Tag Archives: best friends

Ellie, The Treasure Hunter: The Hidden Treasures of My Own House (Ellie The Chick Book 4) by Avery Smart (Book Review)

Get ready for a super-duper adventure with Ellie and her best friend, Lola!

They had this epic camping plan, but rain decided to crash the party. No biggie! Ellie’s mom had an even cooler idea— a treasure hunt!

So, Ellie and Lola jump into action with a treasure map in hand. Each room at home turns into a treasure trove of shapes, clues, and letters that lead to the grand prize. With your help, they will tackle challenges like champs.

Join Ellie and Lola in this thrilling hunt filled with surprises, shapes, and a whole lot of love.

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(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 

 

Ellie, a chick, and Lola, a bunny, are best friends. Rain or shine, they love spending time with one another. The youngsters’ outdoor plans were spoiled one-day thanks to heavy rain. Luckily, Mom knows just what to do to lift their spirits. She’s created a treasure map, designating rooms in specific colors and shapes: yellow rectangle for the living room, blue square for the study room, red circle for the bathroom, and green triangle for the playroom. As they move from room to room, they are asked to seek out hidden clues, which we learn are letters left behind by Mom. Once all four letters are retrieved, they have one final job: arrange the letters to discover the greatest treasure of all. 

There are NUMEROUS learning books on the market. Ellie, The Treasure Hunter differs from them because it is not just a point-and-be-done book. Yes, children point out items that match the room’s shape, but they are also asked to find hidden clues. When the writer stated that children needed to discover the hidden clues, I assumed the clues would be visible somewhere in the illustrated room. That was not the case. The writer missed an excellent opportunity to extend the hands-on learning experience. 

That aside, families will enjoy this book. I also foresee many children asking to go on a treasure hunt. 

I recommend sharing the activity book with kids between 2 and 6. Help them learn four basic shapes and colors. Have them name objects in their own home. Hide letters and have your child find them. Basically, don’t let the fun end with the closing of the kid’s picture book.

 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score:  ❤1/2

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Meet the Author

Avery Smart, a vibrant author who resides in the heart of the lively family chaos with her three energetic kids. Nestled in the midst of parenting, she channels her passion for nurturing well-mannered children into delightful tales.

It is within this dynamic environment that she draws inspiration, transforming her deep-seated passion for fostering well-mannered children into captivating tales.

Avery’s writing becomes a heartfelt expression of her commitment to instilling values in the younger generation. Her three lively kids not only serve as a source of inspiration but also as eager test subjects for the lessons embedded in her stories.

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Finding Figgins by Shayna Leib (Book Review)

Figgins is a lonely stuffed animal who feels forgotten by his human friend, Julian. Figgins has a rich, secret life unbeknownst to Julian in which he is a professor, a painter and scuba diver. But when Figgins goes missing, Julian has to venture beyond his comfort zone into an unusual magical world. By retracing Figgins’ steps Julian finds out just who Figgins really is, with a little help from Mrs. Zebrasky’s cats who know all that goes on in their neighborhood.

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I received a complimentary copy of this book from Reedsy Discovery.  I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

 

Unless a child is looking for a book featuring a movie or cartoon character, they’ll scan the covers and select a book that captures their eyes. That means designers must create a cover with bold text, written uniquely, and bright colors. Adding a bit of silliness to the design helps, too. The cover for Finding Figgins checks all three boxes. The hedge-shaped lettering was fun, creative, and definitely unique. The kitties were adorable and funny, especially the scuba diver. It took me a minute to notice the gingerbread cookie holding tight to a leaf. How quickly will others spot the cookie? 

The spectacular illustrations did not stop with the cover; every page spotlighted astounding artistry. Kids will get a kick out of the mouse squeezing hot sauce on a taco, the orange-striped cat chillin’ on the beach under a huge umbrella, and the flying penguins. Those are a small fraction of images that’ll delight readers. There are MANY more! 

As you can see, I was impressed with the artwork; the storyline DID NOT disappoint either. When Julian was a baby, he was gifted a stuffed bear named Figgins. For many years, they were inseparable— best friends. But, much like real children, Julian grew up, and his interests shifted. Figgins decided not to wait for Julian to find time for him, so the bear went out to make his own fun. When the child discovered Figgins had been gone far longer than usual, he went to look for him. Julian saw wondrous things on his adventure: orchards full of colorful crayons, enormous mice, flowers that towered over the boy, talking jack-o-lanterns, and a sugary house that Hansel and Gretel would love to sink their teeth into, etc. Through each stop, Julian learned interesting facts about his friend, Figgins. The revelations prompted Julian to reevaluate his priorities and to make time for his friend. 

Finding Figgins is an adventurous tale centering around a bond formed between a child and their best friend, a stuffed bear. It teaches children to appreciate their friends and make time for them. It was a delightful, adventurous read featuring a unique storyline and outstanding artwork. 

Amazon’s recommended reading age is 3-10 years.

 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤

Amazon Purchase Link

 

 

Meet the Author

Shayna Leib is a multi-media artist who has worked in glass, metal, and ceramic for 30 years. Her work has traveled the globe from the Middle East to Europe and America, and is found in numerous museums, public venues, and worldwide private collections. Having taught glassblowing, sculpture, and drawing at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Cal Poly University, she is returning to her 2-dimensional roots with her first book, Finding Figgins which celebrates her affection for the magical, colorful and feline.

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Alina All Alone by Laura Tava-Petrelli (Book Review)

 

This book summons up all the pain of separation and loss . . . and the joy of being reunited.

In an era of never-before-seen difficulties, our very young children have been challenged by feelings of solitude and frustration. This book attempts to demonstrate to our youngsters that these feelings are shared and understood.

