Category: childrens books

The Children’s Cookbook Review

DK Canada

The  Children’s Cookbook is full of delicious dishes kids will want to make over and over again.

The Children's Cookbook Review

About Children’s Cookbook

The Children’s Cookbook brings to life simple recipes from breakfast to light meals to main dishes to even baking for your child and yourself to prepare together. With beautiful full-color photography, simple instructions, and a focus on safety, each one makes an ideal cook-together project that will have children excited to try the new flavors in the dishes they helped make. The step-by-step instructions are easy to follow and feature a picture for every step, so children can see clearly just what to do as they build basic cooking skills, safe kitchen practices, and adventurous palates.

Our Thoughts

Empowering your child with the knowledge, skills and confidence to cook in the kitchen is so important. I still remember my first week on my own in my first apartment and my spouse asking me to make a boiled egg. I can now laugh about it but at the time my response was how the heck do I make a boiled egg??! My parents had always done this for us as kids and in our teen years so I never had to do this on my own. I had no idea where to start and this is not an over exaggeration, I didn’t know what temperature to put the stove at, how long to cook them and how to cook them properly so I don’t make everyone sick. I wont even mention when I had to cut an onion for the first time – I wasn’t even quite sure where to start, which side to cut first and how big/small it should be, my spouse had a fantastic time laughing at me over this one.

As parents, it is so important for us to teach our children these life skills so one they wont repeat our mistakes but most importantly so that they are ready to tackle the world once they leave our nest (because really we don’t want them living on five minute rice and breakfast sausages every day for months on end – not speaking from too much personal experience here!).

This book is perfect for young children and even for teens who are just starting out in the kitchen.

It is bright, bold and to the point – there is no question about what each step is asking you to do, there is the proper safety notes in place and they use ingredients you will have on hand. I joke about the boiled egg but in all honesty, children need to be shown these simple meal items. I loved that they included simple things like boiled and scrambled eggs. They also include items like making your own pizza from scratch, naan bread, chicken curry and a variety of delicious recipes from various cultural backgrounds. There is something for everyone in this book. The step by step photos are a huge bonus, I am a visual learner so this helped me greatly. You can compare what you are doing to the pictures and make corrections. There is something for all skill levels, make sure you start off easier but then as your child’s confidence grows – choose something harder. The possibilities are endless and the big bonus? Your child spending quality time with you in the kitchen. A complete win win for this Mom.

The Children's Cookbook Review

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

Rating: 5/5

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Meg and Greg: A Duck in a Sock: Four Phonics Stories

Meg and Greg: A Duck in a Sock: Four Phonics Stories

Meg and Greg is a new series of chapbooks from Elspeth and Rowena Rae designed to help dyslexic children rediscover the joy of reading.

Meg and Greg: A Duck in a Sock: Four Phonics Stories

About Meg and Greg: A Duck in a Sock

For many children with dyslexia, the switch from being having books read to them to early readers is difficult. Words become too complex, or stories at their reading level are too simplistic to be interesting. As a result, these children often lose interest in reading completely.

A Duck in a Sock, the first installment in the Meg and Greg series, is designed specifically for young readers with dyslexia, allowing children to practice reading age-appropriate words while engaging with a truly exciting text. It includes a range of specially designed, unique features, including:
  • A story divided into two parts: one set of text for adults, using wider vocabulary and longer sentences to make the story interesting and engaging; one for children, using tightly controlled words and shorter sentences.
  • A typeface that mirrors hand-printed letters, enabling children to recognize letter shapes more familiar to them.
  • Children’s text printed on shaded paper to reduce the contrast between text and paper—something cited as a difficulty for some children with dyslexia.

Our Thoughts

I am a passionate reader – I have always been this way since I was young. My parents could always find me curled up with a good book. I try to always encourage my boys to embrace the joys of reading. I know that it is not always easy for children and parents. We even went through our own difficulties. Reading can be a challenge for some children and the learning process difficult for parents.

Meg and Greg is a book designed to help young children who are struggling in learning to read and their parents (who may not know how to help their children) succeed. I loved that the stories were exciting and used language that was natural for us to read aloud. Some readers can be awkward and the stories unexciting when you read them together. This is not the case for these two amazing young children – they save a sloth, lose and rescue a fish and even save farm animals. The story can be read together as you start out, then you can encourage your child to read the shorter lines while you read the longer sentences either together or to them. As they progress, they can definitely tackle the challenge of reading the longer sentences.

