Category: childrens books

Love Book Review

“Love connects us, no matter how far apart we are.” – Love

About Love

Everyone loves everyone in Tess’s house. When Tess has to leave for school for the very first time, she is worried that her family’s love might not stretch that far. Her Mom explains that love is like a string, that it connects people together even when they are far away. At school Tess notices that all the children have strings. Some are new, some are old, some stretch a long way, and some even stretch right up into the sky! But what happens when a string breaks?

Our Thoughts

We fell in love with this beautiful story about relationships and the power of love between families, friends and even teachers. Big events can be scary for children, especially when they have spent their lives surrounded only by their immediate family and loved ones. The thought of being separated from this love and comfort zone is scary for children. This book did an amazing job of showing children that we are still connected to our family and loved ones through a very special bond (in this story a string) that stretches and bends over long distances but no matter what is always there. All of us have strings to our loved ones and each string is just a little bit different. Tess learns about these strings and how they are connected with a big new adventure for her – school!

This book does an incredible job of making a tough topic easy to understand, full of compassion, and understanding. It made my heart melt as we read the story together. The words flow nicely and have a great rhythm to them. The illustrations feel soft and tender, matching the tone of the story and help pull the story together. Love is a beautiful story for young children as they set out for preschool and school for the first time (and even for older children as they deal with separation and anxiety). It helps to tackle those big feelings in a way that young children can break down and understand.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

About the Author and Illustrator

Corrinne Averiss is the author of My Pet Star, winner of the Sainsbury’s Children’s Book of the Year, the Stockport Children’s Book Awards and in over 450,000 homes as part of Booktrust’s Pyjamarama campaign. Her first book, A Dot in the Snow, illustrated by Fiona Woodcock, was shortlisted for the CILIP Greenaway award, featured on CBeebies’ Bedtime Stories and in The Sunday Times’ Books of the Year. She is the author of Joy, Hope, Sorrel and the Sleepover, The Boy on the Bench, and Floss the Playground Boss. She is drawn to themes of identity and belonging in her books and aims to deliver big feelings with humour and tenderness.

Kirsti Beautyman works from her studio in Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK, using a range of mediums to build layers of texture and detail which are combined digitally to create her illustrations. She finds inspiration within mundane observations and is often staring vacantly into the distance thinking up narratives and ideas. Kirsti won Picture Hooks Illustrator of the Year Award in 2017.

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

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Mickey on the Move Book Review

iRead Book Tours

In Mickey on the Move, a young boy with deafness in his ears is aided by his mother and teachers in navigating new school experiences. 

About Mickey on the Move

In this bighearted book, the real story of a young boy with deafness in his ears is aided by his mother and teachers in navigating new school experiences. Mickey is just like everyone else, except he wears cochlear implants and has to do things just a little differently than most. This charming tale reminds us that we can all find happiness if we lean on and support each other.

Our Thoughts

The start of the school year brings challenges for all students – the unknown, new classmates, new classrooms, new teachers and so much more. While this can be tough for anyone, Mickey faces a different challenge. Mickey looks like any other child in this story but when he was born, he could not hear and he had bilateral cochlear implant surgery to help him. He is supported at school with a few modifications to ensure that he can succeed and enjoy school like his classmates.

In this book, we explore Mickey’s world at school and the small changes that are made that help Mickey thrive at school. I loved learning about the ways that the school and teachers adjusted to help Mickey (small microphone worn by the teacher and moving to a quieter classroom for some times for focused learning). While it may have been easier to identify the supports he would need before he entered the school, it was something that was hard to plan for that caused Mickey to not be spending time with his friends in the cafeteria. I loved seeing how quickly they managed to come up and implement a new solution to support Mickey.

This was a wonderful story about a young boy who is deaf as he navigates the educational system. It is a beautiful story of friendship and support – he is supported by his Mother, his friends and his teachers as they look at ways to support his learning and social engagement. I loved how his team of supporters came together to brainstorm a solution for Mickey. This is a great book for young readers to educate, and to inspire other children just like Mickey. It was easy to read and the illustrations were lovely.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Mascot Books.

