Carla Loves To Read



Astro the Alien series “A Beginning Reader Book”

Astro the Alien Visits Desert Animals
Written by Emily Sohn
Illustrated by Carlos Aon

My Review: The Astro the Alien series is a Beginning to Read Book published by Norwood Press. I like this series as it is simple to read and filled with a lot of activities and suggestions at the end to help children develop both reading recognition skills and comprehension skills. In this book Astro and his friends Ben and Eva fly to the dessert in Astro’s space pod. They bring their camping gear and spend a night. They get to see animals in the day and those that come out at night. They also talk about climate and how it effects the dessert and animals. The illustrations were well done. They are bright, colourful and large so you can see the animals clearly. A good book for a family library and primary classroom. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book via Netgalley.


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Angus All Aglow

Angus All Aglow5 Stars

by Heather SmithAlice Carter (Illustrations)

My Review: Angus likes sparkling things and bright colours. These include the diamond studs of his dog’s collar,the stars, the sequins on his sister’s ballet skirt and even the way the sun shines on the water. He also loves what he calls shiny sounds and words like lustrous and glittering. He hears these sounds when he looks at shiny things. When his grandmother sees him admiring her sparkling beaded necklace, she gives it to him and he decides to wear it to school the next day. Unfortunately, not everyone thinks that the necklace is wonderful. The kids tease him about it, laughing and being very rude, until he loses his love for sparkling things. He doesn’t hear the sounds and he breaks the necklace trying to get it off. The next day, Angus is in for a surprise. With a new friend in tow, he gets his sparkle back again.

This is a beautiful story about being yourself and not letting others put you down. This is a great story to teach acceptance and kindness. It shows us that it is okay to be different and be proud of it. I loved the illustrations in this book. They sparkled with bright colours and the text did as well. The sparkling adjectives and verbs are bright colours that highlight those words to the reader or listener. The children I read this book to really enjoyed it. It was interesting to hear my nephew comment that boys don’t wear necklaces and I told him that they can if they want, as my grandson proudly displayed two necklaces that belonged to his great-grandma. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book via Netgalley.

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The Golden Glow by Benjamin Flouw

The Golden Glow4 Stars

My Review: This is a beautiful book about the beauty and diversity of Nature. Fox love plants and while reading an old botany book, he finds a flower called The Golden Glow. He was not familiar with this flower, so decides he is going to head off to find one. I like how the author and illustrator labeled some of their illustrations. While packing for his trip, trees and flowers along the way with their seeds and leaves are all labeled. He meets up with some friends along the way who help him in his quest. He finally finds the flower he was looking for up on the top of the mountain. He decided that it was so beautiful, that he should leave it where it was. He observed it, drew it, labeled it and put it in his book for others to see. A book showing appreciation of nature in a simple form. It could be read to a class beginning a unit on plants and animals, studying the environment and how to protect it as well as those who just love plants, flowers and trees. My grandson noticed that most of the illustrations were done with geometric shapes. The story did not interest him as much as the illustrations, but he is only 4. I think this book would be good to read to primary aged children up to about 10 or 11. This book was originally written in French. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book via Netgalley.

Continue reading “The Golden Glow by Benjamin Flouw”

Rusty The Squeaky Robot by Neil Clark

359602735 Stars

My Review: This is a great book to read to children who are worried that they are different or that there is something wrong with them. It would also assist with other children about how they can help when someone else is feeling this way. It is a very simple story with bright, colorful illustrations and a great message.

Rusty is a bright orange, square-headed robot who hates the sound he makes. He squeaks and he can not stop doing it. As he is bemoaning his noise, along comes Belle who makes a Ding-Ding noise. When they put their sounds together, they sound good. As they continue along their way, they meet up with other friends that make various sounds. At the end of the book they put all their sounds together and with a squeak, ding, honk, twang and boom, they make wonderful music that they can jump and dance to.

Not only does this book have a great message, but it is just fun. Young kids will love copying the sounds when they learn what kinds of noises these contraptions can make. A story that could also be used in a music class. My grandchildren and their cousins had fun trying to make them all and decide who was the loudest. My ears, were not having as much fun as they were. A great book for family, school, class and public libraries. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book via Netgalley.

Continue reading “Rusty The Squeaky Robot by Neil Clark”

Wake Up, Baby Bear!

Wake Up, Baby Bear!by Lynn PlourdeTeri Weidner (Illustrator)

Expected publication: May 1st 2018 by Down East Books

5 Stars


My Review: This is a wonderful companion book to Lynn Plourde’s “Baby Bear’s Not Hibernating.” Baby Bear is so tired because he did not get to sleep early enough in the fall. His parent’s can’t wake him, so they head off to get food with the hope that he will wake up when they get back. While they are gone, Baby Bear’s friends come to visit and while trying to wake him, he ends up tumbling out of the cave and down a hill. Once again, he gets himself in a situation that all works out in the end with the help of his friends and family.

