Category: childrens books

Alycat and the Tournament Tuesday

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Get ready to have fun and learn all about talent, skill and luck, with Alycat and the Tournament Tuesday.

About Alycat and the Tournament Tuesday

A “Mom’s Choice Award Winner”! Alycat’s brother, Bugsy, is playing in a golf tournament with some of his friends, and wants to use his lucky ball to win the game. But when Alycat forgets his lucky ball at home, Bugsy learns what luck is really all about. Can Bugsy win the tournament without his lucky ball? Alycat and the Tournament Tuesday is part of the Alycat Series:

Our Thoughts

This is a super sweet book that both parents and children can appreciate. Do you have a lucky pair of socks or underwear? A lucky hat? Or perhaps a ritual that may seem silly to others but is something that you swear by? That item that you have to have, otherwise you feel that you will lose?

I think we can all appreciate the concerns of Bugsy in this story. He swears by his lucky ball for when he plays golf. He truly believes that he needs that ball in order to succeed and win. It doesn’t matter that he was encouraged by his parents and sister that it isn’t the ball that makes him win – that it is his natural skill and how much he practices. In a twist of events, his lucky ball was left at home and his sister wanting to help him tries to trick him but was unsuccessful when he realizes her trick. Can he still win? Can he find the courage to belief in himself?

I loved this beautiful story. It was easy to read to my child and the illustrations helped capture his attention. But more importantly, it was the plot itself that was so important. Even at the young age of six, my son felt he needed to have a certain lucky item on his person during his soccer games. He is a wonderfully talented soccer player who practices daily, so I was surprised that he felt (and still feels), he needs his lucky item in order to win. I want him to understand and believe that it is HIM that will decide the outcome of his success, not a physical item on his person. This story sparked a great conversation of ‘lucky items and superstitions’ and how it is us, as a an individual, who decides our future. This is a fantastic read for all young children that I strongly encourage parents to read and speak to their child about. It doesn’t matter if your child is an athlete – a lot of times they carry over these beliefs into tests, assignments, presentations. It is so important for children to be empowered and to know that they hold the key to success.

You can pre-order a copy of this book here.

About the Author

Alysson Foti Bourque is the author of the award-winning Alycat series. Alysson earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and a Juris Doctor degree from the Southern University Law Center.

After practicing law for six years, she traded in writing trial briefs for writing children’s books. Alysson enjoys public speaking opportunities at schools, conferences, and festivals nationwide. She hopes to inspire people of all ages to follow their dreams and believe in themselves wholeheartedly.

You can connect with her on her website, Twitter and Facebook.

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

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Work It, Girl: Inspiration from Michelle Obama and Mae Jemison

Work It, Girl is an empowering series of biographies featuring modern women in the world of work, from designers and musicians to CEOs and scientists. 

About the Work It, Girl Series

Work It, Girl is an empowering series of biographies featuring modern women in the world of work, from designers and musicians to CEOs and scientists. Each of these illustrated books tells the story of a remarkable woman in ten chapters that highlight transformative moments in her life, following the ups and downs that she faced on her road to success. At the end, ten key lessons show what you can learn from these moments, and self-reflection questions help you apply these lessons to your own life.

Brightly colored photo illustrations of 3-D cut paper artwork featuring inspiring quotes from these amazing women bring their stories to vivid life. Learn how to work it as you lay the foundations for your own successful career.

Work It, Girl: Become a Leader Like Michelle Obama

In this imaginatively illustrated book from the Work It, Girl series, discover how Michelle became an inspirational leader, FLOTUS, lawyer, author, and role model in this true story of her life. Then, learn 10 key lessons from her work you can apply to your own life.

Michelle Obama grew up on the South Side of Chicago in a little bungalow with a close-knit family. She loved going to school, and she knew that, one day, she would use her voice to empower other young girls, just like her. Young Michelle was a brilliant student and wonderful daughter. With hard work and talent, she propelled herself into the universities of Princeton and Harvard. She qualified as a lawyer and life was going smoothly…Then she met a guy named Barack.

