Tag Archives: animals

#blogbookaday: Life

14 Jan

32333298Summary:  “Cynthia Rylant and Brendan Wenzel explore the beauty and tenacity of life.

Life begins small, then grows…

There are so many wonderful things about life, both in good times and in times of struggle. Through the eyes of the world’s animals—including elephants, monkeys, whales, and more—Cynthia Rylant offers a moving meditation on finding beauty around us every day and finding strength in adversity. Brendan Wenzel’s stunning landscapes and engaging creatures make this an inspiring and intriguing gift for readers of all ages.” (Taken from Goodreads)

Review: The text and illustrations of this book are both absolutely gorgeous. With simple, poetic verse and soft landscapes with adorable animals from around the world displayed this book celebrates life and the natural world. This story would work well for young children, but could also work with elementary school age children learning about biomes or for middle school and high school students to talk about perseverance even through rough patches and changes.

Personal Reaction: I adore this story and I think it will be added to my personal collection as soon as I can get to a bookstore. I’m a huge fan of Cythina Rylant, author of the Henry & Mudge series as well as titles like The Relatives Came and Missing May. The text in this book is simple, yet powerful, sparse, yet full of meaning. As I said, I really enjoy these illustrations with a wash of colors and if you don’t smile when you see some of these animals’ faces – I don’t know what’s wrong with you!

Title: Life
Author: Cynthia Rylant
Illustrator: Brendan Wenzel
Publisher: Beach Lane Books
Publication Date: June 27, 2017

#blogbookaday (1)This is a new idea I’m trying on my blog this year that was inspired by @donalynbooks and @heisereads – to provide a brief review of a picture book every day of 2018. You’ll get a brief summary of the story, a review of the content, illustrations and theme, my personal reaction to the book and all the pertinent publication information! Enjoy!


Play With Stickers & Learn Cool Facts with Sticky Facts (What Will You Find?)

11 Jan

sticky factsIf you’re looking for something really interactive and interesting to give to your favorite 6-10 year old, look no further that Workman Publishing’s new series – Sticky Facts: What Will You Find? With three titles already available and more on the way, these are great nonfiction titles that really get kids involved in their reading!

Workman Publishing sent me the first three titles to review and I must say, I was having an awesome time learning really cool facts and could totally see some of the kids I know really gravitating towards these activity books.

The basic concept is pretty easy:


Read a question, then peel the sticker to reveal the answer.


Sticker and draw on the activity pages to make them your own!


Once all the stickers have been peeled, remove the backing to uncover even more fun facts!

What I really liked about these books was that it was both a way for kids to learn new facts about the world around, but it also reinforced the ideas they already had by allowing kids to draw and add stickers to pages that had basic prompts to interact with. Placing stickers onto the same sticker-shaped-space on a page is great for really little kids, but these titles allow kids to interact more with the variety of stickers, the facts that go allow with them and by allowing them to create their own narrative for each prompt.

I loved the activity book about animals – no matter how many animal facts I learn, I always like learning more! The construction book would be great for a rough and tumble kid who might not be the biggest fan of reading – with lots of great tools and trades and bright construction-orange pages you can’t go wrong. As for the book about New York City – the perfect way to introduce a city before visiting – with landmarks, museums, food and more, this would make a perfect sightseeing guide for kids!

These are awesome titles published by Workman Publishing and would make great gifts for kids from age 6-10, but I really think the 6-8 year old crowd would be absolutely perfect! If you’re looking to buy these titles check out Indiebound which will connect you with local independent bookstores in your area. Otherwise, you can find it at other major book retailers.


Picture Book Month: Animals

9 Nov

9 (1)A Sick Day for Amos McGee is the sweet story of a zookeeper who not only takes care of the animals at the zoo, but truly loves them and cares for them. So one day, when Amos is too sick to go to work, the animals take the bus to his house to take care of him when he needs it most. Like many books written by the husband/wife duo, this is a quiet story with woodblock printing and pencil drawings that allow you to focus on the characters emotions.
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Picture Book Month: Farmers

7 Nov

7 (1)Farming is serious business, but when the farmer never smiles, the animals try their best to get him to at least chuckle. But, nothing seems to make the farmer smile – nothing! So with that, the animals decide to leave the farm looking for a place that will take them in and is more fun. The farmer is always serious, but with his animals missing, he becomes very sad and goes out to search for them. When he sees them wandering in the woods, he pleads with them to come home, snickering to himself as he thinks about “cows and chickens runnin’ wild in the woods”. When the animals hear that little snicker they agree to come home and spend their days making the Farmer laugh even more.
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Picture Book Month (Nonfiction Monday): Humor

6 Nov

6 (1).jpgMove over princesses, pink isn’t just for you! Jess Keating brings together animals from across the globe that all have something in common – they’re pink! With fun and weird facts that I was sharing with boyfriend as I learned them! With an easy-to-read format, this book would be great for reluctant readers who are uncomfortable with full pages of text. With easy to share facts and full page photographs, this is the perfect book for kids who love Guinness Book of World Records and animal encyclopedias!
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