Thursday, September 20, 2018

Eraser by Anna Kang and Christopher Weyant

by Anna Kang 
Illustrated by Christopher Weyant
Published Sept. 1, 2018 
Two Lions
Hardcover Picture Book

Goodreads Summary
Eraser is always cleaning up everyone else’s mistakes. Except for Ruler and Pencil Sharpener, none of the other school supplies seem to appreciate her. They all love how sharp Pencil is and how Tape and Glue help everyone stick together. Eraser wants to create so that she can shine like the others. She decides to give it a try, but it’s not until the rubber meets the road that Eraser begins to understand a whole lot about herself.

Inspired by a school essay their daughter Kate wrote in the third grade, the author and illustrator behind Theodor Seuss Geisel Award–winner You Are (Not) Small have created a desktop drama about figuring out who you are, finding happiness, and the importance of second, third, and maybe even fourth chances.

My Thoughts
This book tackles the themes of finding ones purpose and value and puts it in the cutest book! Poor eraser thinks that she meant for more than just being on the "cleanup crew".  She is snubbed by some of the other school tools for not being creative so she decides to leave and ends up in the trash bin. There she meets several rough drafts who sing her praises and show her how valuable she really is. 
I really enjoyed this story and I think kids will too. It reminded me a lot of one of my favorites, Exclamation Mark by Amy Krouse Rosenthal where exclamation mark feels that he is inferior to all the other forms of punctuation. This story lends itself to lots of discussion or debate with young readers. 
The illustrations are fabulous with each school tool character having a unique personality. Pencil feels superior since he is called upon to create. Glue sneezes a lot because he is all "clogged up", and scissors makes sure to always walk. 
The ending is very satisfying as the team of tools works together to create a great project. 

I would recommend this book most for grades 2-4. 

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Activity kit here

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Am I Yours? by Alex Latimer

Am I Yours? 
by Alex Latimer
Published Sept. 1, 2018
Peachtree Publishers
Hardcover Picture Book
Review copy provided by publisher

Goodreads Summary
A heartwarming story of community, family, and finding your way home
A group of friendly dinosaurs helps a lost egg search for its parents after it's been blown out of its nest. But if the little egg is to be reunited with its family, first they must discover what kind of dinosaur lies inside. What does that egg look like inside its shell? Surely, there must be a way to tell!
This fun and unique tale featuring Alex Latimer's signature bold art style will keep dinosaur lovers and fans of Are You My Mother? enthusiastically following along and guessing who is inside the shell.

My Thoughts
Poor little dinosaur egg just wants to find his parents. But time after time he is found by other kinds of dinosaurs. 
Told in rhyming verse, it makes for a fun and interesting read aloud. 
Alex Latimer exposes young readers to rich vocabulary throughout this tale. For example, they will read words like beneath, lovingly, trotting, and ambled. Each dinosaur describes themselves to the little egg. Some have crests, long necks and LOTS of teeth, but none of them look like the dinosaur inside the little egg. Kids will be on the edge of their seats to see if baby dinosaur finds his folks.
The illustrations are bright and colorful with mixed textures.The dinosaurs are not scary, but not overly cutesy. 

Image from
I would recommend this book for grades K-2. It would make a great companion to Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman. 

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Friday, September 7, 2018

Sammy's Spooktacular Halloween by Mike Petrik

Sammy's Spooktacular Halloween 
by Mike Petrik
Published July, 2018
Two Lions
Hardcover Picture Book
Review copy provided by publisher

Goodreads Summary
Sammy loves Halloween: the candy, the pumpkins, the scares. So when he gets the chance to be in charge of the family’s next haunted house, he gets right to work—even though it’s only November. Suddenly Sammy’s inventions are scare-ifying his family day and night, even on Christmas and Easter! Sammy knows he’s on his way to making a spooktacular haunted house, but his family isn’t so sure they can take a full year of his tricks…

My Thoughts
Oh boy does Sammy love Halloween! He is determined to make Halloween last all year long and goes a bit overboard with some of his scary tricks. After he puts out the 4th of July barbecue with water while pretending to be Frankenstein, his family has finally had enough. His siblings decide that not all of his ideas were bad and they team up to work together to create the best haunted house by Halloween.

The cartoonish illustrations will be very appealing to young readers. The characters have big heads and eyes on thinner bodies and the pages are filled with bright color.

I would recommend Sammy's Spooktacular Halloween most for grades 1-3.

