Monday, April 24, 2017

#Review: The Library by Sarah Stewart/Illustrated David Small #AtoZBlogChallenge #T

Summary:
Elizabeth Brown doesn't like to play with dolls and she doesn't like to skate. What she does like to do is read books. Lots of books. The only problem is that her library has gotten so big she can't even use her front door anymore. What should Elizabeth Brown do?


My review:
As a book and library lover, I was drawn to this book right away. I loved that the main character was based on a real person who was in the dedication. I found the character to be a compadre of sorts because she never stopped reading, not even to vacuum! The cover actually drew me in first as it was very nostalgic with a woman pulling a wagon load of books. This would be me, no doubt.

As I opened the pages to The Library, I was hit with more of those very well done nostalgic pages. The colors were in muted pastels, lined drawn and just gorgeous.  They jumped out of the book with every page turn. I loved seeing with each turn the 'books' getting higher and higher and cleverly stacked. Each illustration was framed in a black and white line drawn frame.

The writing was two to three paragraphs for each two-spread page. It was done in poetic form and again, perfect! By each of the paragraphs were smaller black and white images that went along with the poem and not necessarily the other illustrations. However, these enhanced the already fantastic book. The twist at the end was the culmination of a book lovers dream.

5 stars!

Disclosure: I obtained this book at my local library. The views expressed here are 100% my own and may differ from yours. ~M.M. Hudson aka Naila Moon


Sunday, April 23, 2017

#Review: Sona and the Wedding Game by Kashmira Sheth/illustrated by Yoshiko Jaegge #Multicultural #AtoZBlog Challenge #S




Summary:
Sona's big sister is getting married and she's been given an important job to do. She has to steal the groom's shoes. She's never attended a wedding before, so she's unfamiliar with this Indian tradition as well as many of the other magical experiences that will occur before and during the special event. But with the assistance of her annoying cousin Vishal, Sona finds a way to steal the shoes and get a very special reward.

My review:
Usually, when I am reviewing a book, I have a clear mind of what I think about it. Sona and the Wedding Game happens to be one of those books that I had to think a little harder than usual.

This is the story of a fictional Hindu wedding but is based on real-life weddings for some Hindus. I thought the tradition of stealing a groom's shoes was very different but the book explains the reason and it is all about family. In fact, the book makes it clear that every nuance of this kind of wedding is to bring two families closer together. I like that!

I was a bit disappointed at the end as her request was asked but then there was no conclusion it seemed. Maybe I missed that part and it could be because...

The few illustrations I was able to see were colorful and cute. Unfortunately, the copy I had on Kindle did not convey as well as I would have liked to have seen. In fact, I think they were missing altogether. I do not think that is the fault of the author but if it had been a child trying to read the book, it would have been disappointing.

The book is a nice glimpse into some of India's rich culture It is only a small part, but still yet still worth reading, especially if learning about India.

3 stars

Disclosure: A Kindle copy of this book was obtained through NetGalley. All views expressed here are 100% my own and may differ from yours. ~MM. aka Naila Moon


#Review: Rosita and the Night of the Radishes by Dorothy Thurgood Manning #Multicultural #AtoZBlogChallenge #R





Summary:
Young Rosita competes in Oaxaca, Mexico's radish carving contest which is held every December 23rd. She hopes to win first prize and use the money to help her family's failing farm.

My review:
Rosita and the Night of the Radishes is a fictional tale based off of a real live event in Oaxaca, Mexico.

The character, Rosita, is a young girl who must take care of her family farm while her parents try to sell what farm goods they have raised. They are poor farmers and Rosita enters the competition each year to try to help win money so her parents can hire more help.

The tale tells how she gets to grow the radishes and the carving she does. The ending is such a twist that I was surprised to see what actually happened. Is it a good ending? Bad ending? Ah, my readers, you must get the book to know.

To me, the whole story was a sweet and powerful take on dreaming about being better, persistences, hard work, and courage. I loved seeing the main character being a girl with all of these traits and more.

The illustrations were quite bold and colorful. They enhanced the already good story line and made it come to full life.

At the end of the story, it gave a brief history of the "Night of the Radishes." Again, I was surprised to know that this is a real event that happens every year just before Christmas. The end pages also include real photographs of the event. To me, that was really cool to see and a nice comparison to the fictional story.

This book is targeted for 3-8-year-olds. The younger set would enjoy being read to as the older children would enjoy reading the book.  I give this book a 5-star win!
--------------------
I was so interested in this annual event because I had never heard it before, that I decided to look up a video. This video is not connected to the author or her book but is an interesting connection to it. Enjoy.





Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher. The views expressed here are 100% my own and may differ from yours. ~M.M. Hudson aka Naila Moon




Friday, April 21, 2017

#Review: The Queen Is Coming to Tea by Linda Ravin Lodding/Illustrated by Constanze von Kitzing #AtoZBlogChallenge #Q




Summary:
When Ellie finds out the Queen is coming to tea, she snaps to attention!
But will the Queen patiently wait? And what exactly will be waiting for the Queen?

My review:
The Queen Is Coming to Tea is a cute story with a cute twist of an ending. The illustrations are bright and bold but not overly exciting. I was not as drawn to this book as much as other picture books but that does not mean I did not like it.

