Posts Tagged ‘Raincoast Books’

Write a Review Wednesday: Dream Big Little Pig

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 Banjo of Destiny. This week we read SourcebooksDream Big Little Pig (age 4-8), written by Kristi Yamaguchi and illustrated by Tim Bowers. I have to thank Crystal at Raincoast Books for my review copy.

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Poppy is a pig who dreamed big. From a posh prima ballerina to a big-time splashy super model, Poppy had big dreams about what she wanted to be when she grew up. Even when she discovered she didn’t have a talent for singing on-key or that she wasn’t very graceful, Poppy always remembered the encouraging words from her family and kept trying. She kept trying new things that interested her until she discovered skating. Like her other career endeavours, she wasn’t very good at skating either but the more she tried the better she got; the better she got the more she liked it.

Kids are full of big dreams and I think that’s something that should be encouraged, even when things don’t turn out as planned. In Dream Big Little Pig, Poppy has great aspirations for her life and she takes a few risks following her dreams. Yes she’s disappointed when things don’t turn out but the encouraging words she remembers from her family and friends always keep her trying something new. Dream Big Little Pig gives kids a great example of having dreams and taking chances and sometimes failing and sometimes succeeding but always trying. It’s also a reminder to us as parents that our words, though we may think they aren’t being listened to, are being absorbed and referenced when the time is needed. Words of encouragement may be the difference from giving up to trying again or trying something new.

I like how near the end of Dream Big Little Pig, Poppy seems to have found her gift and made her dream come true, yet that doesn’t stop her from having new dreams and aspirations. That’s probably a lesson for some of us adults.

Kristi Yamaguchi,figure skating superstar, believes in and lives by the motto ‘Always Dream. This is seen in her Always Dream Foundation, founded in 1996, designed to support organizations that have a positive influence on children. The inspiration behind Dream Big LIttle Pig is to instill this motto and belief to ,always dream, in the hearts of children.

To add a copy of Dream Big Little Pig to your own library, visit your local bookstore or Raincoast Books. For other great book recommendations for kids, read through the past Write a Review Wednesday posts. What are you kids reading?

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Write a Review Wednesday: Bunny’s Lessons

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 Out of Sight. This week we looked at another book from Blue Apple Books, Bunny’s Lessons (age 4-8), written by Harriet Ziefert and illustrated by Barroux. I have to thank Crystal at Raincoast Books for my review copy.

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Charlie is a little boy, a little boy who Bunny belongs to. Bunny views Charlie has his friend and teacher. Everything Bunny has learned, he has learned from Charlie. Some lessons aren’t so fun, like jealous and scared and sad. But other lessons are wonderful, like pretend, all better and love. No matter what the lesson, Bunny and Charlie learn them together.

Like in Bunny’s Lessons, most kids have a stuffy, a companion that helps them through both scary and exciting times in their lives. My 4-year old has a rabbit friend just like Charlie. Growing up is full of new experiences: walking, the big bed, going to school, visiting the Dr. A stuffy is like an extension of a child. It gives them someone to confide in when they’re feeling angry or sad. It gives them someone to hug and protect them at night in the big bed. It gives them someone to celebrate the first day of preschool. The illustrations are colourful and warm, filling the page with life through Bunny’s perspective.

Kids don’t view their stuffies as just dolls but as real friends so it’s fitting that Bunny’s Lessons is told from the perspective of Bunny. Although my daughter’s stuffy is a bunny, just like Bunny in Bunny’s Lessons, the story would have just as much meaning to her (and I) if her stuffy was a bear or doll. Bunny’s Lessons does a great job illustrating the relationship between a child and their stuffie.

To add Bunny’s Lessons to your personal library visit your local bookstore or Raincoast Books. For other great books for kids, read through the past Write a Review Wednesday.

Write a Review Wednesday: Out of Sight

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 Mad at Mommy. This week, with Spring getting closer, we’re thinking about animals in the wild which makes Chronicle Book‘s Out of Sight, by Francesco Pittau and Bernadette Gervais. I have to thank Crystal at Raincoast Books for my review copy.

