Tag Archives: preschool

How to Fix the Smile of a Crocodile: An ocean wide hunt for kindness! by Rebecca Kurien (Book Review)

Dive into the depths of the ocean and meet Barry, the saltwater crocodile who is in desperate need of help. With a toothache so terrible it won’t go away, Barry sets out on a journey to find the most talented sea creatures in the ocean for help. Along the way, he meets

  • An octopus with 8 helpful arms
  • A sperm whale, the loudest creature on earth
  • A sailfish, the fastest fish in the ocean
  • A blue whale, the biggest creature on earth
  • A great white shark, the fiercest in the ocean
  • An orca known for their extreme intelligence

Through this heart-warming and inspirational children’s book, your child will learn incredible facts about sea creatures woven into the plot of the story and discover the value of kindness and empathy.


Featuring beautiful illustrations, lovable characters and an awe-inspiring twist in the end, this book promises entertainment for your child. Perfect for children between the ages of 3 and 7, this book is a must-have in any collection.

Amazon Purchase Link



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


At some point, everyone will require help from a friend, family member, or stranger. It could relate to work, schooling, a flat tire, sewing a tear in clothing, a scrape from a fall, or carrying a heavy or bulky object. Barry, the saltwater crocodile, required medical assistance. He, unfortunately, was dealing with a terrible toothache. He couldn’t eat or sleep. The pain was making him downright miserable.

Tooth pain is no laughing matter. While humans can call a dentist, Barry didn’t have that luxury. Even though Cleo, a little bird, swore she could help him, Barry rebuffed her help due to her small stature and species. Instead, he ventured into the ocean, where readers will meet the most extraordinary creatures in bright, beautiful colors. I was highly impressed with the underwater images. Every page was more stunning than the last. It was movie-quality artistry. (illustrator: Eduardo Paj)

Rebecca Kurien’s children’s book had a balanced collection of new and familiar water friends. For example, depending on age, kids should recognize the great white shark, but maybe not the sailfish. As Barry talked to the six ocean dwellers, he learned an interesting fact about each. In turn, your child will gain fun facts, too, such as an octopus does not have teeth.

While the crocodile’s toothy situation wasn’t fixed during his adventure under the sea, the trip proved worthwhile. He met and gained knowledge about new animals. He also learned a valuable lesson. We should never discount someone’s worth based on outward appearance. Also, if help is needed, be open to a person’s ideas or assistance. You never know who has the right tool for the job. Finally, we should teach kids to help others in need.

Children will fall in love with the vibrant colors, the many animals featured, and (of course) Barry’s mission to fix his achy tooth. Parents: Buy a copy for your house. Teachers: Include it in your themed lessons. Librarians: You’ll want multiple copies because I see the book flying off the shelves!


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

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Instagram Link 

Meet the Author 

Rebecca Kurien is an Indian-Australian writer, lawyer, musician and perhaps most importantly, a mother of two. She has lived between Oman and India in her childhood, before moving to New Zealand and then Australia.

Her debut book, ‘How to Fix the Smile of a Crocodile’ was inspired by her son’s fascination with the ocean and its wondrous creatures. She wanted to create a book for her children that was based on science and fact, while still leaning on the charm and magic of storytelling.

It is her dream to fill children’s lives with the richness and amazement of the world that we live in, by showing them that the journey to learning is never complete.

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Tammy the Troll: A Dance in the Forest Once Upon a Dance (Book Review)

Grab a scarf. Join the Fun. Get moving and dance along with the kids, Tammy, and Ballerina Konora in this prop-based movement story. Perfect for preschool and kindergarten kids and classrooms.

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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.


Five friends are preparing to embark on an adventure in search of Tammy the Troll, a unique little creature with spiky purple hair and a diamond in her belly button. They must gather supplies before they leave to find Tammy’s home, a hollowed-out tree at the edge of the forest. As the kids pack, Konora (a real-life dancer) gets readers up and has them stretching and squatting. 

As we follow the kids on their journey, Konora encourages children to mimic her movements. When the fictional characters traverse over tree roots, up the side of the mountain, or walk across branches, Konora is there giving guidance on moves that children at home can do so they feel part of the adventure. Jumping. Spinning. Movement with scarves. Movement without. Kids will be in constant motion and love every minute of it. 

The band of friends brave heights, mice, sticky spiderwebs, and spiders on their grand forest adventure. Their perseverance paid off; they found Tammy the troll. And, let me say, her hair was fabulous! But their adventure doesn’t cease after they give Tammy her special gift. No, they must still navigate the waters before leading Tammy to their home. 

The fictional children were tuckered out from their long day and needed a nap. I assume many real-life children will also crave a rest, especially if they follow along with Konora’s very detailed and fun movements. 

After the story’s conclusion, there are optional extension activities, such as creating a friendship dance, practicing a bridge pose, and discussing dance/ballet stories like Swan Lake. 

Exercise is vital to everyone’s health. Tammy the Troll: A Dance in the Forest by Once Upon a Dance offers the chance to burn off some energy and stretch your muscles while always enjoying a fun story. 

This interactive storybook is perfect for preschoolers and kindergartners. 

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




Meet the Team! 

Once Upon a Dance is a mother-daughter team who share a passion for dance and storytelling. Teacher Terrel and Ballerina Konora create books that spark imagination and inspire children to move, breathe, and connect. Four series span ages 3-12: 

   • Dance Stories with Props (for age 3+) (2023)
   • Dance-It-Out! Creative Movement Stories (4-9)
   • Dancing Shapes: Ballet and Body Awareness (6-9)
   • Ballet Inspiration & Choreography Concepts (8-12)

Once Upon a Dance was named a top 10 author of 2022 by Outstanding Creator Awards, and they’ve been honored by over 40 book awards, 1000+ 5-star reviews, and a Kirkus Star. They donate all royalties to charities supporting the arts, animals, environment, or people. Visit DanceStories.com for more info.


