Tag Archives: parents

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!

 

Amazon Purchase Link

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: ❤❤❤

Amazon Purchase Link

 

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.

Reedsy Author Link

 

 

 

 

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The Adventures of DC Lee: A Story of Adventure for Fathers and Children by Andrew Britton (Book Review)

 

This book is designed for fathers, by a father, and its purpose is to give fathers and their children a chance to learn about each other and the world, and to grow closer together in the process.

Being a father is both a joy and a challenge. You work hard, sometimes over 12 hours a day, to come home to a sleeping family. Fathers take care of their children, stepchildren, the neighbor’s children and scores of youth sports leagues, budding scientists and scouts. Sometimes our fathers were terrible role models, or absent role models, leaving us with no positive training on manhood and fatherhood. It’s not easy being a father, but with a strong connection to your children it can be amazingly rewarding.

This book is dedicated to fathers, of all types: stepfathers, birth fathers, fathers by adoption, grandfathers, chosen fathers, accidental fathers, mother-fathers, guardians, caregivers, fathers by association and all those in between and beyond. This is written by a father to provide a story that you and your child can read together. Throughout the story, you will have many opportunities to explain what things are to your child. In this way, you have an opportunity to do what all fathers want to do: teach their children. At the end of the book will be a series of questions that your child can ask you. These questions relate to the story and will give your child a chance to learn about you. This will help, I hope, give you what is so important to fathers: a chance for your child to learn about who you are, and to respect you for it.

Fatherhood is a gift that the world desperately needs. By taking time with your children to read this, or any, book – you will be making a positive difference in the life of your child, and they will have a chance to know you and love you. I hope you take this chance, and many others, to show a child what a real father can be; change the world for your children and therein change the world for us all.

Amazon Purchase Link

 

 

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

 

First, I would like to commend Andrew Britton for his spectacular drawings. They resemble paintings. Seriously, I am blown away by your talent! 

Second, My daughter giggled every time we read, “Beep beep boop boop beep boop.” Anything that makes her laugh or smile is a win in my book! 

Third, she was amazed at how many places she had visited. This added a level of excitement for her. For instance, she’s been to Chicago several times and loves the Shedd Aquarium, which was mentioned in The Adventures of DC Lee. Unfortunately, she couldn’t eat an authentic Chicago-style pizza due to allergies, but she did find a pretzel vendor and gobbled that up. If you haven’t been to Chicago, I encourage you to visit the free zoo (Lincoln Park Zoo); it’s incredible. Oh, and don’t forget to ride on the Centennial Wheel (Ferris wheel) on Navy Pier.

There were many locations we hadn’t visited yet, so we put them on our vacation destination board. Yes, my family has maps marked with places we’ve been and places we want to see. Thank you for giving my daughter new places to dream about. With the way technology advances in space aviation/exploration, I think she’ll have a good chance of visiting other planets one day. If nothing else, she told me she plans to win it big on the lottery, buy a ticket, and travel into space for a few minutes like the other people we watched on tv. This made me chuckle. Everyone has their goals in life, right?! 

Having a child whose parent used to travel a lot before the pandemic, I could relate to the section where a child wonders if the parent misses them when they are gone. As difficult as it is for us to leave them at any time, it’s hard for children to watch us go. The chat between the child and Dad in the story was (pretty much) the same conversation my child had with their father in real life. Sweet! 

I highly recommend others share this story with their youngsters. 

Amazon’s recommended reading age is 7-12 years. 

 

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

Amazon Purchase Link

 

 

Meet the Author

Andrew Britton is a father, artist, engineer, author, goofball, and diabolical conqueror of naps and pizza. As an author, his work focuses on bringing a little grace to the difficulties of navigating childhood and fatherhood – times when things happen to us much more than we happen to them.

Reedsy Author Link

 

 

 

 

 

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Why Is This My Name?: Not Just a Children’s Story by Aloysia Burgess (Book Review)

A young girl goes through her first day at a new school and struggles with her unique name as she introduces herself to new teachers and friends. With the encouragement from her family, she will soon discover how special her name really is.

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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.

 

Every child who ventures back to public school has their own feeling about stepping into a new school or classroom. Jitters. Excitement. Apprehension. Indifference. Most kids prep for the big day with a new haircut or selecting the perfect outfit. What they can’t prep for is how kids will interact or treat them. The little girl in the story went from excitement to nervousness because of her name. Why? Because people have trouble pronouncing it. This dilemma happens every day, all across the globe. 

When the little girl went to school, her fears came to life. The teacher had difficulty pronouncing it. Some kids snickered at it. BUT, she met kids who were kind. Students invited her to sit with them at the lunch table. 

When the child’s dad picked her up from school, she asked him why they chose that name and not something “normal.” To avoid spoilers, I will not disclose what her name is, why it was chosen, or its meaning. I will share a snippet of her father’s response, though. “Everyone has things that they may want to change about themselves, but what’s most important is loving yourself.” Words to live by! 

The second day of school went spectacularly well, and hooray for her! 

After Why Is This My Name? Not Just a Children’s Story, there’s a box where the child writes down the meaning of their name. I looked up mine and was shocked to find out it meant “crooked nose.” Since I did break my nose when I was a teenager, the meaning fits (now). 

Amazon didn’t list a reading age when I was writing my review. I think any preschool and elementary school child, new to a class or school, can relate to and find enjoyment in this story. Maybe teachers can read this story to their students on the first day of class and discuss the importance of being kind to others and embracing our differences. 

