Review: Skinnamarink

Title: Skinnamarink
Author: Sharon, Lois, and Bram, Qin Leng
Genre: Children’s
Publisher: Tundra Books
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: September 3, 2019
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Based on the classic folk song made famous by a beloved trio of children’s entertainers, this picture book is best sung aloud! “Skinnamarink” is a timeless anthem of love and inclusion.

What does “skinnamarink” mean? You may not find its definition in a dictionary, but the meaning is clear to the generations of children who sang along: friendship, happiness, sharing, community and, ultimately, love. This song has been sung in weddings and in classrooms. It can be fun and silly – especially with the accompanying actions! And it has a way of bringing people together.

Through Qin Leng’s wonderfully imaginative illustrations, this delightful picture book tells the story of a community coming together. Young and old, from little mice to a big elephant, people and animals gather into a spontaneous parade as they follow the sound of music.

Review:

I grew up watching Sharon, Lois and Bram so I was so excited to read this book.

This book consists of the lyrics to their famous song Skinnamarink with pictures. There were a few new verses, which was a nice surprise since I know the song very well. It made the song a little longer and gave more material for illustrations.

I loved the pictures in this book. They showed a variety of people and animals singing the song. They even acted out the motions that go along with the song.

This book brought back so many memories for me! It is an adorable kids book!

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

What to read next:

Alligator Pie by Dennis Lee

Have you read Skinnamarink? What did you think of it?

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Review: Superman of Smallville

Title: Superman of Smallville
Author: Art Baltazar and Franco Aureliani
Genre: Children’s, Graphic Novel
Publisher: DC Zoom
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: September 3, 2019
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Can Superman keep Smallville from going to the dogs?

Acts of awesomeness are happening around town. People are being rescued, runaway tractors stopped, and fires extinguished. This is all in a day’s work for the hero known only as “Superman.” But who is he, really?

Thirteen-year-old Clark Kent knows. He has a super-secret–one his parents are constantly worried will get out. Clark promises to be extra careful, but when random objects begin to take flight and disappear, his parents threaten to ground him. Except he’s innocent! If Superman isn’t responsible…who is? Join Clark in this hilarious adventure as he sniffs out the real culprit.

From New York Times–bestselling and Eisner Award-winning creators Art Baltazar and Franco, comes a fun, whimsical story featuring young Lana Lang, Lex Luthor, and of course Clark Kent.

Review:

This is a great new Superman graphic novel for kids!

There were some really funny parts that I think kids would enjoy. Superman flew around saving people and animals in Smallville. He saved sheep by blowing air so they would land slowly after he tossed them in the air. He lifted the roof of the barn to quickly toss the cows inside when they wouldn’t walk there. I couldn’t help but laugh out loud at these funny parts.

Clark’s experience was relatable at times. He was bullied at school, even though the bully is actually a huge fan of Superman. Of course, no one knows that Clark is really Superman. He also had to try hard to impress the popular boy at school, Lex Luthor. I enjoyed seeing Clark in these realistic situations.

I really liked this book!

Thank you DC Zoom for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Study Hall of Justice (DC Comics: Secret Hero Society #1) by Derek Fridolfs and Dustin Nguyen

Dear Justice League by Michael Northrop, Gustavo Duarte

Have you read Superman of Smallville? What did you think of it?

Review: The Tea Dragon Society

Title: The Tea Dragon Society
Author: Katie O’Neill
Genre: Children’s, Graphic Novel, LGBT
Publisher: Oni Press
Source: Owlcrate
Format: Paperback
Release Date: October 18, 2017
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

From the award-winning author of Princess Princess Ever Aftercomes The Tea Dragon Society, a charming all-ages book that follows the story of Greta, a blacksmith apprentice, and the people she meets as she becomes entwined in the enchanting world of tea dragons. 

After discovering a lost tea dragon in the marketplace, Greta learns about the dying art form of tea dragon care-taking from the kind tea shop owners, Hesekiel and Erik. As she befriends them and their shy ward, Minette, Greta sees how the craft enriches their lives—and eventually her own.

Review:

This is a short and sweet graphic novel.

In the Tea Dragon Society, they harvest tea that grows in the form of leaves on dragons. Their owners have a special bond with the dragons, allowing them to harvest the leaves. The dragons are named after various kinds of tea, such as Jasmine and Chamomile, and they grow those types of tea.

I loved the importance of friendship in this story. The members of the Tea Dragon Society have to form a special friendship with their dragons. The dragons united Hesekiel and Erik, and Greta and Minette. Greta also learns the importance of passing down knowledge to the next generations so skills, such as blacksmithing, are not lost.

I loved this story. I’m excited to read the next book in the series!

What to read next:

The Tea Dragon Festival by Katie O’Neill

Princess Princess Ever After by Katie O’Neill

Have you read The Tea Dragon Society? What did you think of it?

Review: The Secret of the Old Clock

Title: The Secret of the Old Clock
Author: Carolyn Keene
Genre: Children’s, Mystery
Publisher: Grosset & Dunlop
Source: Purchased
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: 1930
Rating: ★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Nancy, unaided, seeks to find a missing will. To the surprise of many, the Topham family will inherit wealthy Josiah Crowley’s fortune, instead of deserving relatives and friends who were promised inheritances. Nancy determines that a clue to a second will might be found in an old clock Mr. Crowley had owned and she seeks to find the timepiece. Her search not only tests her keen mind, but also leads her into a thrilling adventure.

