Over the last couple of weeks, I have had a lot of opportunity to read with my three year old granddaughter. We have read many books together and she has become an avid connoisseur of books. She does have her own opinions and often shows what she thinks by her actions. I will include those in my reviews. All of the books reviewed here were provided by the publisher through Netgalley. The ratings, opinions and ideas shared are my own.
Duck and Penguin Are Not Friends by Julia Woolf
Published June 6th 2019 by Andersen
Betty and Maud are best friends. They each have a stuffie they love, Duck and Penguin. Duck and Penguin Are Not Friends at all. In fact, when Betty and Maud play well together, Duck and Penguin are behind their backs battling. From hitting, throwing things at each other and even painting one another, they not only make a mess, but send the message that they do not like each other at all. Then, Betty and Maud use them to play Itty-Bitty Baby. When they have a shared distaste for something, they realize that they do have something in common and can be friends. I’m really not sure about this book. When I read it to my granddaughter, she thought it was funny that they were always fighting with each other and that is not a message I want to send to her. The ending, where they realize that they can be friends and play well together is a good one, as it can also show that even if you have a disagreement or don’t get along with someone, it can be turned around. So, I guess I am the fence with this one.
You Are Home with Me by Sarah Asper-Smith, Mitchell Watley
Expected publication: November 12th 2019 by Little Bigfoot
This was a perfect book to read to my granddaughter who loves animals. Each page has a different parent and baby animal, showing where they live. Each beautiful picture is accompanied by a short poem as well as a short fact about either the animal’s habits or their home. The animals were varied, from different locations as well as different species. This is a perfect book to read with a child to help further their love of animals and nature. It is also a beautiful story to share the love of parent and offspring, no matter what species you are from. I read this to my granddaughter and then read it again to both her and her older brother. He also liked the story and the facts about the animals. He also shared some facts that he knew as well. A great book for any library, whether family, public or school.
Aalfred and Aalbert by Morag Hood
Published January 24th 2019 by Two Hoots
This is the story of two aardvarks and a little bird who tries to get them together. Aalfred and Aalbert are both lonely. They are the only aardvarks around, but they have not met. Aalfred slept all day and Aalbert slept all night. They also like different things and worried about different things, but thought it would be great to be part of a pair. The little blue bird tried everything to bring them together, but nothing seemed to work. Until, something did. This is a cute book about being friends and helping friends. Even though they were so different, they were still able to be friends. It’s a funny little story with quirky pratfalls and delightfully silly illustrations. When I read the synopsis, I realized that this is an LGBTQ story, which I did not even pick up on, but it works. I read this to my granddaughter and she didn’t really connect with this story, perhaps she is a bit too young for it.
Help Wanted: Must Love Books by Janet Sumner Johnson, Courtney Dawson
Expected publication: March 1st 2020 by Capstone
Shailey loves bedtime and especially loves reading bedtime stories with her father. Unfortunately, dad is busy these days with a new job that keeps him on the phone and computer a lot so she has to find a new bedtime storyteller. When Shailey places a help wanted ad, she is surprised by the fairy tale applicants who arrive for an interview. She has some requirements but each of the applicants has a problem, Sleeping Beauty falls asleep on the job, the Gingerbread Man steals her books, and Snow White brings all the dwarves with her. Will she ever find someone to replace her dad in the bedtime story ritual?
This is a cute story for both young readers and adults thanks to the familiar characters. The illustrations are well done and I enjoyed the pages with her help wanted ad on them. My son reads every night to his children, so this book was a fun fit for us. My granddaughter thought it was funny and my grandson loved the fairytale characters that applied. We tried to guess what they would do before the book told us. I really liked that this story shows the importance of sharing time and developing a routine with children to nurture a love of reading. A great book for any family library.
Kind Mr Bear by Steve Smallman
Expected publication: November 19th 2019 by QEB Publishing
Kind Mr. Bear is a heartwarming story. Mr Bear is extremely helpful to all the animals in the forest, so much so that they begin to take him for granted. When he gets sick and can not longer help out, some of the animals get upset that Mr Bear is not around when they need him. It just takes one to head over to his house to see that he is in trouble. After recruiting the other animals, they all come and help out Mr Bear and nurse him back to health. The illustrations in this book are absolutely wonderful. They are bright, colourful, detailed and full of action. What I liked most about this book was the message. Sharing with children the importance of appreciating one another and that it is important to give and care for others is always a welcome lesson. There is a page at the end of the book that facilitates this discussion as a guide. The illustrations were beautiful as well. Both the grandkids liked this one. They loved checking out the illustrations to see what Mr. Bear was helping with. We talked about what to do to help Mr. Bear when he was sick and they had some great ideas, well, the older one did. This would be a great book for a read-aloud in primary classrooms.