Books! Books! Hooray for Books!

“The Adventures of Bentley Hippo” series written by Argyro Graphy

5 Lovable Take-aways

1) The illustrations are amazing, bright, cute – all sorts of words like that!

2) The Adventures of Bentley Hippo is combined into a series of books and each story so far has strongly hinted of a sequel so it’ll be fun for kids to wonder what is going to happen in the next book.

3) The first book teaches about sharing in a delightful way with Bentley Hippo guiding Jaxon the monkey along the way. It involves apple pie, so trust me, anything with apple pie is good with me!

4) It’s reassuring to see Bentley and Jaxon back with another story. The second book is about being kind to others and bullying. It includes how the bullies pushed someone into being mean, which is a common, but sometimes overlooked form of bullying.

5) The Adventures of Bentley Hippo series will inspire children to be kind and respectful to others, and did I mention the illustrations are amazing?

“First Winter” written by Patricia Moore

5 Lovable Take-aways

  1. Nice cover that hints at what the story is about. When I look closely, the bear looks velvety.
  2. This is a short story that introduces young children to hibernation. Will Brian’s obsession with basketball keep him from going into hibernation??? Brian thinks he has a choice. He plans on playing basketball all winter long – he might not have thought that through.
  3. His dad can be a bit gruff but in the end, his parents decide not to argue with him. After all, kids aren’t always reasonable, right? (OK, confession time – even though I have a degree in elementary education which focused on early childhood, I still thought that since my daughter was so intelligent, that I could reason with her when she was very young….WRONG!!!)
  4. Brian learns to accept what he can’t defeat, and then goes on about his way.
  5. I do wish the illustrations were larger as when I magnified them, I got a better idea of how darn cute they are. ( Note: I viewed it on an iPad so that might have made a difference.)

“Logan Scott Files: The Wandering Wildflower” written by D.C. Sparr

5 Lovable Take-aways

  1. The bold colors and boy’s stance on the cover got my attention, and then I wondered, why the heck would a boy detective worry about a wildflower? We find that Logan is up to whatever challenge the secret police department gives him.
  2. The first part especially is the goofy kind of humor that I love – both now and when I was young. The interaction between Logan and the secret agents is very comical!
  3. My favorite part was in the toy shop near the beginning and includes this: “So, Logan, in order to keep a lab a secret, maybe don’t scream woo-how so loud?” Agent Moon asked.
  4. The font is easy to read and there are simple colored illustrations every few pages. It’s cohesive and flows easily, kids won’t get bored.
  5. I think both boys and girls can enjoy this book as it involves secrets, a rocket bike, a mysterious flower plus throw in a little friend and sibling interactions. Nothing too heavy here – just a good, light-hearted book.

“Lulu the Tiger in Outer Space” written by Ann Lee

5 Lovable Take-aways

  1. Lulu is one ambitious tiger! She is determined to get into space but doesn’t quite get how far it is, judging by some of her attempts.
  2. The funny illustrations will make kids laugh! My favorites are the ones with the animals in their space suits – oh, and Lulu’s tennis shoes.
  3. I love the space exploration part and was surprised that the International Space Station was mentioned. Maybe some day, someone will think back about how they became an astronaut and say, “There was this book about a cute tiger that went to space with her friends….”
  4. Be sure to turn the page at the end of the story for some instructions on how to do a rocket launch exercise – a great idea!
  5. Then, turn the page again to see the last little surprise! 

Make a Wish for a Unicorn written by Apple Sophia Lim

5 Lovable Take- aways

  1. Young girls love unicorns and will enjoy this delightful interactive book that even addresses the pandemic – but first, they have to make a unicorn.
  2. I laughed out loud when I turned the page and read about the farting unicorn!
  3. The illustration of the unicorn looking for a mask and finding panties instead will make kids crazy with giggling.
  4. The author uses short phrases and cute, simple illustrations with consistent colors which gives the young listener images they can focus on easily.
  5. I love the “About Authors” page – it looks like it was a group effort and they succeeded in writing a fun book for very young girls.

