Posted in Book Review, Reviews by Westley

You’re My Little Cuddle Bug

by Nicola Edwards.

Illustrations by Natalie Marshall.

Review by baby Taran, translated by big brother Westley.

Taran: Mama mama.  Ma ma.  Ma ma.  Eee eee.  Mama.  Mama.  Mmmm.

Westley: The book is very very sweet.  I like how it has cutouts.   The cutouts are the shapes of the animals.  On the first page it just shows the baby animal, then you turn the page and lift the cutout and it shows the baby with the mom.

Taran: Ah. Ah.  Aah ah.  Mommmum.

Westley: There are all sorts of different animals.  Some look cute and others look weird.  I liked how the story said very nice things, and when you flip the page the words from the first page show through the cut-out.

Taran: Mmmm. Hummmummummm.

Westley: People who like animals and being nice to animals should get this book, and also for babies.  I think we should get a copy of this book for my baby cousin.

Taran: (holding up one finger) Mah.  Mah.  (signing “more, more”) Uh-oh.

Westley: Grownups should also get this book even if they don’t like animals and don’t like being kind to animals because it is still very cute.

Taran:  Mah mah mah.  (leaves the room) Dun, dun (signs “all done”)

Posted in Book Review

Q & Ray: The Missing Mola Lisa

By Trisha Speed Shaskan

Illustrated by Stephen Shaskan

I got this book (and the second book ) from Aimee Bissonette. She is friends with the author and illustrator. I will be interviewing them soon. A review of the second book will be coming too!

Q is a porcupine detective and well, I missed what Ray is. But they are animal detective who are also in elementary. One day, they go on a field trip. Before they leave there is a magic show. The magician is suspicious. When they get to the museum, there is a boom, the lights go out and a spark of fire. When the lights come back on, the Mola Lisa is missing. Oh no – and just like always in these books, the kid detectives solve the case before the police.

I would consider this a comic, early graphic novel style book. The illustrations were fun. There were details like on the Mola Lisa. The writing was easy to follow so this could be good for a starting reader.

I recommend to early elementary kids who want to solve mysteries or like animal detective books.

I will do a review of their second adventure soon but go ahead and buy it too!

Posted in Book Review, Graphic Novels

Scarlett Hart, Monster Hunter

By Marcus Sedgwick and Thomas Taylor

This book is really really cool. Scarlett Hart is a cool name because Scarlett is a red and Hart is like heart. So her name is red heart. Scarlett is a monster hunter but she is underage so she isn’t official. There is one monster hunter that hates her and wants her out. He wants to see her in jail. The book is all about her hunting monsters, avoiding him and eventually saving his life.

This is a graphic novel. Kids starting at third grade would enjoy it. There is some not so nice parts when they kill the monsters and maybe send a bad guy over a cliff. It is a quick read.

I like that this is a strong girl who saves the boy. Books like this help girls believe in themselves and believe they can do anything they want.

This book comes out in April so still time to preorder. Thank you , First Second, for the review copy

Posted in Book Review

Memoirs of a Parrot

By Devin Scillian

Illustrated by Tim Bowers

Do you ever wonder what animals think? I do and apparently so does Devin Scillian. He thinks their thoughts are just like ours. All the noises they make are them talking.

In Memoirs of a Parrot, he introduces us to a Parrot in a pet shop. He is best friends with another Parrot in the shop. One day they are separated when Parrot 1 is adopted by a guy. The Parrot finds him annoying because he calls him Echo and tries to give him a cracker. The Parrot is cranky and unhappy. He also doesn’t really the guy any chances. One day something bad happens and the guy saves the Parrot. The Parrot is surprised because he hasn’t been nice to the guy. From then on, they are friends.

I think this is a story about friendship and finding compromises. Things aren’t always going to go the way you want but if you try something new, it may work out. Granted we all want to be called our real name but maybe we can warm up to a nickname.

I recommend this book to kids who need a laugh, in new situations. Maybe even a kid with a new sibling (you could imagine the baby as the Parrot).

I missed meeting Devin by a few minutes at the reading conference. But he is on the news here just about every night. I am sure one day soon I will connect with him. It would be weird to interview someone who does interviews as their job but it also seems kind of cool. Plus Devin has some other books that I hope to find.

Posted in Book Review

A Different Pond

Written by Bao Phi

Illustrated by Thi Bui

A number of people recommended this book to me because they know the author. I guess Minneapolis is smaller than I think. I finally got a chance to borrow it from my library.

This is the story of a boy and his dad going to fish for food. They need the fish for their dinner and have to fish early because the dad has to work. The boy’s parents work a lot so enjoys this time with his dad. His dad also finds the fishing reminds him of his childhood. The boy and his dad catch fish for dinner and return home so Dad can go to work.

I think this is a story about how spending time with our parents can be special and create memories. The memories are things you can share with your own family down the road. You can find something like a pond and create the same experience. It may be a different pond but it is the same memories.

Posted in Book Review

Boston Tea Party

By Rebecca Paley

This is a book about the Boston Tea Party. I always thought it was a party party but nope, they just tossed the tea into the harbor. That doesn’t sound like a party I want to attend. The book also includes American Girl doll Felicity throughout though I wish she was featured more.

I think this book style is a great way to introduce kids to historical facts. I could visit Boston this summer and now I would want to see historical places, like Bunker Hill or the Constitution, not just the penguins at the aquarium (though I really love those penguins).

I would recommend this book for third, fourth and maybe up to fifth grade kids. You learn history and have fun.

Posted in Book Review

On Gull Beach

By Jane Yolen

Illustrated by Bob Marstall

I received a review copy of On Gull Beach from Media Masters Publicity to review. The book is out on Tuesday. I was excited to read this book because I spend a lot of time in Maine.

The story is about a boy collecting shells on a beach. He finds a starfish but then a seagull snatched it. He tries to get the starfish back from the seagull but a bunch of seagulls start playing with it. He eventually gets it back and puts the starfish back in the water.

It is a very nice story. Through out the story they talk about different parts of the beach like the dunes and tidal ponds. I remember finding of lots of creatures in tidal ponds and getting lots of sand everywhere!

This is a good story about being a friend to nature, enjoying nature and being persistent. The boy didn’t give up on saving the starfish. At the end of the book, there is a section that talks about the different birds on the beach as well as starfish vs sea star. Did you know what we call starfish are really sea stars because they aren’t fish?

I am going to give my copy to my Maine grandparents for my cousins and I to read at their house. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to go to the beach, likes sea stars and birds or just likes nature. I definitely recommend this to my nature girl, Aimee Bissonette!