Tag Archives: elementary school

The Sweet Friendship by Lisa R. Neuder (Book Review)


An idealistic, bright-eyed, lop-eared bunny (Baked Bean) is seeking the friendship and company of another bunny. But to her dismay, her new interest (Snowshoe) brings both joy and heartache. Will she be able to overcome her struggles with her new friend?

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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.

 

Before the first chapter, readers will meet all of Baked Bean’s friends through pictures. My favorite image was of Fancy Wat. I mean, you don’t see a mouse wearing a top hat every day. 

Chapters 1-3 gave insight into each friend’s personality and how each one was there for Baked Bean. For example, Biscuit has Snoopy-like ears and short legs but moves like lightning when he runs. Sometimes, his tongue would hang slightly out of his mouth when he sprinted across the field. 

Chapters 4-17 focused on the actual story with plot, climax, and resolution. Baked Bean was longing for a bunny friend. Someone who does the things she does and eats the food she eats. Her wishes came true when she met Snowshoe. They laughed, ate grass, drank water, and explored the countryside together. 

One day, Snowshoe did not arrive to play as promised, and poor Baked Bean’s heart was crushed. When Snowshoe came days later, he acted like it was no big deal. These chapters will open doors for teachers and parents to discuss if listeners ever had someone break a promise and how they felt when it happened. It’ll give the reader the opportunity to encourage children to try their best not to break promises because a broken promise can make a person sad, just like Baked Bean in the story. 

As the story progressed, Snowshoe’s callous behavior worsened, and Baked Bean started feeling worse and worse. Baked Bean begun to feel insecure and question everything about herself. Again, this is another excellent time to discuss how this section makes the listener feel. Do they agree with how Snowshoe treats Baked Bean, and what’s the proper way to treat a friend?

The Sweet Friendship by Lisa Robin teaches children to value their friendships. Treat others how you want to be treated! 

Snowshoe might’ve not been the picture-perfect friend, but Baked Bean met somebunny who was superb! (FYI: Somebunny was written that way on purpose.) 

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

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Meet the Author

Lisa R. Neuder is a debut children’s author from Rockville, Maryland (US). She is a member of The Writers Guild and The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. She is an organizer of a creative writing group. She is starting an MFA program in the Fall 2022.

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Grant’s Huge Choice by Aaron J. Parker (Book Review)

Grant has a choice to make, and so do you!

A big event is coming up for Grant. It’s his class picture day! Grant can’t contain his excitement to take pictures with all his classmates, but there’s one problem. His locs! Grant loves his locs. And after Ms. Jones tells him he won’t be able to join the class pictures unless he changes his hairstyle, Grant has to make the toughest decision of his life. The thought of missing his class pictures makes Grant sad, and the thought of cutting his hair doesn’t help much either. But after a powerful conversation with Daddy about choices, Grant gains the confidence he always needed to stand up for himself and do what is best for him. Join Grant as he learns a valuable lesson about choices and doing what makes YOU happy!

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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.

 

Class picture day is here! It’s an exciting day for a lot of students. They spend a great deal of time selecting the perfect outfit and styling their hair. 

Summary: Grant can’t contain his excitement to take pictures with all his classmates, but there’s one problem. His locs! Grant loves his locs. And after Ms. Jones tells him he won’t be able to join the class pictures unless he changes his hairstyle, Grant has to make the toughest decision of his life. The thought of missing his class pictures makes Grant sad, and the thought of cutting his hair doesn’t help much either.”

In 2019, it made national news a high schooler was forced to cut his dreadlocks during a wrestler competition. I can’t fathom the emotions coursing through his body that day. I know I was outraged. The actions of the adults that day were inappropriate, hurtful, and humiliating. I think that incident and many others like it have inspired Grant’s Huge Choice by Aaron J. Parker. I applaud the author for writing a story that will resonate with the black and brown community.

The image of Grant standing in front of the bathroom mirror, eyes wide and full of sadness, nearly broke my heart. Excellent work, Derreck Washington, on this and all the other powerful drawings! 

The father and son heart-to-heart discussion was beautifully written. Grant’s father’s response to his son’s painful predicament was perfect. “Grant, there is nothing wrong with your hair. Sometimes people try to change what they don’t understand.” He continues to say, “…no one else’s opinion matters but yours.” The father is correct. The school had no right to demand a child change his hair. 

I felt my eyes water when the father started crying during their chat. If I were in the same situation, I would’ve cried about my child’s choice. 