@Once_UponADance (Instagram)




Dance Stories with Props

• Quincy’s Sea Surprise (2024)


• Mira & Marvin’s Magic Mirror Mischief (2023)

• Mira & the Fairy Shoes (2023)

• Zara the Zombie (2024)

• Clara’s College Adventure (2024)

Dancing Shapes with Cats (2023)

Ballet Inspiration

• Falling into Dance with Ballerina Konora (2023)

• Turning it Around with Ballerina Konora’s Mom (2024)


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Happy Valentine’s Day BOOK OF 31 Cute Cards Plus 6 Teacher Fun Valentine’s Day Cards by Pixie Publishing House (Book Review)

This Valentine’s Day Book of Cards is unique perfect for all ages. Easy cut and fold design, these are a breeze to prepare and feature adorable designs that are sure to be loved by all. The pack includes 31 cards for friends and family, as well as 6 teacher’s cards for classroom exchanges or parties.


– Easy cut and fold design
– 31 cards for friends and family
– 6 teacher’s cards for classroom exchanges
– Adorable designs for all ages
– No envelopes required


These Valentine’s Day Book of Cards are not only adorable, with a simple cut and fold design, they’re easy to prepare in a snap. The pack includes enough cards for everyone, whether it’s classmates, friends, or family. Plus, the addition of teacher’s cards.


This cute card book is perfect for Valentine’s Day classroom exchanges, love notes, or any occasion where you want to show someone you care. They’re suitable for all ages.

Quality Assurance:

We take pride in the design and production of our Valentine’s Day Card Book, and we stand behind the quality.

Order your Valentine’s Day Book of Cards today! Visit our website at www.pixiepublishinghouse.com for new releases.

Amazon Purchase Link



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


Holiday parties and school-time fun go together like peanut butter jelly. Food, candy, games, what’s not to love? Valentine’s parties are delightful because children love trading cards. While store-bought cards are typically used, I’ve noticed a rise in homemade or printable cards. 

Pixie Publishing House has compiled 31 cute cards that children from two to ten will love to give and receive. Subjective matter included squirrels, cats, bears, balloons, butterflies, unicorns, insects, children, hearts, and more. The only image some kids might not like is Cupid. The picture might not appeal to all ages, as the description says. 

Pixie Publishing House has also included 6 Valentine’s Day cards for children to hand out to their teacher(s). Most teacher-appropriate cards only stated, “To my teacher – Happy Valentine’s Day,” in various writing formats. Meaning capitalizations of words vary from card to card. However, one card stood out from the rest. My favorite teacher’s card was “Teaching is heart work.” It was more creative and unique, and the sentiment rang true! 

Happy Valentine’s Day BOOK OF 31 Cute Cards Plus 6 Teacher Fun Valentine’s Day Cards is a lovely collection, suitable for any gender to give or receive. The designs were, as the title states, cute. 

A couple of things to note: No envelopes are in the collection, so you’ll need to clip and fold each card. For young children who struggle with cutting, they will require adult assistance. Older children should be able to tackle the task with minimum to zero help. 

Even though the book’s summary claims the collection is for “all ages,” I recommend the book for children in toddlers through third grade. Fourth and fifth graders might not like every image only because they might consider them too babyish. That aside, I recommend choosing Happy Valentine’s Day BOOK OF 31 Cute Cards Plus 6 Teacher Fun Valentine’s Day Cards for your next holiday party! 


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

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Come and Play! Exploring Animal Friends by Heidi Dehncke (Book Review)

Kids love animals — and they love picture books about animals, too. Come and Play! Exploring Animal Friends takes children on a tour of fifteen types of animal friends. Discover what makes pandas, raccoons, spiders, cats, and frogs unique (just to name a few). Whether or how they play, and what makes them special. While this children’s animal book gives interesting and surprising facts, it is the original illustrations which makes this book a treasure. The animal illustrations magnify the beauty and distinctive qualities of each creature. Ultimately, kids learn they share many similarities with animals (both feelings and behavior), and they learn about the world around them.

Amazon Purchase Link



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


I had mixed feelings regarding Come and Play! Exploring Animal Friends by Heidi Dehncke. I loved the facts about various animals and insects. There was a lot of information that might be NEW to most children. 

Examples: “Raccoon” is an adopted Powhatan word meaning “animals that scratches with its hands.” While spiders don’t like to play, some play dead. I knew that raccoon tidbit, but I did not know the spider information. That just proves even adults can learn something new with Come and Play! Exploring Animal Friends, and that’s a beautiful thing.

While I adored all the facts presented in the book, I wasn’t a huge fan of all the images. Some drawings were lovely, such as the bald eagle bust, elephants, penguins, and butterflies. On the other hand, there were some that I didn’t particularly care for, and neither did my daughter: the peek-a-boo frog and the first primate page, for instance. 

Amazon’s recommended reading age is 3 – 9 years (Grade level: Preschool – 4). I think everyone in that bracket can benefit from the content. Three-year-olds might not fully grasp (retain) the information as quickly as a nine-year-old, but that’s okay. If you read Come and Play! Exploring Animal Friends time and again, one day, they’ll tell you the facts before you have a chance to read them. 


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

Amazon Purchase Link



I originally attended Pratt Institute for illustration. Then I became a self taught editor and multimedia producer. I received my MS in journalism from Columbia University in 2000 and made the film Dust to Dust: The Health Effects of 9/11, (Sundance Channel, 2006). I also pursue fine art painting. 

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.

Reedsy Link





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