Book Review: Children’s Literature

Book Review: Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne

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As part of a children’s book readathon on my blog in August 2018, voters chose Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne as one of our award-winning books to read this week. I was very excited to pick up this classic again as I haven’t read it in over thirty years. I’ve seen several shows and cartoons with nieces, nephews, and cousins, but reading the wonderfully illustrated picture books was a fresh experience. I adore the world Milne has created with all the amazing characters in the woods. It’s a bit of fantasy and magic combined with reality and lessons. I’d forgotten how ‘mischievous’ Pooh and his friends could be.

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When we picked this classic, I never specified which of the books to read — silly of me, actually, as Pooh might think or say! I left it up to each reader. I borrowed the book from the library, and it seems to be books 1 and 2, so I read more than I’d planned. At about 150 pages, it has some illustrations but way more text than I remembered. It was still adorable to read. There were ~10 stories introducing different characters and scenarios ranging from an encounter with bumble bees (where Pooh classically steals the honey — or tries to!) to poor Eeyore losing his tail.

If you’ve never sampled Winnie the Pooh, get to the library now and read one of the stories. At the very least, tempt yourself by watching a cartoon version. At least now I know where Christopher Robin comes from… who the bear family is and what a pooh actually means! I definitely want to check out the movie that came out earlier this year (last year?) on Christopher Robin!

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

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Book Review: Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! by Mo Willems

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As part of a Children’s Readathon on my blog in August 2018, Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! by Mo Willems was selected as one of the award-winning books to read. It took home the Caldecott Honor Award in 2004. Since I’d just finished my children’s education courses in college right before then, I never had a chance to read this one. It was a first-time experience thanks to the lovely Nina @ The Cozy Pages; she suggested this wonderful book.makes a difference in their lives! 4.5 stars for this one!

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A pigeon driving a bus? Well.. it’s very cute and part of a whole series involving experiences the pigeon goes through. I must read more of them! In this adorable picture book, the bus driver needs to step away from the bus. He tells everyone not to let the pigeon drive the bus. As soon as the driver leaves, the pigeon tries his or her best to convince everyone to let him drive. But they won’t give him, so he never gets to do it! When he jumps off in frustration, the driver returns and leaves without the poor pigeon!

What a lesson for kids. Peer pressure. Bad attitudes. Silliness. Safety. Keeping quiet. All the things to show why it’s good not to ‘give in’ to someone just because they try to get you to do something.

If you’ve not seen the series or heard of them, check it out! Buy a copy for a kid you know… it’s what

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Book Review: Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown

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Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown is one of the books that followers of my blog voted as a must-read for our Children’s Book August 2018 Readathon. Come check it out and join the next few weeks!

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This picture book was such a delight. I hadn’t remembered reading it when I was a child, but it might have been read to me… either way, it was like a whole new experience! It’s always so difficult to convince a child to fall asleep at night. I don’t have kids, but I do have a 5-month-old puppy who whines for 5 minutes every night when he goes in his cage/crate (hopefully he’ll be fully housebroken soon so he can roam around when he wants). I can only imagine! I babysat a lot as a teenager and I have tons of younger cousins, nieces, and nephews, so I’ve been through it before, too. This was a believable experience, and it really helps show kids how to relax and just let go when it’s time to sleep.

The bunny’s are adorable. The rhymes are exquisite. I found it pretty fun, but possibly a little dated given many of those things aren’t normal routines anymore. But the lessons to take from it are still powerful. Loved it! I want to sample some more books by this fine author and her illustrators.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Book Review: Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

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Where the Wild Things Are written and illustrated by Maurice Sendak in 1963 was a Caldecott Medal winner the year after it was published. I treasured this book in elementary school when I played the lead in our school play (okay, co-lead with another kid so we didn’t have to work too hard). I wrote a review a few years ago from memory, then explored it during my college years when I studied children’s literature and language. Now, in August 2018, I’m hosting a Children’s Book Readathon on my blog. Come check it out!

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I read the book twice this week. Once to absorb it as a fresh set of eyes, then again to see what I liked and didn’t like. On the whole, I still love it. I also see how it could encourage a few bad behaviors, but then again, so can movies, overhearing conversations, and music. Books are about learning. It’s important to read them with a child at the appropriate age and use it was a way to teach what’s wrong and right. For those reasons, I highly recommend sharing this with kids from 6 to 8. Younger might understand it. Older might find it amusing. But that’s the sweet spot in my opinion.