About the Author

Born and raised in Chicago, Michelle Wagner was always a very positive and outgoing woman. Her energetic love for children and zest for life was admired by everyone who knew her. Michelle is a realtor whose career background involved restaurants and always helping other people. She has dedicated time and support to charities and events to help other children with hearing loss and assist families as they work through the different approaches to raising a special needs child in a typical environment.

You can connect with her on her website and Instagram.

The Giveaway!

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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 Story Orchestra: Carnival of the Animals

Discover the world of Carnival of the Animals in this musical reimagining of this celebrated suite for children – push the button in each scene to hear the sounds of an orchestra playing from Camille Saint-Saëns’ score.

About The Story Orchestra: Carnival of the Animals

One day, two brothers discover a magical animal kingdom behind their bookcase. They are greeted by the royal lion with his shaggy mane; ask for directions from an old lonely tortoise; take a ride on some lumbering elephants; topple a skeleton of dinosaur bones; and swim among a school of shimmering fish. If only they could take them all home!

The book includes extracts from ‘The Swan’, ‘Aquarium’, ‘Fossils’, and ‘Finale’ (From Disney’s Fantasia) along with a new story to link the pieces together.

As you journey through the magical scenes, you will press the buttons to hear 10 excerpts from the suite’s music. At the back of the book, find a short biography of the composer, Camille Saint-Saëns, with details about his composition of Carnival of the Animals. You can replay the musical excerpts and read a discussion of the instruments, rhythms and musical techniques that make them so powerful. A glossary defines the musical terms.

The Story Orchestra series brings classical music to life for children through illustrated retellings of classic ballet and program music stories paired with 10-second sound clips of orchestras.

Our Thoughts

When you first glance at this book, you have a strong suspicion it is going to be a treasured keepsake, a special journey for you and your child. Carnival of the Animals does not disappoint.

It has been a long time since I have read a book with my child that has accompanying sounds and music. I forgot how important this sense is when it comes to bringing to life a story. Each sound clip that is associated with a two page spread is a perfect representation of the story – from the Swan (the two pianos sounding like the swans feet paddling along) to the Aviary (with the flute that brings to life a little bird). The back of the book explains each sound that we are hearing in each part of the story.

The story itself is an amazing journey that two brothers take – one that you can easily imagine a child coming up with. They explore the wonders of the animal kingdom – meeting lions, tortoises, elephants, coral reef inhabitants, birds and so much more. The illustrations are rich and colourful, complimenting the story perfectly.

This is a spectacular book that will easily become a family treasure. It is visually stunning (you can’t help but run your hands over the illustrations and cover), the sound clips are a great introduction to classical music and the story will entertain.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

About the Author

Jessica Courtney Tickle​ is an illustrator who graduated from Kingston University in July 2014. Her absolute favorite thing to draw or paint is nature, finding a focus on foliage of any kind as well as children’s stories about adventure and exploration. She also has a penchant for drawing theater from music makers to dancers and even singing animals. Jessica is most influenced by vintage picture books, travel posters, and folk art as well as numerous painters and printmakers.

Katy Flint is an author, editor, and musician, based in London. She studied violin at the University of Southampton, before moving into children’s books. She is the author of the best-selling sound book The Story Orchestra: The Nutcracker, and has worked on many other non-fiction titles—from human bodies to dinosaurs. 

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

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Illumisaurus Book Review

Journey back in time to the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods with Illumisaurus, come face-to-face with prehistory’s most spectacular dinosaurs, plants and animals. Bring this lost world to life with your magic three-color viewing lens.

About Illumisaurus

Journey back in time to the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods with Illumisaurus, come face-to-face with the most spectacular dinosaurs, plants and animals. Bring this lost world to kaleidoscopic life with your magic three-color viewing lens.

With your lens in hand, discover amazing places and the creatures that roamed them.

  • Your green lens reveals a location, spanning 9 land masses across millions of years. Learn how these places transformed to become the habitats on Earth.
  • Your red lens brings to life the dinosaurs. Meet a T. Rex, run with packs of velociraptors and marvel at the gigantic brachiosaurus as you discover how these animals came to rule the Earth.
  • Your blue lens uncovers the wildlife that lived alongside and after the dinosaurs, including dragonflies, woolly mammoths and fungi taller than trees.
  • Fact pages fill in the details and guide you through a world bursting with life and color.