In the end, Grant made the right choice. Be true to who you are! 

Review submitted to Reedsy on 8/12/22.

#KamsPlace

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

Amazon Purchase Link

 

 

Meet the Author

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I am a Father to 4 beautiful children, married to the most amazing woman ever.
Being a community leader and mentor is of the highest priority to me.

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Undercover Elf by Cydnee Brady (Book Review)

The son of an Undercover Elf discovers his mom’s secret job and finds out who her boss is. He learns about all the work Elves do to make sure Santa is ready for his ride on Christmas Eve and is happy to show the world how to identify and Undercover Elf out in the everyday world.

The magic of Christmas through a child’s eyes is one of the greatest joys to watch, and through this tale you and your children will be able to learn more about Santa. Kids can ask some really tough questions about Santa, and as a parent, have you ever been at a loss as to how to answer? Undercover Elf is here to assist with those tricky questions and enhance the excitement of the holiday for you and your child!

Keep the magic going throughout the year by trying to find Undercover Elves out and about in the real world!

 

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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.

 

Moms wear a lot of job hats when managing a household. Depending on what needs handling, they put on their imaginary work hat and get to business. They prepare meals (chef), mend holes or sew costumes (seamstress), tend to boo-boo (doctor/nurse), and help with schoolwork (teacher). They also fix broken gadgets, wash clothes, clean the home, save kids from creepy crawlies, etc. I want to note that fathers also wear a lot of hats in the house, but since this is a book about moms, I want to focus on them. 

Around the holidays, moms put on a special hat. They put on their elf hat and assist Santa in making the holiday goes off without a hitch. Yup, Santa has helpers all around the world, not just in his workshop at the North Pole. 

Cydnee Brady does give clues to help a child discover if the parent is an elf or not. Be ready to have your ears looked at very closely. I think before I share this story with my youngest, I will purchase elf or Vulcan ears. I can’t wait to see their reaction!

Mom, the undercover elf, is Santa’s helper in many ways. They help with family pets, track weather patterns, and much more. With all the work this mom does, I bet she’s always on the NICE list. 

I know children, who still believe in Santa, will love this story. It was so cute. The pictures were quite lovely. 

The illustrations were not cartoony or picture-perfect computer graphics. They reminded me of colored-in coloring sheets. Well done, Chuck Sirko, Noah Spencer, and Mason Spencer (illustration team). 

If the author has any blank coloring sheets available, I would suggest offering those as a promotional piece. 

I agree with Amazon’s recommended reading age, 3 – 5 years.

 

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

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Meet the Author

Children’s book author Cydnee Brady has always had a flair for words. Over the course of her kids’ childhoods, she added layers to an imaginative and festive story about being one of Santa’s elves, adding excited anticipation to his impending arrival—and instantly believed! Once her grandchildren were born, the story spread to a new generation, and now through her newly published picture book, Undercover Elf, to be shared with children everywhere.

Cydnee believes a great children’s book is one that you can get lost in, where you are in another world that you escape to for a time. She hopes that her story gives families together time and brings happiness and joy that reminds them all year around of the magic of Christmas and Santa, long after the book is closed.

When she isn’t writing humorous holiday stories, Cydnee works as a financial analyst for the Volvo Group, enjoys spending time with her three grandchildren, two kids, and husband of thirty-five years, Dean. She likes to sew, cook, and travel. Cydnee and Dean live with their four dogs in the country in Gibsonville, North Carolina. Undercover Elf is her debut picture book.

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Federico Exaggerated by Hazel Pacheco (Book Review)

Federico enjoys exaggerating. Especially when it means all eyes are on him! One day his inflated story of his bravery on the Rio Grande is interrupted by the announcement of ripe hackberries. Left without an audience, Federico stomps off and accidentally stumbles onto a way to recapture his friends’ attention—well maybe. What he finds might teach him that truth can be incredible without exaggeration.

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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.

 

There were a few challenging words for young readers to decipher: covey, arroyo, bosque. There were also animals listed that might be unfamiliar to them: sagebrush sparrow and yellow-bellied sapsucker. I was happy to discover that Hazel Pacheco included a glossary after the story ended. 

I plan to use single words in spelling and vocabulary lessons in my classroom. I’ll also allow my class to explore the Rio Grande and look up real-life images of hackberry, roadrunners, sagebrush sparrow, and the yellow-bellied sapsucker. 

