Tag Archives: young readers

Doggie Detectives (The Everyday Adventures of Papa & Paws Book 8) by Papa Paws (Book Review)

Today, Molly Paws and her sisters discover another dog toy is missing. Their toy box is empty, so they put on their detective hats and work together to find clues to solve the mystery. Will they ever see their toys again? Will they find out who did this?

Children’s picture book about a sweet little doggie named Molly Paws and her family.

  • Created by a dog dad, every story is based on a real-life event.
  • Toddlers and preschoolers ages 0-5(ish) will enjoy the cute illustrations of the dogs.
  • Moms, dads, and grandparents will love reading the heartwarming stories.

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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.

 

Doggie Detectives (The Everyday Adventures of Papa and Paws) is based on an actual event, which makes this story more relatable in the eyes of young readers. Children will think of their canine companions and be eager to help solve the mystery of the missing toys! 

Toys bring hours of joy and comfort to young children. They grow incredibly attached to certain ones, and to lose one breaks their hearts. Molly Paws and her sisters did not lose just one toy; they lost FIVE in a week. This news is devastating; they must find them. I adored the doggies wearing detective hats illustrations, and so will kids. And who can resist a dog with a heart-shaped nose? No one!  

Molly Paws and her sisters work together to sniff out clues. The clues were not hard to uncover, so children as young as two could join the investigation. Papa Paws illustrated five missing toys. Adding a suspect list would’ve been a nice touch. It would help young minds wager a guess who snatched the missing toys. As you continue reading, ask your young listener who they think stole the toys. Ask if they agree with one dog’s suspicion that Mama the butler did it. 

I’m not an expert on dog breeds, so I can’t pinpoint which breed made which comments in the story. But I agree with the tiny dog with the pink bow that I’m surprised they didn’t question any kitty cats.

Without disclosing who did it, I will say the culprit learned a valuable lesson after they were found with the loot— It is more fun to share and play with friends.

Doggie Detectives (The Everyday Adventures of Papa and Paws) is a fun, interactive storybook with charming illustrations. I recommend sharing the story with children two years and older. 

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

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Meet the Author 

Nicholas J. Nawroth is Papa Paws. He is a dog lover and artist. At age 9, he created his first comic book featuring his dog, Woody, and has been drawing ever since. He has never lost touch with his childlike wonder and love of dogs, which he shares in his stories. In his free time, he enjoys snuggling up on the couch with the family to watch movies.

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We’ll See: Book 1, The Emotional Literacy and Mindful Fables by Jessa Hooley (Book Review)

Is it good? Is it bad? We’ll see… In the heart of Honeybrook Meadows, Papa Pip and his grandbunnies find themselves swinging between delight and disaster. Through constantly changing circumstances, Papa Pip demonstrates an open-minded resilience with his gentle yet mysterious phrase — “We’ll see.”

Throughout this fable, each new happening brings a consequential surprise for Papa Pip and his grandbunnies, and even the gravest of situations seem to unfold in unpredictable ways. “We’ll See” is a heartfelt tale of hope, adventure, and unexpected twists, teaching young readers the invaluable lesson of withholding conclusions about the “goodness” or “badness” of any given circumstance.

Mindfulness & Emotional Literacy Concepts Explored:
Radical acceptance, being present, non-reactivity, and non-judgement.

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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.

 

As I read this charming children’s book, I thought of the famous proverbial phrase: When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. This phrase encourages optimism and a positive can-do attitude in the face of hardships or misfortune. This story promotes these two qualities as well. 

Seeing the bright spot in life can be challenging when times get tough. Papa Pip had the “wait and see” attitude when life threw his family curveballs. His grandbunnies had the opposite reaction and attitude; they overreacted in every situation. It is a typical response for kids and maybe even for adults. 

Whether the sweet food source was scarce or a tree came crashing down, Papa Pip kept his cool and said two key words, “We’ll see.” These two words taught his grandbunnies and readers to have patience, keep a cool head, and look for the positives in a negative situation. This is easier said than done. Even Papa Pip shed tears when the rushing water filled the meadow, threatening their home. But, I suspect his tears were a combination of losing their burrow and watching his family’s fear over the devastating turn of events. 

You can’t turn on the news without a reporter remarking about fires, floods, tornadoes, or other natural disasters. They are claiming our homes, causing families to start their lives over and leaving devastation behind. Unfortunately, it’s an emotional experience that many readers can relate to. 

