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

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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!

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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

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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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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

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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


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!

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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

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