This book is unique in that there is a very distinct and purposeful absence of any adult’s voice or perspective or commentary-there is no adult talking to Alina about what is happening. Alina’s voice and reactions to isolation are hers alone, but key.

Alina demonstrates to adults and children alike that long-term persistence wins in the end, and that sometimes the only way to react to situations is to “stamp your feet, cross your arms and scream and shout until you’re red in the face!”

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I received a complimentary copy of this book from Reedsy Discovery.
I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

 

Children grow attached to objects and people. When someone or someone is missing, for whatever reason, they miss it or them dearly. In Alina All Alone by Laura Tava-PetrelliAlina loves visiting her neighbors and their doggies. They are an intricate part of her day and daily routine. When she knocked, and no person or animal answered, she went through many emotions. All these emotions were brilliantly expressed through Jupiters Muse’s illustrations. As a parent, a child screaming is rarely a cute moment, but the images of Alina screaming were very cute. All the various poses with all her treasures were also adorable. My daughter and I loved Alina wearing a mask while holding a cat, who was also wearing a mask. She looked so perturbed while the kitty looked excited to play dress-up. My daughter remarked she wished her kitty would allow her to play dress-up with it. I had to assure her it was a stuffed kitty so she’d let our feline sleep. 

The scene where the child was crying and whispering, “I miss you,” touched our hearts. As a mother, I never like to see a child sad. Alina won’t be crying long because you can’t have a picture book end with tears. Alina’s neighbors and doggies come home. HOORAY! Happy face returned on the pages and on my daughter’s face. 

For those reading Alina All Alone in the states, you will have to explain to your child that some familiar words are written differently in our country than in European countries, such as in Australia, where the author resides. We don’t add a U after the O in favorite or neighbors. We also tend to spell the color gray with an A instead of an E. 

Kids as young as 3-4 can follow the storyline with no issue. Young readers should have minor difficulty reading the text. Established readers should breeze through the pages with no problem. 

 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤❤

Amazon Purchase Link

 

 

 

Meet the Author

Laura is an Early Childhood Teacher, currently working as the Director of a community-based preschool in a suburb of Sydney, Australia. She is a trained Mothercraft nurse, adult educator, mother to three adult children, and unofficial nonna to a few more.

Reedsy Link

 

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Roger and Wesley by Elizabeth Hastings (Book Review)

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Reedsy Discovery.  I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
 
 

Oh my goodness gracious, what an adorable book. Even the pages leading up to the story were cute. I loved the smiley faces on the glue bottles and teddy bears. (Illustrated by Brittney Hassinger). Roger and Wesley were also adorable. Their happy expressions made me smile. 

The page where the toy split and stuck to Wesley’s rear end was funny. I know young kids will be giggling over this image. 

At Roger and Wesley’s repair shop, you’ll meet a lot of animals who have a common dilemma—their favorite toys were broken. For toddlers, use this opportunity to teach or reinforce the names of animals and their unique sounds. You could also point to a picture and ask the color with all the vibrant colors utilized. Babies might not understand the words, but I think they’ll like all the colors! 

Roger and Wesley by Elizabeth Hastings is a good book for those learning to read on their own. There are one to three lines per page and house words that (for the most part) should be not too difficult for children to pronounce. I think maybe only a couple stand out, which might be tricky. With that being said, I give it a couple of attempts, and they’ll know those words too! 

Roger and Wesley has the potential to appeal and be used by toddlers through kindergarten.

 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤❤

Amazon Purchase Link

 

 

 

Elizabeth Hastings lives in Manchester, Michigan with her husband, daughter, and two dogs. She never imagined writing was in her future, at least not until she had her daughter. She decided to capture those precious moments of inspiration after seeing her daughter’s love for her favorite dogs.

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Twin Tales: Alike and Different by Brielle and Nadia Dupervil (Book Review)

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Imagine having someone that is just like you in the world. Or what if there were not just like you, but everyone thought they were? Twin sisters Alexia and Denise might look alike on the outside, but they are very different on the inside. Join the sisters as they reveal what makes them unique. An enduring story of siblings who share a strong bond that parents will appreciate, and children will love.
 
 
 
 
 
 
I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
 
 
First and foremost, I would like to commend Brielle and Nadia Dupervil on writing a book. They are the youngest author(s) I’ve read. Most authors wait years to get a book published, and they have achieved it at a mere four years of age. Their family and friends must be so proud of them! 


While most twins look alike, these two adorable youngsters showed us exactly how different they are. For example: “Alexia loves to watch movies, but Denise likes shorter shows.” The differences continued to vary from clothing to food choices and much more, which I won’t spoil for the readers. 


While they differed on many day-to-day things, they did agree on two crucial facts — they love ice cream and their family. 🙂

No matter if you’re a twin or not, Twin Tales: Alike and Different will provide many discussion points such as “How do you like your sandwich?”


Using the cute illustrations by Folksnfables, you could always play “Spot the differences.” Allow kids to list everything from colors, clothing types, facial expressions, and so on.


Twin Tales: Alike and Different would make an excellent addition to any home, school, or public library. 

 
 
Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤❤
 
 
 
 
 
Meet the Authors:
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​Brielle has a bold and bubbly personality and never meets a stranger. You can call her the life of the party because there is never a dull moment when she is around. Brielle is a curious conversationalist who will talk to anyone who will listen.

Nadia is a soft spoken, articulate, gentle spirit. Initially she is reserved, but once comfortable she will win you over with her contagious laughter and the silly jokes she keeps in her back pocket for the right time. Nadia is caring and always does what she can to help others feel better. She is very in tune with her emotions and very direct when expressing them.


Connect with the Author:  Website ~ facebook ~ instagram
 

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