Tag Archives: family

#blogbookaday: Ruby’s Chinese New Year

16 Feb

1.jpgSummary:  “In this picture book celebrating Chinese New Year, animals from the Chinese zodiac help a little girl deliver a gift to her grandmother.

Ruby has a special card to give to her grandmother for Chinese New Year. But who will help her get to grandmother’s house to deliver it? Will it be clever Rat, strong Ox, or cautious Rabbit? Ruby meets each of the twelve zodiac animals on her journey. This picture book includes back matter with a focus on the animals of the Chinese zodiac.” (Taken from Goodreads)

Review: This is cute introduction to the Chinese New Year celebrations that Ruby celebrates with her family and also introduces the Chinese Zodiac animals with a little back matter for explanation. It’s fairly simple and straightforward and would be a great title to read with preschool and early elementary age kids. The illustrations are bright and friendly, but my only concern with this story is that little Ruby does not necessarily “look” Chinese. When talking about own voices and writing books that kids can see themselves, this would be a great place for kids that celebrate Chinese New Year to see themselves in the story, quite literally – but I feel that the opportunity was lost. Granted, the illustrator’s style is very much his own and all the eyes of the animals are very similar to Ruby’s so it might just be a styling choice.

Personal Reaction: I really enjoyed that the publisher included material about the Chinese Zodiac as well a few simple crafts that kids could create. I’m always looking for picture books that simply explain holidays and celebrations that I’m not familiar with and this is no exception!

Title: Ruby’s Chiese New Year
Author: Vickie Lee
Illustrator: Joey Chou
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. Books for Young Readesr
Publication Date: December 26, 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!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Picture Book Love

13 Feb

Here’s a list of picture books that focus on love – perfect for Valentine’s Day (or any day you want to spread some love)!

picture book love.png

  1. Love by Matt de la Peña, illustrated by Loren Long

  2. That’s Me Loving You by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, illustrated by Teagan White

  3. Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox, illustrated by Helen Oxenbury

  4. No Matter What by Emma Dodd

  5. Little You by Richard Van Camp, illustrated by Julie Flett

  6. One Love by Cedella Marley and Bob Marley

  7. Someday by Alison McGhee, illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds

  8. The I LOVE YOU Book by Todd Parr

  9. Besos for Baby: A Little Book of Kisses by Jen Arena, illustrated by Blanca Gomez

  10. I Wish You More by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld


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.

#blogbookaday: A Couch for Llama

8 Feb

35658992.jpgSummary:  “When a family finds a surprising new home for an old couch, a llama becomes the happiest creature of all. The Lago family really loves their couch. It’s perfect for reading, snuggling, playing, and jumping. But all good things must come to an end, and, one day, the family realizes the time has come to replace it. As they drive home with their brand-new bright-red couch, though, it gets knocked off the top of their car into a field . . . where a llama tries to make sense of this new thing. At first confused—It doesn’t talk! It doesn’t taste good! It doesn’t budge!—the llama soon realizes how comfy the couch is and settles right in. Can the family get its furniture back—and keep llama happy, too? Leah Gilbert has written and illustrated a warm picture book that touches both the heart and the funny bone.”(Taken from Goodreads)

Review: I love the description of the Lago’s family couch – so comfortable, well-loved and filled with memories because my family had a couch that was very similar! But, as the Lago family drives home with a new couch, it flies off the car and lands in a meadow with a llama who just isn’t too sure what to make of this new meadow-mate. After experimenting a little, the llama finds that he absolutely loves the couch, right when the family comes back to claim it. This adorable story will surely make the family giggle as the llama tries everything to better understand this couch! The illustrations are expressive and fun in a cartoon style – one of my favorite pictures is when the llama is eating the couch and all you see of the Canadian geese in the field is their heads – their eyes are so cute!

Personal Reaction: I thought this book was a lot of fun to read and I think that this would be a huge hit for preschool and early elementary age kids – giggles galore! Plus, when you’ve got an interracial family, it makes me that much more happy to see a book that’s about a family experience that could be any family. This is a fun story and who knows, maybe you can visit a llama farm to check out some real llamas after reading it! (keep an eye out for an old blue couch in the field if you go!)

Title: A Couch for Llama
Author: Leah Gilbert
Illustrator: Leah Gilbert
Publisher: Sterling Children’s Books
Publication Date: February 6, 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!

#blogbookaday: Grand Canyon

29 Jan

29102876.jpgSummary:  “Rivers wind through earth, cutting down and eroding the soil for millions of years, creating a cavity in the ground 277 miles long, 18 miles wide, and more than a mile deep known as the Grand Canyon.

Home to an astonishing variety of plants and animals that have lived and evolved within its walls for millennia, the Grand Canyon is much more than just a hole in the ground. Follow a father and daughter as they make their way through the cavernous wonder, discovering life both present and past.

Weave in and out of time as perfectly placed die cuts show you that a fossil today was a creature much long ago, perhaps in a completely different environment. Complete with a spectacular double gatefold, an intricate map and extensive back matter.” (Taken from Goodreads)

Review: This book would be the perfect choice for families visiting the Grand Canyon on vacation, for school reports, or for kids who lean toward nonfiction rather than fiction titles. Jason Chin does a great job of creating a strong narrative of a father and daughter hiking from the Inner Gorge to the top of the Grand Canyon as they experience how the Grand Canyon came to be showing different time periods throughout history to explain the habitats, including the climate, wildlife and rock layers. Jason’s beautiful watercolors show details of rock, flora, fauna and more through each page and in a similar style to Jan Brett, you don’t want to miss the the background and borders of each page as he provides even more in depth explanation of the Canyon.

Personal Reaction: I have yet to visit the Grand Canyon, although its on my list, and I felt that this book gave me so much information of what I would see when I do get a chance to visit.  I especially liked that the father and daughter were (and I’m assuming here) Asian American – it doesn’t necessarily affect the contents, but it’s refreshing to see. The information is easily accessible for children and at the same time I also learned a lot about this beautiful part of the country that I knew little about.

Title: Grand Canyon
Author: Jason Chin
Illustrator: Jason Chin
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Publication Date: February 21, 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!

#blogbookaday: All the Way to Havana

25 Jan

31144995.jpgSummary:  “Together, a boy and his parents drive to the city of Havana, Cuba, in their old family car. Along the way, they experience the sights and sounds of the streets–neighbors talking, musicians performing, and beautiful, colorful cars putt-putting and bumpety-bumping along. In the end, though, it’s their old car, Cara Cara, that the boy loves best.” (Taken from Goodreads)

Review: A trip to visit a brand-new, baby cousin begins and ends with father and son tinkering with their beloved old car, Cara Cara. When they get the car running, the family, neighbors and friends pile in headed to the big city as they pass beautiful cars in all the colors of the rainbow, but in the end the little boy loves his noisy, old car the best and can’t wait to be old enough to drive it himself. What I loved about the illustrations in this story is that they combined a number of media to create a realistic portrayal of life in Havana with pencil, photo overlay and digital color.

Personal Reaction: This book felt to me like being transplanted into Cuba, I could feel the warm, salty wind coming from the ocean, hear the sound of the old cars rumbling through the streets and smell the delicious food at the baby’s party. The sights and sounds are made real in the poetry of this little boy’s tale and the illustrations immediately place me there. This was a fun read with great onomatopoeia and illustrations of cars we rarely see on the roads today.

Title: All the Way to Havana
Author: Margarita Engle
Illustrator: Mike Curato
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. Books for Young Readers
Publication Date:  August 29 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!

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