Posts Tagged ‘Chronicle Books’

Write a Review Wednesday: High Five, Touch and Feel

Welcome to another Write a Review Wednesday, a meme started by Tara Lazar as a way to show support to authors of kids literature. Last week we reviewed Sterling Publishing‘s The Secret Lives of Princesses. I feel like I’ve been ignoring the younger set so this week I’m reviewing Chronicle Books High Five with Julius and Friends (board book ), a Paul Frank book. I have to thank Crystal at Raincoast Books for my review copy.


Paul Frank‘s monkey Julius wants to congratulate your little one on a job well done. What better way to show how awesome they are than by giving them a high-five and that’s just what Julius and his friends do in High Five with Julius and Friends, a colourful touch and feel board book.

If you have a baby or toddler in your house, you probably have amassed a great collection of board books and maybe even a few in the touch and feel category; I know we have. The touch and feel books are still popular with my now 3-year-old and Paul Frank‘s High Five with Julius and Friends is one of our favourites.

We love Paul Frank‘s characters to begin with so we were drawn quickly to seeing them in book form. Julius the monkey and all his friends simple 2-D illustrations that are very colourful and all the pages in High Five carry this fun, colourful feel all the way through. What I really like about this touch and feel book, over others we have in our collection, is the actual story. On each colourful page, Julius, with the help of his friends, praises the reader for a job well done, from sharing toys to just being a rock star. Along with the words of praise, the reader is greeted with a close-up of a friend’s textured hand for a high-five. As your child gives each character a high-five they encounter a fuzzy cat’s paw or a snail’s rubbery underside and other textures.

My 3-year-old loved giving each character a high-five and then her hand would linger as she felt the different textures. And the encouraging words put a big smile on her face. The book has made such an impression on her that after dinner the other day she said ‘I’ve eaten all my dinner. High Five!’ and went around giving everyone a high-five at the table.

You can add a copy of High Five with Julius and Friends to your personal library by visiting your local independent bookstore or visiting Raincoast Books. For more great book suggestions for kids, checkout earlier Write a Review Wednesday posts.

Write a Review Wednesday: Bear in Underwear

Welcome to another Write a Review Wednesday, a meme started by Tara Lazar as a way to show support to authors of kids literature. Last week we reviewed Sterling Publishing‘s Maybe I’ll Sleep in the Bathtub Tonight and Other Funny Bedtime Poems. This week addresses my 3-year-old’s fascination with underwear in Blue Apple Books Bear in Underwear , written and illustrated by Todd H. Doodler. I have to thank Crystal at Raincoast Books for my review copy.


Bear stumbles upon a backpack in the woods. When he shows it to his friends, they encourage him to open it only to reveal…UNDERWEAR. Lots of it. There’s a blue pair, a polka-dot pair, a frilly pair, even a dirty pair. Bear tries on one pair after another: too big, too small, too loose. It doesn’t look like any of the pairs will fit Bear properly, until he reaches the last pair, a PERFECT FIT.

When Bear in Underwear first arrived the kids wanted to read it right away. It wasn’t the cartoon character-like Bear with his big saucer eyes that interested them. It was his tighty-whitey’s that caught their attention, and mine. I love that the underwear on the front cover is cloth with a little foam behind it to give it some depth. My kids love poking it. You just can’t help yourself. This is the only place that is ‘touch-and-feel’ like, the book isn’t a touch-and-feel design, but it certainly drew us in.

The illustrations are simple and colourful with characters simply known by their species, like Bear, Turtle, Big Foot. This is great for young kids since that’s how they already reference animals. My 3-year-old names all her toys by their species name versus giving them humanized names. The story Bear in Underwear is very cute. If you have underwear obsessed kids like my younger two, they’ll love it. The copy is limited on the page with dialog in speech bubbles, similar to a comic book. The varied font size and placement also ads to the comic book feel. The illustrations fill the page.

Although my 8-year-old enjoyed the story, Bear in Underwear really appealed to my 5-year-old son and 3-year-old daughter. They would laugh hysterically at Bear trying on the different pairs. My kids loved predicting the story with the aid of the illustrations. My 5-year-old son especially enjoyed reading the speech bubbles as bear tried each pair on.

The only part in Bear in Underwear I wasn’t too fond of was some of Beaver’s dialog, referring to Bear or his underwear as ‘lame’ or ‘dorky’. This only happened those two times in the whole book but of course these are words my 3 and 5-year-old gravitated toward. Bear in Underwear is a very cute story. It had my kids laughing and even I couldn’t help but crack a smile.

You can add Bear in Underwear to your personal collection by visiting your independent bookstore or visit Raincoast Books. For more great books for kids, checkout the past Write a Review Wednesday posts.

Write a Review Wednesday: In My Flower and In My Meadow

Welcome to another Write a Review Wednesday, a meme started by Tara Lazar as a way to show support to authors of kids literature. Last week we reviewed Jeremy Tankard‘s Boo Hoo Bird (3-5 ) from Scholastic Press. This week we’re starting to think about Spring and Easter so we’re looking at two wonderful, interactive board books from Chronicle Books. I have to thank Crystal at Raincoast Books for my review copies.


