Tag Archives: young readers

Leah Travels to The Red Mountain Peak: A Book on Mindfulness, Speaking Up and Letting Go by A. S. Tudo (Book Review)

This anti-bullying story carves the path of kindness towards conflict resolution.

Is your little one transitioning towards being a balanced, calm being, but could use a little bit of help with regulating their emotions? Or perhaps they had a challenging time with someone who said or acted in an unkind way?

Meet Leah!

Leah’s journey to The Red Mountain Peak will make her stronger without bursting her bubbly self and everyone is welcome for the ride.

Leah is different. Beautifully different. From the bright orange colour of her wings to her taking-things-easy-attitude.

She makes a special friend because she is present enough to see it. She learns how powerful her breath is when she needs it the most. And she learns to deal with her emotions, speak up and stand up for herself when someone treats her poorly. Uncover the natural wisdom of the world with Leah and her friends.

This story deals with tackling bullying and teaches children to take action in five easy steps, starting with the mindfulness practice of thinking of the breath. Help empower young humans to apply critical thinking and open up to deep conversations by sharing and talking about stories like this.

P.S. This story also addresses the uncomfortable truth – parents are humans too and sometimes they might give conflicting signals when showing affection. Trust gets consolidated through owning up and talking things through and accountability goes both ways in the parent-child relationship.

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

“Is your little one transitioning towards being a balanced, calm being, but could use a little bit of help with regulating their emotions? Or perhaps they had a challenging time with someone who said or acted in an unkind way? This anti-bullying story carves the path of kindness towards conflict resolution.” 

Leah Travels to The Red Mountain Peak: A Book on Mindfulness, Speaking Up and Letting Go, written and illustrated by A. S. Tudo, is designed with children 4-12 years in mind. The illustrations appear to have been drawn by a child. I’m not sure if this design was intended, but I think they will appeal to 2 to 4-year-olds. However, 10 to 12 years olds might consider them and the storyline childish since their taste starts to involve more complex designs and longer page counts at this age. Leah Travels to The Red Mountain Peak: A Book on Mindfulness, Speaking Up and Letting Go was a cute story that I’m sure many children will select to read daily during story time. 

The Land of the Seven Hilltops and a Mountain are waking up, and every bug is hard at work except Leah, the ladybug. The other bugs were not so nice to Leah and made her cry. They said rude things to her and hurt her feelings. This behavior will strike a chord with many children and opens the door to discussing bullying and the effects of not treating others with kindness. Ersa, the dewdrop, will teach children what to do if and when they are bullied. This story also points out that everyone, including parents, makes mistakes, so communication is an excellent first step in handling issues. 

While I wasn’t overly impressed with the illustrations, the story made excellent points and should be shared with children, even those not currently being bullied. 

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

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Meet the Author

A. S. Tudo’s mission is to create stories that help adults and children act with kindness, even when someone’s actions are hurtful. ‘Leah Travels to The Red Mountain Peak’ is the first book of ‘Leah’s Adventures’ series.

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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: ❤❤❤

Amazon Purchase Link

 

 

 

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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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: ❤❤❤

Amazon Purchase Link

 

 

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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Blank Canvas by J.M. Jackson (Book Review)

Keagan paints his canvas daily by being thoughtful, loving and kindhearted. Every day is new with challenges and adventures, clouds and sunshine. No matter what the day brings, Keagan paints his strokes on his blank canvas. Whether it’s a good or bad day, Keagan remembers that every action he takes must still reflect the little boy from inside. When his day is over, and he looks at the paint strokes on his blank canvas, Keagan is proud no matter what his mood is that day. He knows that today will become yesterday in hopes of tomorrow… and that there are no redoes for today so each action and paint stroke must count. Hopeful and vibrant, come join Keagan as he paints his blank canvas!

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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.

 

Each day begins with a blank canvas. Our actions, words, and attitudes affect the final day’s image. Was it a joyous day? Was it terrible? Did you do something nice for others? Did you wake up in an excellent or sour mood? How you wake up can set the tone for the day, so try to be like Keagan and start the day with a positive outlook, ready for whatever adventure awaits you. 

