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?

Review: Catkwondo

Title: Catkwondo
Author: Lisl H. Detlefsen, Erin Hunting (illustrator)
Genre: Children’s, Picture Book
Publisher: Capstone
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: September 1, 2020
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Kitten wants to a break a board, and she wants to do it now. But Tae Kwon Do is not easy. Kitten must focus. She must practice. And above all, she must be patient. Will Kitten’s determination and dedication pay off when it’s finally time to break a board? Author Lisl Detlefsen delivers a turbo-charged story filled with action, fun, and encouragement. Korean phrases are intermixed throughout Catkwondo, and the Tae Kwon Do Oath and a Tae Kwon Do glossary complete this energetic picture book.

Review:

Kitten goes to a Tae Kwon Do class. She wants to break a board right away. Before she can break the board, she has to practice and learn the rules of Tae Kwon Do. With practice and determination, Kitten can break the board.

I have never done Tae Kwon Do but I had friends who did when I was a kid. I remember how they were so excited about breaking a board. It was one of their biggest goals, and they were so proud when they could finally do it.

There was a great glossary of Korean terms at the back of the book. There were Korean terms that are used in Tae Kwon Do in the story. I wasn’t familiar with these words, so it was great to see this glossary with pronunciations.

I loved the message of this story. Kitten was able to reach her goal of breaking a board through lots of practice and focus. Even though Kitten wanted to break the board immediately, she came to realize that she needed to do the work before she could break the board. This can be applied to any goals you may have, which is an inspiring message for children.

This is a great children’s book!

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

What to read next:

1, 2, 3 Jump! by Lisl H. Detlefsen, Madeline Valentine (illustrator)

Cone Cat by Sarah Howden, Carmen Mok (illustrator)

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

Review: Terry Fox and Me

Title: Terry Fox and Me
Author: Mary Beth Leatherdale and Milan Pavlović
Genre: Children’s, Nonfiction, Picture Book
Publisher: Tundra Books
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: August 4, 2020
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Terry Fox Marathon of Hope, this picture book biography tells the story of a friendship defined by strength and love.

Before Terry Fox become a national hero and icon, he was just a regular kid. But even then, his characteristic strength, determination and loyalty were apparent and were the foundation for his friendship with Doug. The two first met at basketball tryouts in grammar school. Terry was the smallest – and worst – basketball player on the court. But that didn’t stop him. With Doug’s help, Terry practiced and practiced until he earned a spot on the team. As they grew up, the best friends supported each other, challenged each other, helped each other become better athletes and better people. Doug was by Terry’s side every step of the way: when Terry received a diagnosis of cancer in his leg, when he was learning to walk – then run – with a prosthetic leg and while he was training for the race of his life, his Marathon of Hope.

Written from Doug’s perspective, this story shows that Terry Fox’s legacy goes beyond the physical and individual accomplishments of a disabled athlete and honors the true value of friendship.

Review:

When the new boy, Terry, wants to befriend Doug after he didn’t do well at basketball tryouts, Doug is reluctant to hang out with him. Doug quickly learns that Terry is willing to work hard to get better at the sport. Terry becomes a great basketball player and athlete, though he won’t run cross-country with Doug. Everything changes when Terry is diagnosed with cancer and has 80% of his leg amputated. Suddenly Terry is motivated to start running, creating the Marathon of Hope to raise money for cancer research. His best friend Doug stays by his side the whole time.

Terry Fox is a Canadian icon and hero. Every year, Canadians across the country participate in the Terry Fox Run in September. The run that Terry started in 1980 is honored every year with donations to cancer research. Unfortunately, Terry had to stop his run halfway through his cross country marathon. He started in St. John’s, Newfoundland and ended in Thunder Bay, Ontario. He passed away the following year though his memory lives on today.

I wasn’t familiar with Doug’s story before reading this book. He was a wonderful friend to Terry, who encouraged him throughout his recovery and training.

This is a great story for children because it teaches about the power of friendship. It could also teach young children who Terry Fox was and why he is such an important historical figure that we continue to honour today.

I loved this Canadian story!

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

What to read next:

Terry Fox: A Story of Hope by Maxine Trottier

Have you read Terry Fox and Me? What did you think of it?

Review: King Mouse

Title: King Mouse
Author: Cary Fagan, Dena Seiferling (illustrator)
Genre: Children’s, Picture Books
Publisher: Tundra Books
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: September 24, 2019
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

King Mouse finds his authority in question when his subjects find crowns of their own. A gentle and humorous modern fable about imaginative play and kindness in the tradition of classics like Little Bear and Frog and Toad.

A sweet, thoughtful tale of friendship, sharing and play, King Mouse begins when a mouse comes upon a tiny crown in the grass. The mouse puts the crown on his head, and when a bear subsequently comes upon him and asks if he’s king, the mouse responds “Yes.”

