Tag Archives: young readers

Ellery’s Magic Bicycle by Maria Monte (Book Review)

 

A touching picture book about a remarkable childhood bond between a little girl and her magic bicycle, perfect for children ages 4 to 7 and for fans of The Giving Tree.

Inspired by the author’s own childhood adventures, this heartfelt story will take readers on a whimsical journey through Ellery’s childhood with her magical bicycle in tow. Ellery and her bicycle share many wonderful new experiences together; lonely yet curious Ellery finds adventure, love, and friendship, as well as weathering sorrow and loss.

When she grows up, Ellery starts to forget her special bond with the bicycle. Will Ellery remember what’s important before it’s too late and the magical bike is lost forever?

A story of redemption, Ellery’s struggles, hopes, and triumph serve as an uplifting reminder to parents of their childhood bonds. Young readers will grow to love Ellery’s strong, kind, and compassionate spirit, and will see their own cherished bicycle in a new light.

  • A heartfelt and emotionally powerful read-aloud book
  • Books for kids ages 4 and up
  • Picture books for preschool, kindergarten, and elementary students.

 

Amazon Purchase Link

 

 

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

 

The love of magic and magical books has been around for many years. Children love when inanimate objects come to life. They do this through their imagination all the time. They make teddy bears drink tea. They make toys move and speak. They create a wonderland in their backyard or right inside their home. Therefore, I believe children will love Ellery’s bike and wish their bike would also come to life. You might even catch your child speaking to their own bicycle, which would be adorable. 

Ellery’s Magic Bicycle by Maria Monte is not just all about magic. There was a life lesson weaved in the story. A boy picked on Ellery; she got revenge on him and felt terrible afterward. This section reinforces the old saying two wrongs don’t make a right. When you and your child or students read this section, ask them how Ellery should handle the situation differently? How would they have handled it? 

Ellery’s Magic Bicycle teaches children to forgive, apologize for inappropriate actions, and be open to making new friends in the unlikeliest places with the unlikeliest people. With all the turmoil in the world, I appreciate any story that shows people overcoming differences, becoming nice, and starting new friendships. 

My daughter loved Zoe Saunders’s illustrations. I agree; they were fantastic. She did a marvelous job on all the pages, but especially the page dedicated to Ellery growing up and the bike becoming bigger with her. As a parent, I was happy to see Zoe had Ellery and Charlie wearing a helmet when riding the bike. Even though it’s a special bike and could protect the rider, we must teach kids to be safe. 

I would absolutely recommend this Ellery’s Magic Bicycle by Maria Monte to others.

 

Amazon’s recommended reading age: 4 – 7 years

Grade level: kindergarten – 3

 

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

Amazon Purchase Link

 

 

 

About the Author

Maria Monte is an experienced communications specialist and has completed an honours degree in English literature. Her spare time is divided between family and caring for her young son. A native of Melbourne, Australia, Maria enjoys mochas and losing herself in wiki rabbit holes.

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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A Black Boy in Hopes to be a Black Man by Challotine Cius-Bonds (Book Review)

This book is a short poem about a heart warming journey through a black mother’s eyes. As her son ventures through the many obstacles of being a black boy, his future self is gently whispering affirmations to keep him grounded.

 

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

 

It’s apparent history has not been kind to black people. As seen on the nighttime news, blacks are targeted repeatedly because of the color of their skin. They are viewed as criminals – already assumed they’re guilty of something. This constant treatment makes young black children think less of themselves, which is not what they should be feeling. Black and brown children need to see their worth – know they can accomplish anything. The world should not see them as villains, criminals, or lesser humans. Skin pigment should not define us – our actions should.  

Through Dr.Challotine Cius-Bonds, PhD’s text and illustrations, we will see one little boy stand tall amongst haters. He sees a bright future and lets nothing stand in his way from achieving his goals. He grew up to become a proud black man. 

February is Black History Month, but A Black Boy in Hopes to be a Black Man by Dr.Challotine Cius-Bonds, PhD is not limited to one month a year. Parents should be reading this story to their child(ren), no matter the month. 

This book’s message is strong, illustrations even stronger. Together, they make a powerful book that should be shared in every home and classroom. 

 

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

For Sale through the Author’s Website

 

 

About the Author

I am a Haitian-American Naturopathic doctor from GA, who loves to write children’s books and self-care topics for women of color. I’m also a wife, mother of three, and a true self-care enthusiast. My true passion is helping women and children be an advocate for themselves and their health.

Reedsy

 

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KidVenture: Twelve Weeks to Midnight Blue by Steve Searfoss (Book Review)

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Chance Sterling launches a pool cleaning business over the summer. Join Chance as he looks for new customers, discovers how much to charge them, takes on a business partner, recruits an employee, deals with difficult clients, and figures out how to make a profit. He has twelve weeks to reach his goal. Will he make it? Only if he takes some chances.

KidVenture stories are business adventures where kids figure out how to market their company, understand risk, and negotiate. Each chapter ends with a challenge, including business decisions, ethical dilemmas and interpersonal conflict for young readers to wrestle with. As the story progresses, the characters track revenue, costs, profit margin, and other key metrics which are explained in simple, fun ways that tie into the story.

 
 
Buy the Book:
Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble
 
 
 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

 
Whether you are opening a roadside lemon stand, mowing grass, babysitting, or embarking on a larger-scale business, your child should read KidVenture: Twelve Weeks to Midnight Blue (Vol. 1) by Steve Searfoss.

