Book Review: Skunk and Badger

Skunk and Badger by Amy Timberlake

Skunk and Badger (Skunk and Badger #1)
by Amy TimberlakeJon Klassen (Illustrations)
5 out of 5 stars

Badger has a simple and quiet life studying rocks and doing Important Rock Work. One day Skunk shows up on Badger’s doorstep as his new roommate, and Badger’s quiet life is thrown into chaos. Skunk cooks delicious meals, but dirties up the kitchen. Skunk moves furniture around and recycles all the cardboard boxes that Badger was saving. Skunk invites guests over for a story-time popcorn party until the house is overrun with chickens! Badger is torn between enjoying all the excitement and being angry with Skunk for his wild behavior. How will these two roommates ever find a way to live together in harmony?

I loved this book so much! It reminds me of one of my favorite animal books, “Wind in the Willows”. There is a quiet character and an adventurous character, and they learn to be friends.

The character development is fantastic! Badger goes through a whole internal journey as his world begins to open up and he realizes just how isolated he has become. He is initially dismayed at Skunk’s antics, but also enjoys the good food and companionship that comes into his house. Skunk makes him think differently about his life and see things from a new perspective. I love the warmth of their friendship and how they laugh together.

Continue reading

Picture Book Review: Claris, Holiday Heist

Claris by Megan Hess

Claris: Holiday Heist: The Chicest Mouse in Paris
by Megan Hess
4 out of 5 stars

Claris and her best friend, Monsieur Cat, are visiting New York for the holidays. They are Christmas shopping at Cartier when they witness a burglary, and set off across New York to catch the thief!

I loved the beautiful illustrations in this book! The colors are bright, and the lines are delicate. I love all the Christmasy decorations!

Continue reading

Picture Book Review: Claris, Bonjour Riviera

Claris by Megan Hess

Claris: Bonjour Riviera
by Megan Hess
4 out of 5 stars

Claris the Paris mouse is on her way to the French Riviera for a holiday with her best friend, Monsieur Cat. They pack their bags with chic ensembles by Dior, Gucci, Prada, and Pucci. They travel with style in a Louis Vuitton bag to a glamorous hotel where they see movie stars. But Claris meets a beautiful songbird who is in trouble, and the two are tossed into a wild adventure aboard a fancy yacht.

I loved the beautiful illustrations in this book! The colors are bright, and the lines are delicate. Each scene is designed to give the story more depth. I did feel like some of the artwork is just cut and pasted from one page to the other with only a wardrobe change to make it different. I would have appreciated separate art for each page, instead of copies of the same facial expressions.

Continue reading

Non Fiction Book Review: Beginner’s United States Atlas

Beginner's U.S. Atlas 2020, 3rd Edition by National Geographic Kids

Beginner’s U.S. Atlas 2020, 3rd Edition
by National Geographic Kids
5 out of 5 stars

This beginner’s atlas is perfect for young readers with a curiosity about the world! It starts with how maps show different states and landscapes, and how to read a map using the key, the compass, and the distance scale that shows miles and kilometers. Full of colorful illustrations and photos, this atlas grabs the reader’s attention!

I like how the book is divided up by region into the Southeast, Northeast, Midwest, Southwest, the West, and territories. It makes it easy to find what you are looking for, and to see how states that border each other have a lot in common. Each state flag is featured along with the state bird, state tree, and common wildlife and crops for the region.

Continue reading

Non Fiction Book Review: United States Atlas

National Geographic Kids U.S. Atlas 2020, 6th Edition by National Geographic Kids

National Geographic Kids U.S. Atlas 2020, 6th Edition
by National Geographic Kids
5 out of 5 stars

I love maps, and this atlas is full of incredible maps! It’s got photos and facts and culture and history, all with colorful designs and interesting little details.
The first thing I did was turn to the page for my state, Georgia, and poured over the pages, finding my town, and looking for nearby national parks and monuments.