The latest in the bestselling Illumi series, Illumisaurus is a hidden-world adventure with a scientific angle, and the perfect gift for dinosaur enthusiasts. Innovative illustrations from award-winning design duo Carnovsky make this a book like no other, with hundreds of places, plants and creatures to discover on three layers of detailed artwork.
How many dinosaurs will you find on your prehistoric journey?

Our Thoughts

Wow – this was the first thought that went through my head when we opened this book (my son – this is so cool!). The book is dedicated to dinosaurs but told in such an unique manner – using three lens that explore and reveal dinosaurs, the place and the plant life all on the same page.

While the book is visually stunning, it is also full of amazing information about dinosaurs around the world during this time period. We explore Western Europe, Central Asia and Russia, East and Southeast Asia, Middle East and India, Africa, North America, Australia, Antarctica and South America. For each place, we learn about the history (climate, time period, fossils and so much more) while using the green lens to visually bring the place to life. We use the red lens to bring to life the dinosaurs of this region and the blue lens on that page to bring to life the plant life. We turn the page to learn about each of the species, meaning behind their name and how many million years ago it lived. They also include a dinosaur discovery guide (our kids found it amazing that there was a dinosaur discovery close to where we visited family in Zimbabwe!).

Illumisaurus is a stunning, well written book for children (and their parents) to explore and learn about these incredible creatures that roamed our Earth so many years ago. There is so much to learn and explore in this book, your child will spend hours on each page with each lens discovering new dinosaurs and plant life.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

About the Author

Milan-based design duo Carnovsky was started by Silvia Quintanilla and Francesco Rugi in 2007. They have gained wide recognition for their RGB project, first displayed in 2010. Their work has been published in magazines around the world, such as VogueWiredFrameWallpaperElle Decor, and Whitewall. Their wallpaper ‘Jungla’ won the 2012 Wallpaper Magazine Design Award for Best Wallpaper.

Lucy Brownridge is an author and editor of children’s books based in London. She writes books for children about history of art, history, animals, and science. She has an MA in history of art from the Courtauld Institute of Art and a BA in history of art from the University of Bristol. 

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

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Copycat Science Book Review

Step in the shoes of the world’s greatest scientists in Copycat Science.

About Copycat Science

This unique book of simple and safe STEM-related experiments and activities is presented in fun comic strip style. Each experiment or activity follows a cartoon life history of a figure from science, math’s or engineering so that the reader can relate their experiment to science done by actual people.

This graphic, comic style book puts an emphasis on fun, and encourages readers to try it out at home, while the diverse range of scientists included will inspire all readers to become hands on.

Our Thoughts

I love the sciences and feel strongly that it is so important for children to be exposed to the topics at a young age. Science should be fun (because it is!) and age appropriate, find what engages your child and go with it.

Copycat Science is a fun, engaging book for youth that connects with them in a way they can appreciate – a comic/cartoon style. It is written in a fun and easy style that makes it easy for young readers to follow along with (and parents too!) but still provides key concepts and figures. Each two page spread features a scientist on the first page and an experiment on the second page. Visually the illustrations are excellent and typical of a comic strip.

Some of the scientists you may know, but others will be new to you – I never knew about Laura Bassi ‘the First Lady of Physics’ or Ibn Al-Haytham, the ‘Arabian Visionary’ (so not only were we learning about science but also about history). The experiments were easy to re-create and for the most part, you can complete them with items found around your home. I loved this aspect, because there is nothing worse than coming home with a book of experiments to have to go back out to get supplies.

Copycat Science is a fun, engaging new way to get your child interested in the sciences and getting hands on at home.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

About the Author

Mike Barfield is a writer, poet, performer, songwriter, ukulele player, and cartoonist. He has written extensively for TV and radio – with credits as diverse as Spitting Image, The Dennis the Menace and Gnasher Show and five years on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. His cartoon feature Apparently has appeared in the pages of Private Eye for over 20 years, and his drawings have been on display in the Cartoon Museum, the V & A, the Museum of London, and Nigella Lawson’s downstairs loo.

His Destroy This Book series (published by Buster Books) has been sold around the world, starting with the Destroy This Book In The Name of Science! The Element in the Room (Lawrence King, 2018) which was shortlisted for the Blue Peter Book Awards 2019.

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

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