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.

My grandkids have spent a few nights at my place, so there are always stories before bed. All of the books featured were provided to me from the publishers upon request, through Netgalley. I have included their comments, reactions and interactions where appropriate. All ratings and opinions are our own.

Lavy’s Rainy Day by Kim Tubbs

Published May 10th 2022 by Indigo River Publishing

4 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Lavy’s rainy day was a perfect book to read with my granddaughter. Lavy and her mother have a special day planned with a picnic in the park. When she wakes up, she sees that it is raining and they can’t go. She is very disappointed, but have no fear. Mummy creates a special day for them inside and Lavy realizes that spending time with mummy is what was important. My granddaughter and I talked about time she spends with her mom, one who works five days a week. These special times together are priceless! I loved how imaginative mummy was, but would have liked it more if she and Lavy had planned things out together. The illustrations were wonderful with so much expression evoking emotion on every page. My other complaint is that the tenses kept switching, not that my granddaughter noticed that. Overall, this was a winner for us.

My Little Green Umbrella by Sandy Little, Tom Lintern (Illustrator)

Published January 5th 2022 by Outskirts Press Inc.

4 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

A few week’s ago, I read Ellery’s Magic Bicycle to my grandkids about a favourite bike that eventually got put away and forgotten about until it was rediscovered and put to use again. My Little Green Umbrella is similar. A young girl finds a green umbrella in a thrift shop, and it becomes a constant companion. The little girl and her imagination have adventures such as being out at sea or a princess floating down from a tree. The umbrella is put away for years until the little girl’s little boy finds it and it becomes a pirate sword that protected him and his treehouse. Again, it got put away until one day when it rained, the boy, now grown and his mother used to to keep them dry from the rain. This is such a sweet story about imagination, passing things on to others, sharing story and spending time together. The illustrations were whimsical and sweet. I enjoyed this story very much. My grandkids liked it, especially the end with the boy and his mother walking in the rain with the umbrella.

Chickadee: Criminal Mastermind by Monica Silvie, Elina Ellis (Illustrator)

Published June 7th 2022 by Kids Can Press

5 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

This was such a fun picture book that my granddaughter loved. She learned about chickadees at school this year, so she loved this criminal mastermind. Chickadee narrates his own story about leaving the nest and living on his own. When winter arrives, he is in trouble. His mother had warned him to stay away from the houses and the humans, but he finds a vault full of food. The vault (aka birdfeeder) is to tempting to resist, so he becomes a criminal to sneak in and eat. He soon discovers that he is not a criminal after all and the food is there for the taking. The illustrations are wonderful and certainly added to her enjoyment of the story. There were a lot of other animals depicted that we talked about as well. She thought it was a fun story and one that we should read again. The back of the book includes some great chickadee facts and beautiful, colorful images. Another book that I recommend, especially to kindergarten or early primary classes when doing a unit on animals and winter, as well as how we can help them.

This is a Birthday Cake by Andrew Cangelose, Josh Shipley (Illustrations)

Expected publication: August 23rd 2022 by Oni Press

5 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

It’s Taco the squirrel’s birthday and they need a cake for the party. Shelly the turtle is the local baker and is going to teach Bucky the rabbit, her baker-in-training how to make a cake. The problem is that Shelly does everything slowly, but Bucky wants to do everything quickly. He rushes off with the recipe but doesn’t grab any ingredients. What will Bucky find in the forest to replace, flour, eggs, honey, water and more. This is a hilarious story about what happens when you rush and don’t follow the directions properly. Luckily, Shelly is still around to save the day. This story is so funny and my grandkids laughed so much along the way. The final product had them pretending to gag as the animals eat Bucky’s cake. This would be a great story to read at a birthday party before presenting the kids with the real cake. A great lesson of what happens when you don’t follow directions or make substitutions without checking to see if they will work. The story is told is speech bubbles with the recipe and directions interspersed throughout the story. I loved the illustrations, they were so funny, full of action, expression and humour. I definitely recommend this one.