 

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

Amazon Purchase Link

 

 

 

Aloysia Burgess, née Colquhoun, is a wife and mother to two boys. She always had a love of literature and, as a child, would write her own stories. Her goal is to encourage acceptance and self-love through her writing.

Reedsy Author Link

 

 

 

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Gugulu, The Little Bear Dares by Srividhya Lakshmanan (Book Review)

Go on a wild adventure with Gugulu, the sloth bear, as he takes on a journey deep inside the western ghats of India.

Gugulu’s parents won’t allow him to go to school alone. But he can’t wait to explore the forest on his own. So one day, he runs ahead of his parents. And before he knows it, he ends up in a river filled with danger – first a roaring leopard, then a gang of gaurs, but soon he shrinks in fear. Will naughty Gugulu be able to reunite with his parents?

Gugulu, The Little Bear Dares, is a quirky, funny, beautifully illustrated story about new experiences and courageously facing challenges when encountered.

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 Goodreads Link

 

 

 

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

 

First impressions matter when it comes to books, and Gugulu, The Little Bear Dares by Srividhya Lakshmanan was very eye-catching. Akansha Krishnan knocked it out of the park with their illustrators! The group selfie was adorable. A few times, Gugulu’s nose seemed to get away from the illustrator. For example, the scene where the bear meets the purple frog. 

Gugulu meets many animals during his adventure; the time doesn’t stick close to his parents. Some animals will be familiar to most children: leopard, jaguar, snake, and elephant. There might be some that are not so familiar to many kids: pangolin, Nilgiri flycatcher, and gaur. Srividhya Lakshmanan compiled a reference page with photos, favorite food, trait, and which family it belongs to. You’ll notice on this page there’re insects included. There’s also a fun maze to complete where children can help Gugulu get to school. 

I couldn’t locate a recommended reading age for Gugulu, The Little Bear Dares, when I was writing this review, but I do not think preschoolers or kindergartners will be able to read the story. However, they will enjoy having it read to them. Second and third graders will probably have a better chance at sounding out the animal names. 

 

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

Amazon Purchase Link

 Goodreads Link

 

 

Meet the Author

Srividhya Lakshmanan is an award-winning children’s author, entrepreneur and writer. She always had a passion for storytelling and started to write when she was eleven. ​Her early success came when one of her dramas got selected by the ‘All India Radio’. She spent years reading and writing stories, giving her characters a bright sparkle. ​She spent 15 years in corporate jobs. Later, she founded and managed a fashion e-commerce company, Pink Hippo, before venturing into publishing.

 Website Link



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The Moon in the Sky: Poems Your Kids Would Have Written (If Only They Could Write) by Bruce Shutts (Book Review)

THE MOON IN THE SKY: Poems your Kids Would Have Written (if only they could write) by Bruce Shutts

 
Children have the power to turn simple everyday tasks into moments of intrigue and laughter.

When getting dressed, they might just think:

“My pants are really easy
Since both my feet will fit.
And after I put both legs in,
I pull them up. That’s it!
But shirts are very tricky;
They have three holes, not two!
And if you pick the wrong one,
Your head just won’t go through!”

 

Delight in thirteen whimsical poems that capture the simple honesty of everyday childhood activities written from the perspective of three-to-six-year-olds. From getting dressed, eating snacks, or having stinky feet, you and your child will recognize yourself in these poems. Crafted to make you laugh, smile, and build memories with your kids.
 
 
 
 
 
 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
 
 
Bruce Shutts’s poems were topics that kids and parents could absolutely relate to: getting dressed, car rides, walks outside, bathroom breaks, and much more.


We’ve all seen our children struggle with dressing themselves—head in armholes or backward attire. Most times, their first attempts are pretty humorous.


For many people, we use car seats or strollers quite regularly. Kids love the outdoors. Those poems were 100% accurate, including all the spills as well. I think my daughter dropped more crackers than what she ate.


I have sneaking suspicion that children will love “Picking My Nose” the most. While parents think it’s gross, kids think it’s hilarious. Face it, you know they have their finger up there most of their younger years. Amy Wummer’s image of the boy, looking out the corner of his eye while digging for gold, was cute and funny. I know I’ve caught my kids many times in the act. Eww!


The poems dealing with food could lead to asking your child or class what foods they like to eat for snack, lunch, or dinner.


I want to end my review by addressing “A Bug in the Bathroom.” My daughter screams at the top of her lungs when she spots a bug. That little girl, in the story, was so brave. Heck, I think she might be more courageous than some adults I know. 🙂


Bruce Shutts (author) and Amy Wummer (illustrator), you two made a great team. I loved every poem, and the drawings were spectacular too.


The author’s recommended age group is 3-7. I think that’s accurate.

 
Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: 
❤❤
 
 
 
 
 
Meet the Author:
Bruce Shutts has spent countless hours reading children’s picture books to his three children and five grandchildren over the past forty years. He also loves to create humorous poems for nearly every occasion he can imagine. Coupled with the fact that he often thinks and acts like a three-to-six-year-old, it makes his entrance into the world of children’s books a natural fit. He currently is retired with his wife of forty-five years and loves to travel, play golf, and (you guessed it) read books at night to his grandkids! 
 
connect to the author: goodreads

 

 
 
 
 
 

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