What I really thought was fantastic was the font – they specifically used font that children can recognize. So many times when we are out and my youngest is trying to read signs, he is frustrated by companies that use a funny font that he can’t recognize (not to mention the confusion when companies purposely put a letter backwards!). This was done on purpose so that children recognize the letters and can read the words easily.

Meg and Greg is a four-story book that is an excellent tool for parents to help their child on their reading journey. I found it not only great for children with learning difficulties but all children in general. It incorporates so many great ideas on how to help children succeed which helps to empower them in their journey. This is a definite must have book for young readers!

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

Rating: 5/5

About the Authors

Elspeth Rae is a certified Orton Gillingham teacher for children with dyslexia and other language-based learning difficulties. She runs the 44 Sounds Orton Gillingham Learning Studio where she teaches reading, spelling, and writing to children ages 4-12. She lives with her husband and three children in Vancouver, BC.

Rowena Rae has an M.A. in science writing and two biology degrees. She works as a freelance editor and children’s writer. She has written science and nature articles for a children’s magazine, Yes Mag, and writes nonfiction books. She lives with her two children in Victoria, BC.

Elisa Gutiérrez is an award-winning book designer and illustrator. She is author/illustrator of Picturescape and Letter Lunch, the first of which was shortlisted for a BC Books Prize. She lives with her husband and two children in Vancouver, BC.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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The Case of the Pinched Stradivarius

The Case of the Pinched Stradivarius

In The Case of the Pinched Stradivarius,  two bickering turtles manage to solve a very real crime without ever leaving their tank.

The Case of the Pinched Stradivarius

About The Case of the Pinched Stradivarius

From their aquarium in the window of an apartment in a New York high-rise, two bickering turtles manage to solve a very real crime without ever leaving their tank. They are pets, limited to swimming and fighting over the right to sit on the one rock in their tank. One day, while looking out the window, they see a crime committed: a little girl’s violin is stolen by a bad man who grabs it and runs away. The turtles are the only witnesses, and because they are turtles, nobody can hear them call for help. This is the story of how they manage to solve the crime and bring the thief to justice and thus become: Miles and Fargo, turtle detectives.

Our Thoughts

This adorably illustrated children’s book follows the tale of two inspiring and curious turtles in New York. They adore their Mom but are annoyed and a little confused by their two dog siblings. They watch the world around them, both inside and outside, from the comfort of their tank. One of these days, they witnessed the robbery of a very special violin, a Stradivarius, from a young girl. They know exactly who the thief was but what they couldn’t do? Tell anyone! They tried to explain it to their Mom but she doesn’t speak turtle (of course). When they try to enlist the help of their furry siblings, they learn that dogs sometimes aren’t the best listeners!

They do manage to trick their furry siblings into helping them solve the mystery with the easiest trick in the book to get a dog to listen – treats! While super creative and really the true heroes behind the story, it is their dog siblings that get all the credit at the end of the story for solving the crime.

This was a well written children’s book that was engaging and full of humour. You can’t help laugh at Miles and Fargo and fall in love with them. The same goes for their furry siblings, we laughed out loud at the bichon part not taking orders because we have a bichon and it is true they are definitely not good at following orders (she is the queen bee in our house!). The illustrations helped to bring the story to life. What I liked the most was that in front of each sentence had a picture of the character who was speaking, it helped to make us feel as though we were a part of the story. This is a great story from start to finish that all children will enjoy.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

Rating: 5/5

About the Author

ELAINE LOESER is a fiction writer, reformed lawyer, and enthusiastic Chicagoan. While living in Los Angeles, she wrote for the long-running NBC drama Law & Order, as well as other television dramas. She taught television writing at the University of Michigan. She is the owner (the accurate, but not preferred term) of two 21-year-old red-eared slider turtles who inspired the events in this book. They were brought home one day from downtown L.A. by her husband, Jerry, for whom this was and still is, standard operating procedure. This story is ripped from the headlines. The events depicted here are fictional, and not based on any actual people. The animals, however, are very real indeed. These are their stories.

About the Illustrator

GREG ARVANITAKIS started drawing at a young age, mostly on the walls in his house. His first illustrated book was completed while in second grade. It won an award and placed in a state-wide young author s contest. Thirty some years later, he illustrated this book. In between, he grew up drawing pictures, going to school for art and design, and becoming an art director. When not drawing pictures, Greg spends time with his wife and two children, who have been excited about and supportive of this project as well as valuable critics. They provide creative inspiration for him on a daily basis. Sincere thanks go to David Robson and Suzie Isaacs of Ampersand, Inc. for their input and assistance; Elaine Loeser for this wonderful story and opportunity; Lauren B. for introducing Greg to Elaine in the first place; and Mom, who always bought crayons, markers, colored pencils and paper for drawing.