In My Flower by Sara Gillingham and Lorena Siminovich, follows a little butterfly through her regular day, through the always busy garden to a sunny spot to rest with her family. The illustrations have a country collage feel to them and the text wraps curves adding to the feel of movement on the page. But the best part about this book is the finger puppet of the butterfly that appears in the middle of every page. The cover has a large flower cutout where the bunny appears and this cutout is repeated on each page, getting smaller and smaller but without hindering the finger puppets movement. The flower cutout gives a great layered look to the book as each cutout gets smaller.

The copy on each page talks about one thing the butterfly is doing, like drinking sweet nectar or resting in the warm sun. My daughter loved when I acted out the action with the finger puppet; I would move the butterfly near the flower to drink.

In My Meadow also by Sara Gillingham and Lerena Siminovich is from the same series and follows the same design as In My Flower. The difference is the finger puppet is a bunny and the cutout is a bunny hole. Each page talks about a different thing the bunny is doing during her day, until she joins her family on the last page. I love that both of these stories show the butterfly and bunny doing things on their own, but always end up back in the company of their family.

You could read these books without using the finger puppet as they do just sit in the center of the book, but my daughter seemed to enjoy interacting with the puppet. She even liked looking at the book on her own or reading it to me and manipulating the puppet. And even though my daughter knew the bunny and butterfly were just puppets she loved talking to them and interacting with them as though they were real and telling her the story.

There are other books in this series: In My Nest (bird finger puppet), In My Pond (fish finger puppet), In My Den (bear finger puppet), and In My Tree (owl finger puppet). I know In My Flower and In My Meadow aren’t Easter books, but they do have a great Spring feel and might make a great alternative to chocolate in someone’s Easter basket. If you want to add In My Flower or In My Meadow to your home library, visit your local bookstore or For other great book suggestions, read through the past Write a Review Wednesday posts.

Write a Review Wednesday: Ivy and Bean

Welcome to another Write a Review Wednesday, a meme started by Tara Lazar as a way to show support to authors of kids literature. Last week I talked about Lee Weatherly and Algy Craig Hall cute monster story The Scariest Monster in the World (published by Boxer Books, an imprint of Sterling Kids Publishing). With Ivy and Bean day this Saturday (November 7), my daughter thought I should talk about the book, Ivy and Bean (age 6-10), her new favourite series (written by Annie Barrows and illustrated by Sophie Blackall, published by Chronicle Books. I have to thank Crystal from Raincoast Books for my review copy.


0811849031_normBefore seven-year old Bean met Ivy, she didn’t like her. Ivy didn’t seem like a bad girl; in fact she seemed really nice. That was the problem, in Bean’s mind nice equalled boring. But when Bean gets into a jam with her older sister Nancy, she changes her mind about Ivy when Ivy comes to her aid. Ivy share’s her secret hiding spot with Bean. Bean helps Ivy look like the part of the magician she says she is.  Together they scale fences, pretend to be sick, dig for worms and cast the dancing spell. By the end of the day, Bean and Ivy are great friends and already looking forward to their next adventure.

When I was young I remember how much I enjoyed reading a good series especially with female characters, following them from book to book on their next adventure. I’m always on the lookout for a series that might appeal to my seven-year old daughter. But she’s still young so I don’t want the subject matter to be to old, no high school drama or dating scenarios.

When I heard about Ivy and Bean I thought this would be perfect. I love that Ivy and Bean never wanted to be friends, that their moms kept trying to push them together. That’s the great thing about Ivy and Bean, they are different and the same. Between the two there is bound to be a trait or two that most girls will be able to relate to.  The black and white sketches intermingle with the story and illustrate Ivy and Bean’s personalities and the energetic adventure they take.

My daughter enjoyed reading Ivy and Bean so much she finished it within a few days.  She’s already clamouring for me to get the second book in the series:

I  loved this book. I think Ivy and Bean will be great friends. They both love having great adventures together. I love Ivy’s room and their plan to make a science lab for making potions. I’d like something like that in my room. I liked that the book included a few pages from the second book. The second book sounds great and I’ve already asked my mom if I can get it.

So far there are six books in the series, the most recent Ivy and Bean Doomed to Dance was just released. I’m pleased my daughter is excited about this series and is looking forward to reading the next book. Ivy and Bean are great characters that girls will enjoy: strong, free-spirited and fun. And since Ivy and Bean are both seven the activities they get into are all in good fun.

You can add Ivy and Bean to your personal library from Be sure to visit the Ivy and Bean website to read the first chapter of Ivy and Bean and to learn more about the other books in the series. And don’t forget Ivy and Bean day this Saturday. I know I’ll have some fun things planned. If you’re looking for some additional books  be sure to checkout previous Write a Review Wednesday posts.