Wednesday, April 13, 2016

#MMBBR Children's Review Round-Up


Yoga and creativity come to life in this user-friendly, interactive book ideal for kids, families, classrooms, clubs, animal lovers, and home-schoolers. Easy-to-follow instructions and engaging illustrations guide readers through yoga-style exercises that can be done while seated and activities and techniques that help reduce stress, improve memory and focus, strengthen body and mind, and develop creativity and self-expression. ...All while learning fun and fascinating facts about farm animals!

This book is sheer brilliance!  My boys and I are already in love with this book!  This is such a fun and creative way to introduce the practice of yoga into the home, classroom and other places where children gather.  This book has everything you need to unlock the potential in any child to become more relaxed and at peace through the practice of yoga.  Using farm animals as the inspiration for the moves it nothing sort of amazing, as this is an easy point of reference for most children.  Movement is so important for everyone and this book allows the user to break up on times of sitting with engaging and fun movements.  In addition to all the animal yoga moves the books contains creative writing prompts, games, animal facts and other fun actives to break up the day!  A must for all classrooms, clubs and households...5 stars  


Queen Calafia, the main character of a sixteenth-century Spanish romance about an island overflowing with gold and populated by Amazon-like women, is incensed when she hears that we have adopted her name for our state. Being the good and reasonable queen that she is, she’s willing to hear from twenty-six animals about why California is worthy of her name. But if she decides it isn’t, she’ll launch an army of goddesses riding griffins to wreak her vengeance! Each animal characterizes California in a key cultural object or historical event: for example, the swordfish describes the tomols of the Chumash people, while the gull tells Calafia about the Gold Rush. Large, intricate illustrations display a wealth of research into every subject, rendered with the highest level of artistic skill.California, the Magic Island is a delightful exploration of what makes California worthy of its regal name. 

Queen Calafia is a bit unset that her name was adapted to name California, but before she does anything she listens to 26 animal (A-Z) explain why the name is fitting for the state.  Each animal, in turn, shares something relevant the to the state such as an object or event that has occurred.  Drenched in both historical relevance and mystical elements California and the Magic Island is a great book of fables that any reader is sure to love! The illustrations are stunning an really capture the time, mystical features and essence of the book. 4 stars  


Will the baby elephant, Tumeleng listen to the warnings of her parents, Ayanna and Jabari? Or will her curious nature lead her into unexpected and dangerous situations?

The Tale of Tumeleng is heart warming and interesting tale of a family of elephants.  But is more than a story about elephants and their day to day activities and the real dangers that threaten their existence. This book is about reading a story with great characters, with great moral lessons and really identifying with the elephants portrayed within the pages.  There are endless talking and learning points throughout this delightful tale.  The illustrations are subtle, delicate and beautiful!  4 stars


Winner of Promoting Picture Books' 2016 cover contest. (Stories Without Words series) Follow the stages of a monarch butterfly from caterpillar to chrysalis to butterfly. With each blink the butterflies multiply (until a playful dog disperses them). Children (ages 2 – 6) cement vocabulary as they make up stories to go with colorful illustrations. Wordless book activities include finding and naming insects and characters and describing the action in this butterfly book. Includes diverse kids, special concern species, and insect habitat conservation. Pollinator and Insect book available in soft cover and ebook versions, children’s picture book with no words, wordless spring book with 22 illustrations, etymology, written and illustrated by Karl Beckstrand, Premio Publishing & Gozo multicultural Books (worldwide rights © April 2016. See inside!) PremioBooks, Baker & Taylor, BN, Brodart, Follett, Ingram. 

I adore books without words for so many reasons.  I love that an early reader can create their own version of the story with their nothing more than the book and their imagination! Building this early love of books will create lovers of books for life!  This book is beautiful, colorful and has endless stories waiting to be discovered! I love using books without words in my classes because not all children have the same attention span and I can change and adapt the story to mean the needs and interest of the children I am teaching!  4 stars


Flo is a sweet smarty-pants who loves flip flops and hates wearing shoes. When summer vacation ends and Flo goes back to school, her flip flops had to come off. Or did they? The moral lesson is that there are consequences when children disobey their parents.

Children know everything, just ask them, they will tell you!  Flo knows it all, or at least she thinks she does, but when she wears her flip flops to school natural consequences occur and she learns that maybe she should listen to her mother more often. 3 stars

Pedro's bike search for a healthy snack leads him to school, the mayor's office and the local grocery store, but there are no fruits and vegetables to be found. When Pedro glues his mouth shut in protest, his teacher, mayor and grocer join together to help Pedro learn how to grow healthy snacks of his own. Many children like Pedro live in places called food deserts where there are no stores in their neighborhoods that sell healthy food. Pedro's story shows what one community without fruits and vegetables did to change that.

