Tag Archives: elementary school

The Tickling Tale of Smoo by Louiza Kallona (Book Review)

Some strange things arrive suddenly, like frogs that rain down instead of cats and dogs. Other strange things creep up slowly until one day no one can ignore them any longer. This is the story of the McClaffertys, and the mysterious disappearance of laughter.

Lucy McClafferty and her brother Ben are fed up. The weather has been dreich for months, and no one is laughing anymore.

It’s up to Lucy and Ben to uncover the mystery of why the world has stopped laughing so laughter can return to the world again.

Join them on their weird and wonderful adventure as they travel to the top of Scotland, meet fantastical characters, face unexpected challenges, and discover that there is more to some people and places than meets the eye!

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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.

 

The Tickling Tale of Smoo by Louiza Kallona was a wonderfully weird story filled with excitement and humor. It all began when people seemed to lose their will to smile. Grandma said it must have to do with Smoo, a tickler of the world. 

As Grandma, Lucy, Ben, and Patrick arrived at Gabel Lylhu’s cottage in Durness, the weirdest factor increased tenfold. First, Grandma whistled, and fireflies answered her call. Then, there’s the cottage itself. Its unique decor was definitely on the strange side: bronze fox nailed to the front door, crocodile-tooth light switches, blowfish skeletons, and a clock that bleats. The most unusual discovery was a gargantuan nose on the turquoise, conch-shaped couch. The nose sent snot soaring out of its nostrils. Gross! 

After the visitors woke Gabel Lylhu (aka Belly Laugh), we learned about his connection to Grandma. The revelation surprised me as much as it surprised Lucy and Ben. With a quick rundown on the world’s happenings, Gabel and the kids set to find the Smoo and tickle her. The adventure has readers meeting extraordinary people, witnessing unusual events, and hopping on a spectacularly odd bus (Grand Express) that children will be utterly fascinated by and probably say they’d like to ride. 

The Tickling Tale of Smoo had humor, suspense, unforgettable characters, and a unique plot that required an out-of-the-box-thinking resolution. Oh, it also had puzzles that would delight and thrill those who like solving riddles and anagrams. I want to note that the anagrams are not very easy and might prove difficult for young readers. However, the answers are provided as the author tells the story, and thank goodness for that because they stumped even me. 

Kids will love The Tickling Tale of Smoo. Adults will love it too. It’s a story that the entire family can read and enjoy together! 

 

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

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Meet the Author

Louiza Kallona grew up in London but moved to Scotland aged eighteen, attracted by the history, the whopping volcanic rock, and the hope of meeting people as funny as Billy Connolly. She wrote The Tickling Tale of Smoo while living with five other bikers in a farmhouse in the Scottish Borders.

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Healthcare Heroes ABCs: A Journey Through the Alphabet with Your Healthcare Hero Team by Courtney Booth (Book Review)

Healthcare Heroes ABCs takes children on a colorful and engaging journey through the alphabet to learn about 26 different kinds of healthcare professionals! From anesthesiologists to occupational therapists, home health aides to veterinarians, and medical social workers to genetic counselors, children will easily connect with the different heroes they see on each page.

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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.

 

Even before the latest pandemic hit, healthcare workers work day in and day out, saving lives. During the pandemic, we gained a newfound respect for the healthcare industry and those who work in that field. We’ve seen them pushed to their max, but they keep fighting. Courtney Booth, the author, is correct—healthcare workers are heroes!

I’ve seen countless books on learning ABCs; however, this is the first I’ve noticed that focuses on healthcare workers. The picture book covers every job imaginable, from “A” for an anesthesiologist to “Y” for youth counselors. Under each letter and position, there’s a brief overview of what the job entails. For instance: “T is for transplant surgeons” informs children that these workers help kids and adults live longer by giving them new organs when they are sick. There wasn’t a specific job title that began with “Z.” The author expressed how they were zillions of other jobs not covered. The illustrations accompanying this letter and description mentioned a handful of other healthcare-related careers. 

