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.

I spent the last couple of weekends with my granddaughter, so was able to read several books to her throughout the day, including at bedtime. I am highlighting four of the many we read. They were all provided to me from the publishers upon request, through netgalley. I have included her comments, reactions and interactions where appropriate. All ratings and opinions are our own.


Clementine and the Lion by Zoey Abbott (written & illustrated)

Published May 3rd 2022 by Kids Can Press

4 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Clementine and the Lion is a beautifully illustrated, magical story about a little girl whose parents are never happy with her or what she does. When her parents disappear (one in a bottle out to sea, one taken away by a dragon), she is quite happy by herself. She is able to do what she wants when she wants, until her aunt shows up to take care of her. She is just as bad as her parents, so Clementine paints the house with invisible paint and her aunt goes home. The house and Clementine are forgotten about and once again, she takes care of herself and is quite happy. When she leaves the door open one day, an uninvited guest shows up, a lion. She is afraid of him and hides, but when he takes something that is not his, Clementine overcomes her fear and she and the lion learn to live together. This is an imaginative tale that my granddaughter really enjoyed. She loved Clementine and how she took care of herself. She didn’t think the lion was very scary at all and would love to have him as her pet or friend. This is a story that touches on taking care of yourself, problem solving and standing up for yourself, all in a fun, whimsical way. The illustrations were delightful and we went back to check out details that we missed during the first reading. We enjoyed sharing this story with each other.


Up and Adam by Debbie Zapata, Yong Ling Kang (Illustrator)

Published May 3rd 2022 by Kids Can Press

4 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Debbie Zapata wrote this story about her son, Adam, who has Down Syndrome. Adam and his dog Up hear the news about everyone cleaning up after a big storm and they want to help. They go out with their wagon and pick up branches, toys and litter. He greets everyone with a cheerful “Hi, Hiii” and a huge and infectious smile. We enjoyed this smile about even a small boy and his dog being able to help and make everyone smile. His little gift of help and cookies were simple but meant so much to everyone. We talked about helping others and making them happy, even if you are young. I have to say that I said nothing to my granddaughter about Adam having Down Syndrome or being different, so she didn’t even notice. He seemed like a normal little boy to her. I like the idea of a story dealing with inclusion, especially as my grandson is on the autism spectrum and has a lot of social issues, but this story, cute as it was, didn’t really get that message across to my granddaughter. She enjoyed the illustrations and laughed at some of the antics of Up. My granddaughter enjoyed the story, especially when Adam’s dog, Up helped him. I also liked the author’s note and the resources at the back of the book for more information.


Hop at Swimming Class by Esther Van Den Berg

Published June 7th 2022 by Clavis

5 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Hop is the smallest sibling in the frog family. He still has his tail, but is always ready to try. Mother frog wants her children to learn to swim like frogs, so they go for lessons. Hop is not as good as his siblings, but he never gives up. When it is time to jump off the diving board, Hop realizes a bit too late that he might be gong higher than he thought. This is a cute story about not giving up and to keep trying. Having a pool in my backyard, my grandchildren all had to learn to swim, so this was a cute story that we read about what things they learned, if it was hard, and if they had fun doing it. The illustrations are really cute and show great expression from fear to happiness. We liked that they all got a certificate when they passed, and all were treated the same, no matter who was the best. We enjoyed this book and read it a couple of times over the weekend when my granddaughter was with me.


Itzel and the Ocelot by Rachel Katstaller

Published June 7th 2022 by Kids Can Press

5 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Itzel’s village is in the middle of a drought and they badly need rain. Her nana tells her about the giant snake that would be awoken and bring the rains when they were needed, but the snake hasn’t been seen for years. When things get really bad, Itzel decides she needs to set out and find the giant snake for herself. Along the way, she meets other creatures who also need the rain to survive, so they work together to find the giant snake. This is a beautifully told folk tale inspired by a traditional story from indigenous people in Central America. There are even words from the Nawat language, an Indigenous language that was almost extinct. Of course they find the giant snake and wake it up and the ocelot becomes Itzel’s guardian spirit. My granddaughter listened to this story, but is a bit young to understand about folklore. This would be a wonderful story to use when teaching about folklore at a school around grade 3 (8 and up). There are a lot of lessons about persevering, helping others and of course about the environment. The illustrations in this book are wonderful. They show the jungle, the atmosphere, and the emotion. I definitely recommend this book for schools and public libraries.