Not everyone has the luxury of having fresh fruit and vegetables at their disposal.  Pedro see that this is an issue and he joins forces with people in town to make sure that all have a healthy snack and that they can all enjoy good fruit and veggies. 3 stars


As everyone who has ever been a kid knows, mistakes and accidents are a part of growing up. "What Was I Thinking?" is a series that examines and finds solutions to an endless list of experiences that are universal to both children and families using the incredible tool of brainpower. It is told from the engaging, humorous, and relatable perspective of a young boy in the process of figuring out his place in the world, and whose creative mind, Brain, is his own best friend. "What Was I Thinking? Volume 1" encourages kids to celebrate their brains and their amazing potential. It also teaches the importance of using those powerful brains to think before acting, and to consider consequences both good and bad. Ultimately, the series wants to help kids be aware of their own thought processes, so they can make positive decisions for any given situation in their own lives. Hopefully, there will be fewer and fewer times when they have to ask themselves, "What was I thinking?"

A fun book about how the brain works through the voice of a boy.  The brain does amazing things that allow us to feel happy, proud and sometimes sad, but the brain can get you into trouble when we act without thinking.  The book focuses on three important points when doing anything: 1. Stop and think 2. Could this hurt? and 3. Could this get me in trouble?.  This is a great book to help kids realize that there are consequences for their actions and that one must consider many things before acting.  That is is not always about what is fun and exciting, but should be about what is right, kind and good.  In today's times, it is important that kids know that they are members of a greater society and that their actions should add to the community and not take away from it.  4.5 stars


Arlene is a little girl who loves to make things. She begins by making presents for her doll, Maggie. As she grows up, she moves on to creating gifts for her own children and grandchildren. This is a lovely story that is designed to help children see a different side of the elders in their lives and understand that they were once children, too.

This is a beautiful story about the love of a family and passing down both talents and gifts throughout the generations.  It made me long for my grandmother, who also created beautiful clothes, toys and blankets by sewing.  This is quite a lovely story that any mother, daughter or granddaughter will adore.  This book would make a perfect Mother's Day gift for that special mother or grandmother that created both times and memories that they cherish.  5 stars 


She is smart...She is brave...She is utterly witty. 
Do you want to know what happened to her? 
Did she escape from the butcher, the cow, or the muddy old sow? 
Did she make friends with the motherly rabbit and how? 
At bedtime, or naptime, or just because it’s fun... 
Mommy, Daddy, Nanny, or anyone 
Let's read the story or sing aloud... 
This enchanting tale and give it a twirl 
The answers are in here, right now! 
So turn the pages and let’s learn 
What happened to The Gingerbread Girl

A new twist on an old favorite The Survival of the Gingerbread Girl is a fun story about how the gingerbread girl saved herself from some certain doom in a sing song story! She meets some new dangers along the way, but always escapes them with a spin and a twirl until one friend gives her a safe place to live and sleep.  4 stars


¡HOLA! Let's Learn Spanish Visit New Places and Make New Friends! Introduces children to Spanish. The purpose of the book is to give children an enjoyable experience learning the language as well as to teach them a useful skill. The age range of children is roughly 6-10, although it should include the largest age range possible. It is especially useful for parents and children who reside in the many districts where foreign language is not offered in elementary school. My hope is that kids and their parents will be inspired to continue their study of Spanish throughout school, so that they can truly communicate to the millions of Spanish speakers throughout the world. The book can be used by older children themselves. It can be adapted for use in Foreign Language in Elementary School , FLES, programs and in Foreign Language Experience, FLEX, programs. It can be used by librarians. It would make a great gift for grandparents, relatives or anyone who has a child in his or her life and would like to give that child the beginning of a truly world class education. It can be used by parents, whether or not they speak Spanish, and their children. There is an audio version of the book on

Children and parents should follow along with book and audio so that they learn the best pronunciation. The book begins with an introduction, where Pete the Pilot invites children aboard his magic plane for an imaginary trip to Mexico. On board, children are given some basic words and expressions to learn. Parents and children will have best results when learning the Spanish when they repeat often, and use the Spanish in everyday life situations. The book is designed to help them do that. When the children arrive in Mexico, they meet Panchito, the jumping bean, and they follow his adventures while learning Spanish, and becoming acquainted with the culture of Mexico. When they return, they bring their Spanish back home with them. In the activities section, they are encouraged to use Spanish in every day situations. For example, they have a treasure hunt of people and objects around their house. They can have fun putting on a skit with their friends. In the Culture Corner, kids learn more about the different customs that they meet during the story, and they get more ideas on how to use their Spanish. They can sing the traditional song for breaking the piƱata. In the craft section, children can make a mask with frijoles, beans that they encountered in the story. There are more opportunities for using Spanish. With the vocabulary section, they can hear again how each word or phrase is pronounced. With ¡HOLA! Let's Learn Spanish, children engage in a variety of activities designed to accomodate a variety of learning styles, and enjoy communicating in Spanish. 

A great book that allows both children and adults to jointly learn some simple Spanish. I recommend that you use the website as well, as it will aid the in the correct pronunciation of the Spanish words. The pictures that accompany the story are interesting as well and help aid in understanding what is happening in the story.  4 stars  



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