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: 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?

Review: When Elephants Listen With Their Feet

Title: When Elephants Listen With Their Feet
Author: Emmanuelle Grundmann, Clémence Dupont
Genre: Picture Book, Nonfiction
Publisher: Pajama Press
Source: Publisher
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: March 16, 2021
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Explore the wild and wonderful world of animal senses! Featuring engaging text from ethologist Emmanuelle Grundmann, inviting art from illustrator Clemence Dupont, When Elephants Listen with Their Feet is a lively nonfiction book that encourages curiosity about – and respect for – the animals with which we share our planet.

Humans experience the world through sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell. But what if you had the compound eyes of a fly, the whiskers of a cat, or a whale’s ability to sense magnetic north? There’s a whole world of surprising senses out there, and fascinating adaptations that have allowed animals to make use of them. We can’t interpret the faint vibration of an elephant’s faraway stomp, but learning how they keep in touch with family across the wide savannah helps us understand that we are more alike than different.

Review:

This picture book is about the amazing things that animals can do with their bodies. It goes through all five senses (sight, hearing, taste, touch, and smell) and the unique ways that animals use the senses to interact with the world around them.

There are some animals, such as the golden mole, who don’t have eyes, but are able to “see” the world around them with scent. Elephants can communicate with stomping their feet and sending vibrations through the ground across long distances. Felines use their whiskers to sense the environment around them in the dark. Foxes use the earth’s magnets to hunt, always facing north-east to jump on their prey.

I didn’t know most of these fun animal facts before reading this book, so I found it fascinating. I think adults and children will enjoy this beautiful picture book!

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

What to read next:

Sunny Days by Deborah Kerbel and Miki Sato

Have you read When Elephants Listen With Their Feet? What did you think of it?

Review: Maya’s Big Scene

Title: Maya’s Big Scene
Author: Isabelle Arsenault
Genre: Children’s, Picture book
Publisher: Tundra Books
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: February 2, 2021
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Maya’s imagination sets the stage for her friends to act out her feminist play. Can she make room in her queendom for the will of the people? A funny picture book about leadership and fair play for fans of King Baby and Olivia.

Maya is a bossy, burgeoning playwright and loves to have the kids in her Mile End neighborhood bring her scenes to life. Her latest work, about a feminist revolution, is almost ready for public performance. But as her actors begin to express their costume preferences, Maya quickly learns that their visions may not match hers . . . and as both Director and Queen, Maya demands obedience and loyalty in her queendom of equality! But she soon realizes — with the help of her friends and subjects — that absolute bossiness corrupts absolutely!

Review:

Maya has invited her friends to put on a feminist play with her. She will run a queendom and they will all be equal. However, once they begin to get costumes and figure out their parts, the other kids realize there isn’t really equality for all in this play that features a queendom ruled by one person.

This story starts out with a great premise of the children creating a world with equality. They want everyone in the play to be equals. The problem with this comes up pretty quickly when Maya bosses them around. The other kids realize it isn’t an equal society if one person is in charge. This teaches them firsthand what an equal society would look like.

I loved the illustrations in this book. Most of them were black and white, with some of the costumes and props in colour. This highlighted the purples, reds, and pinks that Maya wanted them to wear in her queendom. I also liked that the children were playing in Maya’s backyard, but her neighbours’ yards were visible in the images too. This makes it more realistic, since there would be more houses beside her house in real life. It shows that there is life beyond the pages in the book.

This is a cute picture book!

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

What to read next:

Colette’s Lost Pet by Isabelle Arsenault

Albert’s Quiet Quest by Isabelle Arsenault

Other books in the series:

  • Colette’s Lost Pet
  • Albert’s Quiet Quest

Have you read Maya’s Big Scene? What did you think of it?

Review: Cone Cat

Title: Cone Cat
Author: Sarah Howden, Carmen Mok (illustrator)
Genre: Children’s, Picture Book
Publisher: Owlkids
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: August 15, 2020
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

One day, Jeremy wakes up at the vet’s with a giant cone around his head. In a momentary existential crisis, he resigns himself to his new role as clumsy, smelly Cone Cat. That is, until the cone becomes instrumental in lapping up the last few bites of cereal on the breakfast table.

Surprisingly, Cone Cat can do a lot of things old Jeremy couldn’t. He can hunt spiders with ease, collect stuffing from the couch, and disguise himself as a bowl to steal a scoop of ice cream at a birthday party. When the cone is removed the next day, Jeremy starts to miss it. Will he ever get another chance to indulge in the tricks he pulled off as Cone Cat? It doesn’t take him too long to find out …

With lively illustrations and plenty of wit, this hilarious picture book about adapting to seemingly im-paw-ssible situations is sure to please kids and cat-lovers alike.

