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.

This week I am highlighting several books I read to my grandchildren. All were provided to me by the publishers upon request, through netgalley. I have included their comments, reactions and interactions where appropriate. All ratings and opinions are our own.

Whitney Wins Everything: A Tiny Ninja Book by Sasha Graham

Published April 5th 2022 by Gatekeeper Press

4 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Whitney Wins Everything is the second book in The Tiny Ninja Book series. Whitney is a young girl who turns everything into a competition, and wins every time. It gets to the point where her friends don’t want to play with her and she doesn’t get invited to a friend’s party because they are going to have games. When she shows up for soccer, her coach tells her that they don’t keep score, they play for fun, to be outside with friends. She doesn’t like it because you won’t know who wins. During a game, Whitney makes a decision that helps her realize that winning isn’t everything and teamwork and having fun are important. Throughout the story, Whitney’s “tiny ninja” tries to help her make better decisions. There is also a search and find aspect to the book with busy illustrations and the direction to find X number of ninjas. My grandchildren all enjoyed this one. The older two understood the message of having fun and not always having to win, the youngest loved trying to find the ninjas. They have listened to this story a few times, and my oldest grandson has proudly read it to his younger siblings.

Edward and Annie: A Penguin Adventure by Caryn Rivadeneira, Katy Tanis (Illustrator), Shedd Aquarium (Contributor)

Published March 8th 2022 by Thomas Nelson

5 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Edward and Annie is a book that introduces children and their families to the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago. It is a quiet day with no visitors, so Edward and Annie go on a tour of areas of their aquarium home that they have not visited before, touring with their carer, Kai. They meet other creatures that live there and learn that there is so much more to the world than their own penguin habitat. This was a cute book to learn about different animals, specifically, life in water habitats. This is a great book to read to children who are learning about habitats, or before visiting an aquarium. It is also perfect for armchair travel for children. I didn’t know about their adventures online during Covid lockdown, but we watched many of their videos after reading this book and learned a lot more about the animals, especially Rockhopper Penguins. This is a fantastic book to have in public, school and classroom libraries. It is one that sparked a lot of interest in my home and has been read more that once. The Shedd Aquarium Facebook page is one we now follow.

Ellery’s Magic Bicycle by Maria Monte, Zoe Saunders (Illustrator)

Published May 2nd 2022 by Bonny Books

4 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Ellery’s Magic Bicycle is the story of Ellery, who finds an old abandoned bicycle and takes it home. Ellery’s bicycle teaches her to ride, grows with her, and even protects her from a bully. Ellery eventually puts the bicycle away and forgets about it. She marries, and has a family, but they purchase a new bike to teach their daughter to ride. The time comes to clean out the shed and Ellery puts the bike out for the rubbish truck, but hears a faint ting-a-ling. She remembers and keeps the bike, riding along with her daughter. What a sweet story. I read this to my granddaughter and she enjoyed it. She liked the magic bike and how it became Ellery’s friend. We talked about friends and how important they are. We also talked about “stuff” and how new is not always better. She told me about her bike that used to be her older brother’s and will become her younger brother’s soon because she is getting too big and bike’s don’t really grow. We also talked about the bully and how they eventually became friends. Lots in this little book to discuss. The illustrations were well done, realistic and detailed. A book that I am sure we will read again.

Apple and Magnolia by Laura Gehl, Patricia Metola (Illustrator)

Published February 8th 2022 by Flyaway Books

5 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Apple and Magnolia is a heartwarming story about the power of friendship. Apple and Magnolia are two trees that grow next to one another, and they are Britta’s favorites. She is sure they nurture and take care of each other. When Magnolia seems to be sick with her leaves turning brown, Britta’s father and sister are sure she will not survive the winter. Nana asks Britta if she has a plan because unusual friendships can be powerful. Britta puts her plan into place, and even though Magnolia blooms late, she survives and blooms beautifully. I loved this story about friendship, and how support and encouragement can help someone bloom. What a wonderful story to share with children about those things. I loved how positive Nana was and how that encouraged Britta. The illustrations were whimsical and fit the story well. I definitely recommend this story to schools, teachers and parents. When I read this one to my grandkids, they listened attentively, but didn’t quite get the message until I asked them a few questions. They thought it was a good story and we put it in our pile to read again. The message about how trees communicate was interesting and had me doing some research of my own.