My Thoughts

Wow – this is an incredibly powerful and inspirational book. When I first opened it, I thought it would be geared towards younger children but this is an excellent book for individuals of all ages (I felt empowered reading it). It tells Michelle’s story from childhood up until her time in the White House. We learn about her family, how she was raised and how she got to where she is now. The road was not easy for her but she never gave up. One of my favourite parts was – ‘when someone says you can’t: prove them wrong!’. This is a lesson that I have tried to instill in my kids, that there will always be people who tell us we are not enough, but we always need to fight back and push for what we want. We don’t have to be mean to others but we have to know that we can accomplish anything we put our minds to, regardless of what others think of us.

My favourite quote from this book: “The lesson I learned from that is that as women and girls, we have to confront those negative voices – the ones in our head and the ones from people in our lives – telling us what we can’t do”.

It is sometimes hard to tell what is worse – the voices from others or our own self-doubt that can eat destroy us. As women, we need to lift each other up and know that we can accomplish anything we put our minds to.

I think this is a must have book for all youth – to understand, appreciate and relate to the struggles that Michelle went through and how she was able to rise above them. She shows compassion, understanding, kindness and resilience. All of the things that we want as parents to teach our children. This is a definite must have addition in your child’s library.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

Work It, Girl: Blast Off Into Space Like Mae Jemison

In this imaginatively illustrated book from the Work It, Girl series, discover how Mae Jemison became the first African American woman in space in this true story of her life. Then, learn 10 key lessons from her work you can apply to your own life.

When Mae Jemison was a little girl, she loved science, dancing, and dinosaurs. She watched the Apollo moon landings and wondered why none of the astronauts were women—and she just didn’t buy the answers she was given.

My Thoughts

Another powerful and inspirational book in this series, featuring Mae Jemison. Mae teaches everyone to dream BIG. She grew up in a time where women had limited opportunities and she could have let a teacher’s comment throw her off her dream but she didn’t (imagine how she must have felt when a teacher told her she should be a nurse instead of a scientist). Instead, she decided to work harder and dream for the stars – because everything is in your reach if you are willing to try.

She was an incredibly bright student (entering university at the tender age of sixteen!) and dancer – both careers quite demanding on an individual. She went on to become a doctor, joined the Peace Corps and was the first black woman to go into space. She re-invented herself time and time again, always focusing on her goals and what her heart desired. She never let what others thought about her determine her future – something I truly admire and hope all children realize. We should never ever let others define us, instead use this to push ourselves further.

My favourite quote from this book: “Never be limited by other people’s limited imaginations”.

This is so important for our youth – we should never allow other people to determine our future. We are capable of accomplishing anything we put our mind to with determination and strength.

Another excellent, must have book in this series. It is powerful, telling the story of a woman who defied society and set an example for others. She was a trailblazer, full of compassion, strength and determination. She would set goals, accomplish them and set new ones. A definite must read book for youth of all ages.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Shower Your Little One with the Love of Reading from Sourcebooks Kids this Valentine’s Day

I love how reading a good book helps to connect you with others, especially children. A book helps children understand the world around them, helps them verbalize and understand others and their feelings. Books help us put in to words how we are feeling and helps us to better express ourselves.

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, what better way to talk about love with your child then with a fantastic, kid friendly book?

Every year we celebrate Valentine’s Day with a gift for each of our children. The following books would make an excellent gift or even a great read leading up to Valentine’s Day to help us talk about our feelings and what we mean to each other. Being a part of a family, we know we love each other but sometimes we also know that we can drive each other a bit bonkers. It is important for kids to know that they are loved for every part of their personality. Thinking a bit outside of the box, these would also make a great baby shower gift and guaranteed to make the parents to be want to cry!

Here are the top five Valentine’s Day children’s books that will show your little one just how much you care.

I Love You All Ways

From the author of Be Brave Little One and If I Could Keep You Little comes I Love You All Ways, an adorable exploration of how love surrounds us, no matter what we do or where we go. From morning to night — through the happy, playful, and mischievous moments — I Love You All Ways is a sweet celebration of the never-ending love for a child.

In case you ever wonder,
in the busy of our days,
exactly how you’re loved by me,
I think you’ll be amazed. “

This is a beautiful hard cover book that will make you want to cry. The simple sentences that were easy to read, leave a big impact on children. The words remind children that yes we love them when they are good but we also love them when they are loud, mischievous, sick and everything in between. It reminds our children that they will have our love with them wherever they go and whatever they do. The illustrations are done in soft colours that matches the tone of this book.

