Picture Book Review: This is the Boat that Ben Built

This Is the Boat That Ben Built by Jen Lynn Bailey

This Is the Boat That Ben Built
by Jen Lynn Bailey (Goodreads Author), Maggie Zeng (Illustrator)

5 out of 5 stars

Ben goes an adventure down the river in his boat. His mother and dog follow a path on land, walking along the shore and waving hello. Ben observes animals and fish along the river. He examines a loon with his magnifying glass. He catches a fish and releases it later. He captures butterflies and fireflies in a jar.

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Picture Book Review: Hello, Dark

Hello, Dark by Wai Mei Wong

Hello, Dark
by Wai Mei Wong, Tamara Campeau (Illustrator)

4 out of 5 stars

A little boy manages his fear of the dark by pretending that the dark is a person he can befriend. He remembers that the dark does good things, like allowing wild animals such as owls and foxes to sneak around safely at night. The boy enjoys seeing the moon and stars shining in the dark. The boy and the dark listen to soothing music together. They play shadow games, and practice mindful breathing to stay calm. The boy sleeps peacefully, knowing that the dark is his friend.

This sweet book is perfect for any little children (or adults!) who are afraid of the dark. The story teaches ways to reframe your negative thoughts into something positive. I loved that it includes things like slow breathing and listening to music to help yourself stay calm.

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Picture Book Review: Rainy Days

Rainy Days by Deborah Kerbel

Rainy Days
by Deborah Kerbel (Goodreads Author), Miki Sato (Illustrator)

5 out of 5 stars

Children play outdoors in the rain, or stay indoors if there is thunder and lightning. They rescue worms from the sidewalks, and sail little paper boats in the streams created by the rain. The children make “rainy soup” in buckets, and even paint with mud. As long as they have their rainboots, coats, and umbrellas, they can have fun in the rain!

The mixed-media art style is absolutely phenomenal. The bright colors are attractive, and every page is so beautiful! I love that you can see the different layers in the artwork. You can almost feel the texture of the tissue paper, cardboard, and fabric on the page. My favorite things are the little beads that look like raindrops! There are so many tiny details in each scene that I could spend several minutes looking at each page. I am literally in awe of this gorgeous art!

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Board Book Review: Baby Cakes

Baby Cakes by Theo Heras

Baby Cakes
by Theo Heras, Renné Benoit (Illustrations)

5 out of 5 stars

In the board book, children are trying to bake little cakes, but the kitty keeps getting in the way! They get out all the ingredients, and mix the salt, flour, and baking powder. Kitty tries to spill the flour! They add butter and sugar. Maybe a little sugar gets on their hands and they eat it. The eggs are accidentally broken on the floor, and kitty licks up some of the egg! The children mix in the milk and vanilla, and the cakes are ready to bake. They add a delicious frosting and it’s time for tea!

This is such a cute little book! The text is very simple and short, just right for tiny readers. The whole book has such a soothing and calming atmosphere, and the antics of the kitty are so hilarious!

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Picture Book Reviews: Pumpkin and Me (English and Spanish Editions)

Pumpkin and Me by Alicia Acosta

Pumpkin and Me
by Alicia Acosta, Mercè Galí (Illustrator)

5 out of 5 stars

When Pumpkin (the family dog) dies, a little girl is feeling very sad. A dark cloud seems to follow her around. She must have gotten soap in her eyes, because she can’t stop crying. A mean octopus appears to be squeezing her heart so much that it hurts all the time. Her family tell her that it is normal to feel grief and sadness when you lose something you loved. The little girl has a dream about her dog, Pumpkin, visiting her. In the dream, Pumpkin chases away the dark cloud and licks away her tears. Pumpkin barks so loud that the octopus is scared away. The little girl realizes that the memory of Pumpkin will be something she will always carry with her.

This is such a sweet and thoughtful book about grief. Emotions can be overwhelming, and this book is a gentle way to open up a conversation about grief. The story is tender and insightful, and is sure to soothe any little readers who might be dealing with some big emotions.