The healthcare industry is vital to our survival. There are so many jobs that one can choose for their future career if they choose that path. But even if your child doesn’t want to enter that industry, Healthcare Heroes ABCs: A Journey Through the Alphabet with Your Healthcare Hero Team by Courtney Booth will give elementary school children a better understanding of what each job does (from A-Y). If you are a teacher reading this to your class, you might prompt your students to share if they have a family member who works as a healthcare worker. Maybe even consider a healthcare career day at school. 

Amazon’s recommended reading age is two-ten years (grade level: preschool-fifth). Learning the letters is more suitable for two and three-year-olds, while the information about each specific job would be ideal for school-age children. 

I recommend teachers share this book with students. I also hope parents buy this book for their child(ren). 

 

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

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Meet the Author

Courtney’s had her pencil on paper since she was little. She wrote her first story in second grade and told her first story to a group in elementary school. After reading countless children’s books, she’s happy to pour her passion into creating stories she wants her daughter to hear.

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Pebbles and the Biggest Number by Joey Benun (Book Review)

What’s the BIGGEST number?

Pebbles the butterfly wants to know! He travels the world in search of the answer, asking every animal he meets.

Along the way, he must escape an earthquake, outrun an avalanche, and fly over a tsunami. Luckily, his new friends are there to lend him a hand . . . or a paw.

Will Pebbles ever find the biggest number?

Flutter in and find out!

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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.

 

In this adorable tale, Pebbles wants to know what is the best number, so the butterfly takes flight in search of the answer. Every page weaves educational and fun facts during Pebbles’s visit to various locations: desert, tropical rainforest, the beach, snowy mountains, and even space. 

Children will walk away from this book with a greater knowledge of many science, math, and animal facts. Maybe even adults will learn a thing or two as well! For example: “The hottest recorded temperature on Earth was 134 degrees Fahrenheit (57 degrees Celsius). It was measured in a California desert on July 10, 1913.” I didn’t know the following fun fact: “A standard American light bulb uses 120 volts of electricity. That means an electric eel could power 5 light bulbs.” And this math fact will blow children’s minds: “1 octillion has 27 zeros. It looks like this: 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000.”

I don’t want to disclose every fun fact, but the following science fact was fascinating, with droughts reported worldwide. “Most thunderstorm clouds hold more than 4 billion cups (1 billion liters) of water. Two of these clouds could provide every person on Earth with one cup of water!” 

Children, parents, and educators will adore Pebbles and the Biggest by Joey Benun for many reasons. It has stunning illustrations, a storyline that draws in the reader, and it educates as it entertains young minds (5 and older). While the text is too difficult for babies and toddlers, I bet they’ll still love looking at the beautifully drawn images by Laura Watson. There are so many to admire, each more stunning than the last. 

Pebbles and the Biggest Number has components that reach a wide variety of age groups, but I would recommend this lovely book to school-age children for overall comprehension. Finally, I would suggest reading “Dig Deeper,” which addresses the terminology and numbers in the story. 

 

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

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Meet the Author

Joey Benun has always thought BIG. His fascination with numbers began when he was five years old—the bigger, the better. Years later, a fortuitous conversation with his niece and nephews inspired him to write a book about BIG numbers for little kids. Thus, Pebbles and the Biggest Number was born

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The Eight Parts of Speech: Grammar 1 – Interactive Workbook by Lori Harvill Moore (Book Review)

This downloadable interactive workbook allows students in fourth grade and higher to learn about the eight parts of speech, which is an integral segment of a language arts curriculum. Students in traditional and home school settings will learn in three ways: watch a video, read chapter text, and complete exercises to reinforce rules and concepts of English grammar.

The student clicks on text at the beginning of a chapter to open a video. Then, if the device does not allow for completing the exercises by filling in the blanks in the workbook, the student can click on a link within the description of each exercise and provide answers online.

Requirements

The device, which can be a tablet or a desktop Kindle application, must have Internet access to take advantage of the interactive features.

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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.