This is a gorgeous picture book with wonderful illustrations done in watercolour. It is a cute story that could be used for children as a bedtime story but also teach about getting a proper night’s rest, what happens to bears in spring, and helping out your friends. I read this book to my grandson and he enjoyed the story, especially Baby Bear’s snoring. He liked the pictures as well. I can easily see this book becoming a family favourite along with the other Baby Bear book. I would recommend this book for family libraries, pre-school classes and primary schools. This book will become a well loved story to be read over and over. I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Late Primary, Junior Books I Have Read Lately

Over the last few days, I read several books to review. I am just going to write mini-reviews to give you my overall impressions.

Guinevere: At the Dawn of Legend (Book 2)Guinevere: At the Dawn of Legend
by Cheryl Carpinello
5 Stars Continue reading “Late Primary, Junior Books I Have Read Lately”

Children’s Books I Have Read Lately.

I read a lot of children’s books to recommend to my librarian friends as well as books to read with my grandchildren. I am not going to post separate reviews for all of them, I am going to put the last 10 in this post.

Little Brothers & Little Sisters by Monica ArnaldoLittle Brothers & Little Sisters
4 Stars

I loved this story. I could relate to it on several levels. I was the youngest in the family until my little brother came along when I was seven. I also had two children of my own. Siblings always seem to have that have/have not kind of relationship when they are younger. I had it with mine and I saw it with my own children. Of course as adults, we can look back and laugh, but when you are living it, not as much. This book demonstrates the best and the worst of having a sibling when you are young. There are cute pictures, simple, easy text. A great book to use when siblings are having problems or when expecting a new child in the home as a introduction to what may be coming your way. A good one for a family library. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book via Netgalley.

A Fire Truck for Chuck by Annika DunkleeA Fire Truck For Chuck
4 Stars 

There is not much to add after reading the description of this book. It says, “Told not in verse but with plenty of fun rhyme and repetition, this story’s bright, cartoon-like art conveys Chuck’s full range of emotions. With humor and warmth, it’s a lovable read-aloud that captures a child’s joy for their favorite toy.”

Lots of words that rhyme with “truck” abound in this story. Chuck could be any little boy who loves to play, whether in the living room or in the muck outside. He reminded me of my son who was always dirty. A fun story that I can see young children enjoying. A great addition to a pre-school or Kindergarten classroom. You could use it with older students to get them to write about the theme of my favorite toy or possession as well. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book via Netgalley.

Crackerjack Jack by Bowman WilkerCrackerjack Jack
4 Stars

This is a cute and entertaining read for children. Yes, the duck gets away with the money and lives a life of luxury, but that is not the purpose of the book. It is a silly story with a lot of wordplay that can be used for entertainment or as a mentor text for older students learning about various speech elements. The illustrations compliment the text and are large and colorful. They alone can tell the story. A cute book for a school or class library. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book via Netgalley.

Continue reading “Children’s Books I Have Read Lately.”

Red Sky at Night

36648689by Elly MacKay

Hardcover, 40 pages
Expected publication: May 1st 2018 by Tundra Books
5 Stars

My Review: This book is comprised of “weather sayings,” some of which we have probably all heard before and others that I had never heard of. If you follow the illustrations they tell a story of a grandfather taking his grandchildren fishing. The illustrations were the best part of the book for me. They were done paper artist, Elly McKay. They were beautiful scenes and look three dimensional. The colours are soft and the illustrations are large. You can look at each page for quite awhile to see everything that is happening. When you get to the end of the book, there is information about each saying such as where it came from, who wrote it etc. Most of them are partially true and have their roots in science. This would be a great book to use in a school in various ways. It can be used in a weather unit, as an inspiration for an art lesson using paper layers and even for an english unit to write sayings, research etc. A great book for any school library. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book via Netgalley. Continue reading “Red Sky at Night”

Fairy Mom and Me

Fairy Mom and Meby Sophie Kinsella

Hardcover, 160 pages
Expected publication: January 2nd 2018
4 Stars



My Review: Fairy Mom and Me is the first book in a new children’s series by Sophie Kinsella. This could be read independently by beginning chapter book readers, but seems to be written as a book for parents and children to read together, specifically girls and their mothers. The book is narrated by Ella. She comes from a family that has a long line of female fairies. Her mom looks like a regular mom most of the time, but with her magic word, “Marchmallow” she becomes a fairy. Problem is, she is not very good at magic. The story is so much fun. Each chapter is about one of her spells and what happens when she tries. them. The story is also about Ella and how she copes with her bratty, not best friend, Zoe, who lives next door.

There are some pictures scattered within the book to break up the chapters and to interest younger readers. I would recommend this book to anyone age 7 and up. I love the back of the book where there are questions for parents and children or teachers and their classes as well as activities that go with the story. Messages about being patient, dealing with bullies or mean children and playing fair are all in the story and easily recognizable for discussion. I am waiting to see if the next book in the series is as cute as this one. A great book for families, primary classrooms and school libraries. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book via Netgalley. Continue reading “Fairy Mom and Me”

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