Review:

It’s been many years since I first read this book. I recently watched the walkthrough on YouTube for the game version, and I wanted to read the book again. It wasn’t my favourite Nancy Drew game, so I was curious to revisit the book.

It may be my modern way of thinking, but I found the characters way too trusting. All of them told Nancy their financial troubles right after meeting her. It seemed strange for them to tell her all of their business immediately. I know it’s fiction, but it was so unrealistic and unusual.

Though some parts of this story were unrealistic, it is still a classic because it is the beginning of Nancy Drew’s mysteries.

What to read next:

The Hidden Staircase by Carolyn Keene

Have you read The Secret of the Old Clock? What did you think of it?

Review: The Princess in Black Takes a Vacation (The Princess in Black #4)

Title: The Princess in Black Takes a Vacation (The Princess in Black #4)
Author: Shannon Hale, Dean Hale, LeUyen Pham
Genre: Children’s
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Source: Library
Format: Ebook
Release Date: November 8, 2016
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Even monster-battling princesses get tired sometimes! But a peaceful time away is hard to find as the humorous New York Times best-selling series continues.

After battling monsters all night, a sleepy Princess in Black decides that she needs a vacation. After all, the Goat Avenger, a new hero who looks oddly familiar, has offered to protect the goats while she takes a much needed break. The very next day Princess Magnolia rides her bicycle to the seaside, where the air is salty, the sun is shiny, and the sea is as blue as monster fur. But just as Princess Magnolia is about to take a nap on her hammock, she hears a “ROAR!” Seriously? A monster? On the perfect beach? Impossible! Could a sea monster really ruin this vacation for the Princess in Black? 

Review:

I love this series! The Princess in Black is an adorable character.

Princess Magnolia is exhausted at the beginning of this story, so she decides to take a vacation. However, she still couldn’t escape the monsters. She met her friend Princess Sneezewort just before a sea monster came up onto shore and attacked. Meanwhile, the Goat Avenger was defeating monsters who tried to attack his goats.

I didn’t really like the dual stories in this book. The Princess in Black and the Goat Avenger had to fight the monsters separately, instead of together. I like it much better when the Princess can fight the monsters with her friends.

I still really enjoyed this book!

What to read next:

The Princess in Black and the Mysterious Playdate (The Princess in Black #5) by Shannon Hale, Dean Hale, LeUyen Pham

Have you read The Princess in Black Takes a Vacation? What did you think of it?

Review: Queen of the Sea

Title: Queen of the Sea
Author: Dylan Meconis
Genre: Children’s, Graphic Novel
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: June 25, 2019
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Cult graphic novelist Dylan Meconis offers a rich reimagining of history in this hybrid novel loosely based on the exile of Queen Elizabeth I by her sister, Queen Mary.

When her sister seizes the throne, Queen Eleanor of Albion is banished to a tiny island off the coast of her kingdom, where the nuns of the convent spend their days peacefully praying, sewing, and gardening. But the island is also home to Margaret, a mysterious young orphan girl whose life is upturned when the cold, regal stranger arrives. As Margaret grows closer to Eleanor, she grapples with the revelation of the island’s sinister true purpose as well as the truth of her own past. When Eleanor’s life is threatened, Margaret is faced with a perilous choice between helping Eleanor and protecting herself.

Review:

I love reading adaptations of true events. This graphic novel tells an alternative story about Queen Elizabeth I and Queen Mary I. Their names are changed to Eleanor and Catherine, but the premise of the story is the same: that the daughter of the King banished her half-sister from the kingdom so that she couldn’t steal her throne.

I’ve read other books about Queen Elizabeth I, so I know the story of what happened. This book follows Margaret, who is a fictional character. She lives on the convent island, which houses Eleanor (the Elizabeth character) while she hides from her sister. This story includes mysterious shipwrecks, spies, and a hidden cave, which were not part of the true history. These aspects make it an exciting story for a children’s graphic novel.

This is a fun story! I loved it!

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

What to read next:

Fables, Vol. 1: Legends in Exile by Bill Willingham

Have you read Queen of the Sea? What did you think of it?

Review: Doctor Who: Dr. Eleventh

Title: Doctor Who: Dr. Eleventh
Author: Adam Hargreaves
Genre: Children’s
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers
Source: Purchased
Format: Paperback
Release Date: April 25, 2017
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

The greatest mash-up in the entire Whoniverse is here! Doctor Who meets Roger Hargreaves’ Mr Men in this new series of stories, written and illustrated by Adam Hargreaves.

In Dr. Eleventh, join the Eleventh Doctor and River Song on an amazing new adventure through time and space . . .

Review:

I’ve seen these books for a few years, and I always wondered what they were like. The Eleventh Doctor is my cousin’s favourite one, so I decided to get her this book as a gift. The book is so cute that I’ll have to get the other ones!

In this story, Doctor Who has to go on a trip with River Song to find something he is missing. You don’t find out what it is until the end. Along the way he meets many of the recurring evil creatures that are on the show, such as weeping angels and zygons.

I loved how we get to see so many familiar faces in this book, even if they aren’t necessarily good friends. This book would be great for kids who are fans of the show, but also adults who love it too!

What to read next:

Doctor Who: Dr. Tenth by Adam Hargreaves

Doctor Who: Dr. Twelfth by Adam Hargreaves

Have you read Doctor Who: Dr. Eleventh? What did you think of it?