 

The first chapter, “Nouns,” like the other six chapters, defines the term, gives examples of various types, and allows the reader to complete multiple exercises in the book or online through an external link. There are plenty of opportunities for the student to practice writing sentences in the covered area. Lori Harvill Moore has also provided an answer key at the back of the book. So, when in doubt, look at her guide! 

Each chapter title represents a term children will become familiar with in elementary school: nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, and conjunctions and interjections (the last set combined into one chapter). While the chapter titles are vague, each section’s contents are very detailed. Tables and examples help take the guesswork out of (what might call) a difficult language. My only issue with the tables was their readability. In the digital format (EPUB), some text was hard to read: for example, the chart under “Prepositions About Locations.” 

The Eight Parts of Speech by Lori Harvill Moore is a perfect book to teach the fundamentals of parts of speech and also to use as a reference guide throughout your academic years. If you’re a visual person, again, I want to remind you this book has several links that will redirect you to tutorials. These links would benefit a single learner or be utilized in a classroom. 

The Eight Parts of Speech by Lori Harvill Moore is a perfect interactive workbook for fourth graders and up who are learning new concepts or need a refreshing course on parts of speech. All the exercises would be great practice questions to reinforce a lesson or to use in test prep. 

Whether you attend public school or homeschool, I recommend you share The Eight Parts of Speech by Lori Harvill with your student(s).

Review submitted to Reedsy on 10/31/22.

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

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Meet the Author


Lori: I have been writing for three decades, both as a freelancer and as a function of my job duties. I am an avid proponent of literacy for children and adults and am working on six grammar and composition eBooks. Among my writing credits are two eBooks for Bookboon.com and two eBooks for children.

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My Cat Thinks He’s a Puppy by Patricia Allieri (Book Review)

A warm and beautifully illustrated picture book that will have your child in fits of giggles

My cat thinks he’s a puppy,
How strange is that!
He does cute puppy things,
But he’s a big tabby cat!

Cats are known for being independent, particular and maybe a little bit snooty.

But this cat isn’t like other cats. In fact, he’s much more like a puppy.

Puppy-Cat loves to go for a walk, dig about in the dirt and even loves to splash about in water!

In fact, if it wasn’t for this one little thing, you might not be able to tell he was a cat at all…

Inspired by playful cats everywhere, this book is a perfect addition to any cat lover’s bookshelf and will become a fast favorite for children and adults alike.

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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.

 

What a coincidence, I have a cat who thinks he’s a puppy too! I swear mine barks. Since I have an unusual cat, I was thrilled to read My Cat Thinks He’s a Puppy by Patricia Allieri. 

The cat in the story loves to play hide-and-seek, but he always peaks. Wow, you think you could trust a cat not to sneak a peek. My cat loves to chase a ball like the kitty in the story. I wonder if that cat returns them -mine doesn’t. 

The kitty in the story does something my cat would never do—get in a pool of water voluntarily. It would be so much fun to see my cat dive in a pool, swim laps, or (even take it one step farther) go surfing or paddle-boarding with me. I’ve witnessed videos of cats doing just that, but mine seem to suffer from aquaphobia (fear of water).

Cats love to explore, but what they love more is naps. I’ve adopted several cats, and (depending on the time of day) you’ll find them napping in different locations. However, when the humans converge on the couch at night, someone will have a furry friend on their lap. And that means you’re there until they wake up. Cats make the rule, don’t you know!

My Cat Thinks He’s a Puppy by Patricia Allieri is very short in length, making it perfect for Amazon’s recommended audience of 3 to 7-year-olds. Your child or class will be eager to share all the fun things their cat does. Maybe you’ll get some children to run off to teach their cat how to act like a dog. I would start with “stay” first. All my cats mastered that one on the first try. 

Novel Varius did a fantastic job on the illustrations. They are worthy of 5 stars! The whole book deserves 5 stars! 

Review submitted to Reedsy on 9/15/22.

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

Amazon Purchase Link

 

 

Meet the Author

Patricia was born and raised at the Jersey shore. Her love of the beach and the ocean is undeniable. She moved to Texas in the 1990’s, worked as a elementary school teacher, and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Education. Patricia uses her background as a foundation for her children’s picture books.

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