Category: childrens books

12 Days of Christmas Book Review

Celebrate the magic of Christmas time with this well-loved traditional poem, The Twelve Days of Christmas, beautifully illustrated by Laura Hawthorne.

About 12 Days of Christmas

Take a walk through each beautiful scene brimming with details that will remind you of the sights, sounds and smells of Christmas. Perfect to read with your true love.

This is the second title in the series, The Christmas Choir, which beautifully illustrates beloved Christmas carols. Don’t miss Silent Night, the first title in the series.  

Our Thoughts

12 Days of Christmas is a beautifully illustrated children’s book featuring the famous song. It had us singing and laughing as we prepare for the holiday season. We have read this book several times over the last two weeks (it is my personal favourite song) and each time we have found a way to sing it slightly different and be a little sillier each time. Finding moments of laughter and light with family, especially during a time that has been clouded with COVID, is so important for us right now.

The book also contains a history of the carol, something that I was never aware of and never thought to look into. I had no idea that the carol originated in the 1700s France! There is also an activity at the end of the book that you can do with your child, where you try to find all of the items/people that are mentioned in the song. The illustrations are stunning and bring to life the joy and happiness of Christmas.

This is a beautiful, Christmas treasure that families can read over and over again. It brings light and fun into the home as we prepare for the holiday season and all that comes with it. It also sparks great conversations about Christmas traditions, favourite songs, foods and gifts over the years. We learned so much about each other. This will be a book that you can bring out yearly and enjoy together.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

About the Author

Lara Hawthorne is an illustrator based in Bristol, UK. After graduating from Falmouth University in 2013 where she studied illustration, she has had work shortlisted for the Lowry Children’s Book Award and has written and illustrated Herberto, a picture book published in Portugal, Brazil, Slovenia, France and South Korea. Her other books include The King of Christmas, Carol Ann Duffy’s 2016 Christmas poem, published by Picador, and The Night Flower, published by Big Picture Press. As well as focusing on narrative work, Lara also sells a variety of prints, notebooks and cards. Through Betty & Dupree, her prints are distributed to shops throughout the UK and internationally.

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

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Ways to Say I Love You Book Review

A picture book for younger children celebrating all the ways that creatures on our planet say “I love you.” 

About Ways to Say I Love You

From snuggling garter snakes to big, cozy bear hugs, this book in verse shares how animals that we would expect, and some that we wouldn’t, express affection for each other. Each animal interaction is compared with a similar human one, in blended illustrations composed by the talented Alette Strattoff—showing that we are not so different from our animal neighbors.

Find out more about the animals in the back pages and discover how to say “I love you” in different languages.

Our Thoughts

Especially during this crazy time, it so important to let those in your life know that you love them and there are so many ways to show your love and appreciation. We are always trying to teach our children that we can do little actions each day to make the world a better place and to show our love to our friends (and to our mates as they get older!).

We loved how this book had on one page an example of how animals expressed their love and feelings for each other and on the opposite side was the similar human interaction (our personal favourite – the smelly path that deer’s leave and the baths that humans take). The writing is simple but full of impact and at times left us in giggles. The illustrations are just beautiful and really help bring home the message that animals and humans, we are all the same when it comes to love.

Ways to Say I Love You is a beautiful book for young children as we explore love, ways to express our feelings and how at the end of the day, we are all the same. This would make a beautiful holiday gift this season, especially as we find new ways to share our love and time with out families during COVID.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

About the Author

Marilyn Singer is a multi-award-winning children’s author who has written many books, spanning poetry, picture books, fiction, and non-fiction. Her awards include the 2015 NCTE Award for Excellence in poetry, the Cybil Award for Poetry 2011, and several Children’s Choice and Parents’ Choice Awards, among others. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Alette Straathof is an illustrator who lives and works in Paris, France. She graduated in January 2016 at the Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Alette tries to hide small details in every one of her illustrations for people to discover – see if you can find them all. 

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

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Oliver the Ornament Book Spotlight

iRead Book Tours

Oliver the Ornament is a heartwarming tale of one family’s cherished Christmas ornaments. 

About Oliver the Ornament

Oliver the Ornament is a heartwarming tale of one family’s cherished Christmas ornaments. The story centers on Oliver, who has been with this family since Mom and Dad’s very first date. Years later, Oliver, now injured and bullied, still has the magic of Christmas in his heart. “The story follows Oliver’s excitement for Christmas, his heartbreak, and his determination to overcome all odds to save the day. Oliver, along with his friends, will warm your heart with his kindness, humility, and love for his family and friends. We hope the story will bring families together to tell the stories of their own ornaments and the special meaning that so many of them possess. Because after all, “Every Ornament Tells a Story.”

You can purchase a copy of this book on their website here.