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Picture Book Review: Carlota No Dice Ni Pio

Carlota no dice ni Pío by José Carlos Andrés

Carlota no dice ni Pío
by José Carlos Andrés, Emilio Urberuaga (Illustrations)

3 out of 5 stars

Carlota tiene demasiado miedo para hablar. Se comunica a través de gestos y expresiones faciales. Pero cuando está encerrada en la despensa del sótano, encuentra el coraje para gritar pidiendo ayuda y descubre que su voz puede producir hermosos sonidos.

¡Era un libro tan lindo! Carlota es adorable y me gustó cómo encuentra el coraje para hablar. Supera su ansiedad y miedo, y aprende a hablar por sí misma.

Me gustó mucho la forma en que el texto se dirige directamente al lector en estos pequeños comentarios divertidos sobre la historia. ¡Es hilarante!

Keep Reading for the Review in English!

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Picture Book Review: El Paraguas de Cebra

El paraguas de Cebra by David Hernández Sevillano

El paraguas de Cebra
by David Hernández Sevillano, Anuska Allepuz (Illustrator)

5 out of 5 stars

Cebra tiene un paraguas enorme y, durante la temporada de lluvias, algunos de los animales preguntan si también hay espacio debajo del paraguas para ellos. Gacela, Rinoceronte e incluso Elefanta se aprietan bajo el paraguas. Pero, ¿qué pasará cuando León quiera unirse a ellos? ¿Descubrirán por qué Cebra tiene un paraguas tan grande?

¡Esta historia es tan encantadora y divertida! Me encanta el estilo de escritura y la forma en que crea un ambiente acogedor para los amigos bajo el paraguas. Cantan canciones, cuentan historias y juegan juntos. Beben chocolate caliente y escuchan la “música de la lluvia sobre el paraguas”.

Keep Reading to see the Review in English!

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Non Fiction Review: Amazing Animals

Amazing Animals by Sabrina Weiss

Amazing Animals: 100+ Creatures That Will Boggle Your Mind
by Sabrina Weiss, Paul Daviz (Illustrator)

4 out of 5 stars

This book gives information about amazing animals around the world. There are endangered animals, record-setting animals, and animals that survive in extreme conditions. I liked that this book is divided into sections for animals in different types of ecosystems. There is a section about nocturnal animals, whales and dolphins, insects, types of octopi, animals that transform, animals that migrate, and even wild animals that live in the city.

I loved the beautiful illustrations in this book! Every page is so attractive and colorful. The factoids about each animal are really interesting, and the design of the page layouts makes it easy to read. There are little snippets of information next to illustrations of each animal, and you get to learn so much so quickly!

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Non Fiction Book Review: Antarctica The Melting Continent

Antarctica by Karen Romano Young

Antarctica: The Melting Continent
by Karen Romano Young

3 out of 5 stars

The author tells all about their expeditions to Antarctica, the animals that live there, the different types of ice, and how scientists are still learning more about the southern continent. We learn about the history of exploration in Antarctica, and how the South Pole was discovered. We learn about the different glaciers and science stations with maps to show their locations.

It really gets on my nerves when science books talk about scientific theories as if they were fact, and they don’t tell the reader that it’s just a theory. It’s so unethical, and it’s misleading. It makes me not trust anything else they say, because who knows what else they could be lying to the reader about. If you don’t have the evidence to prove something, then you shouldn’t be pretending like it’s a fact. That’s dishonest. It would be so easy to clear up these misunderstandings if they would just admit that it’s a theory!

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Picture Book Review: Fox Tells A Lie (English and Spanish Editions)

Fox Tells a Lie by Susanna Isern

Fox Tells a Lie
by Susanna Isern, Leire Salaberria (Illustrator)

5 out of 5 stars

Fox tells his friends that he knows the superhero, Superturtle. He tells them how he knows Superturtle’s secret flying techniques. But it is a lie. Fox’s friends get very excited and want to meet Superturtle. Squirrel thinks she can try to fly too. All of Fox’s lies are putting his friends in danger! Can Fox admit the truth before Squirrel gets hurt?

I really appreciated the good moral messages in this book about the importance of truthfulness. There is one page where the story says that all the attention from his friends made Fox “feel important” at first. I love the depth of this story, and the way it explores Fox’s emotions surrounding the lies. He begins to worry that he has told too many lies and he feels ashamed.

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