Picture Book Review: The Sand Elephant

The Sand Elephant by Rinna Hermann
The Sand Elephant
by Rinna Hermann

4 out of 5 stars
Paul outlines the shape of an elephant in his sand box, and is delighted when his sand elephant comes to life and takes him to the magical Sandcastle Land. There he meets other children and their sand animals, and they all play together in the castle. But a storm blows up and and washes the sand flat, and the children must call to their sand animals to revive them.

I loved this whimsical and imaginative story! It speaks to me so strongly of my childhood playing with imaginary animal friends in a fairy tale castle. Anything can happen in a child’s world of dreams.

The elephant is such a robust and steady character, and I love how he leads Paul through all their adventures. The whole story is just delightful! Continue reading

Baby Board Book: Five Little Ducks

Five Little Ducks by Ailie Busby
Five Little Ducks: First Book of Nursery Games
by Ailie Busby (Illustrator)

5 out of 5 stars
This board book is so adorable! It’s full of sweet rhymes from childhood like “This Little Piggy”, “Hickory Dickory Dock”, and “Polly Put the Kettle On”, but also has new rhymes included. The rhymes all have hand motions or other activities that can be done along with the rhymes. This can help young toddlers to learn to hold up a certain number of fingers as we count down from five, or to move their arms or legs as the rhyme instructs. It’s so cute!

These rhymes go way beyond the simple “Peek-a-boo” style that I always found so boring. These are really interesting and fun! There are ducks, dinosaurs, trains, bunnies, and lions. There is roaring, tickling, hopping, clapping, and flying fingers.

I really appreciated that the bright illustrations show all kinds of children; young babies, older toddlers, disabled children in wheelchairs, children with glasses, African, Asian, Caucasian, and Hispanic children. Plus every kid is so cute! I love the art style in this book. Continue reading

Children’s Picture Book Review: This is My Daddy!

This is My Daddy! by Mies van Hout
This is My Daddy!
by Mies van Hout

4 out of 5 stars

Each page of this book shows a young animal who asks the reader, “Who is my Daddy?” There are four choices of adult animals, and the reader has to guess which one is the grown-up version of the little animal. A little tadpole joyfully declares, “This is my Daddy!”, when reunited with his froggy father. A baby rhino frolics with his large rhino Dad, and a baby beaver chomps on some branches with his beaver Dad.

This is such a fun way to get children thinking critically and noticing the details. It also stretches their memory capabilities, and helps them to predict what will come next based on the previous pattern. Plus it’s just fun! Continue reading

Board Book Review: Wild Week

Wild Week by Teresa Porcella
Wild Week
by Teresa Porcella

4 out of 5 stars


Each of the animals are doing something different each day. “On Monday, the hen lays an egg… On Tuesday, the shark cuddles a pillow in the living room.” The koala likes to draw, the panda wears a scarf to stay warm, a bird builds a nest, and the skunk combs his hair. They all wait for Sunday when they can play together all day long!

The best thing about this book are the flaps that open up to reveal the animals doing their activities around the house. It’s so much fun to open the flaps and peek into the wild house where these animals are living.

I like the illustrations okay, but I feel like the animals’ eyeballs are staring at me. Their eyes are just so big and bulging. It weirds me out. I do like the colors and the general art style though. I like the design of each scene and some of them are funny and clever, like having a shark chilling on a chair in the living room. How does a shark SIT in a chair? It’s silly and hilarious! Continue reading

Board Book Review: Mummy, What’s in Your Tummy?

Mummy, What's in Your Tummy? by Bernardita Romero
Mummy, What’s in Your Tummy?
by Bernardita Romero

5 out of 5 stars

This board board is so sweet and adorable! A child wonders what could be growing inside their mother’s tummy for 9 months. Is it a watermelon, a bunny rabbit, or a penguin? Is it a lion or crocodile, an elephant or a mouse?

The rhyming text is well-written and has a nice flow to it. The illustrations are bright, and I like the clarity of the artwork. I can’t stand when picture book are cluttered with too much stuff on each page, but this book is wonderfully clear and clean, putting the focus on the main characters that matter.