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Out of Sight combines a child’s love of animals with discovery in the form of a large lift-the-flap book. Although the term lift-the-flap may lead you to believe this is a book aimed at the youngest reader in your family, the content will be entertaining for anyone with an interest in animals.

Each spread includes flaps, revealing a portion of an animal. Some pages show the shadows of an animal, some show the coat, other pages give you a glimps of just the animal’s ears. Kids will love using these hints to try and figure out which animal will be revealed when they lift the flap.

Under each flap you’ll fine not only find an image of the animal being revealed but you’ll also discover an interesting fact:

– A group of lions is a pride, but a group of tigers is an ambush
– A male donkey is called a jack, and a female donkey is called a jenny
– Goats are very agile. They can even climb trees

Each animal name in Out of Sight is also bolded so there’s no mistaken what animal is being referenced. Each page only has flaps, no words. It’s under the flaps where you’ll find these interesting facts. The flaps are in varing sizes throughout the book and pages but they are all big. The pages in the book and the flaps are made of sturdy cardboard stock paper which is ideal as your kids will be flipping the flaps and pages over and over again.

To add a copy of Out of Sight to your own personal library visit your local bookstore or Raincoast Books. For other great book suggestions for kids, read through some of the past Write a Review Wednesday posts. What are your kids reading?

Write a Review Wednesday: Snappy Build Nativity

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 Counting on Snow. With the start of December and the Advent season we’re reading Silver Dolphin BooksSnappy Builder Nativity (age 3+) by Derek Mattews. I have to thank Crystal at Raincoast Books for my review copy.

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In our house we celebrate Santa and Jesus during the Christmas season so a mix of both religious and non-religious stories are read this time of year. As you can probably guess from the title Snappy Builder Nativity, this hardcover book from Silver Dolphin Books is about the Christmas Story. Like most of the books in the Snappy series, the pages in the Snappy Builder Nativity are made from a reinforced cardboard making them durable for young readers to turn. The images fill the pages with strong colours and the story, though short, covers the main elements of the Christmas story in a fun rhyme. If you’re child is already familiar with the Christmas Story, they will enjoy participating in the story, telling what happens next. Snappy Build Nativity is also a great book to share with young kids who are just learning about the Christmas Story; the rhyme and illustrations help children to anticipate what comes next in the story.

Along with the actual story, the Snappy Builder Nativity also includes a 39 piece nativity scene you can build. The pieces are built from reinforced cardboard and use the same illustrations as found in the story. After reading the book or even while reading the story, kids can reenact the story with the nativity characters. My 8-year old built the nativity scene herself (it sits in her room) but younger kids will need some help putting it together. I love that all the main characters are all separate elements (the 3 kids are individual pieces versus being grouped together as one pieces), plus there are a number of barn animal pieces too. And each piece is printed double-sided so the characters can turn around. My daughter loved having the kings walk around and they could face either way. I also like how these detachable nativity pieces are included at the back of the book; it’s not even obvious they were attached and you can still enjoy the story. You will have to find a way to story these pieces when the Christmas season is over.

The Christmas Story is a central part of the celebrating Christmas and the Snappy Builder makes is accessible and fun for kids to enjoy and experience themselves. Other titles in the Snappy Builder series include: Snappy Builder Noah’s Ark, and Snappy Builder On the Farm,

To add a copy of Snappy Builder Nativity to your personal collection or to give as a gift, visit your local bookstore or visit Raincoast Books. For other great book recommendations for kids, read through the past Write a Review Wednesday post.

Write a Review Wednesday: Snappy Sounds Space

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 DK‘s The Most Brilliant Boldly Going Book of Exploration Ever. This week we’re going young again with Silver Dolphin Books’ Snappy Sounds Space (age 0-3), by Derik Matthews. I have to thank Crystal at Raincoast Books for my review copy.

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With a 3-year-old in the house, we have seen our fair share of sound books as well as pop-ups. Snappy Sounds is a series that combines both of these entertaining elements.