You can purchase a copy of this book here.

I Love You To The Moon and Back

Share your heart with the one you love most in the world and wrap them in the security of God’s protection with this newest picture book from renowned inspirational brand Precious Moments. Written in sweet, rhyming verse, this is the perfect book to share on Valentine’s Day or all year round!

I collect Precious Moments so I could not wait to open this book and it did not disappoint (the illustrations were brilliant!). This beautifully written book starts off with that special moment when we bring our child home and our hearts are bursting with love. It takes on a religious tone, as we talk about the gift from above in the form of His love and our friends and family. That these very important people will be there for us, supporting us and celebrating with us for the rest of our lives. It really helps to remind us of the importance of these relationships and the impact they have on our lives. I loved the ending – I found it was only when I became a Mom that I really understood all my parents did and felt for us.

You can purchase a copy of this book here.

Always More Love

Always More Love is a heartwarming story and fun experience for families to share together about how the love for those special ones in your life only grows more and more each day.

I love you so much, but there’s more in my heart.
How is that possible? Well, where do I start?

Now move in close and you will see
Just how much you mean to me.

This book was so much fun to read aloud – it is very interactive and you can act as silly as you want together. From tickles, to snuggles, to giggles – this book is perfect for young children as we talk about how our heart is so full of love but we can always love just a little bit more. The book is illustrated with bright, bold colours that your young child will appreciate.

You can purchase a copy of this book here.

I Love You Like No Otter

There’s no better way to say “I love you” than with a sweet and heartfelt animal pun! I Love You Like No Otter combines a warm message of love with beautifully illustrated animals, making it the perfect gift for Valentine’s Day and all year round!

This is an adorable and simple read for young children. Each page is a pun using favourite animal characters. The puns are quite funny, I have used a few to put as notes in a lunch pail and it gives us a good laugh at the end of the day. How can you not love animals and jokes?

You can purchase a copy of this book here.

Love: From Sesame Street

In this New York Times bestselling picture book, beloved Sesame characters share what love means to them. This warm and uplifting book will show children new ways to look for love in everyday life—and brighten their day!

“Love is a sunny day!
Love is being an everyday HERO.
Love comes in all shapes and sizes.
Love is cookies… and then more cookies!”

I love Sesame Street and the message that it sends to young children. This book has a powerful impact on young children as we explore the many sides of love and how it comes in all shapes and sizes. It can help children to discuss their feelings and how love makes them feel, and even the examples of love that they see every day. How do we show love to our friends? To our teachers? To our family? And even gives children a great way to describe these feelings. It helps to really open the door to the endless possible ways that we can describe love.

You can purchase a copy of this book here.

Looking for the perfect Valentine’s Day gift? Make sure to add one or more of these great books above and get ready to start engaging your child in the wonderful topic of love and what it means to us.

Disclosure: I received the above mentioned books in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Sports Legends Book Review

DK Canada

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to stand on an Olympic podium having just won a gold medal? Or what it takes to become a record-breaking soccer player? Find out all about sports stars and their inspiring achievements in this nonfiction book for kids.

About Sports Legends

Perfect for young sports lovers, this chapter book for kids tells the stories of a range of different sports people who have risen to the top of their game. From Usain Bolt, to Steffi Graf, and Muhammad Ali, to Ellie Simmonds, in Sporting Greats readers will learn about the unique stories of these athletic heroes.

Sporting Legends is a new Level three title in the four-level DK Readers series, aimed at children who are beginning to read alone. Developing a lifelong love of reading, DK Readers cover a range of subjects to support children as they learn.

Packed with fun facts, this series of guided reading books balance amazing photography with non-fiction narratives tailored to specific reading levels. DK Readers are assessed on both Fountas & Pinnell and Lexile levels, and are ideal for learning to read while building general knowledge.

Sporting Legends covers a topic that will inspire and educate kids, encouraging reading for pleasure, which is linked with improved reading and writing abilities, as well as a wider vocabulary and greater self-confidence.

Our Thoughts

We are HUGE sports fans in our home – you can always find us watching sports (soccer is very much the number one match to be on) or playing sports. It is how we bond, how we have fun and how we keep physically fit together.