Book Trailer

About the Author

Todd Zimmermann, the creator and author of the “Oliver the Ornament” series, is on a mission to spread kindness and anti-bullying messages within his charming stories. The first story in the series focuses on a little ornament who faces challenges, but is able to overcome all odds to save the day. Charity is at the heart of Oliver the Ornament. A portion of proceeds from the sale of each book will be donated to various children’s charities. Starting with 5% from the first book, 10% from the second book, and increasing to 100% of the seventh book, Oliver the Ornament is committed to making a difference in children’s lives throughout the world.

You can connect with Todd on his website, Twitter and Facebook.

The Giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: This is a spotlight tour, I did not receive compensation for this post. All opinions are my own.

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The Science of Goo! Book Review

The glorious world of goop and gunk this book has it all – from pus, snot, and mucus to mud, snail slime, and sticky plants!

About The Science of Goo!

If you’ve ever wondered how much snot you make, or how spider silk is made, this is the book for you. Full of strange but true science, The Science of Goo! explores all manner of gunge, sludge, ooze, and goo!

Awesome CGI illustrations and stunning photography will show goo in all its glory, while fun trivia and scientific explanations will make you an expert in all things sludgy. For example, did you know that sea cucumbers can vomit their sticky insides when threatened, yet still survive?

The Science of Goo! is here to give you a new appreciation of the weird and wonderful world of gooey matter, in all its many kinds and wherever it shows up.

Our Thoughts

Science is fun, exciting and gross all at the same time. It is so important to get children interested in it at a young age by making science fun, interesting and something that they can relate to. We want to encourage young children to love science so that they don’t give up on it as they move into their pre-teen and teen years.

Kids love gooey, gross, slimy things and this book is full of it! This book teaches us all about fungus, slime, snot, eyeballs, saliva, snails, mucus, pimples and so much more. Each topic in this sixty page, soft cover book has two pages dedicated to it. We learn fast facts, the science behind the goo and even cool facts (I loved this one: In one week, a person makes enough saliva to fill 30 soda cans – gross!). While each page is full of information, it is also engaging with bold photos and colours that will engage your child and want them to learn more. The imagery and colours work well to help guide you through the information so that you don’t become overwhelmed.

We loved The Science of Goo! – it is full of great facts on things we never thought we wanted to know and even encouraged us to learn more. This will make a great gift for that budding scientist in your home.

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

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

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Juan Has the Jitters

A story about inclusion, diversity, and the power of math to help one boy with autism thrive among his peers.

About Juan Has the Jitters

Juan claps his hands to get his Jitters out. They make his tummy swoosh and swirl. His Jitters happen when there are too many people, too much noise, or too many changes to his day. Juan doesn’t like surprises.

Tomorrow there is an athletic event planned at school, which makes Juan very nervous. But his teacher has the perfect solution: math–Juan’s favorite subject! Counting, sorting, and matching help Juan calm his Jitters. By making math part of the day’s athletic games, and by appointing Juan the official judge, his teacher can make sure that Juan will have fun and feel included. The class is calling it the Mathletic Games!

Our Thoughts

Juan Has the Jitters is a very special, important book for young readers, a book that they may find themselves relating to personally.

Juan is a bright young boy with autism. He loves math but some of the other subjects can make him nervous. One of these things that was making him nervous was an athletic event planned at school. Juan marked it on his calendar but it was causing him such stress in the days leading up to the event. He was experiencing jitters – the jitters affect his stomach and causes buzzing in his ears. Juan uses clapping to help him cope with this stress, which I can relate to – when I get nervous or feel overwhelmed I tap my fingers on tables and my toes on the ground as I find it helps to soothe me. His receptive teacher and kind classmates help him through the day by creating the Mathletic Games! Sorting, matching and racing events were played to ensure that Juan felt included and not overwhelmed at any time.

Juan Has the Jitters is a beautiful book that shows the power of inclusion and compassion. This made a huge impact on Juan and while he started the day clapping because of a few jitters by the end he was clapping in fun. He felt that he belongs, which every child should feel. Juan is a bright young boy who has so much to offer his classmates and this was highlighted in his judging skills and attention to detail throughout the event.

Juan Has the Jitters is a great resource for young children to explain the importance of inclusion, kindness and compassion. We all have differences and these should be celebrated. The illustrations are beautiful and match the theme of inclusiveness. This is a such an important topic for young children and this books open up conversations for you to have with your child.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

About the Author

ANETA CRUZ is a pre-K teacher and children’s book author. She holds a credential in early childhood special education, a BA in English literature, and an MFA in creative writing. When she’s not reading, writing, or eating Nutella by the spoonful, she teaches her class of preschoolers how to love books (and other things) as much as she does. She divides her time between the Czech Republic and Southern California, where she lives with her husband, two children, and Poe, the cutest ugly dog in the world.

MIKI YAMAMOTO has been drawing since a very early age, Most of her childhood was spent in her room sketching, coloring, and painting to entertain herself. She studied illustration at Cal State University, Long Beach and has worked for Hallmark Cards, Disney, and Amscan Party. Miki has won numerous awards as a children’s book illustrator. She resides in Southern California with her wigglebutt Aussie, Bella.

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

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