I love the heart-felt and emotional storyline, all about family connections and building relationships. Even before the baby sister is born, she can hear her older sibling singing to her and reacts by moving in the womb. “It dances and wiggles when I sing. It must be a very special thing.”
I love that this book shows a relationship already being established with the unborn child. So sweet!
Continue reading

Board Book Review: The Wolf and the Fly

The Wolf and the Fly by Antje Damm
The Wolf and the Fly
by Antje Damm

5 out of 5 stars

This board book is adorable! A hungry wolf eats up some of his toys and animals because he is so hungry. But the reader has to guess what he has eaten based on what toy or animal is missing from the page. As he gobbles up each item, the reader has to search the page to see what is missing from the previous page.

This is such a fun way to get children thinking critically and noticing the details. It also stretches their memory capabilities, and helps them to predict what will come next based on the previous pattern. Plus it’s just fun!

I loved the cartoony illustrations and the funny wolf character. He’s such a cute little guy!

Continue reading

Activity Book Review: Paint By Sticker Dinosaurs

Paint by Sticker Kids by Workman Publishing
Paint by Sticker Kids: Dinosaurs: Create 10 Pictures One Sticker at a Time!  by Workman Publishing

5 out of 5 stars

This activity book has 10 beautiful designs, and hundreds of stickers in little mosaic shapes! It’s so easy to put the stickers into place, and the finished product looks wonderful. It’s very relaxing and helped me to get creative. You really feel a sense of accomplishment when you finish!

The stickers are sturdy and easy to remove from the sticker sheet. The colors are vibrant and it’s simple to follow the instructions to find the right placement for each sticker. I really loved that the pages are perforated, so that you can tear out the sticker sheet or the design or both. That way you don’t have to keep flipping back and forth in the book.

I love the clever designs and beautiful colors! This is perfect for anytime you have some anxiety and need a calm activity. Continue reading

Picture Book Review: Over in the Woodland

Over in the Woodland by Nicole  Abreu
Over in the Woodland: A Mythological Counting Journey
by Nicole Abreu (Author),Shar Abreu (Author), Susanna Covelli (Illustrations)

5 out of 5 stars

This picture book counts up mythical creatures in a magical fairyland as they dance and fly with their parents. Each family of fairies, griffins, centaurs, and trolls grows in size as we count from 1 to 10. The rhyming text is meant to be sung to the tune of “Over in the Meadow”.

Each mystical family is in their own element. The mermaids swim in cool water. The centaurs practice archery in a forest. The dragons fly through the clouds. The dwarves carve rock and stone. The mother or father teaches their children to work together and learn the magic ways of the woodland.

The illustrations are marvelous. The art is warm, rich, and vibrant. There are tiny details in the illustrations that make each scene come alive with magic: little dew drops on a leaf, the sparkle of a waterfall, the strands of hair or fur on the mythic creatures. Each little whisker is alive with energy and movement.
Continue reading

Picture Book Review: That Dog!

That Dog! by Emma Lazell
That Dog!
by Emma Lazell

5 out of 5 stars

A ruthless gang of dognappers is on the loose, and their next target is…. That Dog! But That Dog will not be caught unawares. He is on their trail, following the clues to rescue the other dogs who have been dognapped. The dognapper’s assistant is not too bright, and he mistakenly kidnaps a snake, a rabbit, and a cat while searching for That Dog.

I love the silly story and the fun characters. That Dog is quite a clever dog, and I liked how we see him with a notebook full of clues. He carries around a magnifying glass and reads books like “Sherlock Bones and Dog Watson”. He reads the newspaper and does the crossword puzzle. A dog who reads is my kind of dog. Continue reading

Picture Book Review: The Runaway Shirt

The Runaway Shirt by Kathy  MacMillan
The Runaway Shirt
by Kathy MacMillan, Julia Castano (Illustrations)

5 out of 5 stars

While a mother is folding the laundry, her child climbs into a big shirt, and she tries to fold the “shirt”. First she folds in the arms, and then folds the shirt in half by tucking in the child’s legs. But the “shirt” runs away! She tries to put it in a drawer, but it pops out again. She tries to hang it up in the closet, but the “shirt” is too heavy for the hanger.

This is such an adorable book! I love how imaginative the mother and child are as they pretend the child is a shirt. Their affectionate connection is evident on every page as they play and pretend together. It’s fun to see them transform a boring chore into a game.

Even though it’s such a simple story, I was giggling through every page, and almost cried when the “shirt” says “I love you, Mommy.” So sweet! So cute! Adorableness overload! Continue reading