It can sometimes be hard to find a book topic that your child loves, especially if you have a reluctant reader. Our eldest was this way when he was younger, we had to really search for books that would engage him and were on a topic he would like.

Sports Legends covers some of the greatest athletes of all time from all types of athlethic backgrounds – from track to the court to the field and to all seasons. Many names you will know but some you may be newly introduced to.

My youngest loves Pele – we watched a documentary on him a few years ago and since then he has looked up to him with all that he had accomplished at such a young age. It was fantastic to learn that he played for his country at the age of 16! Which is a goal that he himself is working towards. We learn about more incredible athletes and the sucess they had including: Jackie Robinson (first African American player in the MLS), Wasim Akram (Pakistan cricketer), Richie McCaw (New Zealand rugby player), Ma Long (Chinese table tennis player) and so many more.

The book contains photos of the athletes in motion along with short bios and descriptions of their biggest achievements. The book itself has a great flow – starting with field sports, sports on court, track and field and then other sports. In between chapters, are sections on young stars, record breakers and winter sports athletes. There is even a quiz at the very end of the book! It is written in a way that your child (or yourself) can easily read aloud or an older child can read on their on.

This is a great learner book for young children, especially those who have a hard time finding books that they can engage in. My son’s only complaint? He wanted the section on Messi to be longer!

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon and Chapters.

About the Author

Caryn Jenner writes and edits a variety of books for children of all ages, including both fiction and nonfiction. For DK Publishing, she has written Eyewitness Workbook: Earth, as well as several titles in the DK Readers series. Her picture book, Starting School, was one of the eight books longlisted for the UK’s 2012 School Library Association Information Book Award in the Under 7 age group. Caryn also teaches English to speakers of other languages and volunteers at a local school. She grew up in the United States but has made her home in the UK for many years.

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

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Cookies for Santa: The Story of How Santa’s Favourite Cookie Saved Christmas

The Kringle family cookbook has gone missing, and Santa can’t remember the recipe for the special cookies he makes every year. But where can he turn for help? From the experts at America’s Test Kitchen comes a new twist on a holiday tradition.

About Cookies for Santa: The Story of How Santa’s Favourite Cookie Saved Christmas

Millions of people bake special Christmas cookies during the holidays―including Santa! In fact, every year he bakes his family’s favorite cookie and gives them to the elves and reindeer to show them how much he cares, just like his father and grandfather did. But it’s just days before Christmas, and the Kringle family cookbook is nowhere to be found! If he has no recipe, he can’t bake his cookies. And if he can’t bake his cookies, Christmas might as well be canceled! Luckily, a little girl finds the cookbook and, with the help of America’s Test Kitchen, inspires families from all over the world to work together to make sure that Santa and his family have a happy holiday.

This book also includes the delicious cookie recipe.

Our Thoughts

Cookies for Santa is a beautiful book about the true meaning of Christmas, people working together for a greater cause and the warmth of family and friends.

In Cookies for Santa, Santa can’t find his cookbook which holds all of the recipes handed down from generation to generation. Santa loves to bake and he loves to share this love with the people, elves and animals that mean the world to him. When he loses the book, he feels all is lost and doesn’t know if he can go on with Christmas. A young girl finds his cookbook and comes up with the brilliant idea to bake cookies for Santa with the help of America’s Test Kitchen! Soon, kids all around the world are showing their love for Santa by helping bake his favourite cookies.

I love to bake for others, there is something so satisfying when you can share the time and energy you put into baking with someone you love. I can only imagine how Santa would have felt losing his cookbook – I love the recipes that my Dad cooks, they hold so many memories. I would be devastated losing something like that.

What was so beautiful about this book, was the way the community came together to support and show their love for Santa. People all over the world made his favourite cookies as a symbol of their love and support. This was a beautiful gesture and so very touching.

We loved the illustrations and the ease of reading this book aloud. It was a beautiful story that showcases the true meaning of Christmas. A huge bonus was the delicious Santa’s Chocolate Krinkle Cookies at the back of the book, that your child and you can bake together!

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

About the Author

AMERICA’S TEST KITCHEN is the most authoritative resource for reliable, kitchen-tested recipes and cooking information. They value process, curiosity, practicality, and honesty. They believe everyone can learn to be a successful cook and their mission is to test recipes over and over until they understand how and why they work, and arrive at the best version.

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

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