Review: Happy Narwhalidays (Narwhal and Jelly #5)

Title: Happy Narwhalidays (Narwhal and Jelly #5)
Author: Ben Clanton
Genre: Children’s, Picture Book
Publisher: Tundra Books
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: September 8, 2020
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Narwhal and Jelly spread some holiday cheer (and warm waffle pudding)!

It’s the festive season in the world wide waters, and Narwhal is looking forward to cozying up with a good book, singing and partying with his pod pals and enjoying some warm waffle pudding. But most of all he’s excited about the arrival of the Merry Mermicorn! According to Narwhal, she’s part mermaid, part unicorn and completely mer-aculous! Jelly is of course skeptical about the existence of the “Mira-Miny-What-A Corn” . . . even when he receives a mysterious present. It must be from Narwhal. Now Jelly has to get the perfect gift, but finding a present for someone as unique as Narwhal is no easy feat, even when you have six tentacles. How will Jelly ever come up with a whaley great gift for a best pal who spreads cheer all through the year?

Review:

It’s winter and Narwhal and Jelly are ready to celebrate! Narwhal is excited to await the arrival of the Merry Mermicorn. She’s part mermaid and part unicorn, and she delivers gifts. Jelly has never heard of her and doesn’t think she’s real. When Jelly gets a mysterious gift, he suspects it’s from Narwhal so he has to find the perfect gift for his cheerful and festive best friend.

I love the Narwhal and Jelly books! Narwhal has a cheerful innocence, while Jelly is suspicious of everything. They balance each other out and try to teach each other about new things.

There were some cute water inspired festive songs and sayings in the story. The Merry Mermicorn was like Santa Claus. They sang songs like “Jingle Shells” and “We Fish You a Merry Mermicorn.” The Turtle and Shelly even went to light a “minnow-orah.”

Happy Narwhalidays is an adorable holiday children’s book!

Thank you Tundra Books for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Narwhal’s Otter Friend by Ben Clanton

Narwhal’s School of Awesomeness by Ben Clanton

Other books in the series:

Have you read Happy Narwhalidays? What did you think of it?

Review: We Are One: How the World Adds Up

Title: We Are One: How the World Adds Up
Author: Susan Hood, Linda Yan (illustrator)
Genre: Children’s, Picture Book, Nonfiction
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Source: Publisher
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: October 26, 2021
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

The whole is greater than the sum of its parts–and unity and connection are most important of all–in a beautifully illustrated counting book with a timely message. 

One can be one thing all on its own–one star, one stream, one stick, one stone. But those on their toes, those using their smarts, know one can be more than the sum of its parts.

Consider the two slices of bread that make up one sandwich, or the three lines of poetry that form one haiku, or even the ten years that form one decade. From one to ten, from sandwiches to centuries, every part is necessary to the whole. In this fascinating concept book, a simple rhyming narration aimed at younger children is complemented by informational panels about subjects like the four compass points, the five acts in Shakespeare, the seven colors of a rainbow, or the nine innings in baseball. Award-winning author Susan Hood and debut children’s book illustrator Linda Yan offer a mind-expanding look at early math concepts such as part/whole relationships, fractions, and addition–while underlying themes of cooperation, peace, and kindness make this beautiful volume one to be enjoyed by anyone at any age.

Review:

The world is made up of “ones.” You can have one stick, but a bunch of sticks makes one pile. Many other numbers can create one too. Two slices of bread make one sandwich. Seven colours make one rainbow. This picture book explains the way that numbers, and especially the number one, make up the whole world.

This was a fascinating book. The world is made up of the same numbers. Things found in nature and man-made things all consist of numbers. There were examples from around the world, such as Haiku poems from Japan (one poem with three lines) and Shakespeare plays from England (one play with five acts).

The story was told in rhyming lines that were illustrated on the page. Each page also had more in depth details about the history of what was mentioned on the page. For example, it explained how Braille is made up of six dots in different formations to create the language, and how the seasons come from the way the Earth tilts as it circles the sun. These facts could be interesting for some older children who would also like this book.

We Are One is a beautiful and educational picture book!

Thank you Candlewick Press and Penguin Random House Canada for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

When Elephants Listen With Their Feet by Emmanuelle Grundmann, Clémence Dupont

Double Take!: A New Look at Opposites by Susan Hood, Jay Fleck (illustrator)

Have you read We Are One? What did you think of it?

