Book Reviews

Book Review: When’s My Birthday? By Fogliano & Robinson

Once again, Christian Robinson’s illustrations have stolen my attention and heart. I’ve had my eye on this book coming out since the first illustration hints I saw on Robinson’s Instagram. I saved it as an idea for potential gift giving for one of my children, but then it came out this September and who am I kidding, I wanted it for me! Take a peek at this marvelous new collaboration between the delightfully poetic author, Julie Fogliano and the brilliantly clever illustrator, Christian Robinson. Here is When’s My Birthday? Read the full post…

Review & Giveaway! Vampirina At The Beach By Pace & Pham

What a crazy couple weeks of spring we have had. So much sickness and completely missing school and Easter and friends and possibly spring too. But I’m thankful to have a constant pile of new books to look through. Last week I received this book from Disney-Hyperion in hopes that I could review it, and they also offered a really amazing giveaway to one of my readers. How could I turn that down? Thankfully, we liked the story. So let’s take a look at a fun, summery, ballerina beach book, with a crazy unique twist. Here is Vampirina at the Beach by Ann Marie Pace, picture by LeUyen Pham, 2017. (And stay tuned in the post for the fantastic giveaway!) Read the full post…

Review & Giveaway! Happy Dreamer By Peter H. Reynolds

Over a decade ago, I was an illustration and graphic design major, struggling to decide if I could really make it as an artist. I’m not talking about making it as in being successful or even just making a living at it. No, I was and have always struggled with feelings of inadequacy as an artist. I’m the apparently typical, overly critical, self-loathing type of artist who never really loves anything that I create. Why am I telling you this? Well, around that time, I was also extremely obsessed with picture books. I would frequently drive 45 minutes to the nearest big town from my school and get lost in the Barnes & Noble children’s department. It had this amazing forest decoration with benches built into the trees that you could sit with books for hours. I would wander around, grabbing a handful of new books and then hole up to get lost in the picture book world. On one of those trips, I crossed paths with Peter H. Reynolds most recent book, The Dot (2003). The first time I read it, I cried. I was awestruck. It moved me and spoke to me and about me in a way that no other book really has done. I bought it then and there with my limited book purchasing funds. It has traveled with me through design jobs, art jobs, marriage, two kids, three homes, multiple art spaces, and still sits on display above my desk in my tiny art studio in NYC. Every time I look at it, I am reminded to simply create. (But perhaps that is a longer story for another, much deserved post.) But this is where my deep love and admiration for the work of Peter H. Reynolds began.

So today, I am extremely thrilled to not only get to show Peter’s newest book; but also to gift it to someone else! There is something magical about Peter’s books. They don’t just entertain, or educate, or even just tell a story. His books inspire, and encourage, and invite readers to be. This newest book is the epitome of that. It does not hide or disguise its mission. It is bold. This book is Peter and is his invitation to everyone else who is like him, a happy dreamer. Come take a look at Happy Dreamer by Peter H. Reynolds, 2017 (and stay tuned for the giveaway!). Read the full post…

Book Review: La Madre Goose By Elya & Martinez-Neal

Happy New Year everyone! I’m still continuing my sporadic posting thanks to my book project; but as I still have piles upon piles of books that I am loving and hoping to share, I want to pop in with one today. I grabbed this one at a book festival in Brooklyn and we are in love with it! Breathtaking illustrations, vibrant colors, and delightful bilingual nursery rhymes – this book is a must-add to your bookshelf. Come delight in La Madre Goose: Nursery Rhymes for Los Niños by Susan Middleton Elya, illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal, 2016. Read the full post…

Book Review: Each Kindness By Woodson & Lewis

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Friday has finally arrived in a week that has seemed extremely long and exhausting emotionally. Kindness is something our family talks about on a daily basis, but these past few days, it has become an even stronger topic. Defining it. Giving examples. Complimenting on kind actions. And gently pointing out missed chances to show kindness. It is not a surprise that this book has been weighing heavily on my thoughts. When I pulled it off the shelf again this morning, a lump began to form in my throat. This is a heavy book, but not in size. It is a hard book. It does not have a tidy ending. It is deep and challenging. And it is beautiful in story and in pictures. Please come talk about Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by E. B. Lewis, 2012. Read the full post…

Book Review: The Journey By Francesca Sanna

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It has been too long since a review here, and my review pile is dangerously tall as always. This book has been calling my attention for months and today feels like the perfect day to remind us about empathy. To read books that are challenging and, most likely, a window about something we may hopefully never experience ourselves. This book is beautiful, heartbreaking, hopeful, and necessary. Join me in admiring and pondering The Journey by Francesca Sanna, 2016. Read the full post…

Book Review: Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn By Kenard Pak

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Happy fall everyone! (at least for those of us in the Western Hemisphere.) I was hoping to get this book up yesterday, for the actual first day of fall, but time escaped me. Regardless, it still feels incredibly appropriate as the weather around here hasn’t decided to move completely into cooler fall days quite yet. Summer is trying to give a last, weak hurrah while fall begins to show its colors. This book is lovely and a perfect fit for closing out the summer season and stepping into autumn. Take a walk from summer to fall with this inviting conversation between a little child and the participants of nature. Here’s Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn by Kenard Pak, 2016. Read the full post…

Book Review: The King of the Birds By Macam & Nelson

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Happy Monday everyone! I have such an amazing book to share today, I can hardly contain myself. And, tomorrow is actually the book’s publication birthday for the U.S.! Lucky Canada friends have had it on their shelves for a week or so. But as of Tuesday the 13th, we can all snap up a copy.

This book is an excellent read – clever, interesting, and humorous. And the illustrations are fantastic. The story is based on Flannery O’Connor’s life and writings, and tells the story of her addition of a peacock to her already amazing collection of many various types of birds. Be delighted by The King of the Birds by Acree Graham Macam, pictures by Natalie Nelson, 2016. Read the full post…

Book Review: Mad Scientist Academy: The Dinosaur Disaster By Matthew McElligott

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Continuing with my reviews of some of our favorite books off of my daughter’s school summer reading list, count me surprised that this is a solid winner in our home. Dinosaurs, clever monsters, graphic novel format, disasters, and more dinosaurs… this book has won my kids’ hearts. Check out Mad Scientist Academy: The Dinosaur Disaster by Matthew McElligott, 2015. Read the full post…

Book Review: Papillon, The Very Fluffy Kitty By A. N. Kang + Giveaway!

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I’m so excited to share this adorable book about a very fluffy kitty today. Papillon is so incredibly light and fluffy, he can float and fly in the air – a delightful trick that annoys his owner and creates the greatest adventure of his life. It is a silly story, full of darling illustrations, ending on a note of  friendship. Allow me to introduce you to Papillon: The Very Fluffy Kitty by A. N. Kang, 2016. And check out the end of the post for a fun giveaway sponsored by Disney-Hyperion! Read the full post…