When Steve Searfoss said, “Math is your friend,” he couldn’t have been more correct. In business, you need to understand key terms such as profit and loss, expenses, and venture capitalist. These words and many other words used in KidVenture: Twelve Weeks to Midnight Blue (Vol. 1) would be perfect glossary and spelling words for a classroom setting. 
 
Extended Activity: Have your students create a flyer like Addie did and present it to the class. Homeschool students can also partake in this activity! 


Math lesson: Steve Searfoss offers various scenarios in which Chance can make more money by gaining more customers or increasing rates. He also discusses unexpected expenses. It’s broken down in a simple format. Extend the math lesson by importing your own prices and have the students solve the equations.  

 

KidVenture: Twelve Weeks to Midnight Blue (KidVenture Vol. 1) also offers numerous discussion questions at the end of each chapter. Example: “How could you get more leverage?” “Would you take on a new partner? Why?”
With all the possibilities for extended learning activities, I encourage ALL households and schools to add and use this book. It’s a great learning tool, plus the story is very entertaining. Even the illustrations are fantastic. 
My score will be a 5, but I wish I could give it more. Outstanding job, Steve Searfoss.  
 
 
Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: 
❤❤ (deserves more) 
 
 
 
 
 
Meet the Author:

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I wrote my first KidVenture book after years of making up stories to teach my kids about business and economics. Whenever they’d ask how something works or why things were a certain way, I would say, “Let’s pretend you have a business that sells…” and off we’d go. What would start as a simple hypothetical to explain a concept would become an adventure spanning several days as my kids would come back with new questions which would spawn more plot twists. Rather than give them quick answers, I tried to create cliffhangers to get them to really think through an idea and make the experience as interactive as possible.

I try to bring that same spirit of fun, curiosity and challenge to each KidVenture book. That’s why every chapter ends with a dilemma and a set of questions. KidVenture books are fun for kids to read alone, and even more fun to read together and discuss. There are plenty of books where kids learn about being doctors and astronauts and firefighters. There are hardly any where they learn what it’s like to run small business. KidVenture is different. The companies the kids start are modest and simple, but the themes are serious and important.

I’m an entrepreneur who has started a half dozen or so businesses and have had my share of failures. My dad was an entrepreneur and as a kid I used to love asking him about his business and learning the ins and outs of what to do and not do. Mistakes make the best stories — and the best lessons. I wanted to write a business book that was realistic, where you get to see the characters stumble and wander and reset, the way entrepreneurs do in real life. Unlike most books and movies where business is portrayed as easy, where all you need is one good idea and the desire to be successful, the characters in KidVenture find that every day brings new problems to solve.

 
Connect with the Author:
 
 

 

 

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Bruce the Spruce: A New York City Fairytale About the True Meaning of Christmas Trees by A. A. Cristi (Book Review)

SPRUCE THE BRUCE: A New York City Fairytale about the true meaning of Christmas Trees by A.A. Cristi

Bruce the Spruce has Christmas all wrong.
Thanks to his fancy decorations and adoring admirers, this artificial spruce tree doesn’t just wear a star at Christmas, he IS the star. But when his longtime family gets a new tree, it sends Bruce on a holiday adventure through New York City.
From a party in Brooklyn, to a run-in with rats, to a revelatory visit to Rockefeller Center, Bruce the Spruce takes an unforgettable journey to discover the true meaning of Christmas trees!
 
Buy Links:
Amazon ~  Barnes and Noble
 
 
 
I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
 
 
I’d first like to praise Pablo Andreeta for your spectacular artwork. The facial impressions on Bruce made my youngster smile, gasp, and even get sad. They felt every emotion Bruce felt, and that’s great. We loved the Christmas lights streamed across the top and bottom of several pages. 


Bruce the Spruce: A New York City Fairytale About the True Meaning of Christmas Trees’ cover was also superbly designed. It’s eye-catching!!!


The context (plot, dialogue, etc.) was fantastic as well. We loved ALL the decorations Bruce adorned in the various celebrations he found himself in. Well, maybe not the rats. Rats are just GROSS! 


It’s apparent how much A. A. Cristi loves New York City. One day I hope to visit there and see the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree for myself; I heard it’s a spectacular sight to behold. 


I don’t want to ruin the overall message behind Bruce the Spruce: A New York City Fairytale About the True Meaning of Christmas Trees by A. A. Cristi; I’ll let you read that on the closing page.


I know this book will become a staple in many homes during the holiday season. It’s a perfect story to read, before or after you’ve decorated your tree. 


As with most children’s books we read in my home, I like to introduce art activities that go hand-in-hand with whatever we read. We’ll be making ornaments, stockings, Christmas tree cookies, and creating our own “Bruce the Spruce” using paints or another medium. I can’t wait to get started! 


Happy holidays! 

 
 
Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤❤
 
 
 
Meet the Author:
Author A.A. Cristi

 
A.A. Cristi was born and raised in the world capital of Christmas trees and musicals – New York City. By no small miracle, she has managed to make a living writing about both topics. When she is not dreaming up fantastic adventures for inanimate objects, she is covering the Broadway industry as a journalist and editor at BroadwayWorld.com. Though writing is her calling, her true passion is playing mother to a neurotic wiener dog named Jack and Aunt Rah Rah to two truly remarkable kids.
 
 
Connect with the Author:  
 
 
 

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