Each time one of the baby bunnies were consumed with worry, things worked out in their favor. Will life imitate fiction every time? Maybe not always, but why let doom and gloom cloud your mind—look for the silver lining instead. Or, as the author writes, “It’s not always helpful to see our situations as good or bad, because you can never know for certain what will happen because of them.” This ties back to Papa Pip’s “We’ll see” mentality. 

I recommend sharing this book with children four years and older. I also recommend checking out “Let’s Talk About It!” There are four discussion points/questions that center on what they read.  

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

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Meet the Author

Jessa works as a trauma-sensitive mindfulness meditation teacher and Integrative Trauma Practitioner. She believes that healing our communities begins by teaching our children stories that connect them to their emotions, bodies, and lived experience through a lens of imagination, nature,& discovery.

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Sylvia Locke and the Three Bears (Tairy Fails Book 1) by David Horn (Book Review)

RED ALERT FOR FAIRY TALE LAND: Sylvia Locke is out and ready to cause mischief.

Once upon a time in Fairy Tale Land, there lived a very bad girl indeed. Sylvia Locke may have been abandoned by her adventuring parents but that’s no excuse for being mean to her loving grandparents, rude to everyone at school, and even bullying rare magical creatures. Right?

One day, when out on a break-and-enter job at the Bear family’s house, Sylvia happens upon a magical mirror that turns out to be more than she bargained for. Could even a kid like Sylvia find a friend? Could some warm and fuzzies change her heart?

The first book in Tairy Fails, a modern fractured fairy tale humor series that will have elementary school kids and early chapter book readers screaming with laughter.

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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.

 

Goldilocks and the Three Bears is a well-known fairytale. Sylvia Locke and the Three Bears have some of the same characters, and similar moments play out, but this story is far more entertaining than the classic. Sylvia never claims to be a sweet, mild-mannered child. Everyone in Farmington would agree with her assessment, too. Sylvia loves having the loudest voice in the room, is quite mischievous, and enjoys bending the rules. She also has a habit of putting her wants and needs before others. It’s her need for a particular brand of sugary cereal that sets in motion a series of comedic events. 

Sylvia’s sweet tooth and rumbling belly lead her to the neighbor’s house, the famous little bears. As Sylvia waits for her neighbors to leave, she overhears them discussing Goldilocks and how they moved to this village because of that person. This mysterious girl was why the bears moved to the town and installed the security system. Kids will laugh when they see the security measures in action. 

Sylvia gets more than she bargained for when she enters through a window. She also realizes she is not alone in the house. Without spilling too much of the comedic moments, I will talk briefly about the bear in the magic mirror. Unlike the magic mirror person from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the magic mirror bear brings the funny. I cackled when he tried to kick Sylvia back after she kicked his frame. His ghostly antics were a hoot, too. If the text doesn’t make you chuckle, the hilarious illustrations will. Especially the one where Sylvia tests mirror bear’s I’m unbreakable theory. BTW: He is not really unbreakable, but I’ll keep his kryptonite a secret. He also has a real name, but you’ll need to read this comical fairytale to discover what it is. 

As I stated above, Sylvia’s journey does have some semblance to Goldilocks’s time in the bears’ previous home. Silver streak-haired Sylvia does test things, looking for what screams just right. Did Sylvia escape the house before the family returns, or does she get caught like Goldilocks? Did she ever eat her Cookie Crunchies? Read the book and find out! 

The recommended reading age is 6-10. While that is a great age range, I would even introduce the story to pre-k students. The story is simple to understand, so they should be able to follow the plot and find the drawings funny. Everyone will enjoy watching Sylvia get into sticky situations, watching her and the mirror bear interact, and the surprise introduction of the ninja. Wait until you see the ninja sketch! It’s hilarious! 

The story ends by answering a burning question that puzzled Sylvia, her grandparents, and the whole town: What happened to Sylvia’s parents? I’ll be on the lookout for book two in the Tairy Fails series, and I know once your family and class read this story, they will be, too.

 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤
(Deserves more than five hearts!)

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Meet the Author

David Horn lives in New Jersey with his wife, two daughters, and a funny dog named Trixie. He is the author of the popular Eudora Space Kid early reader humorous sci-fi chapter book series. He enjoys making kids laugh.

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Astro-pigs 1,2,3! by Michael Lawrence (Book Review)

Three bored pigs dream big when they look to the night sky! How far can these Astro-pig’s imaginations take them?
Astro-pigs 1,2,3! is an adventure story exploring the value of imagination and dreaming big. Bright colorful illustrations and a rhyming text take children along on an adventure to the moon, and back.

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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.