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Publishers Weekly

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Delivery Bear by Laura Gehl and Paco Sordo

Delivery Bear 
by Laura Gehl 
Illustrated by Paco Sordo
Published September 1, 2018
Albert Whitman Company
Hardcover Picture Book
32 Pages
Review copy provided by publisher

Goodreads Summary
Zogby wants to work for Fluffy Tail Cookies as a delivery animal—but he’s a bear and all the other animals are cute bunnies. Zogby tries to pretend to be a bunny by wearing bunny ears, putting on whiskers, and adding a fluffy tail. But he still scares the customers! When Zogby realizes being himself is best, can he find a way to stand out and get the job?

My Thoughts
Poor Zogby has wanted to be a delivery animal since he was just a cub. When he spots an advertisement for Fluffy Tail Cookies, he quickly applies. Although he does not fit the mold, Zogby is undaunted and tries to be the best delivery bear he can be. Unfortunately his mere presence scares the small animals he delivers to and they scream and run away. Can Zogby prove that he is not a scary predator, but just a harmless deliver bear? 

The illustrations are fun and colorful. The characters are all very sweet and appeal to young readers who will be rooting for Zogby for sure. 
I would recommend Delivery Bear most for grades K-2. 

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Monday, September 3, 2018

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? September 3, 2018

Please visit the amazing blogs: Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers who host this terrific meme each week.

Here is my reading from the past few weeks. Click on the book covers to learn more about the books. 

LOVED this one! Review coming soon!

Really love this early reader series.

So Good!! Grades 5-8

Oh my heart!

Currently Reading


What are you reading friends?

Thursday, August 30, 2018

It's Show and Tell Dexter by Lindsay Ward

It's Show and Tell Dexter 
by Lindsay Ward
Published July 17, 2018
from Two Lions
32 pages
Review copy provided by publisher

Goodreads Summary
Dexter T. Rexter is going to school. But will anyone like him?
Tomorrow is the biggest event ever in Dexter’s life: his best friend, Jack, is taking him to school for Show and Tell Day! Dexter has been getting ready for weeks. But now he’s a little nervous. What if the other kids don’t like him? So Dexter decides to come up with a plan. He’ll wear a costume. Dinosaurs in bunny ears look good, right? He’ll recite state capitals starting with…uh…ah…er. Then he realizes something. He can’t dance. He can’t recite things. He doesn’t have ANY skills. What’s a dino to do?
This comical, interactive tale of belonging, friendship, anticipation, and first-day-at-school jitters lets readers experience the excitement and nervousness along with Dexter—and even offer him a little advice along the way.

My Thoughts
This is "Dexter" book #2. I wrote about Don't Forget Dexter a little while back and just loved it. Now Dexter is back and is getting ready for show and tell. Well at least he hopes that his boy, Jack, will choose to bring him to share at show and tell. Dexter gets himself all worked up trying to find just the right costume, dance, other thing to better his chances of getting chosen. 
You will get no spoilers from me, but I will tell you that readers will be happy with the ending. 
This book offers young readers an opportunity to explore feelings such as worry or anxiety. It would lend itself to meaningful discussions. 

I would recommend It's Show and Tell Dexter for grades K-2.  

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One lucky winner will receive a copy of both Dexter T. Rexter books--Don’t Forget Dexter! and It’s Show and Tell, Dexter!, courtesy of Two Lions (U.S. addresses). Enter in the rafflecopter below. 

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Thursday, August 16, 2018

If Polar Bears Disappeared by Lily Williams

If Polar Bears Disappeared 
by Lily Williams
Expected publication Aug. 28, 2018
Roaring Brook Press
40 pages
Review copy provided by publisher

Goodreads Summary
The freezing ecosystem in the far north of the globe is home to many different kinds of animals. They can be

Strong, like a walrus
Tough, like a lemming
Resilient, like an arctic fox

But no arctic animal is as iconic as the polar bear.
Unfortunately, the endangered polar bear is threatened with extinction due to rapid climate change that is causing the ice where it hunts/lives to melt at an alarming rate. This book uses accessible, charming art to explore what would happen if the sea ice melts, causing the extinction of polar bears, and how it would affect environments around the globe.

My Thoughts
There is a lot of talk about "climate change" and "global warming" in the news. These terms can be hard for kids (and some adults) to understand. This book takes a look at what could happen if enough polar ice melted so polar bears would become extinct. Readers will learn about the ripple effect of too much melted ice including the impact on other species and the land. The information is not glossed over, but is presented honestly using the appropriate scientific terminology. 
The text is long enough to provide information, but is not too wordy and is accompanied by illustrations of polar animals and polar ecosystems. Diagrams and cross sections of the land showing where animals live, help readers to understand the information. 
The back matter includes a glossary, more information about the arctic and ways to help save polar bears. 
I think kids will enjoy learning about what could happen if one species became extinct. I would recommend If Polar Bears Disappeared for ages 7-10. 

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