I like how the book is divided up by region- SouthEast, SouthWest, NorthEast, MidWest, etc… It makes it easy to find what you are looking for, and to see how states that border each other have a lot in common. I was also happy to see that many of the Native American cultures are celebrated and featured in this book as a major part of the history of many states.

Continue reading

Non Fiction Book Review: National Geographic Kids Almanac 2021

National Geographic Kids Almanac 2021, U.S. Edition by National Geographic Kids

National Geographic Kids Almanac 2021, U.S. Edition by National Geographic Kids
5 out of 5 stars

This book is full of weird facts and details about exploration, history, space, science, animals, ecosystems, geography, and nature. So of course, I devoured this book and enjoyed every colorful page!

With beautiful photos and maps, this book gives a quick look into fascinating cultures, amazing explorers, newly discovered animal species, and dazzling planets and stars all over the galaxy.

I especially loved the section about Space and Earth. It has information about minerals, and lava, and how the earth is formed, and about the vastness of space and all the wild phenomena out there in the universe. There are sections for dwarf planets and black holes, and of course a 2021 calendar of the best times to watch the skies for meteor showers, supermoons, or an eclipse.

Continue reading

Picture Book Review: The Little Dancer

The Little Dancer by Géraldine Elschner

The Little Dancer: A Children’s Book Inspired by Edgar Degas
by Géraldine ElschnerOlivier Desvaux (Illustrations)
4 out of 5 stars

Young Jeanne travels to Paris with her mother, hoping to be accepted into the opera ballet. She works very hard to pass the entrance exam, and then spends her days in endless dance classes and rehearsals. When a painter asks Jeanne to model for a sculpture, she is eager to earn some extra money for her mother.

I love the Impressionist art that honors Degas’ style. The blurry lines and smudges of paint are full of meaning. Each page is awash with color and motion. The design of each scene is enchanting, and each dancer is elegant and graceful.

Continue reading

Picture Book Review: How to Spot an Artist

How to Spot an Artist by Danielle Krysa

How to Spot an Artist
by Danielle Krysa
4 out of 5 stars

This book encourages children (and adults) to keep creating, keep making things, and be on the lookout for other artists. You have to watch out for art bullies, whether it’s someone else or your own inner critic who wants to squash your creativity and freedom. Don’t let any criticism stop you from being an artist!

I loved the silly art style in this book. The blob creatures are made from yarn, paint, dots, squares, rainbows, string, glitter, and something that looks like shiny gold foil. They all have stick arms and little dot eyes and big smiles. So cute!

There are so many positive messages in this book! It’s a fresh look at the “Believe in Yourself!” message, and it got me really inspired.

Continue reading

Picture Book Review: The House of Happy Spirits

The House of Happy Spirits by Géraldine Elschner

The House of Happy Spirits: A Children’s Book Inspired by Friedensreich Hundertwasser
by Géraldine ElschnerLucie Vandevelde (Illustrations)
2 out of 5 stars

Some children notice that a house is being built around their favorite tree in the neighborhood. They are amazed at the beautiful designs and colorful structure of the building, but they worry that their tree might have been cut down. Then they meet the architect, and find out what really happened to their beloved tree.

This book was okay. I didn’t like the art style, and the story was weird. It all seems so chaotic. It takes an effort to read and understand what is happening in the pictures. It reminds me of ‘Alice in Wonderland’ when things don’t make any sense in the narrative. Some people like that free and wild style, but it makes me nervous. This book literally made me nervous because it’s so topsy-turvy and nonsensical.

Continue reading

Picture Book Review: The Mighty Silent e!

The Mighty Silent e! by Kimberlee  Gard

The Mighty Silent e!
by Kimberlee GardSandie Sonke (Illustrations)

5 out of 5 stars

Little e is a small alphabet-letter child, and many of his schoolmates overlook him because he is so quiet. But when the other alphabet letters try to make words when he is absent from class, they can’t make the right sounds. Only Little e can save the day!

This is one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen! Little e is such an adorable character. He dreams of being important someday, and he wears a superhero cape. It’s amazing how I became so emotionally invested in a little alphabet character guy. He’s so sweet!

Continue reading