Olga, a very plump woman, lives in her newspaper kiosk, and dreams of travelling. She finds herself stuck in her kiosk, and unable to leave by the door because of her girth. So she picks up the kiosk structure and walks down the street looking for adventure with her kiosk on her back.
The illustrations are full of bright colors and little details in the setting that make the story come alive. Each character in the story has their own unique look. I like the whimsical art style.
I am concerned about stereotypes and unhealthy messages in this book. Olga lives in squalid conditions in her kiosk where she has an armchair, sink, and toilet squeezed into a small space. I worry about children getting confusing messages about the health of this woman and her extreme weight.
The Mystery Kitten by Holly Webb, Sophy Williams (Illustrator) 5 out of 5 stars Elsa is worried about moving into a new house and having her own room, separate from her sister, Sara. When she hears scratching and mysterious noises coming from the attic, she is terrified. But then she discovers an adorable black kitten, and has to keep him a secret from her family.
Elsa meets new friends, solves the mystery of the kitten, and figures out how to convince her family to keep the kitten. I love Elsa’s character. She is smart and compassionate, but she is full of anxiety about moving to a new house. She learns to have more confidence and build stronger bonds with her family. I was impressed with her simple but powerful character development.
Quien Se Comio Mi Fruta? by Canizales (Goodreads Author) 5 out of 5 stars Little Cat has four pieces of fruit to eat, but one by one his fruit is all gone! He is so hungry. He has to find out who is eating all his fruit. It looks like the seal ate his pear. The fox ate his strawberry, and the rabbit ate the pineapple. What about the last fruit? What will be left for Little Cat?
El pequeño Gato tiene cuatro piezas de fruta para comer, ¡pero una por una su fruta se ha ido! Tiene tanta hambre. Tiene que averiguar quién comio toda su fruta. Parece que la foca se comió su pera. El zorro se comió su fresa, y el conejo se comió la piña. ¿Qué pasa con la última fruta? ¿Qué le quedará al Gato?
Quien Se Comio Mi Pastel? by Canizales (Goodreads Author) 5 out of 5 stars Little Cat is so hungry. He has four desserts to eat, a piece of pie, a cupcake, a donut, and chocolate cake. But one by one his desserts are eaten by other animals. Little Cat has to discover who is eating his treats!
Pequeno Gato tiene mucha hambre. Tiene cuatro postres para comer, un pastel de arandranos, una magdalena, una dona, y un pastel de chocolate. Pero uno a uno sus postres son comidos por otros animales. ¡Gatito tiene que descubrir quién está comiendo sus pasteles!
Claris dreams about moving to Paris, and she takes a leap of faith to make her dreams come true. She meets a mean cat in Paris, and has to use all her fashion wiles and personal compassion to win the day.
I just adore Claris! She is such a sweet and lovely little mouse. I love stories about mice anyway, but this little mouse takes the cake. I love all her pretty clothes. She is the epitome of elegance and refinement, but with a heart of compassion and humility.
Claris and Monsieur Cat have to return a lost invitation to Fashion Week’s greatest show. They go on an adventure across half of Paris to track down the fashionista who has lost their important invitation.
A unicorn helps a young dragon who wants to learn to fly. First they try a superhero cape, then a rocket ship, and finally a big bunch of balloons tied to the dragon to help him fly. All through their experiments with flying, the unicorn is supportive. The unicorn listens and encourages the dragon every step of the way.
Paris Cat is born in a dirty alleyway where her cat relations eat fish bones. She runs into a dressmaker’s shop to get out of the rain, and begins sewing her own wardrobe from the fabric scraps. She visits a theater and dances onstage with Josephine Baker (who is a famous erotic dancer from history known for her skimpy costumes) and Chiquita the leopard. Eventually, she opens her own dancing club and cafe where her cat family and friends can benefit from her fabulous fashion creations and jazz music.
The reason for my low rating is the inclusion of Josephine Baker in this book in her skimpy costume. Paris Cat joins Josephine onstage for some erotic dancing in very revealing clothing.
Kayla is anxious on her first day of kindergarten, but she quickly forgets her nerves when she has to help her teacher, Mrs. Muddle. The teacher gives everyone the wrong name tags, and the students have to figure out everyone’s names to give the right name tag to their classmates. Mrs. Muddle can’t find the gym, and takes the students to the library instead. Kayla was worried about getting lost, but discovers she can easily find her way around school when she has to step in to help Mrs. Muddle. At the end of the school day, the children have spent their whole class time teaching Mrs. Muddle, but they have learned more than they realize.
This book teaches the reader that mean words and arguments cause a crack to form between friends, but kind words and working together makes a tree of friendship grow. Thoughtlessness and selfishness only tear people apart, but forgiving and smiling at one another results in a happy atmosphere of support.
Bea loves lions. She is obsessed with everything to do with lions. But Bea hates going to the beach, because the sand is scratchy and gritty. When she goes to the beach with her mother, Bea meets a Sand Lion who helps her appreciate all the fun you can have with sandcastles and playing in the sand. Sand Lion is afraid of the water, so Bea helps him to not be afraid of the little waves on the shore.
Sanikiluaq is a remote town that gets all its supplies through cargo planes. At Halloween, the plane flies in pumpkins for the school children! Each class gets to carve a pumpkin, and they draw names to see who gets to take it home for their front porch. They light candles inside each pumpkin. The children don their costumes and get bags full of candy trick-or-treating at each house. Then the whole community gathers for a Halloween dance. But when they go to bed, the children wonder if the tunnaat spirits will come out and steal the pumpkins. Or will the pumpkins freeze when the candles burn out?