Tag Archives: family

#blogbookaday: Alma and How She Got Her Name

4 May

AlmaSummary:  “If you ask her, Alma Sofia Esperanza José Pura Candela has way too many names: six! How did such a small person wind up with such a large name? Alma turns to Daddy for an answer and learns of Sofia, the grandmother who loved books and flowers; Esperanza, the great-grandmother who longed to travel; José, the grandfather who was an artist; and other namesakes, too. As she hears the story of her name, Alma starts to think it might be a perfect fit after all — and realizes that she will one day have her own story to tell. In her author-illustrator debut, Juana Martinez-Neal opens a treasure box of discovery for children who may be curious about their own origin stories or names.” (Taken from Goodreads)

Review: A little girl with a big name becomes the protagonist of this story as her father tells her about the family members she was named after. Alma soon realizes that she’s a little bit of each family member and a little bit all her own and that her name fits perfectly.

Personal Reaction: Juana Martinez-Neal does an amazing job of weaving Alma’s family story as her father tells Alma about all the people she was named for. I loved how after each little story, Alma embraced that part of her name – realizing that she is like many of her ancestors. I loved the pencil sketches that at times look like Alma herself was drawing them – with words written in Spanish on the map and her drawings (a touch that many Spanish-speaking families will enjoy, I hope). I connected with this story in that my middle name (although I only have one) was chosen because my parents knew a number of strong women that shared the same name. After doing some work on Ancestry.com, we found some old family names that my brother has chosen for his own children, which makes me so happy – that feeling of family and strength.

Title: Alma and How She Got Her Name
Author: Juana Martinez-Neal
Illustrator: Juana Martinez-Neal
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Publication Date: April 10, 2018


#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!

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#blogbookaday: Love, Mama

26 Apr

Love MamaSummary:  “With a heartwarming story and tender illustrations, Jeanette Bradley’s debut picture book Love, Mama is perfect for Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, and any day when a child needs a reminder of the strength of a mother’s love.

When Mama leaves her young penguin Kipling, he knows she’ll return home soon—yet he still can’t help but miss her. After all, Pillow Mama won’t read, Picture Mama won’t laugh, and Snow Mama is too cold to cuddle.

But then Kipling receives a special delivery from Mama, including a note that reads:

My love for you stretches across the wide ocean, 
through day and night, 
from earth to sky 
and back again.

And Kipling knows that no matter where Mama is, he is loved. Soon, Mama comes home, and Kipling ends the day where he belongs—right in her arms.” (Taken from Goodreads)

Review: This is such a sweet little story about a mama’s love for her baby, even when she was far away – and how that love can travel across distance until mama was able to come back home again. I loved the adorable little baby penguin with his red rubber boots and striped scarf and Mama’s cute little care package filled with all of his favorite things. This would be a cute story for a Mother’s Day storytime or a bedtime snuggle story!

Personal Reaction: You can’t find much cuter books that parent and child stories of love and this is no exception! Kipling (an adorable name) waits patiently for his mama to return home from a long trip and there is no replacement for his mama while he waits. I think my favorite part had to be the note she wrote him, “My love for you stretches across the wide ocean, through day and night, from earth to sky and back again.” And feels reminiscent of Love You Forever by Robert Munsch, a book many moms have loved for years.

Title: Love, Mama
Author: Jeanette Bradley
Illustrator: Jeanette Bradley
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Publication Date: January 2, 2018


#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!

Top Ten Tuesday: Frequently Used Words To Describe Middle Grade Titles

24 Apr

This is a little something different, rather than rattling off a list of books, I spent some time really thinking about the words used in middle grade fiction and here are ten that are (I believe) fairly commmon:

  1. Family
  2. Friends
  3. Overcome
  4. Invisible
  5. School
  6. Diverse
  7. Coming-of-Age
  8. Hope
  9. Belonging
  10. Identity

Middle grade fiction is about figuring out where a character fits in their world – within in family, friends, and school. Realistic fiction titles often involve overcoming odds, hope for the future and belonging. With diverse characters and coming-of-age stories, middle grade fiction is full of finding your identity and learning where you fit in the world.


TTT-Big2Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl.

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