“Dog Loves Drawing”

Louise Yates (author of Dog Loves Books) has written and illustrated a fast-moving story about a dog who receives a sketchbook from his Aunt Dora.  Dog loves books, but he is initially baffled by a book without pictures and words.  Then he figures it out.

Bit by bit, Dog brings characters to life, and sets everyone on an adventure that is stopped by a vicious monster.  Luckily, Dog has an escape route for himself, and a way to make his friends safe.

My daughter really liked this story.  She thought it was funny that Dog liked to draw, and especially liked the different characters that came up in the story.  My daughters are always coloring and such, so for her it was not a stretch to imagine that the characters being drawn were actually coming to life.

The story and drawings are perfect for my 4-year old.  The illustrations weren’t overly detailed, but it brought home the point that Dog was drawing the pictures.  I thought the story was paced just right.  My daughter was caught up in the action and was sad when the story ended.

This would be a great book for a young child (to be read to) or for an older child to read on their own.

I received this book from the publisher through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

“I Like Old Clothes”

This was originally published in 1976, but is being reissued this summer with new illustrations by Patrice Barton.  I don’t remember the original, but this version is certainly delightful.

The poem, by Mary Ann Hoberman, is especially appropriate at this time in my house.  The girls have been wearing a lot of hand-me-downs, recycled clothes, and DIY clothes.  Much like the kids in the book, they think it’s kind of fun to take something and make it their own (or have mom make it into something new – see my experiment here).  I don’t think the girls think much about the life an item of clothing has lived before it comes to them, but the kids in the story sure do.  They don’t want clothes that don’t have a story – they want to try and figure out how the clothes lived before they came to live with them.

It’s a great story and made me think (as a mom) about how thankful I am for friends who pass along clothes, and how I can take something and make it new to my girls.

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I received this book from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

“A Song for My Sister”

Lesley Simpson’s story about a young girl named Mira who wishes for a sister is a great story about how what you wish for may not be exactly what you want at first.  Mira’s wish takes four years to come true.  However, when her sister arrives, all she does is scream….and scream….and scream.

The baby only stops screaming at her naming ceremony eight days after her birth (the family is Jewish), when Mira sings her a song.  This turns into Mira’s second wish, that she and her sister always sing duets – special sister songs that they will make up.

My 4-year old liked this book because she thought it was funny that the baby wouldn’t stop screaming.  She is the baby of our house, so other than the slightly younger kids at daycare, she’s never really around an infant.  She really liked that Mira was the one to get the baby to stop screaming – in fact, I heard her singing Mira’s song as she was getting ready for bed.  She likes it when I sing her to sleep, so I figured that would make an impact.

The illustrations by Tatjana Mai-Wyss are very nice.  There’s plenty of expression in the characters and and you can see the Mira’s frustration with her sister’s screaming.  In fact, in one picture, Mira is supposedly sleeping in her treehouse with underwear in her ears and my daughter wanted to see the underwear!  Of course, she couldn’t see them clearly, but we pretended they were there.

This is probably a book best read to children, as it has a few words that may be difficult for a young reader to pronounce.

I received this book from the publisher through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

“The Lonely Book” – A Book Lover’s Tear Jerker

I will admit that I teared up while reading this book. When I was a little girl, I often wondered what happened to the books in the library.  This story answers that question.

A book is sitting on the shelf, and it is well-loved by all of the kids.  However, it eventually falls from popularity.  A little girl picks up the book and immediately falls in love with it.  As is the case with library books, she has to return it.

The book ends up in the library’s basement, dreaming of the little girl who loved it so well.  And a little girl grows up never quite forgetting the book she loved.

I’m not going to give away the ending, but The Lonely Book by Kate Bernheimer and illustrated by Chris Sheban is a delightful story about the life-cycle of books and the attachments that kids make to the books they love.

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I received this book from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

“The Smiley Book of Colors”

This book, by Ruth Kaiser, is so cute and ingenious.  It’s about how it’s your decision what your attitude is like, but it’s written so simply that kids could definitely understand it.  Plus, each pair of pages is about a different color AND each picture is a smiley face of some sort.  Everything is coordinated…it’s awesome!

I read this with my 4-year old tonight and we spent the majority of the time picking out the smiley faces and determining what they were made of.  She got all of the colors right (except white, which I can understand because it was white letters on a blue page).  I couldn’t turn the page until she had found every smiley and we figured out what the smiley was made out of.

This book would be great for preschoolers and under (to be read to) and probably ok for a kindergartener or first grader to read to a younger sibling.  The message is a good one that could resonate with anyone – even adults.

I received this book from the publisher through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

“Bible Stories for Preschoolers”

This is a group of stories written by Monika Kustra and Betty Free Swanberg.  It is illustrated by Andrezej Chalecki.  My daughters love this book.  They were so excited when it came in the mail that we sat down and read a few of the stories right then.  The stories are beautiful versions of the full-text Bible stories and the pictures work well so that my first grader can tell her younger sister the story without being able to read some of the words.

One thing I like is that after every story, there is a reflection (Family Time), followed by an activity and a short verse to remember.  Our church doesn’t emphasize verse memorization, but I think the recognition of the verses will be useful.  Especially since they can compare their version to my Bible and see that they are the same.

I can see this book lasting a while in our family, especially as the girls learn to read better.   I think it is something that they will treasure and enjoy for years to come.

I received a free copy of this book from Tyndale in exchange for an honest review.

A Children’s Book about Pumpkins – “Fall Pumpkins” by Martha Rustad

This is a cute book about the life cycle of pumpkins – from seeds to pumpkin pie – told from the viewpoint of 2 little kids.  It is about 24 pages long, and beautifully illustrated by Amanda Enright.   It has lots of information about pumpkins in general, which is provided in a way that doesn’t distract from the story.

My girls were already familiar with how pumpkins are grown since we have had them in our garden, so in that respect, it wasn’t a new topic.   But they had fun picking different things out of the story and relating them to our garden.

I let my first grader read the story, and she didn’t have any problem.  There were a couple of words that she needed help with, but she enjoyed the story.  My preschooler liked the pictures and the story.

I received this book via the NetGalley program.  I was not required to provide a positive review.  All opinions are my own.