Review: Questions for Rebel Girls

Title: Questions for Rebel Girls
Author: Rebel Girls
Genre: Nonfiction, Children’s
Publisher: Rebel Girls
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: October 19, 2021
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Questions for Rebel Girls sparks lively discussions with more than 500 kid-friendly questions inspired by real rebel women from the best-selling Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls series.

Jane Goodall devoted her life to studying chimpanzees. If you dedicated your life to one type of animal, what would it be?

When cyclist Alfonsina Strada began racing, she was so unstoppable that newspapers nicknamed her “the devil in a dress.” What would your cycling nickname be?

Celia Cruz is the Queen of Salsa music. Beyoncé is a pop superstar. Roxanne Shante is an amazing rapper. And Joan Jett is all about rock and roll. If you could be a singing sensation, what type of music would you sing? If you could perform a duet with anyone in the world, who would you pick? 

If you could meet any woman from any country and any time in history, who would it be? What would you ask her? 

Would you rather ask questions or answer them?
 Luckily, with Questions for Rebel Girls, you can do both!

Girls love to explore their feelings, uncover their personality, and decode the world around them. One way to do that is to explore their answers to provocative questions about anything and everything. Questions for Rebel Girls introduces readers to extraordinary women throughout history and asks them to imagine themselves in similar scenarios. Designed to ignite exciting discussions between little rebels and their siblings, friends, and grown-ups, Questions for Rebel Girls is packed with more than 500 entertaining and thought-provoking questions—including some questions submitted by young fans of Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls.

Review:

This book is filled with questions and small bios for the Rebel Girls who have been featured in the other Rebel Girls books. There were one or two lines of a biography and/or a quote from each successful woman on almost every page. These women were athletes, actors, scientists, CEOs, and writers, among other professions from around the world. Each of these women have left a mark in their profession.

There were multiple questions on each page. These were thought-provoking and conversation-starting questions. There were a lot of this-or-that or would-you-rather questions that were a lot of fun to think about. Others would require more thought, such as “How do you communicate besides using words?” and “What is more important— to be popular, successful, or loved?” These could be great questions for parents or educators to use when discussing these topics with kids.

Questions for Rebel Girls is a great thought-provoking children’s book!

Thank you Rebel Girls for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Rebel Girls Lead: 25 Tales of Powerful Women by Rebel Girls

Rebel Girls Champions: 25 Tales of Unstoppable Athletes by Rebel Girls

Have you read Questions for Rebel Girls? What did you think of it?

Review: Rebel Girls Champions: 25 Tales of Unstoppable Athletes

Title: Rebel Girls Champions: 25 Tales of Unstoppable Athletes
Author: Rebel Girls
Genre: Nonfiction, Children’s
Publisher: Rebel Girls
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: October 12, 2021
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Rebel Girls Champions: 25 Tales of Unstoppable Athletescelebrates the stories of 25 phenomenal women in sports all written in fairy tale form. It is part of the award-winning Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls series.

This paperback collection showcases some of the most beloved stories from the first three volumes of the New York Times best-selling series Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls. It also features brand new tales of game-changing athletes and their drive, resilience, and sportsmanship. In Rebel Girls Champions, young readers can win the World Cup with Megan Rapinoe, flip and tumble with Simone Biles, and land breathtaking snowboard tricks with Chloe Kim. 

Coming out directly after the Tokyo Olympics, Rebel Girls Champions will include the most thrilling anecdotes from the 2021 Games.

The exciting, easy-to-read text is paired with colorful full-page portraits created by female artists from all around the world

Review:

This book gives descriptions of 25 women who are accomplished athletes. These women have broken records and made changes in their sports.

The stories in this book were very current. Many of the athletes mentioned appeared in the 2021 Olympics in Tokyo. Those games were referenced multiple times, including Hidilyn Diaz, a weightlifter from the Philippines who broke an Olympic record, and Simone Biles, an American gymnast who made the tough decision to take care of her mental and physical health and step back from the Olympics.

This is an inspiring children’s book!

Thank you Rebel Girls for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Rebel Girls Lead: 25 Tales of Powerful Women by Rebel Girls

Questions for Rebel Girls by Rebel Girls

Have you read Rebel Girls Champions? What did you think of it?

