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







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Mini Myths

Mini Myths
by Joan Holub (Author), Leslie Patricelli (Illustrator)

Make a Wish, Midas!

Little Midas loves the color yellow. Its his most favorite color of all. His favorite blanky is yellow. His favorite food the banana is yellow. His clothes are all yellow (yes, even his underpants! Smile) When mom asks him to get dressed one day, holding out a nice pair of blue jeans and matching blue and white shirt, Midas won’t wear that! He wants his favorite yellow clothes instead!

Mini Myths Midas Inside1

But his most favorite toy, little Dinoboo, is green! What can Midas do about that?

Brush your hair, Medusa!

Medusa is a naughty little girl. She likes to jump up and down on her bed. She likes to show off her somersaults. But she DOESN’T like to brush her hair! She did rather brush her little toy mermaid’s hair.. but not hers!

Mini Myths Medusa  Inside1

Uh Oh! Its the door bell ringing and grand ma is here! And Medusa STILL hasn’t had her hair brushed! Smile

“Make a wish, Midas” and “Brush your hair, Medusa” are the second installment in the Joan Holub and Leslie Patricelli’s Mini Myths series. Like the first two books, “Be Patient, Pandora” and ” Play nice, Hercules”, this set of books are loosely based on two mythical characters, King Midas and Medusa. An author’s back note gives us a brief background on the actual mythological story surrounding the characters.

As with the earlier books, Joan Holub’s simple short words and sentences are perfect for a toddler read aloud story. Leslie Patricelli well known for her colorful toddler books “Yummy, Yuck” is a natural fit for the Mini Myth set.

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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If an Armadillo Went to a Restaurant

If an Armadillo Went to a Restaurant
by Ellen Fischer (Author), Laura Wood (Illustrator)

What DO animals eat?? Surprised

A silly, super sweet non-fiction, “If an Armadillo Went to a Restaurant” will answer this question. The picture book non-fiction gives you a peek into what different animals would order if they were to go to a restaurant.

Will they order a pizza or a sandwich? No!!

If an Armadillo went to a restaurant Giraffe

If an Armadillo went to a restaurant Ostrich

How about spaghetti with meatballs? No! No!! Smile

If an Armadillo went to a restaurant Armadillo

An Armadillo would probably prefer a plate of ants and worms (with a few beetles thrown in of course!) Wouldn’t that be delectable?? (GROSS!!)

Suited for 3+ year olds, this adorable book follows a pattern, introducing a new animal on alternate pages and asking the reader what food would best suit the palate of that animal. Find animals such as sea turtles, snake, butterflies, kangaroos and many more. We loved discovering the different types of food and playing a “guessing” game for each animal. And the “reveal” would leave the kiddo with lots of “eeeeww” and “yuuuuck” and similar sounding words!  The book ends with a question around what would the reader order if he/she went to a restaurant with a small kids menu… yum!

Gentle pacing, simple language and silly answers will keep the young readers engaged. Laura Wood’s cute kid-friendly art is colorful and eye catching. Her quirky animal renderings, pictures of various animal food on plates and adorable expressions on their faces are instantly lovable.

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

Find it here: Library, Amazon, Better World Books


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5 Graphic Novels we Loved!

5 Graphic Novels we Loved!













1. Fairy Tale Comics edited by Chris Duffy

Fairy Tale Comics page
This is a collection of 17 of your favorite fairy tales. And along with your well known favorites like “Snow White” and “Goldilocks”, there are some unique finds too, like “The Prince and the Tortoise: from 1001 nights and “The Boy who drew cats”. What is unique about this collection is that each tale has been illustrated by 17 different artists who put their own unique “signature” on the tales. It is a delight to re-read your favorite and new tales in such a diversity of art in one single book. From Raina Telgemeier’s straight bold line comic art work to Brett Helquist’s more parchment colored art, this book is truly a very unique collection.

