Tag Archives: picture book

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.

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Nope-Nope Emu by R.C. Chizhov (Book Review)

A funny and endearing tale about the power of persistence and never giving up.

An emu wins the emu-flap game every year. But when she loses her winning streak, she mopes around saying “Nope!” to every game. Follow her journey as she finds inspiration to say “Yes!”

and play emu-flap again.

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

Anastasia Yezhela did a phenomenal job with the illustrations. My daughter loved the emus. She liked their different hairstyles and clothing choices. She remarked that their shoes matched their outfit. Good catch! What an observant kiddo, and well done to the artist! My daughter was excited to see the emus wearing a crown since she plays dress-up and wears a crown too. She recognized the unicorn float from our local department store. 

We laughed together as the puppy chased his tail. In my daughter’s words, “Puppies are so silly.” I agree. We never see our kitties chasing after their tail.  

My daughter covered her eyes when she saw the pages with the magenta spider. I don’t blame her. They were rather big. Even though she kept her eyes closed, I read her the pages because spiders play an essential part in our daily lives. BTW: I thought the spiders were cute because they were fake. 

Nope-Nope Emu by R.C. Chizhov teaches children a valuable lesson: don’t give up when something is challenging; keep trying!

Nope-Nope Emu combines easy and complex words, perfect for homes or classrooms with varied reading levels. If your child is a non-reader, no sweat, they will enjoy the story too. 

 

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

Amazon Purchase Link

 

About R.C. Chizhov

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R.C. Chizhov grew up in India, moved to New York in 2005 and spent fourteen years as an investment banker before pursuing her childhood dream of becoming an author. She now lives in Florida with her ever-supportive husband and ever- energetic son. She is a member of SCBWI.

Instagram: @rcchizhov
 
 

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Hoo’s Driving the Bus by Nikki Estridge (Book Review)


The day of the biggest baseball game of the season is here, but Gigi the giraffe and her teammates might not make it – their team’s bus has no driver! Can Gigi come up with a plan to save the day?

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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 fun cover! Each animal had its own personality/expression, which I found delightful. The inside contents were just as spectacular. We loved Gigi Giraffe. Their morning routine resembles many city children who have an early game to attend and make a mad dash to catch the bus. However, I’m sure when your child reaches the bus, their driver is there. Thank goodness for that!

In Hoo’s Driving the Bus by Nikki Estridge, the bus driver had an emergency. Animals/ball players were frantic. If they don’t find a driver soon, they’ll be late for the game. This means they would forfeit the biggest game of the season. EEK! 

Gigi Giraffe asks for a volunteer. Each teammate declined to drive in a way fitting for their animalistic nature. For example, the cat was “purr-fectly petrified” to drive. The dog stated they were “barking up the wrong tree,” asking him to take the wheel. 

Gigi Giraffe was left with no choice but to drive the bus. Oh, my goodness, Gigi Giraffe’s driving was terrible, which means kids will most assuredly laugh during the driving parts. The animal faces will amuse your child; they did mine. We liked Howard Horse and the frightened pig the most. 

Gigi Giraffe’s parking skills were no better than their driving skills, which caused my youngster to laugh (again). Hoo’s Driving the Bus had my daughter smiling for almost the entire book. They asked if I could buy it. I think I shall! (Note: We were given a reviewer file)

The illustrations by Syama Mithun elevated the already humorous story. 

Whether your child is a listener or an active reader, I encourage you to share Hoo’s Driving the Bus by Nikki EstridgeI plan on recommending this book to all my parenting groups for children two years and up. 

 

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

Amazon Purchase Link

 

 

About the Author

Nikki Estridge is an American actress, writer, director and producer. She played collegiate softball for the University of Tennessee Lady Volunteers and graduated with high honors.

As an advocate for autism awareness and a person of multi-ethnic background, diversity, inclusion and equality are of the utmost importance to Nikki. She is very committed to her work with various charities and support networks.

Nikki is a sixteen-time IMDb-qualifying festival award winner most notably for her comedy short, ‘Don’t Make It Awkward,’ which she wrote, directed, produced, cast and starred in. Nikki is best known for her roles on Queen Sugar, Law and Order: SVU, and House of Cards. She is also the author of soon-to-be-published children’s book ‘Hoo’s Driving The Bus?’.

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Reina Visits the Butterfly Garden: Learn about nature, insects and butterflies in a fun way! by Sheila C. Duperrier (Book Review)

The mountains and valleys around town are filled with trees, flowers, and gorgeous insects of all kinds. Reina visits the town’s butterfly garden…

Reina is a smart and sensitive young girl who loves nature, but she is afraid of insects. Will she always be afraid? Will she conquer her fear?

Join Reina on this journey and discover the importance of insects especially butterflies, and her process of learning about her favorite ones! This charming children’s book is designed to make your child become a butterfly expert! Let’s start learning along with Reina and having fun!