Review: The Yuckiest Lunch Box

Title: The Yuckiest Lunch Box
Author: Debbie Min, Wafiq Sehat (illustrator)
Genre: Children’s, Picture Book
Publisher: Debbie Min
Source: Author
Format: Ebook
Release Date: April 26, 2021
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

When Nari brings her traditional Asian lunch to her school, she doesn’t expect her classmates’ reaction… “Pee-yoo! It smells like someone farted!” 

Feeling embarrassed and rejected, she asks her mother to make her American lunches from now on, only to discover that what makes her different is actually her strength! 

In this multicultural story of belonging and acceptance, Nari faces cultural differences, and learns to proudly embrace the beauty of her culture. 

“The Yuckiest Lunch Box” is a fun and unique diversity and inclusion story that shows the importance of looking beyond cultural differences and accepting one another, no matter where we’re from. This empowering and uplifting tale encourages young children to be proud of where they come from, and be curious about their heritage. 

A must-read for all children! Ages 5-8

Review:

When Nari starts school, she brings a traditional Korean lunch. She didn’t expect the other children to make fun of the smell and look of the food. It hurts Nari’s feelings so much that she asks her mom to only make an American lunch for her to bring to school. Then, they have a multicultural day at school, so Nari has to bring traditional food and wear Korean clothing. The other children realize that everyone comes from a different culture and that we should be proud of our heritages.

The schools I went to were very multicultural. My friends all came from different backgrounds. There were always a variety of foods in the lunch room from all around the world, so I remember everyone eating different kinds of food at lunch.

It was so sad to see how upset Nari was when her classmates made fun of her food. The multicultural day was important because it taught the kids that everyone has a different culture, but that’s a good thing. Once they tried Nari’s food and learned how delicious it was, they no longer called it gross. It’s important not to make snap judgements and think that something is bad or gross just because it’s different from what you know.

The Yuckiest Lunch Box is a great picture book!

Thank you Debbie Min for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O’Neill

The Case of the Loathsome School Lunches by Angie Lake

Have you read The Yuckiest Lunch Box? What did you think of it?

Review: Narwhal’s School of Awesomeness (Narwhal and Jelly #6)

Title: Narwhal’s School of Awesomeness (Narwhal and Jelly #6)
Author: Ben Clanton
Genre: Children’s, Picture Book
Publisher: Tundra Books
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: September 7, 2021
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Narwhal and Jelly become the coolest teachers in the world wide waters in the hilarious sixth book of this blockbuster graphic novel series!

Dive into four new stories about Narwhal and Jelly becoming substitute teachers! The two best friends come across an enthusiastic school of fish one morning. Unfortunately, Mr. Blowfish, their teacher, has come down with a cold, and class will have to be cancelled . . . until Professor Knowell (Narwhal) and Super Teacher (Jelly) volunteer to help out! The first subject is Wafflematics, in which Narwhal and Jelly calculate the number of waffles needed to feed the class. That’s what we’re chalking about! Next up is a super-fun science scavenger hunt, followed by a game of Tag! You’re Awesome! at recess. Narwhal’s teaching methods may be unconventional, but with Jelly’s help, the two teach (and learn) with their trademark positivity and humor. Before they know it, the day is over . . . but what grade will Narwhal receive from Jelly?

Review:

Narwhal and Jelly see a group of fish swimming one day, so they decide to follow them. The fish are going to school, but their teacher, Mr. Blowfish, is sick and can’t teach. Narwhal becomes Professor Knowell and teaches them for the day. They do all the important school activities, such as Wafflematics and a science scavenger hunt. Narwhal has unique teaching skills but he gets the job done.

Narwhal and Jelly books are so much fun! The two friends, Narwhall and Jelly, meet many different sea creatures in every book. I learned some sea facts, such as that a group of oysters is called a bed, and that a male seahorse can give birth to 1,000 babies at once. I love that I can learn these fun facts in a kid’s book.

This story was funny because of the differences in Narwhal’s and Jelly’s personalities. Narwhal is very carefree and innocent. He doesn’t understand everything so he often makes things up as he goes along. Jelly likes to follow rules, but he’s getting better at going along with Narwhal’s ideas. Jelly usually has to explain things to Narwhal in the story. Their different personalities make these situations so funny.

Narwhal’s School of Awesomeness is such a fun kid’s book!

Thank you Tundra Books for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Happy Narwhalidays by Ben Clanton

Megabat by Anna Humphrey, Kass Reich

Other books in the series:

Have you read Narwhal’s School of Awesomeness? What did you think of it?

