Book Review: Phonics and Sight Words Storybooks

Learn to Read by Laurin Brainard

Learn to Read by Kimberly Ann Kiedrowski

by Kimberly Ann Kiedrowski

5 out of 5 stars


The Sight Words Storybook has short stories for beginning readers that focus on two sight words for each story. One story has the sight words “a” and “little”, so the story uses those words again and again. “A little shirt, a little sock, a little shoe, a little hat…”


The Phonics Storybook includes short stories that focus on word families, such as words that end with -et or words that end with -ig. So the first two stories have a lot of words like “vet, pet, wet” and “pig, jig, dig, wig.”
At the end of each story there is an activity page where the child can trace words, complete a maze, do a word search, or circle the words from that word family.
Each story has bright illustrations with cute characters. I like how simple and fun the stories are as the characters go to the beach, take their dog to the park, ride in an airplane, and follow a treasure map. Some of the characters are human, and some are animals, but every story is adorable!
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Activity Book Review: Mermaids!

Mermaids! by Courtney Carbone
Mermaids!: A Coloring and Activity Book for Kids
by Courtney Carbone

5 out of 5 stars

This book has word searches, coloring pages, mazes, spot-the-difference puzzles, and dot-to-dot activities all with a mermaid theme. Dozens of different mermaids and ocean creatures are everywhere! There are little stories about mermaids and how they love to sing, comb their hair, and have tea parties underwater.

The mermaids help a turtle to get out of a net. They explore old shipwrecks looking for treasure, and discover new animal friends. They practice their swimming skills and their music. There are so many cool mermaid things in this book! Continue reading

Book Review: My First Animal Activity Book

My First Animal Activity Book by Krissy Bonning-Gould
My First Animal Activity Book: For Kids 3-5
by Krissy Bonning-Gould 

5 out of 5 stars

This book has coloring pages, mazes, spot-the-difference puzzles, and dot-to-dot activities all with an animal theme. The activities are perfect for ages 3-5 with simple designs and bright colors. Not every page is colored, some are black and white, but all the designs are so cute! The animals are adorable.

The activities include things like drawing a line from an animal to its type of food, helping a penguin through a maze of icebergs, or finding 3 differences in two pictures. The first pages are very simple, and they gradually get slightly more complex towards the back of the book.

Every page looks so fun, and is sure to catch the attention of young children!

Picture Book Review: That’s Life

That's Life! by Ame Dyckman
That’s Life!
by Ame Dyckman ( Author),Cori Doerrfeld (Illustrator)

5 out of 5 stars

When Life knocks on the door, one child learns that Life is weird and wacky and not always what you expect. But if you can embrace Life and weather the storms, Life can be a beautiful journey.

This book is so cute! “Life” is portrayed as a little gray monster dude who cavorts around, pulling pranks, and having adventures.
The text of this book is full of wisdom and encouragement, but the illustrations are what make it so fun and silly!
The text says “Life is short.” and the illustration shows Life trying to reach up a tall table to get a cake. The little Life monster guy is ACTUALLY too short to reach the table. haha! The book is full of silly puns and jokes like that. I love how clever the story is! Continue reading

Activity Book Review: Ocean and Zoo Animals

4 out of 5 stars

These search and find books have tons of wonderful facts and information about the ocean and zoo! The illustrations are colorful and vibrant with all those tiny details to look for in the scenery. The ocean scenes cover a multitude of areas, including tide pools, coral reefs, arctic oceans, shipwrecks, the deep sea, and swamp lands.  The zoo scenes include African plains, jungles, Asian mountains, the Amazon, Arctic tundra, and deserts around the world.

Each page is loaded with factoids and interesting information about ocean and zoo creatures, and a sample picture of what to look for in the scene. There are ocean facts about mammals, fish, coral, plants, crustaceans, sea birds, and even geological formations found in the ocean like thermal vents.  The zoo animals include reptiles, bugs, endangered animals, nocturnal animals, and mammals and birds of all kinds.

The only thing I didn’t like is how the colors tend to blend in with each other, making it more difficult to see what you are searching for, and a lot of the items are half hidden behind other things, making it difficult to find them. I wouldn’t recommend this for little kids, but ages 7-10 would enjoy the challenge.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a free and honest review. All the opinions stated here are my own true thoughts, and are not influenced by anyone.

Activity Game Review: Build a Story Cards: Space Quest

Build a Story by Barefoot Books
Build a Story: Space Quest
by Barefoot Books

5 out of 5 stars

These are cards with pictures on them with characters, settings, and objects in outer space. You can create your own imaginative story using the cards to guide your story. There are aliens, spaceships, astronauts, and even a hamster. You can use the cards to solve problems. If the astronauts are hungry, there is a card with food on it. If the cockpit is on fire, there is a fire extinguisher card. If an astronaut gets injured, there is a medical kit. But what can we do when the hamster escapes into outer space?

I love that there are many ways to use these cards. You can keep it extremely simple or make it complex. You can look for opposites, solve problems, make the characters interact, or just imagine a silly story. There is even a search-and-find activity to look for a green bug on some of the cards. Continue reading

Picture Book Review: The Bedtime Book

The Bedtime Book by S. Marendaz
The Bedtime Book
by S. Marendaz

5 out of 5 stars

Mouse has lost her favorite bedtime book, and Frank the Dog is determined to help her find it. They ask Bella the Cat and they ask Owl to help them, but poor Mouse is very upset to have lost such a beloved book. How will Mouse ever get to sleep without her bedtime book?

This book is so adorable! The story is charming and sweet, and I loved the way the text draws the reader into the emotions of the story and the suspense of the mystery. The story has some excellent repetition in it, which is perfect for young readers. The pacing flows smoothly, and I loved the twist at the end. Continue reading

Picture Book Review: I’m Sorry

I'm Sorry! by Barry Timms
I’m Sorry!
by Barry Timms, Sean Julian (Illustrator)

5 out of 5 stars

Swoop and Scribble are an owl and a squirrel who are best friends. They decide to move into a house together, but begin to squabble over who can use the beautiful porch. Swoop wants the porch to be her workshop, and Scribble wants the porch to put on elaborate stage plays. Things escalate into a fierce argument, and there’s only one word that can repair their relationship. But even the word “Sorry” doesn’t work unless you really mean it.

I loved this adorable picture book! Swoop and Scribble are so cute! I love the way the story goes back and forth between the workshop and the stage, until finally the friends learn to compromise. I love how the writing is so insightful to remind the reader that saying you’re sorry doesn’t always work. You have to really BE sorry, and then do something to repair the emotional damage. Such a positive message told in a charming story! Continue reading

Picture Book Review: Its Impossible

It's Impossible! by Tracey Corderoy
It’s Impossible!
by Tracey Corderoy, Tony Neal (Illustrator)

4 out of 5 stars

Dog dreams of visiting the ocean, but it’s so far away that he never goes. One day Crab magically appears in his laundry basket, and Dog is forced to finally follow his dreams to the ocean as he helps Crab to get home. Dog thinks the trip is impossible, but with Crab’s encouragement he finds a new confidence that they can do anything together.

I liked this cute picture book! It has a positive message about confidence and trying your best, and the characters are really funny. The plot takes many twists and turns as Dog and Crab go on their journey to the ocean. Continue reading