The Coldest Girl written by Matthew J Hooper

5 Lovable Take-aways

  1. I especially adore the illustrations, some of the images of the girl remind me of the Little Precious Moments figurines I loved when I was a child.
  2. It’s an unusual and imaginative tale
  3. Meira, the main character, knows what she wants and needs and that’s to be cold – very cold – and she tells her this mom over and over as a repetitious phrase that children can learn and have fun with.
  4. The mother is a figure who children can relate to because she overstates what could happen such as Meira can get the bird flu and grow feathers. Children will laugh at how the girl’s actions baffle her mother.
  5. See if you agree with me that her desire to be cold is Mira’s superpower. 

“THE WORLD IS MINE A Message of Love and Loss” written by Everly Cade

5 Lovable Take-aways

  1. Lovely, sorrowful, yet hopeful emotions all packed into one short story. It’s not depressing, but is tender, understanding and based on faith.
  2. Although the book is about the loss of a child, it’s a wonderful book to share with young children who are dealing with any kind of personal loss.
  3. The illustrations are perfect for this story.
  4. Favorite line: “I’m always in your memory, and forever in your life.”
  5. This is a spiritual message but even people with different beliefs can benefit from the inspiring words.

“LAND OF WONDERS” written by Sophia Li

5 Lovable Take-aways

1) Action packed, scenes move quickly! This is a book written for kids by an 8-year old after all.

2)   There are a lot of pieces that had to come together and the young author accomplishes this nicely.

3)   Her imagination doesn’t stop.

4)   Detailed and descriptive – here’s a peek:  “…retrieved a medium-sized cloth, sturdy/soft leaves, a quarter-open sphere bowl, some cut open apples, a hollow yellow thread, a stitching needle, very sturdy sticks, a tiny pillow with white fluffy stuffing, another cloth, and a stuffy doll from her backpack.” This just stuck out as I read the book.

5) This girl can write! Congratulations on your first book and hope you’ll keep on writing!

KITCHI The Spirit Fox“ written by Alana Robson

5 Lovable Take-a-ways

1) The title made me wonder what this story was about but the sense of loss that resonates starting on page one was unexpected. 

2) Powerful, expressive illustrations lead the reader through the boy’s magical journey.

3) The author uses rhyme and rhythm to make the story more vivid. 

4) Besides loss, this book speaks to us about love, perseverance, protection and believing. I looked up the Native American meaning of ‘kitchi’ which is brave. See www.kitchithespiritfox.com for a lovely explanation about this book.

5] I love it when he discovers the fox, who we find is the spirit of his brother.

“I Want the World” written by Wayne Baptiste Jr.

5 Lovable Take-a-ways

  1. Bright, lively illustrations – my favorite ones are the last two pages with the world helping the boy get ready for bed.
  2. Super-duper positive book about looking outside ourselves to help the world.
  3. The big question of “Why do you want the world?” is asked at the end. This will make a good conversation starter and encourage kids to really think about it. The book’s character uses his senses to view the world and why he wants the world so that could be a good starting point for teachers to use.
  4. Don’t miss this great saying on the bulletin board: ‘Drifting upon earth’s winds, wondering if I’ll ever find the one thing that’s most precious to me…Myself’
  5. Bottom line is books like this give us hope.

“Chunk-A-Monk The Big Black Skunk” written by Michael Passafiume

5 Lovable Take-always

1) The first day of school jitters is an important topic to address as it can be scary for anybody but especially if you feel you’re different.

2)  Shows children that being bullies is wrong and that it’s hurtful to be called names

3)  Even though Splitter was being made fun of, he was still willing to help out his skunk classmates

4)  Bold, colorful illustrations say “Hey! Read me!” I love the illustrations more each time I read the story.

5)  You’ll like skunks after you read this book with your child.


“Bear and the Mysterious Downstairs“ written by Olivia Oo

5 Lovable Take-always

  1. The cover and title grabbed my attention as I thought of my own childhood fears of going down to our basement by myself
  2. Getting out of your comfort zone can turn out to be rewarding
  3. Darling illustrations 
  4. Important messages of being able to talk things out and being kind in order to make friends, also that those who are different from you can be true friends
  5. Bear found that her first friend was indeed a true friend!


“How to cure a whiny werewolf” written by Brittany Plumeri

5 Lovable Take-aways

  1. A subtle way to get a message to young children without sounding like a lecture.
  2. Will definitely get kids giggling!
  3. Sweet, winsome, multi-racial illustrations
  4. With repetition, kids can ‘read’ along and act out the words.
  5. The “scientific “ approach asks for the reading/listening audience to help with the experiment.