This diminutive monarch settles into his new role very comfortably . . . until a snake comes upon a crown and claims she is queen. The mouse is not amused, especially when one by one the other animals find crowns and claim they are kings too. But when the bear can’t find a crown, King Mouse make a most surprising decision.

This inspired collaboration between an award-winning author and debut picture book illustrator Dena Seiferling is quietly profound in its simplicity and has the feeling of a modern classic. 

Review:

One day, Mouse finds a crown on the ground. He puts it on and becomes King Mouse. The other animals, like a crow and a bear, bow down to him and do things for him, such as bring him food and entertain him. Then, a snake finds a crown and puts it on, becoming Queen Snake. Now, all of the animals are finding crowns, except for the bear, who is left out of being a King or Queen. King Mouse is left to decide what to do to help the bear.

This is such a great teaching story for kids. It shows how it feels to be left out, since the bear was very sad that he didn’t have a crown when everyone else did. It also shows that just because someone has something that makes them popular, doesn’t mean they deserve it. Mouse became a king just because he found the crown. The crown was important when there was only one but it became meaningless when everyone else had a crown.

The illustrations in this story were beautiful. They looked like sketches in monochromatic colours. The illustrations told the story along with the words. It would be easy for children learning to read to follow the story by the pictures without reading the words.

I loved this children’s 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:

Mouseton Abbey: The Missing Diamond by Nick Page, Tim Hutchinson (illustrator)

Ho’onani: Hula Warrior by Heather Gale, Mika Song (illustrator)

Have you read King Mouse? What did you think of it?

Review: Twisted Fairy Tales: The Three Little Narwhals

Title: Twisted Fairy Tales: The Three Little Narwhals
Author: Stewart Ross, Chris Jevons (illustrator)
Genre: Children’s, Picture Book
Publisher: Arcturus Publishing
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: March 15, 2020
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

In this whale of a tale, the Big Bad Shark is looking for a tasty snack… when he comes across three delicious-looking narwhals! The loveable, pointy-horned creatures-show-off Spike, arty Spiral, and shy Stubby-discover a sunken pirate ship, and are using the parts to build their own homes. Now they are out of their depth, locked in a battle of wits with the munching, crunching villain.

Review:

This story is a twist on the tale of the Three Little Pigs. Instead of pigs, the characters are the three little narwhals. They decide to build houses out of the parts of a shipwreck. The first house was made of ropes and sails, the second was made of wood, and the third was made of metal. Their homes are then destroyed by the big bad shark.

Narwhals are a popular animal for kids books. They’re the unicorns of the sea. There were also dolphins in this story, which were so cute. The dolphins pointed out the problems with the narwhals’ homes before they were attacked, so they explained to the reader why the homes were flawed.

I liked the twist on the traditional big bad wolf, which is the big bad shark. He said “I’ll crunch, and I’ll munch, and I’ll have this house for lunch.” This was a great way to change the wolf into a sea creature.

I really enjoyed this retelling of the Three Little Pigs.

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

What to read next:

Twisted Fairy Tales: Little Rude Riding Hood by Jo Franklin, Chris Jevons (illustrator)

Twisted Fairy Tales: The Ninjabread Man by Stewart Ross, Chris Jevons (illustrator)

Have you read The Three Little Narwhals? What did you think of it?

Review: Twisted Fairy Tales: Little Rude Riding Hood

Title: Twisted Fairy Tales: Little Rude Riding Hood
Author: Jo Franklin, Chris Jevons (illustrator)
Genre: Childrens, Picture Book
Publisher: Arcturus Publishing
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: March 15, 2020
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Once upon a time, a fairy tale went very wrong! This new twist on a traditional children’s story is packed with fun, humour, and energy.

Little Rude is incredibly cheeky to everyone that she meets. She doesn’t even know the meaning of “please” and “thank you!” However, that could all change when she meets a surprisingly polite wolf on her way to Grandma’s house. 

Will Little Rude’s constant insults drive even this newly reformed Big Bad Wolf over the edge? This riotously funny remix on the traditional fairy tale will delight children and adults alike. 

This hilarious tale featuring brand-new full-colour illustrations will be sure to thrill readers aged 6+.

Review:

In this book, Little Red Riding Hood is a very rude girl, so she is called Little Rude Riding Hood. Her parents send her to bring her grandmother a present for her birthday, but Little Rude doesn’t want to. Eventually they convince her to go. Along her way to her grandmother’s house, she meets kind creatures, but she is still rude to them.

This story had a great twist on the original tale. Since Little Rude is so rude to her parents and everyone else, it shows kids that she is behaving badly. She behaves in the opposite way from Little Red Riding Hood, who was very kind and trusting. Another twist is that the characters who usually attack the grandmother, like the wolf and the lumberjack, are actually friends with her grandmother.

This is a fun twist on Little Red Riding Hood!

