Well, I haven’t done one of these posts in awhile! Life has been so busy, and while my kids have definitely been reading, they go through books at home and school too quickly for me to keep track of. But I finally nailed down a few they’ve been loving lately, and I wanted to share them with you!
When my 2nd grader had his own Flat Stanley project to complete over Spring Break, he started reading as many Flat Stanley books as he could. (He even got mad when it looked like Stanley wasn’t quite flat in one of the pictures-“He’s supposed to be FLAT! Why isn’t he flat here?”) So when we visited the Alamo, I had to pick this one up! We don’t find a lot of kids’ books set in San Antonio, and this is a really fun one! If you have an early reader or a kid who just loves Flat Stanley, this is another great book in the series.
My 4th grader loves, loves, loves historical fiction and literary non-fiction. He’s already read all of the I Survived books, so when he started the LOST series by Tod Olson, he was immediately hooked. (When Blue Slip Media sent Lost in the Antarctic before it’s publication date, he grabbed it right out of the package, said I was so cool, and then I didn’t see the book again until he finished it. At least I can still impress my kids?) These books are so good for older readers. They’re extremely entertaining and informative. What kid doesn’t like learning more about history and the world in a way that doesn’t involve a textbook?! I highly recommend the LOST series for kids about 10 and up who like exciting adventure stories!
Both of my kids love the Jack & Max Stalwart series, and this book is no different! (Can you sense a theme here of what my kids love? History, world information, adventure . . . ) Ireland is one of my favorite places, so I was really excited to see this book when it came out in March! Through the brothers going on perilous adventure, kids will learn about Dublin, The Book of Kells, Trinity College, and more about Ireland in this book. This is a brilliant series, especially for kids who have trouble focusing on slower books, and it’s great for a lot of ages!
In my opinion, all kids are superheroes. Seriously. They have to deal with a lot sometimes! But some kids might have a harder time seeing themselves as superheroes than typical children. Kelli Call’s It’s Not Easy Being a Superhero is for them, and for whoever else wants to learn about what it’s like to have very special powers.
From the publisher:
Unlike most superheroes, Clark’s superpowers aren’t a secret. And instead of just one, Clark has five superpowers he must learn to control: super hearing, super sight, super smell, super taste, and super feeling. He uses his five superpowers to defeat sensory triggers, and his arch-nemesis Igor Ance. This beautifully illustrated picture book helps parents, teachers, students, and friends understand what it’s like for these superheroes who have sensory processing disorder and the tricks they learn to control their powers.
This book is absolutely amazing. If you have a child with SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder), they will see themselves in Clark, and recognize their own superpowers. If you don’t have a child with SPD, this book will help them to understand what SPD is, why those kids are special, and what they can do to support those special powers. This is such an empowering book, written in a large comic book format, which makes it easy for all ages to read and comprehend. I truly think this book should be in all libraries, both at school and home. Every child deserves to see someone like them in a hero role, and It’s Not Easy Being a Superhero gives kids with SPD that opportunity. This book is wonderful![Top]
Josh Funk is one of my favorite children’s authors, and he’s hit it out of the park again with It’s Not Hansel and Gretel, the second in his It’s Not a Fairy Tale series. My kids and I loved the first (It’s Not Jack and the Beanstalk) and this one is just as funny, well-written, and well-illustrated!
Hansel and Gretel are in their own fairy tale story. The only problem is that they refuse to listen to their narrator, and keep trying to go on a different path than the traditional story dictates! Gretel wants her name first in the title, they don’t want to waste bread crumbs, and they don’t think there’s any way a person who has a home made of sugar could be evil! The narrator keeps trying to get them back on the correct plot, but not without a struggle!
These books are genius, in my opinion, and so much fun to read out loud to kids! The characters outright argue with the narrator, and the narrator is hilariously frustrated that they just won’t listen. My kids (ages 7 and 10) both thought this book was funny, and my 7-year-old reads it to himself several times a week. And can we talk about the illustrations for a minute? Edwardian Taylor’s illustrations are amazing, filled with cartoonish candy, jokes, and other fairy tale characters hidden throughout. There’s no way a child won’t be entertained by this book!
It’s Not Hansel and Gretel is perfect for the younger and elementary school crowd, but it’s also a book you won’t get tired of reading to your kids or students. I can’t wait to see which fairy tale Funk chooses to twist next! (Hint: I think there’s a wolf and a little girl with a red cape involved!)
There are extra materials for kids on Josh’s website![Top]
You all know I love seasonal books, and Valentine’s Day can be a TOUGH one to find good new books for! I love to read holiday-specific books to my kids, but with two boys, they can be a tough crowd. However, they both sat down and listened to this one the whole way through, and we all loved it!
Duck and Hippo The Secret Valentine is about . . . well, Duck and Hippo, and their friends Pig, Elephant, and Turtle, and a secret Valentine who’s hopping around town delivering mystery cards! All the animals are excited to find out who their Valentine is (and they think they have an idea), but when they all meet at the same spot at the same time, there’s an even bigger surprise.
This book is so cute, and the illustrations are really fun. (I don’t know about yours, but my kids love to find all the little details and secrets that illustrators often add in!) This is a really solid addition for a Valentine’s Day book collection, and I’m so glad it’s in ours!
Your kids (or you-let’s be honest, this looks really fun) can learn how to draw Duck and Hippo on illustrator Andrew Joyner’s website! just click HERE to find all kinds of easy and fun drawing tutorials![Top]
Thank you to Pink Umbrella Books for sending me a copy of this book and including me in the blog tour! All opinions are my own!
Do you remember what you were doing when you were 12? I don’t, but I’m certain it wasn’t anything as industrious as Isabella Murphy, the 12-year-old author of From Dark to Light. I’m always looking for new fall books about pumpkins, Halloween, and anything orange. In Texas, our fall often includes 90-degree days, so I try to fake it with all the fall books I can find. When I found out that the author of this beautifully-illustrated book was 12, I was hooked.
From Dark to Light is the story of a little pumpkin seed, Pumpker, and his two sisters, Plumpalicious and Plumpilina. They are planted in the ground together, and Pumpker just wants to get back out of the ground and find a family to love him. (It doesn’t help that his sisters are kind of annoying, as sisters can be, and won’t talk to him.) But when Pumpker and his sisters grow into pumpkins and are taken home with a family, together, they find that they have more in common than they thought, and Pumpker finds the love of a child he’s been wishing for.
You guys, this is the sweetest book, with the most fun illustrations. Both of my boys (ages 6 and 8) loved it, and my 6-year-old has been asking me to read it over and over. The basic story, of a pumpkin seed wanting to grow up and be loved by a family, is wonderful in itself, but it is the underlying message that I really love. The fact that a 12-year-old wrote it makes it even more impressive. Seeing Pumpker overcome tough times (being stuck in the dirt with slimy worms) to reach his goal is inspiring to kids. He also has to deal with his sisters, who think he’s weird and aren’t super nice to him, but at the end they discover that he’s “not the only weirdo,” which shows kids that we’re all different, and everyone has something in common, no matter how different they seem.
This book is great to read aloud (there is a lot of text on the pages, so it’s not a one sentence per page picture book), and the pictures are so beautiful to look at. This is a perfect fall book to add to your collection! (Or to start a new one!)