The Incredible Book Eating Boy by Oliver Jeffers

5 stars Children’s

Henry, everything must be done in moderation!

What a cute book! It was an accident really, the way this all started. Henry wasn’t paying attention when he took his first bite, it was one single word out of a book. Henry enjoyed it so much that he continued eating words until eventually, he was eating whole books! Henry got so good at eating books that instead of taking the books apart, Henry was swallowing the books whole! This part made me smile as I thought Henry must be related to the, “I know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a ….” as Henry was beginning to swallow some pretty big books!

This new talent that Henry had discovered was also beneficial for him too. He discovered a reward for all this eating and this is where he should have had some self-control! Henry should have enjoyed his new life and it’s perks but nope, Henry had to shoot for the stars.

Another great story by Oliver Jeffers!

Little Elliott Fall Friends

4.5 stars Children’s

I’m in love with this little elephant and his mouse friend. This story is simple but their friendship warms my heart. Little Elliott and Mouse love living in the city but sometimes it gets to be too much, so the decide they need to get away. The two jump on a bus and head to the country where they can enjoy everything the country has to offer.

I liked how the two friends realized that they needed to get away and they chose somewhere, where they could just relax and enjoy themselves and each other. I loved how everyone accepted the two friends in the country and how the two friends fit right into the countryside. The illustrations were wonderful and bright and captured the energy of the book. 4.5 stars

Lies, Lies, Lies by Adele Parks

3.75 Stars Suspense

Different.  With plenty of strong points, this book captured my attention, as the characters tried to protect their private lives, the only way that they knew how.  As the story kept building and building, something felt off as I read.   Perhaps it was me, perhaps it was my own expectations that were getting in the way but I felt that the tempo of this story was off.  Overall, I did enjoy the book, the story was captivating and I loved how all the twists worked and made my head spin.    

Secrets and lies, what a combination and one to keep you on your toes.  I enjoyed how the plot thicken as the story progressed.  The story starts off with a flashback and then, the narration progresses forward.  This short flashback is important as it sets the stage for one of the main characters.  Just when I thought the story couldn’t get any deeper, something else is thrown into the pot and more events unfolded.  I loved all the different reveals and how the author took the time to slowly introduce them.  The connection to events and items in the story was nicely done and like a puzzle, they all fit together.   I felt like at times, I was siding with one of the characters and then, I would learn something else and I would change my mind.  I just didn’t know which end was up sometimes. 

What I had a difficult time with while reading this novel, was the energy level in the book.  There were some excellent twists in this book and based on these developments, I was expecting this book to become more tense or more dramatic as time continued.  Some of these twists were pretty intense!  Yet, I didn’t feel that way as I read it.  I don’t know, perhaps I was expecting too much or again, it was just me. I did enjoy the book but I felt it was missing this intensity.   It’s like hearing that music from the Jaws movie and expecting something exciting or intense to occur.   The ending of the book, I didn’t really care for that part either. 

I think this was a good read, it contained lots of twists and interesting characters.   The story kept me on my toes and I look forward to reading more from this author.  3.75 stars

Subject matter: rape, death, alcoholism,

Thank you to Harlequin Trade Publishing, Adele Parks, and NetGalley for providing a copy of this book to me in exchange for an honest opinion.

We Found a Hat by Jon Klassen

5 stars Children’s

Ahhhh, the ending of this book is just super. I don’t really think you need to read these books in order to enjoy them, as I feel each book in this series is super, all on their own. I do recommend that you look, I mean really look at the illustrations on each page as they really do compliment the story. In this story, two turtles come across a cowboy hat and they each try it on. Right off, you notice that these turtle look identical, so when they each slip on the hat, it looks great on both of them.

They realize they need to do something different now, as there is only one hat and two individuals who would like to own the hat. I liked how the friends tried to do different things to take their minds off the hat and how they acted towards each other after they discovered the problem they were having. Super cute story with simple text that I really enjoyed.

This is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen

5 stars Children’s

Ha! Now that was a hoot! I loved how confident little fish was during the whole book. He sure was full of himself and his abilities. He actually stole a hat from a bigger fish and then, wore it upon his head. He then, justified his actions, leaving us readers having to decide which side of the argument you wanted to believe. Did you believe what little fish was telling you? Did little fish have all the correct information? Super cute book that even little children will like when they’re old enough to follow a story.

Merry Christmas, Little Elliott by Mike Curato

4 stars Children’s

So where do you find the Christmas Spirit? Where can someone discover that good feeling you get about Christmas? This is the question that Little Elliott must answer as he searches with his friend Mouse, after their visit with Santa didn’t produce the results that he wanted.

As the two friends try different seasonal activities, Little Elliott struggles to find his Christmas Spirit and he begins to lose hope. When a misplaced envelope finds its way to Little Elliott, he takes it upon himself to deliver the envelope to the right person. This action is the beginning of their adventure as Little Elliott discovers what he was missing. This is a cute story with beautiful, colorful illustrations.

Dinosaur Countdown by Nicholas Oldland

3.5 stars Children’s

I liked how straight-forward this book was. It wasn’t busy, filled with unnecessary things or words, it stated the facts and that was it. This book counts down from ten to one and then on the final page, the author reminds us that, yes dinosaurs are extinct.