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

What to read next:

Twisted Fairy Tales: The Ninjabread Man by Stewart Ross, Chris Jevons (illustrator)

Twisted Fairy Tales: The Three Little Narwhals by Stewart Ross, Chris Jevons (illustrator)

Other Books in the Series:

Have you read Little Rude Riding Hood? What did you think of it?

Review: Twisted Fairy Tales: Snow White and the Seven Robots

Title: Twisted Fairy Tales: Snow White and the Seven Robots
Author: Stewart Ross, Chris Jevons (illustrator)
Genre: Children’s, Picture Book
Publisher: Arcturus Publishing
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: February 15, 2020
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

When the wicked Star Queen shipwrecks her daughter, Snow White, on a remote forest planet, the plucky princess uses her engineering know-how to rebuild her ruined spacecraft into robot helpers! Can she and her mechanical friends find a way to defeat the Star Queen once and for all?

Review:

This is another great fairy tale with a twist.

This story takes place in space. Snow White has a talent for building robots. The evil queen sends her away, since she has been told by her “space book” screen that Snow White is the best. I liked these space and technology elements of the story.

There was a different twist to the story because the evil queen sends fruit robots to put Snow White to sleep, rather than giving her an apple. The fruit shoots a poison dart at her, and the only way to wake her is to remove it. This is another way a technological element replaced the magic of the original fairytale.

This was a great story!

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

What to read next:

Twisted Fairy Tales: Little Rude Riding Hood by Jo Franklin, Chris Jevons (illustrator)

Twisted Fairy Tales: The Ninjabread Man by Stewart Ross, Chris Jevons (illustrator)

Have you read Twisted Fairy Tales: Snow White and the Seven Robots? What did you think of it?

Review: David Attenborough (Little People, Big Dreams)

Title: David Attenborough (Little People, Big Dreams)
Author: Maria Isabel Sánchez Vegara, Mikyo Noh (illustrator)
Genre: Children’s, Picture Book
Publisher: Frances Lincoln Children’s Books
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: February 4, 2020
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

In this book from the critically acclaimed Little People, BIG DREAMS series, discover the life of David Attenborough, the inspiring broadcaster and conservationist.

Little David grew up in Leicester on the campus of a university, where his father was a professor. As a child, he spent hours in the science library, collating his own specimens and creating a mini animal museum. When he was old enough to go to university, he studied science and zoology—but what he wanted most of all was to be close to the animals he was studying. So, he started working in television, visiting animals in their natural habitats, and telling the world the untold stories of these animals. This moving book features stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back, including a biographical timeline with historical photos and a detailed profile of the broadcaster’s life.

Review:

Sir David Attenborough is passionate about nature. He has always loved learning about how the natural world works. He created many tv shows about animals and nature. He was also knighted by the Queen for his work on documentaries about planet Earth.

I didn’t know some of these facts about Sir David Attenborough before reading this book. For example, there are many species of plants and animals named after him, such as a frog named Pristimantis Attenboroughi. He is an inspiring man who has done a lot of work to preserve our natural planet.

This is a great story to teach children about the life of Sir David Attenborough.

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

What to read next:

Stephen Hawking (Little People, Big Dreams) by Maria Isabel Sánchez Vegara

Martin Luther King Jr. (Little People, Big Dreams) by Maria Isabel Sánchez Vegara

Have you read David Attenborough? What did you think of it?

Review: Vivienne Westwood (Little People, Big Dreams)

Title: Vivienne Westwood (Little People, Big Dreams)
Author: Maria Isabel Sánchez Vegara, Laura Callaghan (illustrator)
Genre: Children’s, Picture Book
Publisher: Quarto Publishing Group
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: March 3, 2020
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

New in the Little People, BIG DREAMS series, discover the life of Vivienne Westwood, the flame-haired fashion designer and impresario. When Vivienne was a young woman, she wasn’t sure how a working class girl from England could make a living in the art world. But after discovering her passion for design and jewelry making, she erupted onto the fashion scene with a bang. Vivienne’s designs became iconic, and she became famous for letting her clothes speak for themselves. This moving book features stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back , including a biographical timeline with historical photos and a detailed profile of the designer’s life.

Review:

This is another great book in the Little People, Big Dreams series about the fashion designer Vivienne Westwood.

I loved the vibrant colours in this book. They reflect Vivienne’s fashion designs. The images were detailed and brightly coloured, which would appeal to children.

This book had less information about the subject than other ones in this series. Her childhood was glossed over a little bit with generalized statements. The sentences were shorter than some of the other books I’ve read in the Little People, Big Dreams series, which meant that the images stood out more.

This is a great book for kids who are interested in fashion!

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

What to read next:

Coco Chanel (Little People, Big Dreams) by Maria Isabel Sánchez Vegara, Ann Albero (illustrator)

Frida Kahlo (Little People, Big Dreams) by Maria Isabel Sánchez Vegara, Gee Fan Eng (illustrator)

Have you read Vivienne Westwood? What did you think of it?