Review: Emily Brontë: Wuthering Heights (Easy Classics)

Title: Emily Brontë: Wuthering Heights (Easy Classics)
Author: Emily Brontë, Stephanie Baudet, Arianna Bellucci (illustrator)
Genre: Children’s, Classic
Publisher: Sweet Cherry Publishing
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: July 8, 2021
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

An illustrated adaptation of Emily Bronte’s classic – at an easy-to-read level for readers of all ages!

Many years ago, a young homeless boy was taken in at Wuthering Heights. Older now, Heathcliff is set on revenge, and destroying everybody around him.
And there is a lonely ghost roaming the moors, who is determined to be reunited with her lover …

About The Complete Brontë Sisters Children’s Collection
From the haunted Yorkshire moors to the towering battlements of Thornfield Hall, experience the Bronte sisters’ famous stories of love, self-discovery and family feuds. Adapted and illustrated for children aged 7+.

Review:

This children’s adaptation of Wuthering Heights tells the tragic love story of Catherine and Heathcliff. Heathcliff was brought to Wuthering Heights as a child, after Mr. Earnshaw found him on the streets. Cathy and Heathcliff quickly became friends and fell in love. However, many things drew them apart. Now, years later, Heathcliff is devastated by Catherine’s untimely death and is waiting for the day that he can join her again.

This was a great, condensed version of Wuthering Heights. When I first read the original in high school, I had a difficult time figuring it out. I’ve read it many times since then, and I know the story very well. This simpler version could help modern readers, either adults or children, to understand the story.

I liked the illustrations that went along with the story. The only part that I found inconsistent with the original story was that Heathcliff had the same skin colour as the other characters. Multiple times throughout the story he is described as having dark skin, so I wish this was depicted in the illustrations of the story.

This Wuthering Heights adaptation is a great way to learn this classic story.

Thank you Sweet Cherry Publishing for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Charlotte Brontë: Jane Eyre by Stephanie Baudet, Arianna Bellucci

Anne Brontë: The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Stephanie Baudet, Arianna Bellucci

Other books in the series:

  • Charlotte Brontë: Jane Eyre
  • Anne Brontë: The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

Have you read Wuthering Heights? What did you think of it?

Review: Sunny Days

Title: Sunny Days
Author: Deborah Kerbel, Miki Sato
Genre: Children’s, Picture Book
Publisher: Pajama Press
Source: Publisher
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: May 4, 2021
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Morning sun, golden skies Softly waking sleepy eyes 

For preschoolers, sunny days are full of possibility. A sunbeam on the floor is the perfect place to curl up with a furry friend, and warming weather means seeds in the garden, mud pies in the yard, adventures at the beach, and ice cream in the shade. Evening brings the silly fun of watching little shadows stretch out long, and there’s nothing so cozy as watching the sun set as a family.

In Sunny Days, author Deborah Kerbel once again weaves a spell of early childhood magic with couplets as bright as a summer afternoon. Illustrator Miki Sato’s textural collage art nearly rises from the page with fascinating features made from paper, felt, and embroidery silk.

Review:

This picture book is about all the different things that you can do in the sun, from morning to night. When you wake up, there’s a golden sky. Then, throughout the day you can garden or swim. In the evening, the sky turns a rosy pink to say goodbye to that day. Each page had short rhyming lines that went along with the pictures.

This is a beautiful children’s book. I love the style of art, with layers of paper creating a picture. Each picture was made with pieces of coloured paper layered on top of one another. Some of the illustrations also had thread woven to make small lines and add texture to the pictures.

At the back of the book, there was a list of activities to do in the sun. These include, leaving objects on construction paper in the sun to create patterns, and tracing a puddle after the rain with sidewalk chalk to see how the sun shrinks it. These are fun and simple activities that kids can do after reading this book.

Sunny Days is a beautiful children’s book!

Thank you Pajama Press for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Snow Days by Deborah Kerbel, Miki Sato

Sun Dog by Deborah Kerbel, Suzanne Del Rizzo

Have you read Sunny Days? What did you think of it?

Review: Evie and the Truth About Witches

Title: Evie and the Truth About Witches
Author: John Martz
Genre: Children’s, Picture Book, Fantasy
Publisher: Tundra Books
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: August 17, 2021
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Evie wants to be scared, but she’ll get more than she bargained for in this thrilling, witchy chapter book adventure! For fans of Sir Simon: Super Scarer and other spooky, kid-friendly books.

