Category: childrens books

The Other Bears: Teaching Acceptance and Respect for All

It is so important to teach our youth to accept and respect people that may be different then us whether it is by culture, skin tone, gender, etc. For young children it can be hard to help them understand (to be honest – I can tell my two year old the same thing many times and he will probably still repeat the same action). Books and movies are an excellent avenue to help children learn that we may look or act differently but on the inside we are all the same.
The Other Bears written by Michael Thompson follows the Koala Bear family. The Koala Bear family are taking a trip but the trip is made difficult by Mother and Father Koala Bear who are suspicious of all the other bears. Mother and Father Koala Bear find faults with all the differences the other bears have. All of these feelings melt away when they watch all of the little bears play together.
This children’s book touched on some great topics – acceptance and love for all types of people. I love how it shows the love that children have for all people and how this should be fostered by the adults in their life. Although they did address the topic of acceptance briefly I would have loved to see it expanded a little bit more at the end. It would have been nice to speak more about the Koala Bear parent’s mistakes in misjudging the other bears and how they would accept the other bears.
It did a great job of opening up the conversation with my eldest about his own experiences at school where he is exposed to bullying and racism towards other children (he is not the victim nor the aggressor but has been a witness and has numerous times acted to their defence or told a teacher). I realized we do not have these conversations enough.
Rating: 3.5/5
Disclosure: I received a digital copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. Opinions expressed are my own.
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Come Out to the Garden: Children’s Book Review

Our family loves reading time – I have to admit I think I love it sometimes even more then they do! I love to act out their books when I read aloud to them, make silly voices and spend quality time with my boys. Finding a children’s book that allows for this and teaching a lesson for them can be hard!
Come Out to the Garden written by Rick January is the story of Mary Louise, her Granny and her Granny’s vegetable garden. It is a beautiful sunny day, as Granny calls out to Mary Louise to “Come out to the garden” so that they can pick vegetables for a special lunch. Mary Louise convinces her Granny to pick the vegetables that sit closer in the shade so that they will not become too hot. They pick a feast of vegetables that they have as their lunch.
The story is written in a simple rhythm that flows perfectly – making it that much easier to read aloud to my boys. It teaches the importance of hard work, growing and sustaining our own food and the relationships between Grandparents and our children. I loved that it had our eldest son talking about our garden that we plan on building in the spring and what vegetables he would like to plant and grow. I love when a children’s book starts conversations with my children that are so important like healthy foods and learning to grow our own food. 
The relationships between Grandparents and Grandchildren is so important for children. It was great that in this story Granny was teaching Mary Louise all about the importance of growing our own garden and the nutritional value of vegetables. Grandparent’s have so much knowledge to give our children and it is important to foster this relationship.
Rating: 5/5
Disclosure: I received a digital copy of this book in order to facilitate the review. The opinions expressed are my own.
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A Gift for Sophie Review & Giveaway US/CAN

Story time is a very special time in our house. It is the time of day where we can relax in bed, cuddle up with a blanket and catch up on some quality time with a good book. We love stories that carry a strong meaning for our children, stories they can cherish and learn from.

A Gift for Sophie written by Gilles Vigneault follows the life of Sophie a seven year old girl and her friendships with Old Man Tom and Emilio. We watch as Sophie grows and learns about loss and friendship. A Gift for Sophie is a powerful reminder of the connections we have with our loved ones and help children understand that we are always there for them whether in spirit or presence.
This beautifully written story also comes with a CD that contains both a narration of the story and nine heart warming songs that your whole family will love. The CD really helps bring the story to life. If you are more of a digital person and love reading stories on an app with your children you can download it on the iTunes store for only $7.99. These enhanced e-books offer a complete narration of the story with animation and two recorded songs.

My favourite features of A Gift for Sophie:

– An incredibly powerful and poetic story with an important message for our children. Makes the perfect bedtime story!
-The addition of the CD with a narration and songs (as well as the lyrics to sing along with!).
-An enhanced e-book for those who prefer to download e-books.
-Story is the perfect length – enough to create an interesting story line and to keep a child’s attention.
-The illustrations are beautiful! The illustrations are by St├ęphane Jorisch (also a four time winner of the Governor General’s Literacy Award.
-The book is completely Canadian – writer by a Canadian author (Gilles Vigneault), illustrated by a Canadian illustrator (St├ęphane Jorischand published by a great Canadian publisher – Secret Mountain!

 If you are not familiar with the Secret Mountain, they are a Canadian publisher based out of Montreal. They are renowned internationally as a publisher of children’s books and music. They have a large volume of work that you can browse through on their website.
The Secret Mountain is offering one reader a chance to win their own copy of A Gift for Sophie! This giveaway is open to residents of the US and Canada so feel free to share with all your fellow parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents! Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.
GOOD LUCK!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book for the purpose to review. All opinions expressed are my own.
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