Tag Archives: early reader

Grandma’s Hands

I love my grandma by Giles Andreae and Emma Dodd (Disney/Hyperion, $16.99, 32 pages)

i love my grandma

The relationship between a granddaughter and grandmother is cheerfully and joyously explored in I love my grandma by writer Giles Andreae and illustrator Emma Dodd.  The story’s text is easy for a child to understand: “We play all sorts of funny games, and give each other silly names. We really love to cook and bake, and eat the yummy things we make.”  It’s clear that in their interactions, grandma gets to act childlike, while granddaughter has fun pretending to be mature.

Animals and toys are featured on nearly every page, which helps young reader-listeners relax.  And it’s made clear that a grandchild is a source of pride for a grandparent.  What’s also made clear – in a gentle way – is that even the most loving and nurturing of grandmas can welcome the rest that comes at the end of a visit: “When it’s time to say good-bye, my grandma gives a little sigh…  And says, although we’ve had such fun, it’s nice to give me back to  mom.”

The bright and highly colorful illustrations by Dodd are the icing on the kid’s cake.  I love my grandma was given the perfect endorsement by our own granddaughter who said, “I love this book!”

Highly recommended.

Joseph Arellano

A review copy was received by the publisher.

This book is recommended for children ages 2 through 6.

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Bearly There

No Bears 4No Bears by Meg McKinlay, illustrated by Leila Ridge (Candlewick Press, 32 pages, $15.99)

This is a novel children’s book written by Meg McKinlay, and illustrated by Leila Ridge.   It’s about a girl named Ella.   Ella loves books but is tired of reading stories that are filled with bears.   As she says, “I’m tired of bears.   Every time you read a book, it’s just BEARS BEARS BEARS…”   So she designs a story with pretty things, a princess, a castle, a monster and a giant.   Oh, and also a fairy godmother with magical powers that might be needed to save the princess from the monster.

This 32-page Candlewick Press book is wonderfully illustrated, and throws in a lot of cool, sneaky references to well-known children’s tales (young readers will have fun discovering such things as the Owl and the Pussycat).   It’s a great early reader because it includes standard phrases such as Once upon a time, Happily ever after, and The End.   And it’s relaxing and unique especially because there are said to be NO BEARS in it.   Not even one!

Written for readers aged 3 and up, and a few bright 2-year-olds.   Toddlers who love animals will appreciate it; especially as they find that there are actually a few loveable bears hidden in its pages.

Highly recommended.

Joseph Arellano

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A review of the children’s book No Bears by Meg McKinlay, illustrated by Leila Ridge.No Bears 3

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The Greatest Gift

Christmas at the Toy Museum by David Lucas (Candlewick Press, $15.99, 32 pages)

This is a children’s book about 22 classic stuffed toys that live in a Toy Museum.   On Christmas Eve, the toys all rush to gather under the Museum’s grand Christmas tree.   Once there, they sadly realize that there are no gifts for them under the tree!   That’s when Bunting the old toy cat comes up with a great idea – the toys will wrap themselves up as gifts for each other.   This seems like a very good idea, except that Bunting is the “gift” opened last and he has no gift to open for himself.Christmas at the Toy Museum (med.-lg.)

Well, it turns out that the toy angel at the top of the tree is a real angel with magical powers.   She decides to reward Bunting with a truly special gift, a wish that he can make that will come true.   Bunting decides to wish that Christmas would last forever, and so it does from that point forward.

This is a beautifully illustrated tale that teaches young ones the value of selfishness, while also indirectly telling them that everything in life – including one’s friends – has value.   Christmas at the Toy Museum would make a perfect gift for a child in almost any household.

Highly recommended.

Joseph Arellano

A review copy was provided by the publisher.   Christmas at the Toy Museum is recommended for children ages 3 and up, although we can imagine that some smart 2-year-olds will also enjoy it.   David Lucas is also the author-illustrator of Lost in the Toy Museum: An Adventure.  

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A review of Christmas at the Toy Museum, a children’s book, by David Lucas.Christmas at the Toy Museum (prev.) 

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