Picture Book Review: Letters from Maisy

Letters from Maisy by Lucy Cousins
Letters from Maisy
by Lucy Cousins

5 out of 5 stars

Maisy is going on a vacation, and she sends letters to all her friends describing the places she has seen and sending little gifts to her neighbors back home. Every other page has an envelope pocket with a letter and a small paper gift.

Maisy shops at an outdoor market and sends a beautiful paper fan to her friend, Ella. The book includes a real paper fan for the reader!
Maisy goes on a river safari, and sends Eddie a search-and-find game with animals from the jungle. The reader can play the game too!
Maisy rides a carousel, and sends a paper horse to her friends Tallulah. A sturdy paper horse is included with the letter in the book pocket for the reader to play with too.
The book even includes a REAL postcard for the reader to mail to a friend. Continue reading

Board Book Reviews: Maisy’s Animals, and Maisy Explores

Maisy's Animals by Lucy Cousins    Maisy Explores by Lucy Cousins
Maisy’s Animals: A First Words Book
Maisy Explores: A First Words Book

   by Lucy Cousins

5 out of 5 stars

In Maisy Explores, Maisy explores a variety of different ideas, like the weather, types of plants, insects that change from caterpillar to butterfly, body parts, textures from rough to smooth, sounds, colors, and everyday items. The only text is labels for each type of item, but the drawings show Maisy playing the drums, planting a seed, flying a kite, and painting a picture.

In Maisy’s Animals, Maisy travels all over the world and interacts with animals in different places. The only text is labels for each type of animal, but the drawings show Maisy riding a camel in the desert, dog-sledding with a husky in the Arctic, swimming with fish in the ocean, and feeding chickens on the farm, and putting out cat-food for her kitty at home. Continue reading

Picture Book Review: That’s Good, That’s Bad

That's Good, That's Bad by Joan M. Lexau
That’s Good, That’s Bad
by Joan M. Lexau,  Aliki (Illustrations)

5 out of 5 stars

A young boy is confronted with a ferocious tiger, but buys time by telling the tiger a story about how he escaped from an angry rhino. During the ups and downs of the boy’s story, the tiger is alternately glad or sad as the boy gets in and out of trouble.

The boy runs away from rhino, but rhino can run faster. That’s bad.
The boy climbs into a tree to escape. That’s good.
The boy throws a stone at the rhino. That’s good.
But the stone doesn’t hit rhino. That’s bad.

The illustrations are so cute!

Continue reading

Board Book Series Review: All Around Bustletown

All Around Bustletown by Rotraut Susanne BernerAll Around Bustletown: SummerAll Around Bustletown by Rotraut Susanne BernerAll Around Bustletown by Rotraut Susanne Berner
5 out of 5 stars
Everywhere in Bustletown people are getting things done, going to a museum, doing their shopping, finding lost objects, playing ball with their friends, getting their car repaired, and tending to the animals. Everywhere you look there is something interesting happening and a story line to follow!

I love the colorful and detailed illustrations! Each page is beautifully drawn with fun little details to draw the reader in. I’m 37 years old, and I was fascinated with each beautiful scene! 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

Picture Book Review: The Nuff

The Nuff by Veronica Waldrop
The Nuff
by Veronica Waldrop,  Cat Elliott (Illustrator)

4 out of 5 stars

The Nuff is a unicorn with a broken horn, but she doesn’t let that stop her from being amazing, trying new things, and being confident in herself. Even if she isn’t perfect, she is enough!
The Nuff may not look like the girls in magazines, and she might make mistakes or sing off-key, but she is a beautiful and brave unicorn with a big heart and a smart brain that keeps her enjoying life. She plays sports, rollerskates with friends, goes swimming in the ocean, explores the countryside, generously gives to others, plays in the mud, climbs mountains, rides her bike, plays princess dress-up, and dances across the grass.

This book was written by a mother for her daughters. She died of cancer shortly after writing it, and it is her message to all children everywhere that they are enough.

I really loved the positive messages and themes in this book! So many times we find it hard to forgive ourselves for not being perfect, and even adults need to be reminded that we are enough. Continue reading

Picture Book Review: Allegro

Allegro by David W Miles
Allegro: A Musical Journey Through 11 Musical Masterpieces
by David W Miles,  Anita Barghigiani (Illustrations)

5 out of 5 stars

A little boy named Allegro is fed up with practicing piano. He throws his sheet music on the floor, and petulantly sits and thinks about music. He goes on a magical journey to discover new music and how beautiful music can truly be. Through all the different moods and styles of classical music, he learns to love and appreciate the emotions and sensations that music can offer to us. Continue reading

Picture Book Review: Willow the Wildcat

Willow the Wildcat by Lynne Rickards
Willow the Wildcat
by Lynne Rickards, Kirsteen Harris-Jones (Illustrator)

5 out of 5 stars

Two wildcat kittens follow their mother through a Scottish forest, learning to hunt for fish and mice. Their home den collapses, and the wildcat family must search for a new hole. The kitten siblings are getting into mischief, and squabbling and fighting the whole way. After escaping from a hungry kite and a grumpy pine marten, they finally find the perfect home and the kittens learn to work as a team instead of fighting all the time.

This cute picture book has lovely illustrations of beautiful Scottish countryside, as the wildcats travel through forests, across a flowing burn, into a meadow of grass, and find an old castle ruin. The illustrations use soft colors with sunshine on every page! I loved the art style and the way the illustrations added depth to the story by adding details and expression. Continue reading

Picture Book Review: The Phoenix of Persia

The Phoenix of Persia by Sally Pomme Clayton
The Phoenix of Persia
by Sally Pomme Clayton, Amin Hassanzadeh Sharif (Illustrator)

4 out of 5 stars

Prince Zal is left for dead when he is a baby, and the magnificient Phoenix raises him with her own little chicks in her nest atop the mountain. She teaches him art, science, poetry, music, and history as well as how to survive in the wild. He grows up to find his true parents in the end.

I liked this traditional story from Iran with its message about the sanctity of all human life. The story is told with strong writing and vivid words.

I liked the art style of the illustrations with bold strokes and bright colors, but I didn’t like the faces of the characters. Their eyes are distorted, and their mouths are crooked, giving them a creepy look! The rest of the artwork is lovely, but all the people have weird faces. Continue reading