 

Parents can relate to kids complaining that they are bored and wishing for something fun to do. The three bored (not so little) pigs featured in this brightly colored story lay in a patch of mud, wishing they were Astro-pigs. With thoughts of space travel in their heads, they slept, dreaming about out-of-this-world adventures. And, when the piggies opened their eyes, they were suited up and ready to blast off. 

Like in real life, young readers will count from 10 to 1 as the rocket’s inhabitants prepare for departure. The audience will see the three oinkers tethered outside the rocket as they float about in space. Encourage your children or class to jump and bounce as if they are on the moon with the space pigs. Continue the imaginative pretend play as you drive a lunar rover over the rocky terrain of the moon. 

Astro-pigs 1,2,3! is an interactive, fun-filled storybook that encourages pretend play. Its rhyming words would be ideal for beginning readers. Out of every rhyming pair, I found one page where the rhyming word choice missed the mark: farm and warm. They are spelled nearly the same, but their end sounds do not rhyme. Unfortunately, I had to ding the book’s score for the rhyming error. 

Families and classrooms will love watching the three pigs suit up and explore space. This cute story encourages participation using numbers on more than one occasion. Whether your child knows only numbers 1, 2, and 3 or 1 through 10, they’ll love becoming a part of the adventure.  

I recommend sharing this Astro-pigs 1,2,3! with your family or classroom. The bold, colorful images should capture your baby’s eye. Toddlers, preschoolers, and elementary students will also love the illustrations. It would also make a phenomenal choice in reading material for beginning and advanced readers. 

Grab your copy today!

 

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

Amazon Purchase Link

 

Meet the Author

Early Childhood Educator with 30 plus years in the field of early education. Self-published first picture/storybook in 2006, 10 titles released to date. I get kids. I know what works in a story and what might not. Doesn’t mean I always get it right but my track record has been pretty good so far:)

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Finding Figgins by Shayna Leib (Book Review)

Figgins is a lonely stuffed animal who feels forgotten by his human friend, Julian. Figgins has a rich, secret life unbeknownst to Julian in which he is a professor, a painter and scuba diver. But when Figgins goes missing, Julian has to venture beyond his comfort zone into an unusual magical world. By retracing Figgins’ steps Julian finds out just who Figgins really is, with a little help from Mrs. Zebrasky’s cats who know all that goes on in their neighborhood.

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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.

 

Unless a child is looking for a book featuring a movie or cartoon character, they’ll scan the covers and select a book that captures their eyes. That means designers must create a cover with bold text, written uniquely, and bright colors. Adding a bit of silliness to the design helps, too. The cover for Finding Figgins checks all three boxes. The hedge-shaped lettering was fun, creative, and definitely unique. The kitties were adorable and funny, especially the scuba diver. It took me a minute to notice the gingerbread cookie holding tight to a leaf. How quickly will others spot the cookie? 

The spectacular illustrations did not stop with the cover; every page spotlighted astounding artistry. Kids will get a kick out of the mouse squeezing hot sauce on a taco, the orange-striped cat chillin’ on the beach under a huge umbrella, and the flying penguins. Those are a small fraction of images that’ll delight readers. There are MANY more! 

As you can see, I was impressed with the artwork; the storyline DID NOT disappoint either. When Julian was a baby, he was gifted a stuffed bear named Figgins. For many years, they were inseparable— best friends. But, much like real children, Julian grew up, and his interests shifted. Figgins decided not to wait for Julian to find time for him, so the bear went out to make his own fun. When the child discovered Figgins had been gone far longer than usual, he went to look for him. Julian saw wondrous things on his adventure: orchards full of colorful crayons, enormous mice, flowers that towered over the boy, talking jack-o-lanterns, and a sugary house that Hansel and Gretel would love to sink their teeth into, etc. Through each stop, Julian learned interesting facts about his friend, Figgins. The revelations prompted Julian to reevaluate his priorities and to make time for his friend. 

Finding Figgins is an adventurous tale centering around a bond formed between a child and their best friend, a stuffed bear. It teaches children to appreciate their friends and make time for them. It was a delightful, adventurous read featuring a unique storyline and outstanding artwork. 

Amazon’s recommended reading age is 3-10 years.

 

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

Amazon Purchase Link

 

 

Meet the Author

Shayna Leib is a multi-media artist who has worked in glass, metal, and ceramic for 30 years. Her work has traveled the globe from the Middle East to Europe and America, and is found in numerous museums, public venues, and worldwide private collections. Having taught glassblowing, sculpture, and drawing at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Cal Poly University, she is returning to her 2-dimensional roots with her first book, Finding Figgins which celebrates her affection for the magical, colorful and feline.

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