2. Odd Duck by Cecil Castellucci

Odd Duck cover
We fell in love with the very predictable Theodora and her new quirky “odd” friend Chad. This is a story about friendship, impressions and acceptance.
The author/illustrator duo have created a charming story in a “graphic novel” format. Word balloons, clear pastel colors and strong lines with lots and lots of whimsical, quirky details makes this book very endearing! This tale has an age old theme of “be yourself”. The unique twist however comes when the “Odd Duck” seems to think that their world is quite normal while the others are somehow “different”. At the end, however, the “Odd Duck” realizes that being different, isn’t that bad after all..

3. Monster on the Hill by Rob Harrell 

Monster on the Hill page

Do you want to read a fun, goofy and super silly tale about monsters? If you answered with a resounding “YES” then this is the book for you !! Rob Harrell’s Monster on the hill is not scary at all. While other monsters in their other hometowns are scaring people silly, Stoker-on-Avon’s monster is moaning and groaning and sulking all day long. Bottom line: Stoker-on-Avon’s monster sucked! Now its up to two very unusual partners to solve this monster’s problems and get him back on his feet.

4. Hereville series by Barry Deutsch

Hereville series cover

Hereville, a contemporary Orthodox Jewish community, is the home of an 11 year old girl, Mirka. But Mirka is a restless soul. Her wise stepmother tries to quiet her restless spirit by teaching her to knit. Mirka, however, has other ideas. A talking pig encounter takes Mirka on an extra ordinary journey that ends up with Mirka having to sword fight an alien for her life! So what’s so unique about this series? We loved reading about the traditional background of a restless modern 11 year old girl. Her emotional tug of war with her upbringing, customs and her desire to do the “unthinkable” (such as fight aliens and save the world). The author does a superb job of blending the unreal and the real while keeping everything on track. Can’t wait for more of Mirka!

5. El Deafo by Cece Bell

El Deafo cover
One day little Cece falls ill with meningitis. As she recovers, the family and Cece realize that she has lost her hearing. Over the next few months, Cece has to get multiple hearing tests and then ends up having to wear a hearing aid for her life. As little Cece slowly settles into her “new” regular life as an hearing impaired child, she struggles to blend in, make friends and find something special. And one day she realizes that she indeed has a super power. Something that makes her special.. her hearing aid picks up voices from far away. A talent that no one else poses. And thus “El Deafo” is born. We loved this tale for all the conversation starters it provides. A serious subject told with so much heart, a little bit of humor and with a lot of poise, this book is a MUST read for everyone!

Are graphic novels “real” books? Should they count towards reading?

Prejudices: I have come across this question many times. Some parents and educators believe that graphic novels are not serious books or should not be counted as good reads or encouraged. Schools do not allow graphic novels for book reports and other literacy based projects. However, graphic novels have come a long way. They are smart, mature reads. As you can see from above examples, the story telling is very unique and fresh. The format lends itself beautifully for girls and boys. Topics range from serious (El Deafo) to quirky (Mirka) to good old fun (Fairy tales).

Here are a few benefits to reading graphic novels:

Foster love for Reading:  Graphic novels can be a great motivation for reading books. I know many kids tire from their regular reading and need a break. A graphic novel is a wonderful way to provide that break. It is a fun way to get reading done, diversify reading habits and work on reading longer too!

Story telling: The creativity that goes into building stories in this format is simply superb. Artists use so many different visual cues to send subtle messages to the readers. For example: Look at the picture below of Cece finally realizing that something was different. This single page is so powerful in the way it expresses the confusion and fear Cece feels. It is hard to imagine this being in any other format. Matt Phelan, a veteran graphic novel artist and store teller, explains it beautifully with his book “Bluffton”:

Struggling or reluctant readers: Graphic novels are dimply the best way to get reluctant readers excited about reading. It builds reading confidence and kids also end up reading longer!

What are your thoughts around graphic novels? Have you read one recently?