Once again, I am reviewing several children’s books that I read to my grandchildren. Most of these were a bit old for my granddaughter, but she still sat and listened well. My grandson gave his opinion or asked questions about most of them and I have included some of that in the reviews. All were provided by the publishers through Netgalley. The rating, ideas and opinions shared are my own.
Where Is Home, Daddy Bear? by Nicola O’Byrne
Published August 6th 2019 by Flyaway Books (first published May 3rd 2018)
This is an adorable book dealing with the idea of moving and changes in the life of a child. Evie Bear and her dad are moving. Evie is worried. Will she make new friends? Will their new house feel like a home? Daddy reassures her and shares that he is a little scared as well, but that they will be fine together. When Daddy gets lost on the way to the new home, they deal with the fear together, strengthening their relationship. This is a great book for a few reasons. It is nice to see a strong father/daughter relationship, although we don’t know where mother bear is. My grandson asked me about Mama Bear and I told him I didn’t know what happened to her but it was okay because Daddy loved his daughter very much and would take care of her. The message that change occurs in life and that it is okay to be worried was something we also talked about. I really liked the illustrations. The were colourful, detailed and the animals were so cute. Of course the final message to take from this book is that home is where the people you love are, not the place. A great book to share with children who will be moving to a new home, school etc.
The Fairy in the Kettle Gets Magical (The Fairy in the Kettle #3) by Pauline Tait
Published May 7th 2019 by SilverWood Books
This is our third visit with Lenora and her friends, the fairies of Willow Glen. In this visit we find the fairies worried that they are about to run out of fairy dust. They kept a limited amount in the Glen and hid the rest years before to keep it safe. Of course, no one can remember where they hid it. The fairies all need to search to find the hidden stash of fairy dust. It is a difficult and sometimes dangerous adventure. Lenora and her friends realize that if they are going to be successful, they will need to work together. This is a cute story with wonderful, whimsical illustrations. They are beautiful, colourful watercolours that captivate the viewer. The message in the story is that of working together to achieve your goal, but it is subtle. My grandson and I talked a lot about that as well as what kinds of things he and his friends did better when they worked together. My granddaughter (3 years old) enjoyed listening to the story and loved the illustrations. The text has a beautiful rhyming cadence that makes it wonderful for a read aloud. I recommend this one to family, school, classroom and public libraries.
Tallulah Plays the Tuba by Tiffany Stone, Sandy Nichols
Published October 8th 2019 by Annick Press
This is an awesome book about perseverance. Tallulah wants to play the tuba. She dreams about being a tuba player, so when she gets to music class and is told she is too small, she should try the piccolo instead, she is disappointed. Does she give up? Not Tallulah. She tries lots of different things until she is finally successful. I do not want to spoil this cute story, but suffice it to say, the message is pretty clear. Don’t give up on your dreams. My grandchildren both enjoyed this story and thought some of the things that Tallulah tried were funny. The illustrations complemented the text well and added some humour to the story. I definitely recommend this book for family, school, classroom and public libraries. This would be a great read aloud in a primary classroom.
Patience, Miyuki (Miyuki) by Roxane Marie Galliez, Seng Soun Ratanavanh
Published October 1st 2019 by Princeton Architectural Press
Little Miyuki is an exuberant and lively child who has very little patience. Spring is coming ans she notices that there is a flower that has not opened. Her grandfather explains she needs to be patient, then tells her that only the purest water will help it to bloom. As there is no rain, she sets off to find this pure water. Her quest becomes a magical journey that eventually brings her back home. The illustrations are beautiful and the magic of the story is as well. I will say that I enjoyed this story, but my 3 and 6 year old grandchildren were just okay with it. They listened quietly and looked at the illustrations, but they didn’t ask any questions, didn’t really want to talk about the story (I wanted to as they are not the most patient children) and didn’t want to hear it again. I think this would be a good book for primary students to learn about nature and patience. A good book for schools, primary classrooms and family libraries.
Golden Threads by Suzanne Del Rizzo, Miki Sato
Expected publication: April 15th 2020 by Owlkids
This was another beautiful story that is inspired by a Japanese art form. The story finds Emi’s stuffed fox get blown away in a strong wind. He goes through a lot and when found by a kind old man, he is torn and losing his stuffing. The man repairs the fox using gold threads. He gives the fox to his granddaughter Kiko. She loves it, but then realizes that someone else lost it and is probably sad. She sets out with her grandfather to follow the path he might have taken to find the original owner. Of course, Emi and Kiko become fast friends. This is a cute story and my grandchildren enjoyed it. We talked about losing a favourite toy and how we feel, we discussed what to do when we find something that obviously belongs to someone else, and we also talked about repairing things instead of throwing them out. The last one was very dear to them as their Nonno has repaired their favourite toys many times. The back of the book talked about the Japanese art form of kintsugi, or golden joinery where repairing something makes valuable as it has a story to tell. This would be a wonderful book to read for the above mentioned discussion points as well as when you are learning about the environment and the “3 Rs”, but add a fourth, repair. I definitely recommend this one to primary/junior classrooms, schools and family libraries.