Evie wants to be scared, and the usual scary stories just aren’t doing it for her anymore. When she stumbles across a different sort of book, The Truth about Witches, she hopes she’s found something thrilling . . . but she’s forbidden by a kindly shopkeeper from reading the last page out loud! Naturally, her curiosity gets the better of her, and upon reading the last page out loud — a real summoning spell — Evie is spirited off to a strange land of magic, weird creatures, feasts and actual witches! They’re not as scary as they seem, until Evie asks to join their ranks . . . and only once she does is her quest for true scariness satisfied . . .

Review:

Evie wanted to read a scary book, so she went to a bookstore that specialized in scary books. She chose the book called The Truth About Witches. The bookseller warned her not to read the last page out loud. When Evie read the book before bed, she learned a lot about witches but wasn’t very scared. Though she knew she shouldn’t, she read the last page out loud. Evie had to face the life changing consequences of not following that rule.

This story would be perfect for Halloween. The illustrations were in black, white, and orange, giving it a Halloween theme. It also had a spooky theme with the witches that Evie learned about and eventually met.

The ending of this story really surprised me. It was abrupt and unexpected. As an adult, I loved it, but it could be a creepy ending for a child reader. It does teach an important lesson about listening and following rules, which Evie didn’t do.

Evie and the Truth About Witches is a spooky new children’s book!

Thank you Tundra Books for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Black and Bittern Was Night by Robert Heidbreder, John Martz

Do Frogs Drink Hot Chocolate?: How Animals Keep Warm by Etta Kaner, John Martz

Have you read Evie and the Truth About Witches? What did you think of it?

Review: Doctor Who: The Runaway Tardis

Title: Doctor Who: The Runaway Tardis
Author: Rebecca Gyllenhaal, Kim Smith (illustrator)
Genre: Children’s, Picture Book, Science Fiction
Publisher: Quirk Books
Source: Library
Format: Ebook
Release Date: June 23, 2020
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Join the Doctor and her smallest companion on a madcap adventure through time and space! The beloved sci-fi TV series is now a charming picture book, perfect for Doctor Who fans of all ages.

Unable to make friends at her new school, Lizzie packs a bag and runs away. After accidentally stowing away in the TARDIS, she meets the Doctor, a mysterious woman who claims to be a time-traveling space alien. When the TARDIS malfunctions, Lizzie and the Doctor are sent catapulting through time and space, visiting the pyramids, the dinosaurs, an alien planet, and more. Along the way, Lizzie learns that making new friends isn’t so hard after all . . . but will she ever be able to get back home? Featuring Jodie Whittaker’s Thirteenth Doctor and an adorable new alien species, this sweet storybook is a must-have for Whovians everywhere, young and old alike. 

Review:

Lizzie is having trouble making friends at her new school, so she packs some peanut butter sandwiches and runs away. As she’s running through the park, she finds a blue police box and goes inside. Lizzie hides in the box, which is bigger on the inside, until a woman comes in and causes the box to move. The woman is the Doctor, and her box, the Tardis, begins to malfunction. The Doctor and Lizzie visit many places throughout time and space such as the dinosaurs and the pyramids in Egypt. They eventually have to get a special species of engineers to fix the Tardis so that Lizzie can return to her home.

This was such a fun book for young fans of Doctor Who. There are classic Doctor Who moments, such as when the Doctor can’t figure out what’s wrong with the Tardis, and the classic phrases “wibbly wobbly” and “bigger on the inside.” This short story captured the atmosphere of an episode of the show.

Lizzie’s story perfectly mirrored the Doctor’s life. Lizzie didn’t have friends, so she wanted to run away from home. The Doctor has struggled with loneliness and the loss of companions throughout the series, so she had this in common with Lizzie. The Doctor is constantly running away from something or someone, so she could also be considered a runaway, like Lizzie. I liked this comparison to teach children about loneliness.

Doctor Who: The Runaway Tardis is a great children’s book!

What to read next:

The X Files: Earth Children Are Weird by Jason Rekulak, Kim Smith (illustrator)

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial by Jim Thomas, Kim Smith (illustrator)

Have you read Doctor Who: The Runaway Tardis? What did you think of it?