Each number is given a two-page spread and on those two pages you get a specific dinosaur, the number (1-10) and you get the number written our in words and you an adjective for that dinosaur . So, for 9: it reads 9 nine lazing deinosuchus and includes 9 of them on the page in their various shades of color. What? I don’t know what a deinosuchus is? But, I bet a few children do. There were included in this book, dinosaurs that I knew too. Now, I like dinosaurs but some of these dinosaurs have names that I haven’t heard before. At the back of the book, the author has included how to pronounce some of the dinosaur names, which does help.

It was an okay book but I think the pronunciations would have helped me more, if they were on the page with the dinosaur. I also didn’t care for the illustrations as they didn’t match the language of the book. I did like the added adjectives in the book and again, the simplicity of the book , I enjoyed. 3.5 stars

Up The Creek by Nicholas Oldland

5 star Children’s Picture Book

I think we all can relate to this book, even as adults.  Our dear friends bear, moose, and beaver are spending the day in the great outdoors but instead of listening to nature, they’re bickering.  Fighting over just about everything, as they spend the day canoeing together. 

I laughed as the friends ended up going around in circles, as they tipped their boat and as they encountered some scary waters but these three just couldn’t get along even after each struggle.  There were other adventures that these three had while on their canoeing trip and I smile just thinking of them.  The illustrations in this book are terrific as they work so well with the text.  This is a entertaining book yet it’s also one that has some important lessons tucked inside it.  

One Wild Christmas by Nicholas Oldland

5 stars Children’s Picture Book

We catch up with our dear friends bear, moose, and beaver in this sweet book, as they are celebrating their favorite holiday, Christmas.  As the friends get ready to celebrate, they learn a few important lessons about each other and about life.

I adore Nicholas’ books.  There is something about the characters, the lessons that they teach, and the way the illustrations bring everything together that makes these books special to me.  Using these three different animals, they each have their own special talents and characteristics which play an important role in the books. Each book teaches subtle lessons about life as the story unfolds.  These books are gems.

In this story, as the friends get ready for Christmas, they realize that they are missing an important piece of their Christmas together.  Quickly, the trio rushes out into the forest.  After looking at other options, bear spots the perfect tree! This tree is exactly what they are looking for! Bear’s friends agree, and beaver gets ready to do his job. Wait! Bear doesn’t want to have beaver chew down the tree.  Beaver can’t chew down this tree! Beaver and moose know the tree must come down so they can take it home but bear says, no.  What are the three friends going to do about this beautiful tree if they can’t agree.

I enjoyed how the friends worked together and how bear solved the problem.  I thought it was sweet how the friends all enjoyed bear’s solution.  The illustrations are colorful, fun, and cute to look at.  I also like the physical size of this book as I feel that they are a good fit for smaller hands and they’re perfect for lap sharing.   A great children’s picture book.   

The Big Book of Experiments by Dr. Kate Biberdorf

4.5 stars Science

This book is a gem!  Packed with 25 different experiments, I was excited to thumb my way through this beauty.  I have to warn you up front, that I am not into science.  I hated science as a child, as I didn’t understand any of it but now as an adult, I love experimenting and learning from it.  This book fits right in with my needs.

If only as I child, I could have experimented with fun and interesting items instead of the beakers, test tubes and chemicals that we had to use, I think that I would have learned more and enjoyed science.  In The Big Book of Experiments, the variety of experiments is great. Some of the experiments can be completed rather quickly and some can take some time while there are some which small children can complete with little assistance while others, you’ll need an adult or mature person watching over the whole experiment. 

I liked that some of these ideas were ones that I had already completed and some were new to me.  There was Dancing Raisins, Elephant’s Toothpaste, Moon Rocks, Unicorn Glue, Lava Lamp, Neon Brains, and Fake Tattoos, just to mention a few.  I do like redoing experiments

Kate provides visual safety cues to each experiment.  Whether that is a sink, goggles, gloves, a garbage can or adults, as these safety cues remind the reader to be safe when conducting the experiments. Along with the cues, each experiment has a small note about the experiment, a list of supplies, a messiness level, step-by-step directions with colorful illustrations, questions to ask yourself after you’re finished (science questions about what happened and what if questions) and then, the author explains to you the WHY, as to why the experiment worked.  Now, that is some important stuff!  This is the educational element of the book and important for you to read, you do want to become smarter, don’t you?

I liked that most of the supplies for these experiments were normal items that aren’t hard to find. Items like rubber bands, knife, dish soap, hydrogen peroxide, shaving cream, balloons, fishing line, etc. There are some that called for some more difficult items, like sodium alginate, calcium chloride, iron oxide powder, dry ice, and copper wire, for which you will have to do some planning to get these before having some fun. I I would have liked an idea where someone could locate some of these items, that would have been a big help.   Some type of indexing at the back would have been great too.  There is a Table of Content but I like indexes in books like these.

It’s a great colorful, fun book and I highly recommend it.  If you’re homeschooling or trying to keep your child engaged, this is a great book to check out.