This meme was started by Rae Longest at Powerful Women Readers. As I am a grandmother, who loves to read to her grandchildren, a mother who loved to read to and with her children, and a retired teacher librarian, this meme really attracted me. If you love children’s books, or have a favourite from your childhood, join us in introducing them to a new generation of readers.
This week I am reviewing a few books that I read to one or all of my grandchildren over the last few weeks. I have added their comments or reactions where possible. All of these books were provided through Netgalley upon request. The ratings and opinions shared are our own.
The Thingity-Jig by Kathleen Doherty, Kristyna Litten (Illustrations)
Published April 1st 2021 by Peachtree Publishing Company
5 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Bear can’t sleep, so he wanders into town to look around and finds a thingity-jig. Of course, my granddaughter informed me that it is a couch grandma. Bear bounces on it and has so much fun that he wants to take it back to the forest, but it is too heavy. He tries to get his friends to help, but they’re all sleeping and don’t want to be bothered. Using ingenuity and found items, he builds a contraption to get the couch home. The illustrations are wonderful with their humorous images and the dark hues depicting night. The vocabulary is creative and fun. “The Thingity-Jig was a springy thing. A bouncy thing. A sit-on-it, hop-on-it, jump-on-it thing.” Of course the theme of creativity, perseverance, and helping others are all evident in the story. The ending wraps things up perfectly and it made for a delightful bedtime story.
The Wolf in the Underpants at Full Speed by by Wilfrid Lupano, Mayana Itoiz & Paul Cauuet (Illustrations), Nathan Sacks (Translator)
Published March 2nd 2021 by Graphic Universe (Tm)
4 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
I had heard good things about The Wolf in Underpants series, so decided to see what we thought about them. Well, who doesn’t love a story where the main character is a wolf strutting around in striped underwear. This is a beginner graphic novel with great illustrations. It was a lot of fun to read and just seeing what is in the images adds so much to the story. It is race day and all the posters have been vandalized. Wolf is called in to find the culprit after badger comes back a bit worse for wear. Wolf finds an angry little chickadee with revenge on its mind. Wolf is empathetic and listens to this little bird. They hatch a plan to allow the chickadee to enter the race, and maybe even win. This is a very cute story with a great message. Wolf listens, shows compassion and tries to come up with a solution. As the story progresses, chickadee realizes that friendship is more important than winning. Overall a fun story that my two older grandchildren thought was pretty funny. I am not sure if the younger one understood the message, but the older one did and we had a nice discussion after we read the story.
Mila Misses Mommy by Judith Koppens, Anouk Nijs (Illustrator)
Expected publication: May 4th 2021 by Clavis Publishing
4 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Mila Misses Mommy is a cute story about missing a parent. Mila’s mommy drops her off at school and needs to leave right away. Mila’s parents are separated, so she won’t be seeing her mom after school and she is very sad. This causes her to get a tummy ache. A situation that many children experience, especially when starting school. I loved how the teacher responded to Mia’s feelings. She tried to get her to realize that this was a normal feeling, that others also feel the same way sometimes and it is okay. She then got Mia’s friends and classmates to help her feel better by playing with her and getting her mind on something else. The illustrations were cute and fit the story well, showing Mia’s expressions well. This would be a great story for parents and teachers to share with preschool students on that first day of school or before they start to get them ready for those anxious and sad feelings. I read this to my grandson and he immediately identified with Mila. He has a lot of anxiety and doesn’t even like to sleep at my house anymore because he misses his parents. We talked a lot about that and what he does when he feels those things. I definitely recommend this one to families with children who are anxious about new things and changes in their lives.
The Pugly Duckling by Carla Siravo, P. Santiago (Illustrator)
Published December 8th 2020 by Indigo River Publishing
My grandchildren and I had high hopes for this book, as the Pugly Duckling looked so much like, Sherman, my daughters jug. We wanted to love this one, but it was just okay. First, my 8 year old grandson was upset that this dog hatched out of an egg. He knows that is not how they are born and he had a hard time enjoying the story because of that. Once that hurdle is over, we were able to just enjoy the story for what it was. Joe and Jean are ducks who really want a baby duckling, what they get is one Pugly Duckling, but they love and accept him anyway. He decides to wear a duck costume (actually a sweater with a duck hood) so he will look more like a duck. The other animals are not happy that he is trying to be something he is not. He eventually realizes that you need to be yourself and be accepted for that. This has a warm, fuzzy message that my granddaughter really enjoyed. This is a retelling of the Ugly Duckling and I thought it was cute. The illustrations are absolutely adorable, cute, large and vibrant. The expressions on the pug are amazing. Learning about acceptance, being unique, being yourself and loving others no matter what are always great messages. I recommend this one, but for preschool or kindergarten students.