As I was reading Blank Canvas, I was in awe of the beautiful illustrations by Marina Saumell. Each image resembled a painting and tied in perfectly with the book’s theme. I loved that when a color name was mentioned through text, it was written in its shade. Another good design choice! 

Blank Canvas shows it’s not always easy to keep your chin and stay positive. Yes, some moments are filled with rainbows, but others are filled with dark clouds. I was impressed by how Keagan kept his smile while handling the bullies. We didn’t see the result of that conversation, so I would discuss with your child or class what you think happened next. You can also discuss what to do when talking nicely doesn’t calm a situation. 

Keagan is a good role model for children. He helps others in need. He picks up trash. He shares his food with friends. (If your child’s school is like mine, there is no food sharing due to potential allergies. However, it was a nice gesture.)

Keagan also shows young children that not every will be sunshine and smiles, and that’s okay. In these dark times, it’s still important to be friendly and helpful and realize that tomorrow is a new day and the start of a new canvas. 

I recommend child therapists share Blank Canvas with their young clients. I think it can help them open up about their feelings. Parents, I encourage you to share this story with your child. Everyone has sad days, and this book shows readers that even though today wasn’t the best, a new day is just around the corner. 

 

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

Amazon Purchase Link

 

 

 

J.M. Jackson inspired by three beautiful grandchildren each with such different personalities. Being able to see the world through their eyes convinced me to start writing about their adventures. At 58 years old this new adventure is filled with excitement and tons of fun.

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Coney – A Trip to Luna Park by Jeffrey Lindberg (Book Review)

It is 1904, and a new amusement park is being built in Coney Island. Unfortunately, the construction is happening right on the dunes that Selena, a scrappy little rabbit, calls home! From her trolley car one day, Millie spots Selena, and the two become fast friends. Together, they discover and confront the men and the machines that are doing something extraordinary– building a modern, even futuristic, theme park – while also doing something destructive to the land and its inhabitants. Their mission to save Selena’s home becomes quite an adventure!

Filled with historical accuracy and a captivating tale in and of itself, this book takes readers on a ride through the old Coney Island. We follow Selena and Millie as they explore the sights and thrills of Luna Park for the first time. Against the fantastic and extravagant backdrop of creator Fred Thompson’s Luna Park, the story reaches a dramatic height in the nighttime Coney Island, lit up by thousands of Edison bulbs! We hold our breath as they also encounter the “mean” men with the bulldozers. Can Millie and Selena preserve the land and still reach for the stars?

Join Millie and Selena for a trip back in time to Luna Park, when for a few pennies, you could travel all the way to the MOON!

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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.

 

Coney – A Trip to Luna Park by Jeffrey Lindberg was a period piece based on clothing and design that also contained elements based on fantasy. The flying boat was a cool idea but, sadly, not an actual mode of transportation. Yet. But if and when this becomes a reality, I’m buying a ticket!

Okay, I wouldn’t encourage my daughter to play a prank on someone to teach them a lesson about being nice. However, I did find it amusing the tricks Millie and Selena played on the mean man in the suit (Skip). The exploding cake was humorous. 

I would tell your young listeners never to try these stunts at home. Fire is dangerous, and so is making someone trip on a high structure. Plus, pulling pranks could land you in hot water! 

In Coney – A Trip to Luna Park, Selena’s home is in jeopardy due to construction. In real life, many animals lose their homes to humans. Rest assured, Selena got her happy ending. Skip learns to be nice to people and animals. And everyone lived happily ever after.

Coney – A Trip to Luna Park by Jeffrey Lindberg offers the viewing audience suspense, adventure, and comedy with a fantasy twist. Children too young to understand the dialogue and plot have plenty of animals in the story for them to look at. Jeffrey Lindberg did a remarkable job on every single image. Each page was beautifully designed.

I will be recommending Coney – A Trip to Luna Park by Jeffrey Lindberg to family, friends, and our local library.

 

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

Amazon Purchase Link

 

 

About the Author

Jeffrey Lindberg is a professional illustrator and author whose new book is Coney – A Trip to Luna Park is forthcoming from Flying Rabbit Press in early fall, 2022. Coney is a 48-page, fully illustrated picture book; it will be printed offset in hardcover.

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