I thought the book was imaginative and "took" kids around the world to get the things needed to prepare for tea. Preparation for such an important person would need to be much. However, my problem with the around the world trips was that the places and characters seemed to be stereotypical.  That was a definite oops for me even though I see what the author was trying to do.

For the emerging reader, this might be a fun book to read or for the child who enjoys dressing up and having tea parties. Overall, for me, this is a 3-star book.

Disclosure: I received an ARC copy of this book for free. The views expressed here are 100% my own and may differ from yours. ~M.M. aka Naila Moon


Thursday, April 20, 2017

#Review: Paul Needs Specs by Bernard Cohen/ Illustrated by Geoff Kelly #AtoZBlogChallenge #P


Summary:
Paul's world is turning fuzzy, but luckily he has Sal, his big sister, who is happy to help bring it back into focus, and tell his story to the world.

My review:
Paul Needs Specs is a funny title to me which is why I picked up the book, to begin with. I was not overly enthralled with the cover as it was all in grayish color and silhouetted except for these big bulging eyes. I did not like that the title looked like a frown. I decided even still, to give the book a shot.

The book is told from the perspective of "Paul's" sister. She narrates this whole story of why Paul ended up having to have glasses. It is not the best story but I did like that the words are written sometimes very funky or even large. There is one point the words are written in the "glasses". I am sure that kids would find that to be fun.

The best part of this book is actually the illustrations themselves. As this is mostly a picture book, the pictures really stand out. Most of the pictures are a two-spread and are colorful and quite large. Funky does not even do them justice, they are just plain wild. The first few are also grainy which is intentional to show bad eyesight.

I wish that I could give this book more stars than the 3 I am giving it but the story line really hurts the book and for that reason, I cannot and is only ok to me.

Disclosure: I purchased a copy of this book for my own collections. The views expressed here are 100% my own and may differ from yours. ~M.M. aka Naila Moon



Wednesday, April 19, 2017

APRIL 2017 KID LIT BLOG HOP #KLBH #KidLitBlogHop




Hello, welcome back to another month of terrific children's literature. We welcome you to the April 2017 Kid Lit Blog Hop. This hop takes place every 3rd Wednesday of the month. It is designed to engage a  group of people who love everything that has to do with children's literature. Everyone is welcome to join us: bloggers, authors, publicist, and publishers!

**This month I want to share with you all of the A-Z children's books I have reviewed thus far. As of this writing, I have shared all the way through the letter "O". You can find them by clicking on the #2 spot on the linky or you can click on my home page. There are some unbelievably awesome books and worth the look. Leave me a comment to tell me you visited too. 



Thanks for being here for the hop! ~M.M. aka Naila Moon**



Have you seen the  Kid Lit Blog Hopper Facebook fan page? This page has all the news and information related to the hop plus ongoing posts, giveaways, news articles, etc. related to Kid's Lit. Check it out and of course, please like the page.

So for our hop, please make sure that your posts are related to Children’s literature only and add it to the linky. (Please make sure to add your direct post only) If you are an author, feel free just to link to your blog. Once you are done, then hop around to visit others. Please follow the co-host and visit at least the one or two people above your link. Please leave a comment when you do visit, we all like those.

Also, it would be appreciated if you grab the Kid Lit Blog Hop Badge and display it on your blog and/or your post. Note: Make sure you have the newest badge as the old one goes to the wrong page.
We would also be grateful if you tweet and/or posted on Facebook about the blog hop. Let’s grow this wonderful community.

Thanks for sharing your great children's books with all of us! The hostess will be around to see you.

Happy Hopping!
BeachBoundBooks, co-hostess
                                                     Pragmatic Mom, co-hostess
The Logonauts, co-hostess
Spark and Pook, co-hostess
                                                        

                                    

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

#Review: Octopuses One To Ten by Ellen Jackson/Illustrated by Robin Page #AtoZBlogChallenge #O




Summary:

Dive into this fascinating counting journey through the amazing and mysterious world of octopuses.

Everyone knows octopuses have eight arms. But did you know that they have three hearts and nine brains? This intriguing exploration of octopuses goes through numbers one to ten, with a snappy rhyme and fascinating octopus facts for each number. 

My review:


At first, when I looked at the cover of this book, I thought it was a simple counting book. However, when I flipped through the pages, I realized I was wrong. This book is anything but a counting book.

The story line is written in poetry and features a large octopus. On the side, is further explanation of the octopus. Each number represents some aspect of the octopus. For example, the number, nine, is the number of brains. In a small corner, it shows how big a particular octopus would be compared to a human.


The last number counts down 10 of the different kinds of octopus there are. That to me was interesting as I never knew there were that many. Kids interested in aquatic animals will love the information.
Seriously, I was rather fascinated to find out all about the octopus.

Octopuses One to Ten includes in the back of the book some cool activities to do as a family as well as discussion questions.

You cannot go wrong with the book on your shelf for your interested readers. For that reason, I am giving the book an eight-armed 5 stars.

Disclosure: I obtained this book at my local library. The views expressed here are 100% my own and may differ from yours. ~M.M. aka Naila Moon