43305327. sx318 My Mommy, My Mama, My Brother, and Me

Expected Publication October 15, 2019 by Nimbus Publishing

5 Stars: 

This is a beautiful story of a family exploring the beach.. The two kids find so much they have questions about, and the people who know the beach well are more than happy to listen to their questions and tell them things about the items, such as sea glass or sea urchins. Their mothers are very clear that they can only bring one thing home, so they have a huge decision to make. I loved the text of the story. It had a wonderful rhyming cadence that made it easy to read. The illustrations were beautiful. They were warm, a bit muted and very nostalgic. My grandson and I talked a lot about the illustrations and what he found in them. Absolutely beautiful and enjoyable little story. The other wonderful thing about this book is that it is a same sex couple. This books just illustrates how normal this is and how the two children don’t even think twice about having two moms. I wish everyone felt that way.

42478855. sx318 Seagull Sid: and the Naughty Things His Seagulls Did! by Dawn McMillan, Ross Kinnaird (Illustrations)

Published June 12th 2019 by Dover Publications

4 Stars:

This was a great story full of great illustrations, a rhyming story, some repetition and wonderful Seagull characters that want their beach back. Seagull Sid and his friends were tired of humans coming to the beach, leaving their garbage behind and not taking care of the environment. They came up with a rather nasty way to get the humans to leave their beach alone. Many reviewers commented that this was a disgusting story and did not like it at all. Reading this to a 6 year old, he thought it was hilarious. He loved seeing someone who was doing something upsetting to the seagulls get pooped on. He is already a pretty environmentally aware kid and does not leave garbage and other stuff lying around in nature, so he had no issue about the humans learning a lesson the smelly way. The illustrations were cute and cartoonish which was also very appealing to my grandson. We liked it, although there were a few bumps in the poetry as the metre changed a few times, but overall, we enjoyed this story together. I received a copy of this book from the publisher upon request. The rating, ideas and opinions shared are my own.

43822419. sx318 Who Stole the Hazelnuts? by Marcus Pfister

Expected publication: September 3rd 2019 by NorthSouth Books

3 Stars:

The premise of this story is about making accusations when you have no reason or evidence. Squirrel loses three hazelnuts, and he assumes one of his forest friends must’ve stolen them. So he goes around accusing each one of them. They all deny taking them and are upset with their friend. Eventually, Squirrel finds the missing nuts tucked under some leaves, not stolen after all. His friends are upset with him. He does apologize, but that is it. He does not show that he is sorry, he just goes off and eats his nuts. The ending could have been handled differently, maybe sharing your hazelnuts with your friends, showing you are sorry for blaming them when it was your fault you couldn’t find them. I liked the rhyming flow of the story and it was easy to read aloud to my grandchildren. The illustrations looked like watercolor, and the animals definitely were different but the kids liked them. They were quite interested in the squirrel as it looked like he has hands at the end of his ears. Overall this was a cute story and I would have rated it higher if the resolution and apology had been handled better.

37828835. sx318 Your First Day of Circus School by Tara Lazar, Melissa Crowton (Illustrator)

Published June 4, 2019 by Tundra Books

3.5 Stars:

Your First Day of Circus School by Tara Lazar with illustrations by Melissa Crowton is a fun and different take on a child’s first day of school. A young boy is awakened by his older brother. The story takes the reader through all the things a child will encounter upon their first day at school but with a circus twist. (i.e. the bus is a clown car, new clothes are circus clothes, the big, tall kid is a circus elephant and so on). The best thing about it all is that his brother is there with him, making sure he is okay along the way. This was a very imaginative story with fun illustrations. The book is a take on school readiness and how simple the transition can be especially if you have a big brother to escort you. There are some giggles and some things that I explained along the way, but overall, my grandchildren seemed to enjoy this story.

42366211. sx318 How to Catch a Dinosaur by Adam Wallace, Andy Elkerton (Illustrations)

Expected publication: September 3, 2019 by Sourcebooks Wonderland

4.5 Stars:

My grandson loved this story. He loves dinosaurs and science/inventions so this was right up his alley. A young boy has set his sights on winning his school’s upcoming science fair. His plan is to catch a dinosaur. He makes plans and with the help of his friends, they might just make this dream a reality. The excited dinosaur hunters head to the local park to try their luck at catching just one dinosaur. Along the way they discover clues that let them know they are heading in the right direction. Are they going to be successful? Will they win first prize, a bright red shiny bike?

The illustrations are very well done. They show expression and emotion on the faces of the children. They are animated and make the search look real. Unfortunately the text was not quite as good. The cadence of the rhymes was inconsistent with some great pages, then some awkward verses. As the reader I think it bothered me more than my grandson who was listening to the story. He really enjoyed it. He liked the illustrations and the idea that they were hunting for a dinosaur, even though he kept telling me that dinosaurs don’t live on earth anymore, it is just pretend. He asked me to “keep this one so I can read it to him again when he comes over this week.” A definite keeper.

All of these books were provided by the publisher through Netgalley. The rating, ideas and opinions shared are my own. When applicable, I have included comments or reactions from my grandchildren, aged 3 and almost 6.