My grandchildren spent the night, so two days together resulted in reading several books together. I have included their comments or reactions to them in my reviews. As well, I will be posting mini-reviews of the books we read over the last couple of weeks and on our sleepover. All the books were provided by the publishers upon my request. The ratings, ideas and opinions shared are ours alone.

53166850Lola Loves Stories with Daddy by Anna McQuinn

Expected publication: August 11, 2020 by Charlesbridge

4 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

This was a really sweet book that my 4 year old granddaughter loved. She loved how Lola and her daddy read together every night. She kept telling me her and her daddy read at bedtime all the time. The next day Lola acted out characters from her stories, so she wanted to pretend to be a princess and a ballerina as well. We really enjoyed the illustrations. They were very active and we went back through the book and just talked about what was happening trying to remember what we read. It was a lot of fun. Definitely a winner for this younger age group. We also talked about visiting the library together and choosing a book. She wanted to go to the library after we finished reading, but they are closed right now due to the pandemic, so we decided we would visit grandma’s bookshelves instead. I loved that it was a father/daughter reading together and always a mother.


53166869Lola at the Library with Mommy by Anna McQuinn

Expected publication: August 11, 2020 by Charlesbridge

4 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

We read this book after reading Lola Loves Stories With Daddy, and my granddaughter liked it almost as much. It is Tuesday, so Lola and her mom go to the library. She has to bring back the book she borrowed last week (that took some explaining that she couldn’t keep it), choose a new one and participate in storytime. We talked about school in September and that she would have storytime in her classroom and at the library as she has only had to listen alone or with her brother. Then at home, mommy reads Lola a bedtime story. This is another book to share the love of reading, and the importance of reading as a family to share the love of reading. She liked that mommy reads bedtime stories too, because her mommy sometimes reads to her, usually it is daddy. The pictures were again a delight that had us talking and sharing stories.


49546439. sx318 How Big Is Your Brave? by Ruth Soukup, Alison Friend (Illustrator)

Published May 5th 2020 by Zonderkidz

4 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

I really loved the message in this book about facing your fears and trying things you want to do. Zippy Bunny wants loves outer space, but when their town is running a space camp, she won’t sign up because she is scared that she won’t be as good as the bigger kids. She eventually faces her fear and signs up after being encouraged by her family. All through camp she is worried and scared, but she is successful in building her rocket. My grandson liked this story, but was more excited about space camp than the idea that Zippy faced her fears. His dad went to space camp when he was a kid, so we talked a bit about that. I encouraged some discussion about what he was afraid of and how he could face those worried and fears. He decided doing things with friends, his sister or maybe his parents would help. The pictures were really sweet and complemented the story nicely. My granddaughter liked the story because she liked the bunnies and she liked that she made a rocket. She wanted to get out the craft stuff and see if she could make a rocket when we finished. A great story for families, schools, preschools and public libraries. The publisher generously provided me with a copy upon request. The rating, ideas and opinions shared are my own.


50358481It’s MY Tree by Olivier Tallec, Yvette Ghione (Translator)

Expected publication: September 1st 2020 by Kids Can Press

4 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The first thing I want to say about this book is that it has the best illustrations. My grandson laughed hysterically every time I turned a page. The story had a lot of promise. It is about a greedy, selfish squirrel who does not want to share his tree with any other critter, not even the shade. He is so selfish, that he builds a fence around it. Once the fence is built, he is worried that maybe there is a better tree out there and he will miss out. A very obvious story about greed, at least to me. My 7 year old grandson got it with a bit of discussion, the younger one understands sharing, but didn’t grasp the whole concept. I would have liked it better if the ending had been different and had a resolution regarding sharing etc. Having said that, this is a book that could be used to evoke some good conversations, even with adults.


45069890. sx318 Nine: A Book of Nonet Poems by Irene Latham, Amy Huntington (Illustrator)

Published June 9th 2020 by Charlesbridge Publishing

5 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

This wasn’t the book for my grandkids, but as a teacher, I loved this book. First poem in the book teaches the reader what a Nonet is, then follows poems that all have nine in the subject. From Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony (which I loved) to Apollo 9, cat’s Nine Lives and more, these poems teach and send a message to the readers. With all that is going on in the world right now, it is very appropriate to include “The Little Rock Nine” that remembers the brave children who arrived ready to integrate an all-white school. Irene Latham does an amazing job writing these poems that have nine in their subject, and it is amazing what she came up with. The illustrations by Amy Huntington were wonderful. They complemented the subject of the poems well, and added discussion points as well. I definitely recommend this book to junior level classrooms. It is wonderful to show a different poetry style as well as demonstrating how poetry can be used for various purposes.


50195086My Wandering Dreaming Mind by Merriam Sarcia Saunders, Tammie Lyon (Illustrations)

Published April 14th 2020 by Magination Press

4 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

This was a very real story for me. I read this to my grandson, who is very much like Sadie, but he didn’t really identify with her, until we talked about the story a bit. Sadie has trouble paying attention, her mind wanders and she daydreams and it’s hard for her to bring back her focus. She forgets things, doesn’t hear instructions, has trouble with friends and losing things. Sadie realizes that this can cause problems, but she doesn’t know what to do otherwise. Her parents are wonderful. They help her deal with her frustration and give her positive words like Imaginative instead of saying daydreams, or Curious instead of distracted. I love those choices and am going to try to use those with my grandson. This book could be used with children who have ADHD, are on the Autism Spectrum or just those who have other problems with attending. The illustrations are wonderful. I love how what she is imagining are shown in outline in the illustrations and Sadie’s expressions are great. The information for parents and care-givers is quite good and would be helpful. I definitely recommend this one to families, schools and classrooms for use when dealing with anyone who has attention issues.