Snappy Sounds: Space follows Kitty and Mouse on a super adventure in their handmade rocket ship. They discover weightlessness in space, visit a strange new planet and even make some new friends. As you open each page, Kitty and Mouse jump out at you in fun and exciting ways, like when their rocket ships blasts off right out of the page. With each pop-up surprise, kids are also greeted with crazy space sound effects.

For a pop-up sound book the story is still quite entertaining, telling the tale of Kitty and Mouse’s journey. The pages are made of a thicker stock to hold the pop-up images. The images themselves are bright and colourful. Along with the story, kids will find a visual reference to key space terms on the side of the book, like helmet, gauge, crater.

My 3-year-old loves this book, especially because it has a Kitty. She loves opening and closing the pages to make it look as though the ship is blasting off or Kitty is floating in space. The sounds aren’t sound effects; you won’t hear a rocket or jetpack noise as you open the pages. The sounds are more silly space sounds, like computer instruments, but that didn’t stop my 3-year-old from going through the pages again and again (though after a while I had my fill of them). My daughter still loves to sit in her room and look at Snappy Sounds: Space on her own.

There are a number of different books in the Snappy Sounds series such as Snappy Sounds: Robots, Snappy Sounds: Moo, Snappy Sounds: Woof , Snappy Sounds: Surprise Party and even some holiday themed ones like Snappy Sounds: Boo and Snappy Sounds: Ho Ho Ho (I love holiday themed books).

You can add Snappy Sounds: Space to your library by visiting your local book seller or Raincoast Books. For other great book recommendations for kids, read through some of the past Write a Review Wednesday posts.

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Favourite Books I’ve Reviewed (so far)

I love books for kids. I love the imaginative characters, the whimsical illustrations, the unique story ideas. I love sharing these books with my kids, seeing them fret, cry, laugh, learn, discover along with the characters.

I’m fortunate that I get to indulge in my love of children’s literature each and every Wednesday by sharing with my blog readers some amazing new books being released by dedicated children’s book publishers. I can’t believe I’ve accumulated over 50 reviews on my blog so far. I’ve only reviewed books that I think are really good but sometimes there are some really great books that stand out in my mind. I thought this week for my Oh Amanda‘s Top Ten post I’d share with you my Top 10 Favourite Books I’ve Reviewed (so far, in no particular order).

  1. High Five with Julius and Friends, Touch and Feel (Boardbook, Raincoast books) – A touch and feel boardbook based on Paul Frank’s lovable characters.
  2. The Secret Lives of Princesses (Picture Book, 7+, Sterling Kids Publishing) – A beautifully illustrated and witty tale of those lesser known princesses.
  3. Wolf Wanted (Picture Book, 4-7, Groundwood Books) – A clever twist on combining fictitious wolf characters with the plight of real wolves around the world.
  4. Meeow and the Big Box (Picture Book, 2-5, Sterling Kids Publishing) – A simple yet wonderful view of a young child’s imagination as seen through the behaviour of Meeow and his friends.
  5. Ivy and Bean (Chapter Book, 6-10, Raincoast Books) – A series of chapter books (6 so far) that follow the adventures and friendship of two seven-year-old girls.
  6. Monsterologist (Poetry, 4+, Sterling Kids Publishing) – A fictitious journal recounting the various spookies and scaries recorded by a Monsterologist.
  7. Thing-Thing (Picture Book, 4-7, Tundra Books) – A heartfelt tale of a stuffy’s journey as he’s carelessly discarded out an apartment window.
  8. OK GO (Picture Book,  ,Greenwillow Books ) – A graphically engaging story about taking care of the environment around us.
  9. Chicken Pig Cow (2-5, Annick Press) – A tale of 3 plasticine friends and their friendship.
  10. Alison Dare (Graphic Novel, 8+ ,Tundra Books) – A fun and adventurous tale of a young girl explorer.

If you’re interested in other great books for kids, read through some of the past Write a Review Wednesday posts and come back each Wednesday for new 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.

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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.