Friday, April 24, 2015

#Review: The Sandwich Swap by Queen Rania of Jordan Al Abdullah #atozchallenge, #Kidsbooks, #review,

Lily and Salma are best friends. They like doing all the same things, and they always eat lunch together. Lily eats peanut butter and Salma eats hummus-but what's that between friends? It turns out, a lot. Before they know it, a food fight breaks out. Can Lily and Salma put aside their differences? Or will a sandwich come between them?

The smallest things can pull us apart-until we learn that friendship is far more powerful than difference. In a glorious three-page gatefold at the end of the book, Salma, Lily, and all their classmates come together in the true spirit of tolerance and acceptance.

My review:
This book is what I would call semi-multicultural as the children in the book come from different cultures. The foods that each eats reflex their individual culture. However this book is more than that. It is about accepting people for who they are and learning something about  other cultures and how people are the same in some ways but different in others. All in all, that we are just people.

Kids will certainly get these concepts. The book does address things like bullying and racism but in a gentle sort of way. These things are happening today and kids may see these things reflected in the book. This book could certainly open the gateway for conversation and understanding.

I loved this book and think it should be read in every classroom and home. Moreover, I think we as a people should maybe take some notes from this book.

5 star!

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

Where to find the author:

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

#Review: Rodeo Red by Maripat Perkins/Illustrated by Molly Idle #atozchallenge

Rodeo Red and her hound dog Rusty are happier than two buttons on a new shirt… until Side Swiping Slim shows up. Red is sure that anyone who hollers that much will be hauled to the edge of town and told to skedaddle, but her parents seem smitten. When that scallywag sets his eye on Rusty, Rodeo Red had better figure out a way to save her best friend in all the world. Can she make a bargain with a varmint?

My review:
Nothing is harder on kids than when another kid comes into the family, worse yet, to take toys! This is the case for Red when she gets a new baby brother who takes her beloved hound dog.

I enjoyed watching Red try to figure out how to get her toy back even though she ended up in time out aka a jail cell which was the kitchen chair. The solution does eventually falls in her lap but it is the ingenuity that helps her.

The book is written in a western kind of vibe complete with roping things and riding on a horse of the rocking variety. The book is told in first person by Rodeo Red who speaks in a western language. For example: wrestling up some grub and Slide Swiping Slim, the varmint. It is all very cute and a unique way to write.

The illustrations are done in such a way that they give the old west kind of feel which adds to the book. Rodeo Red is dressed in cowgirl outfit right down to her boots.

I would recommend this book be read with a parent who has a new child in the house. Children will get the concept of the book but may need some direction in what is appropriate behavior.

All in all, this book gets a 4 star from me and a ye-haw!

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my open and honest review. The views expressed here are 100% my own and may differ from yours. ~Naila Moon

Where to find the author:

Monday, April 20, 2015

#Review: Queen Quail is Quiet by Erika Barriga #atozchallenge #Kidsbooks, #review

My review:
This book is a basic ABC book mixed with tongue twisters. I am not sure the tongue twisters work for such a book. It seems younger children would be frustrated. The premise is that older children would like the tongue twisters, which may be true , but the twisters were short and again, this is an ABC book.

I was not overly impressed with the pictures either. Although they are drawn well, I felt that they maybe should have been in brighter colors to catch the attention of a younger child. An example is when the bear is wearing boots they should have been bright compared to the rest of the bear. 

Overall, this was an ok book which is why I am giving it 3 stars but I have seen much better ABC's books and this one was not a winner for me.

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

Where to find the author:

Sunday, April 19, 2015

#Review: The Patchwork Quilt by Valerie Flournoy/ Illustrated by Jerry Pinkney #atozchallenge, #kidsbooks, #ReadingRainbowBooks, #CorettaScottKingAwards, #Multicultural

Tanya's grandmother is making a special quilt with pieces of clothes from the whole family.

But when she gets sick, will Tanya be able to finish the quilt for her?

My review:
This is a beautiful story about an art that is slowly fading. It is the art of quilt making which was once commonly done in families but is now disappearing as new generations do not want to learn how.

The grandmother in the story is wise as she teaches her grand-daughter the art of quilt making, she also teaches her how they can tell stories. Each piece tells the story of an individual in the family. Tanya learns this lesson and helps her family learn it too.

I loved the inter-generational workings of this family. Grandmother was depicted as someone who should be valued for her wisdom and ideas. She was someone who knows the stories of her family and the value in knowing those stories.

Another underlying message here is that there are times when families should take the time to cherish the things they have and that sometimes, those things are obtained by hard work and dedication. This is a lesson that we as a whole could learn from and maybe we need to return to as a society.

The book is full of line drawings that show facial expressions well. The background colors are done in muted browns, whites, grays, and yellows  that gives the reader a sense of age but yet colors pop off the pages from the clothing and quilt. I love this juxtapose. 

