquely.

“Mad About Monkeys” is not just a basic introduction to the “monkey” family. The book begins with an introduction to primates and how and when this species evolved. The first double spread page covers what these monkeys eat and where you can find them.

Mad About Monkeys uncle

Having covered the basics, the author jumps into more specifics. Did you know we have “Old world monkeys” (down facing noses) and “New world monkeys”(flat noses)? Follow the page to a quick quiz on identifying which monkey belongs to the new world and which ones is an old world monkey.

Mad About Monkeys types

Owen Davey goes on to describe the social life and hierarchy. Other spreads talk about the “weird and wonderful” monkey species found in different parts of the world. Fast facts makes it fun for the reader to keep reading. Turn the page to find out about the monkey with the longest tail (the Spider monkey), or how about the “hairiest” monkey (Bearded Emperor Tamarin)?

Mad About Monkeys Featured creatures

What makes this book special is Owen Davey’s visually striking geometric patterned art work and intriguing layout of textual information and illustrations. This book was hard to put down and we loved pouring over it from front cover to the back! Highly recommend it!

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


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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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