As a parent, I like to share the stories I get the privilege of reading with my child. She loved the suspense, the action, and the drawings. She pointed out that the feathers on the top of their heads resemble question marks. You know what, they do. Not all the time, but definitely in several spots. I don’t know if the artist (Kim Sponaugle) would be thrilled by the comparison, but I’m happy my daughter noticed a grammar mark. That means she’s retaining what she’s learning in school. She also said that the red on their head and fluffy white trim looked like Santa’s hat. What an observant child! I can also see what she’s talking about. Federico also had white feathers circling his head, giving him a Saint Nick appearance. I joked he must be Santa’s bird. That explanation delighted her. This whole story delighted her. 

Federico Exaggerated by Hazel Pacheco had action, suspense, and yummy watermelon. Not only did this story entertain my youngster, but it also made her ask for a slice of watermelon. She wanted one with seeds to eat like the birds in the story. She settled for seedless. 

Federico Exaggerated is perfect for school-age children who understand how to use a glossary. If you read this book to children six and under, explain the difficult words or substitute them for words they’ll understand. You can always define the more challenging words when they are a bit older. 

 

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

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About the Author

After retiring, Hazel Pacheco discovered a new passion–writing. Since her home is in New Mexico, you won’t find her taking long walks along the beach, but she does have plenty of sandy paths to walk in her native Land of Enchantment. That is how she became acquainted with the gambel quail.

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On Your Mark, Get Set, INVEST! by Luke Villermin (Book Review)

A KID’S GUIDE TO SAVING MONEY, SPENDING WISELY, AND INVESTING IN THE STOCK MARKET

Feet thumping and arms swinging, Thrifty Tortoise and Ritzy Rabbit set off on a race to the finish line. At the end awaits a brand-new bike! Follow this competition to see who can earn, save, and invest their way to the ultimate prize. Lots of money decisions will be made along the way—some good and some bad—but you’ll get to learn from them all!

Geared for kids ages 8 to 12, On Your Mark, Get Set, INVEST provides seven engaging chapters to simplify the essential concepts of personal finance and money management…many of which are not taught in schools. You will find answers to questions like:

  • Where does money come from, what do I need it for, and where do I store it?
  • Why will I be better off later if I spend less and save more now?
  • How does creating a budget help me reach my money goals?
  • What is the stock market, and how is compounding a kid’s most awesome superpower?

With over a dozen interactive worksheets, fun illustrations, and kid-friendly examples, this book will get you closer to the finish line with every turn of the page.

Reading Age: 8 – 12 years

 

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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.

 

On Your Mark, Get Set, INVEST! by Luke Villermin is a kid’s guide to saving money, spending wisely, and investing in the stock market. As caregivers (parents and educators), we need to take the time to educate children on the value of money and not just a quarter is worth 25 cents, a penny is a cent, and so on. Kids need to realize the importance of money coming into a home and money leaving home and (also) planning for their future. 

On Your Mark, Get Set, INVEST! teaches real-world money lessons through familiar characters (Tortoise and the Hare), simple explanations, charts, and graphs. Despite the cutesy images, this book might be best suited for upper elementary students and older. 

There are numerous bolded words and phrases that would be extra beneficial for teachers when they are developing a lesson plan. Besides the vocabulary lesson, On Your Mark, Get Set, INVEST! by Luke Villermin has plenty of hands-on activities to help a teacher or parent help explain key financial areas: complete the chart, track your savings, personal budget worksheet, and even a stock wishlist. I loved the book discussed debt, bills, and taxes. Three subjects that kids will be facing sooner than they think. Time does fly! 

I wish I had this book when my daughter took a junior high finance course last year. She aced the course but had a lot of questions, and her instructor didn’t simplify it as this book did. 

When my children want a big ticket item, I have them work for it. It teaches them to appreciate the money they earn and makes them rethink if they’re going to spend it on their “I got to have it now” item. On more than one occasion, once they’ve saved up the necessary funds, my children changed their minds about spending their hard-earned dough.

Parents, and educators, I implore you to share this book with your family and class. It makes learning about money management fun. Plus, adults might learn a thing or two as you share this book with them. For instance, I learned the symbols for several currencies around the world. 

Review written/submitted to Reedsy on 8/3/22. #KamsPlace

 

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

Amazon Purchase Link

 

 

About the Author

Luke Villermin opened a retirement account and started investing at fifteen years old. His only regret…he didn’t start earlier. Since then, he’s become the best-selling author of the Invest Now Play Later series and has shared his investing knowledge on multiple podcasts and interviews.

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