Book Review: Doomwyte

Doomwyte by Brian Jacques

Doomwyte (Redwall, #20)
by Brian Jacques

3 out of 5 stars

The good creatures of Redwall discover a riddle that could lead to the lost treasure of Gonff, the Prince of Mousethieves. Hundreds of generations ago, Gonff stole four beautiful jewels from the Doomwyte caves, and hid them somewhere in Redwall Abbey. Now a new generation of young creatures are following the clues to find the priceless jewels.

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Our World Board Book Series Review

Our World by Aya Khalil

Our World: Egypt (Board book)
by Aya Khalil ( Author), Magda Azab (Illustrator)

5 out of 5 stars

In this colorful board book, a little girl begins her morning with hugs from her mother and father (Mama and Baba) and has a hearty breakfast of bread and ful (a breakfast dish of beans). She visits her grandparents (Geddo and Teita) and sings and dances with them. She watches the boats, buys fruit at the market, and finally goes to bed after a wonderful day in Egypt.

Our World by Aunyarat Watanabe

Our World: Japan
by Aunyarat Watanabe (Illustrator), Emily Satoko Seo

5 out of 5 stars

In this board book, two siblings wake up for an energetic morning in Japan. They greet the morning by saying “Ohayo!” They exercise under the cherry blossoms, have a delicious breakfast of rice with pickled plum, and visit the market to do some shopping. They bow politely to each person they meet. A visit to the garden shows us beautiful bamboo water fountains. In the evening, it’s time for a relaxing bath and a peaceful night on their traditional Japanese floor mattress.

Our World by Evelyne Holingue

Our World: France
by Evelyne Holingue (Goodreads Author) (Illustrator), Margaux Carpentier (Illustrator)

4 out of 5 stars

Children in France take their “dou-dou” stuffed animal toys with them for all types of activities. They eat breakfast together and say “miam miam” (yum). They count all the dogs at the park “un, deux, trois, quatre, cinq.” They listen to street musicians, eat at a fancy restaurant, play coucou (peekaboo), and finally settle down for a peaceful night of sleep.

I love all these beautiful board books that teach children about different cultures around the world! At the back of the books, there are explanations about the words that are in a different language, along with guides to learn how to pronounce them correctly.

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Book Review: The Rat Queen

The Rat Queen by Pete Hautman

The Rat Queen
by Pete Hautman

2.5 stars
Annie’s father teaches her to write down all the bad things she does and feed the paper into a little hole in the floor of their house. After she drops the paper into the “sin eater” hole, her regrets and guilt go away and she feels better. Annie hears a mysterious skittering and chattering in the cellar, and the neighbors begin to report seeing rats around the neighborhood. Annie learns about her Litvanian heritage and the dark secrets of her family past.

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Book Review: Complete Book of Meditation

Llewellyn's Complete Book of Meditation by Shai Tubali

Llewellyn’s Complete Book of Meditation: A Comprehensive Guide to Effective Techniques for Calming Your Mind and Spirit
by Shai Tubali (Goodreads Author)

1 out of 5 stars

I had to DNF this book because the philosophy of meditation did not at all line up with my personal beliefs. There were several ideas in this book that actually felt dark and scary to me, and that go against Christian teachings about meditation.

There was one practice that encouraged you to leave your personality behind when you meditate. “I am no longer my name or my person.” That seemed very strange and scary to me.
When I meditate, I am MORE myself in Christ, not less. I am MORE of a person how He created me to be, and my name is MORE who I am because I belong to Christ. I understand that author is trying to get you to shift your perspective, but it was not in the right direction.

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Mermaids Rock Series Review

The Floating Forest by Linda Chapman

The Floating Forest (Mermaids Rock #2)
by Linda Chapman, Mirelle Ortega (Illustrator)

4 out of 5 stars

Coralie and her friends are playing at the magic whirlpool, transporting to different oceans around the world to explore. Coralie travels to a kelp forest and discovers a map that seems to point to a treasure. The friends plan a treasure-hunting expedition, but the nosy Glenda is spying their plans. The mermaids are also worried about encountering dangerous animals like orcas or sharks in the kelp forest, and they try to make a plan to stay safe. But you never know what might happen out in the ocean!

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Familius ABC Primers and Counting Books

Let's Count Georgia by Christopher Robbins

Let’s Count Georgia
by Christopher Robbins, Volha Kaliaha (Illustrations)

4 out of 5 stars

Children will learn to count up to ten with these special things about the State of Georgia! The Masters Golf Tournament, the Braves baseball team, and those famous Georgia peaches all make an appearance, along with gators, oak trees, dogwood trees, and old Civil War cannons. Some of the places mentioned are Tybee Island, Jekyll Island, and historic downtown Savannah.

I loved this book about my home state of Georgia! It’s so fun to teach my little nieces about these famous things and places around Georgia, and they get to practice their numbers too.

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Three Picture Books from Sleeping Bear Press

The Universe and You by Suzanne Slade

The Universe and You
by Suzanne Slade (Goodreads Author), Stephanie Fizer Coleman (Illustrations)

5 of 5 stars

While you are sleeping, Earth is spinning you gently along its orbit around the Sun. The stars are swirling through the Milky Way galaxy, and thousands of other galaxies in the universe are whirling through the vastness of space. When the Sun comes up in the morning, you know that you have a special place in the universe.

This is such a beautiful book! I love the gorgeous illustrations of the shining stars and planets. The text really gives you a feeling of the massive universe and compares outer space to the smallest hummingbirds and daisies on Earth. It expands your perspective!

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More Picture Books from Candlewick Press

Mum, Me and the Mulberry Tree by Tanya Rosie

Mum, Me and the Mulberry Tree
by Tanya Rosie, Chuck Groenink 

5 out of 5 stars

A little girl and her mother take a trip to visit their mulberry tree. The tree is all alone in a big field of grass. First, they pick the mulberries from low branches, then the mother climbs up into the tree to reach higher berries. Their hands and mouths are sticky and stained from eating so many mulberries! They bring buckets of mulberries home as the sun sets. They warm up the oven, and roll out the pastry, and whip up the cream. When the mulberry pie is ready, they each get a big slice. At bedtime, the little girl cuddles into her warm bed, dreaming of their special mulberry tree.

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Paint by Stickers Kids: Holly Jolly Christmas from Workman

Paint by Sticker Kids by Workman Publishing

Paint by Sticker Kids: Holly Jolly Christmas
by Workman Publishing

5 out of 5 stars

This activity book has 10 beautiful designs, and hundreds of stickers in little mosaic shapes! It’s so easy to put the stickers into place, and the finished product looks wonderful. It’s very relaxing and helped me to get creative. You really feel a sense of accomplishment when you finish!

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Christmas Picture Books from Candlewick Press

Maisy's Snowy Day by Lucy Cousins

Maisy’s Snowy Day: A Maisy First Experiences Book
by Lucy Cousins

5 out of 5 stars

Maisy wakes up to see that it is snowing outside! She bundles up warm and ventures out into the cold to meet her friends at the park. They throw snowballs, build a snowman, make a snow fort, and go sledding down the big hill. When they get too cold, they all go inside for some hot cocoa.

This book is so cute and sweet! Maisy and her friends are adorable!

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