Max doesn’t like being told what to do. He just runs around a lot. I have a 5-month-old puppy named Baxter who’s just like Max. I get frustrated, but I love him. I’ve put him in time-out. Max was sent to bed without supper. I can only imagine where Baxter goes in his imagination… if it’s anything like where Max goes, we’re in for trouble!

So glad to re-read this one!

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Book Review: Oh, the Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss

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Earlier this summer, I decided to host a children’s book readathon in August 2018. All month long, we’re reading about a dozen books, then sharing reviews, interviews and feedback. This first week is ‘picture books’ and we voted on our top three books to read. Oh, The Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss is one of the winners. I read the book as a kid and wrote a review a few years ago, but I re-read this week and am sharing a second review.

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Dr. Seuss has always been a favorite. This is the first time I’ve re-read one of his books since I’ve written and published a few of my own. I caught myself analyzing the book way too much while I was reading thinking some of the rhymes were stilted or forced. I would have changed a few words around and used a different rhyme choice. Then I slapped myself. This is such a fun book and I should sit back to enjoy it, not pick it apart! I rarely do that, so I’m not sure why it happened here… other than it’s such an amazing approach for helping kids (or adults!) deal with change in their life. I must have wanted to take it even further (farther? see, that’s why I shouldn’t judge!)… that’s when I got my head on straight and fell in love all over again with the book.

Life is hard. Bad things happen. You have to push past them or you’ll be unhappy and miss out. That’s the key message we need to understand from here. At graduation, or major life changes, kids worry that things might not work out. This is an opportunity to show how you learn from those fears and moments. I would love to listen to this one on audio just to hear all the noises and sounds of how the narrator thinks. The illustrations were fun and immersive. I definitely recommend this as a gift for those graduating from middle school or high school. It can also be read to younger kids to help them prepare.

This readathon is so much fun! I hope more folks will join. Thanks.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Book Review: His Name is Joe by Mimi Lou Martin and Chloe Mathis

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I was introduced to this adorable children’s book in early 2018 and liked the premise enough to add it to my TBR. A young boy befriends another kid who happens to be wheelchair-bound. Knowing how awkward life can be for a third grader, especially while playing dodge ball in gym class, I was curious to give this one a shot. His Name Is Joe by Mimi Lou Martin explores the impacts of a school children learning how to put themselves out there, find friends, develop confidence and teach others small life lessons. While the book is relatively short at 24 pages, it’s filled with wonderful drawings and a great moral lesson. To top it off, the book is co-written by the author’s young children… even including multiple sketches (really fantastic for their age and contribution to the book) and artwork by the whole family. It’s a very cute story, and I think it would be a great addition to all libraries and a family’s reading shelves. I’d recommend it for being fun, inspirational, rewarding and confidence-building. Kudos to this wonderful family and the adorable book they’ve built together. The world needs more people like this!

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About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.
Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Book Review: Sir Alex Sleighs a Dragon by Russ Towne

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Review: Five (5) stars — what a fantastic children’s book! Sir Alex Sleighs a Dragon, published in 2017, is my second read from Russ Towne. I’m not sure I can decide which of the two I like better, but both are at the top of their genre. When I first read this picture/chapter book, my immediate reaction was that it resembled at a very high level the story of Beowulf. I say this only because it’s about a village trying to protect itself from a powerful and scary monster, but in truth, it feels apropos on other levels given I could see this book being a bit of a classic in its own right.

The writing is clean, direct, funny, memorable and solid from all angles. The illustrations are captivating; I found myself looking at them twice — once before I read the page, then after I finished to see what I had missed the first time. Alex is an adorable kid whose bravery and modesty are a lesson we should all learn; however, it is the queen who proves to everyone what moral we should be taking away from the book. She helps school her own townspeople in how to best work together to accomplish a goal. And as readers, we will very quickly learn how not to judge a book by its cover. (By the way, the cover of this one is brilliant. It will make you laugh throughout the story as you see what unfolds in this little quest to save a village!)

There are tons of children’s books available these days, and many of them are good. But when you want to select the best ones for your kids or to give as gifts, you want to know it’s a perfect fit and a truly remarkable read before you buy it. I’ve no doubt in my mind that this book and author will do well. There’s a beauty and truth in the stories he tells without ever feeling formal or educational. The balance between a cozy read in a big comfy chair and an introductory discussion on how to be a good person is quite strong. That’s where this author strikes gold.

I encourage you to read this book, or even one of Towne’s others, as you will not be disappointed. I can’t wait to sample more this year. I also look forward to sharing this one with some family members soon, too.

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About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.
Follow my blog with Bloglovin.