Over the last while, I have been reading to my grandchildren. These books were read to either my 3 year old granddaughter or to both her and my 6 year old grandson. The ratings are all ove the place with this group. Once again, I have included their comments or reactions to the books. All of these were provided by netgalley upon my request. The rating, ideas and opinions shared are my own.

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No Room for a Pup!  by Elizabeth Suneby, Laurel Molk (Illustrations)

Published October 1st 2019 by Kids Can Press
5 Stars:

This was a fun book to share with the grandkids. Mia really wants a puppy, but her mother says there is no room for a pup. She doesn’t give up so goes and talks to her grandma. They hatch a plan to change mom’s mind. What follows is a fun situation of “it could be worse” as all sorts of things appear in the apartment. My grandchildren, especially my grandson, thought this was hilarious. He laughed at all the goings on and loved the illustrations. This is a retelling of a Yiddish Folktale – It Could Always be Worse, in a fun way for children. I could see using this in a primary classroom and then having them come up with their own stories using the same premise. Any book is a hit when the kids ask me to “read it again grandmama.” The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book upon request. The rating, ideas and opinions shared are my own.

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A Little Bit Different by Claire Alexander

Published September 17th 2019 by words & pictures
2 Stars:

This is an extremely simple story, almost wordless based on the few sentences and text on the pages. The Ploofs are round creatures, similar to a balloon with the air thing on the top. They all let out a ploof that looks like a black cloud. Then one of them starts to let off colours and they get upset because he is doing something different, so they snub him. When one ploof likes the colours they go back and confront the others and they all start letting off different colours. I am assuming the lesson is about accepting others who are different, but if they could all blow off colours, how was he/she really different. It seems to me that it is more about following what others are doing even when it is stifling who you are. Saying that, my grandchildren were not impressed with this book. I think in a classroom setting where the discussion is about not following others blindly and allowing yourself to show your talents, then it could be a useful book.

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One More Time: A Story About Perseverance by Nancy Loewen

Published September 17th 2019 by words & pictures
3 Stars:

This is a simple story for toddlers and preschoolers about perseverance. One More Time introduces us to the main character and his grandfather who is helping him learn how to ride a scooter. When he falls off, he get frustrated. His grandfather reminds him that there are other things that he did not get the first time, but eventually did. He keeps trying and eventually masters riding the scooter. I read this to my three year old granddaughter, who is in the target audience and she did not even let me finish this one. She was not attracted to the illustrations at all, which is the best way to hook a young child. There is a good message here, but I think it would be better for an older audience. I can see children in Kindergarten (ages 4 to 6) understanding this message better.

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Winter Sleep: A Hibernation Story by Sean Taylor, Alex Morss, Cinyee Chiu (Ilustrations)

Published September 17th 2019 by words & pictures
5 Stars:

It is summer and a little boy is visiting his grandmother’s house. She knows all about nature and shares about the flowers, the pond, the birds, butterflies etc. as they walk to the clearing by the pond. It is a beautiful and peaceful place to be. When he goes back in the winter to visit, he wonders what has happened to everything. Is everything dead? His grandmother explains to him what different creatures do during the winter. She shows him locations of where they might be and how they protect themselves during the winter months. I loved the illustrations in this book. The colours were varied with greens and bright colours for summer, followed by shades of white, brown, and grey for winter. The cutaways in the winter show where and how the animals hibernate. At the back of the book was more information about hibernation. I read this book with my grandchildren and I liked that there was something for children of various ages. My 3 year old granddaughter enjoyed the pictures and seeing the animals sleeping. My 6 year old grandson enjoyed learning about the hibernation facts that I read him at the back of the book. This is a wonderful book to use in primary classrooms when learning about the change of seasons, animal adaptations and the environment. I definitely recommend this one to schools and classrooms.

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Stanley’s Train by William Bee

Published September 5th 2019 by Jonathan Cape
4 Stars:

This is a cute book that both grandchildren (ages 3 & 6) enjoyed. I was not aware of the Stanley series, but will look for more of them. This story has Stanley and his friends taking several others on a trip. Stanley has to get up early to get the train ready to go before loading up. The story shares the various jobs that need to be done on the train as well as showing a short visit to the beach and a trip home. The illustrations are large and colourful. There was a lot in them to talk about and help to identify the words in the text. The only thing my children didn’t like were the sounds the train made. They prefer chug instead of chuff and toot instead of peep. They both like trains, so this made the story even more enjoyable. This would be a good story in a preschool or primary classroom when learning about community helpers, even if Stanley is a guinea pig, or transportation.