Review:

When Jeremy wakes up at the vet’s office one day, he is wearing a cone. He realizes that he is no longer Jeremy. Now he will be known as Cone Cat. He can’t do the things he’s used to doing, like hunt bugs around the house, scratch the furniture, or eat from his dish. He feels strange in the cone, until he realizes he can do things differently with the cone. He can tip a bowl into the cone to eat inside it. He can scoop the bugs into his cone so that he doesn’t have to hunt them. Life is different with the cone, but he figures out a way to adapt to it.

This is such a cute picture book! Anyone who has a dog or cat who has had surgery or an injury, has probably had to use the cone, or as we call it in my house “the cone of shame.” It’s sad to see how depressed the animals get while wearing the cone, but it is for their own good so they can heal.

Jeremy the cat learns to adapt to his new life wearing the cone. He had to look on the bright side and figure out how to live his normal life. For example, he couldn’t drink from the cereal bowl on the table, but he could tip it into his cone and drink it like that. Jeremy didn’t know that the cone wouldn’t last forever, so once he got used to it, his owner was able to take it off and he could return to his old life as Jeremy.

I loved this adorable cat picture book!

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

What to read next:

Cracking the Case of the Missing Egg (Farm Crimes!) by Sandra Dumais

Catkwondo by Lisl H. Detlefsen, Erin Hunting (illustrator)

Have you read Cone Cat? What did you think of it?

Review: Princesses Versus Dinosaurs

Title: Princesses Versus Dinosaurs
Author: Linda Bailey, Joy Ang (illustrator)
Genre: Children’s, Picture Book
Publisher: Tundra Books
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: September 15, 2020
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Two popular storybook titans, princesses and dinosaurs, battle to determine who should star in this laugh-out-loud picture book for fans of Shark vs Train and The Book With No Pictures.

This is a princess book!

No, it’s a dinosaur book!

No, it’s . . . a T. rex book? A dragon book? A rubber ducky book?!

From Linda Bailey, award-winning and critically acclaimed author, and Joy Ang, Adventure Time-artist and illustrator of the Mustache Baby series, comes an irresistibly irreverent picture book in which plucky princesses and determined dinosaurs have a battle royale over whose book this is. When they start calling in the big guns — or rather, the big carnivores — and decide to build a wall to resolve their differences, princesses and dinosaurs alike learn a thing or two about open-mindedness and sharing. 

Review:

This book starts out with some princesses singing and dancing. The next page has dinosaurs roaring. Is it a princess book or a dinosaur book? They can’t decide so they have to bring in their friends to figure out what kind of book it is. Eventually they separate the book with a wall, but it may be more fun for everyone if they can all play together.

As soon as I saw the title of this book, I knew it would be adorable. The characters break the fourth wall by talking about what the book is about. It was also funny when they brought in some friends who took over the story.

This book defies the stereotypical gendered children’s stories. Princess stories are usually targeted towards girl readers, while dinosaur books are targeted towards boys. This book has both princesses and dinosaurs, so it is for everyone. There was also a princess who looked like a boy, so any child can see themselves in the princess characters.

This is a fun picture book!

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

What to read next:

If You Happen to Have a Dinosaur by Linda Bailey, Colin Jack (illustrator)

The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt, Oliver Jeffers (illustrator)

Have you read Princesses Versus Dinosaurs? What did you think of it?

Review: Cracking the Case of the Missing Egg (Farm Crimes!)

Title: Cracking the Case of the Missing Egg
Author: Sandra Dumais
Genre: Children’s, Picture Book
Publisher: Owlkids Books
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: September 15, 2020
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

A peaceful day on the farm turns to panic when Hen discovers her egg has been stolen! The only one who can crack the case? Billiam Van Hoof, the world’s number one goat detective (at least, that’s what he calls himself).

As Van Hoof questions the animals and collects clues—a piece of eggshell, a yellow feather, and some tiny footprints—the answer to the mystery becomes obvious to everyone except the bumbling inspector.

Review:

When Hen wakes up to discover that her egg is missing, goat detective Billiam Van Hoof has to investigate. He interviews the other animals and searches for clues, on his search for the missing egg.

I loved the details in the illustrations. All of the animals were wearing clothes. Hen had just woken up and was rushing around, so she was wearing bunny slippers and pearls. The detailed images added to the humour of the story.

Billiam van Hoof wasn’t a very good detective. He found a cracked shell, a feather, and tiny footprints, but he still couldn’t guess what happened. Even though he couldn’t solve the mystery very quickly, young readers will figure out what happened to Hen’s egg.

This is an adorable children’s book.

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

What to read next:

Cone Cat by Sarah Howden, Carmen Mok (illustrator)

Do Lizards Eat Ice Cream? How Animals Beat the Hear by Etta Kaner

Have you read Cracking the Case of the Missing Egg? What did you think of it?