Disclosure: We received a digital copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are our own.

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My Body’s Mine: Can-Do Kids Book Series

My Body's Mine: Can-Do Kids Book Series

My Body’s Mine helps children learn they have the rights to their body.

My Body's Mine: Can-Do Kids Book Series

About My Body’s Mine

My Body’s Mine helps children learn they have the rights to their body. Told through rhyme from a child’s point of view this book on boundaries empowers each child to say no when others approach them in ways that make them uncomfortable. It also gives clear instructions on what to do if they are approached in an unwanted manner. The questions at the end of the book provides an easy transition for counselors and parents to open a discussion to prevent abuse or to further explore if abuse has occurred.

My Thoughts

One of the most difficult but important conversations we can have with our children is about their body. They need to understand that their body is theirs, respect and what is normal/not normal and to empower them to say no and go for help.

A lot of the old practices of forcing children to give hugs and kisses to adults are now being re-examined as you are teaching your child that they have to do this and that they don’t have control over their bodies and the ability to say no when they feel uncomfortable. It is so incredibly important for children to be confident in their ability to say no and who they can go to for help if they need to. If you force them to do things like hugging people they don’t want to, it contradicts what you are teaching them about their body and confuses them. It doesn’t mean they have to be mean to family members and you as the parent can speak to family about what you are teaching your child so that they understand the reasoning behind your teachings. They also need to understand who is a safe adult and what is inappropriate touching. If we don’t take their concerns seriously, it may teach them that their emotions and feelings don’t matter.

My Body’s Mine teaches children that their body is theirs and no one else’s in a catchy rhyme that is repeated throughout the book. In an appropriate manner it teaches children what is bad touching, when something feels wrong that they need to talk to an adult and that if someone says ‘don’t tell anyone’ that this is wrong. This is an excellent starter resource for parents and children to get the conversation rolling.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

About the Author

A native Texan, Kayla lives with her husband and three cats in Austin. Her two married daughters, along with her faith, have been an inspiration in many of her writings. She has been a guest speaker at elementary schools, women’s retreats, writer’s groups, and University of Texas. At the request of teachers and counselors, she has provided stories to broach difficult situations. Her passion is to empower and validate children, helping them know they are not alone in their feelings or circumstance, and ways to deal with it. When she is not writing she loves spending time with family and friends, read, scrapbook, and watch old movies. You can find her on her website.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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I Can Do That! Can-Do Kids Book Series

I Can Do That! Can-Do Kids Book Series

I Can Do That! helps children learn self-regulating techniques.

I Can Do That! Can-Do Kids Book Series

About I Can Do That!

I Can Do That! helps children learn self-regulating techniques. Told through rhyme from a child’s point of view, strategies are shared empowering the child to effectively learn and practice ways they can control their emotions and actions when they feel themselves becoming dysregulated. The discussion questions at the end of the book provide an easy transition for counselors and parents to open a discussion, assisting the child in exploring ways they can learn to manage themselves.

My Thoughts

As adults we have learned tools that help us control our emotions, maybe you crack knuckles, maybe you do slow breathing or meditate or maybe you need to take a walk. Whatever you do, it is so important to have a tool to help control the emotions that we experience throughout the day.

For children, these emotions are present and can be difficult for them to understand, explain and talk about. It is important for us as parents and caregivers to understand and watch for signs of these emotions and help them understand what they are feeling. Even more important is giving them tools and techniques to help them control these emotions.

In beautiful rhyme and illustration, I Can Do That! helps children by acknowledging their feelings of being mad or bored from sitting still and how they can help themselves with these feelings. It also lets them know how these useful tools make their body feel better. I think it is important to validate their feelings but to also empower them to take charge of their feelings and actions. I love that Kayla also includes  helpful discussion about regulation that forces parents and caregivers to think about actions and their child as well as activities and questions to do with your child. This is a fantastic resource for parents and children.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

About the Author

A native Texan, Kayla lives with her husband and three cats in Austin. Her two married daughters, along with her faith, have been an inspiration in many of her writings. She has been a guest speaker at elementary schools, women’s retreats, writer’s groups, and University of Texas. At the request of teachers and counselors, she has provided stories to broach difficult situations. Her passion is to empower and validate children, helping them know they are not alone in their feelings or circumstance, and ways to deal with it. When she is not writing she loves spending time with family and friends, read, scrapbook, and watch old movies. You can connect with her on her website.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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