Non Fiction Review: Meditation for Kids

Meditation for Kids by Tejal V Patel
Meditation for Kids: 40 Activities to Manage Emotions, Ease Anxiety, and Stay Focused
by Tejal V Patel

5 out of 5 stars

This book has easy and fun meditations for children that helps them to navigate tough emotions, calm their impatience, and learn to listen. The meditations are grouped in categories for increasing your positive energy, improving concentration and creativity, and opening your heart to kindness and compassion. There is an entire chapter of meditations just for bedtime, to soothe and calm the mind and body. Continue reading

Picture Book Review: All about Weather

All About Weather by Huda Harajli MA
All About Weather: A First Weather Book for Kids
by Huda Harajli MA

5 out of 5 stars

This children’s picture book describes all different types of weather, and gives some simple scientific information about temperature and cloud types. I like the writing style that is perfect for a child’s level of understanding.

The illustrations are adorable! Full of bright colors, each page draws the reader in. The clouds are smiling, and the children are playing in the rain.

There are even questions to answer in the text, prompting the reader to choose the right accessories for a rainy or cold day. Should I wear boots or sunglasses? Should I carry mittens or an umbrella? I like that the book gets the reader involved, and encourages children to think carefully. Continue reading

Picture Book Review: Toddlers Around Town

Search & Find Toddlers Around Town by Hannah Sun
Search & Find Toddlers Around Town: 25 Travel Activities for Kids
by Hannah Sun

5 out of 5 stars

In this Search and Find book, children travel to the park, grocery store, grandma’s house, the zoo, mini golf, the beach, the dinosaur museum, the aquarium, the pool, and a farm. The ride on trains, buses, planes, a cruise ship, and even join a parade! On each page there are items labelled and drawn at the bottom of the page that you can look for in the illustrations. You can look for food items at the picnic, find flowers and bees at the farmer’s market, and find pencils and blocks at school.

I love the illustrations drawn in a sort of fuzzy crayon style. They are so cute! It’s really interesting to search through the artwork and find different characters doing activities, eating, playing music, buying flowers, swimming in the pool, cooking on a grill, putting up a tent, or running to catch a plane. There is so much action on each page! Continue reading

Non Fiction Review: Once Upon a Word

Once Upon a Word by Jess Zafarris
Once Upon a Word: A Word-Origin Dictionary for Kids–Building Vocabulary Through Etymology, Definitions & Stories
by Jess Zafarris 

5 out of 5 stars

This dictionary focuses on word origins to teach vocabulary through the stories and history of words. The first section explains the roots of common Latin and Greek words and how the prefixes and suffixes attached to words can give clues to their meaning or completely change the meaning of the main word.

Organized alphabetically, each entry gives a paragraph with an explanation of the origin story of the word, along with its meaning, root language, and sometimes an example sentence. I really love the choice of interesting words, and how the information is organized. Continue reading

Non Fiction Review: Creativity for Kids

Creativity for Kids by Trisha Riché
Creativity for Kids: 75 Fun Activities to Promote Creative Thinking and Self Expression
by Trisha Riché

5 out of 5 stars

This book has tons of great activities for young children ages 6-9 to keep them active, creative, and confident. Different activities focus on problem-solving, working as a team, using your imagination, making art, telling stories, and improvising.

The first chapter explores what creativity really is, and how to encourage children to be expressive. There are tips for reducing screen time, guiding the creative process, teaching children to think in different ways and explore their individuality with a growth mindset.

The chapters are divided by imaginative activities, arts and crafts, role play, and collaboration games. Each activity comes with clear instructions, an estimate of the prep time, a list of needed materials, and some tips and benefits of the activity. Continue reading

Picture Book Review: It’s a Great Big Colorful World

It's a Great, Big Colorful World by Tom Schamp
It’s a Great, Big Colorful World
by Tom Schamp

2 out of 5 stars

This book is much too chaotic, with a lot of random text all over the page and wild illustrations of random things. The whole thing is aimless, and doesn’t tell a story or have any structure other than to group colors together. It’s too busy for a child to be able to focus on anything. If it were 20 or even 30 items on the page, I would have enjoyed it more. I counted over 50 separate items on one page, not counting the text. Continue reading

Board Book Review: Let’s Make Yoga Magic

Let's Make Yoga Magic by Heather Leah
Let’s Make Yoga Magic
by Heather Leah, Sandie Sonke (Illustrator)

5 out of 5 stars

This board book has interactive levers, wheels, and pop ups that help to teach children about different yoga poses. The text explains the pose in very simple terms, along with something for the child to imagine while they do the pose.

For example, in bridge pose you can imagine that a river is flowing underneath you and your legs and arms are the bridge across the water. Children can pretend to be a snake, a dog, a mountain, a butterfly, a dancer, a tree, a plane, a pretzel, a boat, a warrior, and a dragon! All of these correspond with the traditional yoga pose, and add an element of fun and awareness to the practice of yoga.

The text is told in rhyme and beautifully written!

Continue reading

Non Fiction Review: The Story of Abraham Lincoln

The Story of Abraham Lincoln by Carla Jablonski
The Story of Abraham Lincoln: A Biography Book for New Readers
by Carla Jablonski

5 out of 5 stars

This children’s book tells the history of Abraham Lincoln, from his childhood to his death.
I like that the story is told with a simple writing style, easy for a child to understand, and there is a glossary at the back from some of the bigger or unfamiliar words. This would be a great book for 7-10 year old readers.

There are fun cartoon illustrations showing Abe as a young boy on the farm, as a young politician, as a family man, and finally as President of the United States. I really like the bright colors and design of the book! Continue reading

Non Fiction Review: Bedtime Meditations for Kids

Bedtime Meditations for Kids by Cory Cochiolo
Bedtime Meditations for Kids: Quick, Calming Exercises to Help Kids Get to Sleep
by Cory Cochiolo

5 out of 5 stars

This book gives exercises in imagination and sharing to help a child unwind at the end of the day and get ready for sleep. Some of the guided prompts encourage a child to share a worry that is keeping them awake, or list all the good things they did that day, or pretend to be as light as feather, or list all the things they like about themselves.

There are exercises for being more aware, floating into sleep, expressing your feelings, managing anger, and mood-changing exercises that help you to manage difficult emotions and have a better attitude. There are also breathing meditations that focus on the breathe, or on how your body feels when it’s tense or relaxed.

Most of the exercises use your imagination to pretend you are a fairy, a cloud, a dragon, a penguin, or a turtle. You can imagine that you jump and fly in the sky, or that you live in a bubble mansion, or that you can ride up and down in a magical elevator.
There are also games for children to “get the wiggles out” before bedtime, and dance around, then lie still and calm. Continue reading