  • A rhyming children’s book to learn nice things about the butterfly garden
  • Fun learning for children: explore nature, insects, butterflies
  • Filled with colorful illustrations to both entertain and educate
  • For children of all backgrounds – Reading to your child
  • Also available in FrenchHaitian Creole, and Spanish
  • Search the accompanying workbook for more fun: Reina Visits the Butterfly Garden – Activity Bo

Amazon Purchase Link

 

 

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

 

Reina Visits the Butterfly Garden: Learn about nature, insects and butterflies in a fun way! by Sheila Duperrier had many lovely qualities that’ll make it a hit with little kids. First, K.K.P. Dananjali illustrated so many beautiful butterflies. They came in many colors and sizes. The author, Sheila Duperrier, names some species: Monarchs, Gray Hairstreaks, Cassius Blue, Cloudless Sulphurs, and Swallowtails. I think the author should’ve asked the illustrator to create a page with the various butterflies mentioned in the story under their proper name. That way, when kids go outside to play and see a familiar butterfly, they know what it is and maybe tell others so they can know its name too. 

Children will learn many facts regarding butterflies, such as they taste with their feet, they drink from a “straw,” and their life cycle. The life cycle material is too advanced for two-year-olds (minimum recommended reading age) to retain. However, eight-year-olds (Amazon’s max age) should be able to understand each step in the cycle.

Reina Visits the Butterfly Garden lists several questions for the listener to ponder. These questions are directly related to the life cycle chart. The chart shouldn’t be complex for preschoolers to understand. You’ll have to simplify “chrysalis,” though. 

Note: There are words in bold throughout the story. These keywords are defined in the glossary after the story. There’s also a scan code redirecting you to the author’s site. 

My family enjoyed Reina Visits the Butterfly Garden by Sheila Duperrie very much. My daughter loved every butterfly illustrated. She pointed out all her favorites, those with a speck of purple in them. We also counted the butterflies to bring more education into the story. 

After reading the story, we looked up ways to attract more butterflies into our yard. She’s hoping she’ll see some from the book. Me too. 

 

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

Amazon Purchase Link

 

 

Meet the Author

Sheila is a former kindergarten teacher who taught children… Sheila is well aware of the dangers of social media on young minds today. To that end, she has created a series of books to engage children from a young age. Teaching, entertaining, and instilling good values is her mission.

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When I’m an Astronaut: Dreaming is Believing: STEM (Inspirational Careers for Kids) by Samantha Pillay (Book Review)

What does it take to be an astronaut?

The simple images in this unique picture book allow children to ponder over the wonders of space while building their self-belief.

Career gender stereotypes and self-efficacy start to form in early childhood.

This book encourages children to Dream Big and Aim High.

Expand your child’s imagination with the companion Activity Book.

Find the references for the grown-up astronaut hidden within the images.

Amazon Purchase Link

 

 

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

 

When I’m an Astronaut: Dreaming is Believing: STEM (Inspirational Careers for Kids) by Samantha Pillay was a beautiful story about a child who intends to make her dream a reality. 

To become an astronaut takes a lot of physical training. Astronauts even work out in space to lessen the effects of gravity on their bones and muscles. BTW: If your child hasn’t watched astronauts working out in space, I encourage you to share videos with them! It’s impressive how they exercise and the length of time they work out too. 

Space travel is a team event. No job is too small! It was adorable how the little girl’s puppy was right there with her, from training to exploration. I was waiting for a page where Harry Aveira illustrated the puppy in a space suit. Sadly, it didn’t happen; however, they did illustrate many other cute poochy scenes: swimming in the pool, playing with a ball in space, and floating in a zero-gravity atmosphere.

Every Harry Aveira drawing was excellent, with or without the canine sidekick! 

When kids speak of their dreams, we should listen and encourage them to make their dreams come true. If a child says one day they will go to outer space, tell them you believe they will. 

Whether a person’s dream takes place on our planet or not, we should support their ambitions. 

Amazon didn’t list a recommended reading age, but I think toddlers will love looking at the images. Beginning readers will need assistance with words, such as physics, mathematics, and magnificent. More established readers should have no issue with the text. So, this book could entertain households with a variety of age groups. 

I will tell my fellow parents about When I’m an Astronaut: Dreaming is Believing: STEM (Inspirational Careers for Kids) by Samantha Pillay in hopes they will share this book with their youngsters. 

 

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

Amazon Purchase Link

 

 

About the Author

Dr Samantha Pillay, surgeon, entrepreneur and author hopes to inspire the next generation of leaders with her Inspirational Careers for Kids picture book series. Starting school in a wheelchair, she understands the importance of self-belief to achieve one’s goals. Visit her website to learn more.

Reedsy Author Link

 

 

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