If everything in this review is not enough to convince you to purchase this book, then know that this is a Reading Rainbow Book and won the Coretta Scott King Award. It is well deserved.

5 stars!

Disclosure: I purchased this book for my own collection. The views expressed here are 100% my own and may differ from yours.

Where to find the author:

Saturday, April 18, 2015

#Review: N is for Nonslense by A.J. Cosmo #kidsbook, #atozchallenge

What’s a boy to do when he meets a monster that makes no sense?

The last few nights at home, Peter McBrody had been accused of doing all sorts of strange things. Floors had been painted with flour, bed linens had been eaten, and milk floated in the sink.

"It's not me," Peter said.
"Then who do you suppose did it?" asked his mother.
"A monster?" Peter said, not sure if that made any sense.
"There are no monsters," his mother replied.

Peter was certain monsters were real. After all, he had one. His monster loved things that didn’t make any sense and if he didn’t figure out how to get rid of it, he’d be grounded forever.

What would you do?

My review:
It is not so unusual for children to make messes but when someone or something else is making it, what are they to do?

This was a fun quick read. I enjoyed how the author described this very crazy, "nonsensical" creature that only the character Peter seemed to see. It did help that his best friend finally saw it too and the ironic way they tried to get rid of him.

The one thing I did find sad was that Peter's Mom did not believe him or even pretend to believe him. Most adults would not think monsters to be real but with the imaginations of a child, they can be very real. Children need to be believed.

I did like however, that Peter eventually took responsibility to clean up the mess even if his real or imagined monster made the mess and he didn't. Children also have to learn responsibility and often that is one hard lesson to learn.

Terrific book and I give it 4 stars.

Disclosure: I bought a Kindle copy of this book for my own collection. The views expressed here are 100% my own and may differ from yours. ~Naila Moon

Where to find the author:


Friday, April 17, 2015

#Review: Out Of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper #middlegrade

Melody is not like most people. She cannot walk or talk, but she has a photographic memory; she can remember every detail of everything she has ever experienced. She is smarter than most of the adults who try to diagnose her and smarter than her classmates in her integrated classroom—the very same classmates who dismiss her as mentally challenged, because she cannot tell them otherwise. But Melody refuses to be defined by cerebral palsy. And she’s determined to let everyone know it…somehow.

My review:
I do not usually read summaries before I review a book but this time I did.  I knew a person who has cerebral palsy and thought this might be an interesting read. The story is written entirely in first person from the viewpoint of Melody, the main character.

I thought this was really awesome because although she could not speak, her intelligence was beyond what people would consider "normal". I loved reading her thoughts, her feelings. I felt she should have been in a "regular" classroom from the very beginning. At the same time, I was appalled at the reactions of those who surrounded her and thought she was completely dumb, well, with the exception of her parents, an aide and a neighbor. 

I found these four people to be incredible and who saw Melody as a person first, not an individual with a disability, but abilities. Their interaction with her was wonderful and truly inspiring.

I cheered for Melody when something happened for her that made her life a little better but was heart broken for her as the people in her school treated her with disrespect.

Melody is an amazing person and if she had not been totally fictional, I would have loved to have known her.
The author's writing skills were top notch and I was able to immerse myself in the world of her characters. This is a must read for all middle grade children.

5 stars and a huge trophy for Melody that she so deserved! If you want to truly know what I mean, get a copy of this book right away. You won't want to put it down.

Disclosure: I won a copy of this book for my collections. The views expressed here are 100% my own and may differ from yours.

Where to find the author:

Thursday, April 16, 2015

#Review: Moonstruck:The True Story of the Cow That Jumped Over the Moon by Gennifer Choldenko #atozchallenge

The horse seriously doubts that the cow will ever be able to jump over the Moon but offers respect and admiration when the determined bovine accomplishes that feat.

My review:
The summary for this book does not even measure up to the hilarity of the book itself. The book is told from the viewpoint of a horse. This horse thinks Mother Goose did not give the cow enough credit when she wrote the tale.

You see according to the horse, who happens to be coach and captain of a team  who all jump the moon every night. This cow hangs around and thus learns to jump too even though the horses see it as impossible.

Even though I know the fairy tale well, it was fun to read this book as an expanded version of the tale. It was hilarious to see the cow practice but eventually make the team and thus jump the moon with a flair that no other could have.

Kids will enjoy the mostly brown, white and blue pictures with funny character drawings that enhance the book. Kids will find the whole thing absurd but also get the idea that persistence and hard work pay off over time.

This book gets 5 stars from me as it is truly...mooooving!

Disclosure: I purchased this book or my own collections. The views expressed here are 100% my own and may differ from yours. ~Naila Moon

Where to find the author: