Published by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Max at Night
Author: Ed Vere
Publish Date: Sept 1, 2016
My Rating: Five Stars
Synopsis from GoodReads: “This is Max. Max is very sleepy. It’s way past Max’s bedtime. Max has drunk his milk. Max has brushed his teeth. Max has cleaned behind his ears. Now Max just needs to say goodnight…”
Max at Night is a lovely bedtime story about an adorable black kitten who wants to say goodnight to his favorite friends. He starts with his fish and then his favorite box. When he gets to the Moon’s turn she is nowhere to be found. Max needs to investigate and simply won’t go to bed before he says goodnight to the Moon. He heads outside and asks the Night if she has seen the Moon, but the Night is dark and quiet. (When I read this part the first time all I could think of what Melisandre in Game of Thrones keeps saying “The Night is Dark and full of Terrors”, I know, I’m twisted).
Alrighty then….back to your regular scheduled review….
Max has an idea. Maybe if he gets to a higher point in the sky he will be able to find the Moon. He climbs, and climbs and climbs up high. When is about to get upset and give up he calls out one last time. “Moooooooon where are you?” Luckily for him, the Moon was only hiding behind some clouds. The Moon whispers “Goodnight Max, and thank you for coming”. Satisfied with having found the Moon, Max sleepily heads back home.
A wonderful bedtime story especially for those getting rambunctious littles ones to settle in for the night and to follow all their nighttime routines. The illustrations are minimalistic but still colorful and vivid. I liked that the story promotes a sense of “read-a-long” and the repetitiveness of the words engages children as to what Max is doing or where he is going next. Adorable, cute and funny Max at Night is destined to become a bedtime favorite. I highly recommend this book to anyone with little ones from the ages of 2 and up, though I am sure a 1 yr old/infant would also enjoy looking at the book and hearing the readers voice as a way of soothing and getting ready for sleepytime.
Thank you Sourcebooks Jabberwocky and Ed Vere the opportunity to read this book in advance in exchange for an honest review.
About the Author:
Ed Vere has been writing and illustrating children’s books since 1999. He is also a fine art painter and is represented by galleries in London and Los Angeles. He lives in London.
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Toshi's Little Treasures by Nadine Robert, Aki
Published by Kids Can Press on April 5th 2016
Genres: Children's Picture Book
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In this appealing search-and-find informational picture book, readers join a little boy named Toshi as he and his grandmother explore six of their favorite places -- the riverbank, the town, the forest, the country, the park and the beach. At each location, Toshi finds treasures to add to his collection, from a dragonfly wing to a glittery rock to a guitar pick. Best of all, his grandmother always knows what everything is! Each scene is featured in a full-spread illustration, with lots of potential treasures labeled. Following that is an activity in which readers help Toshi identify his found treasures from each place by matching them to related items (for example, pink peony petals matching the peony plant, and a coin matching the coin purse). Answers at the back of the book reveal interesting facts about them all, adding context. The animals that Toshi and his grandmother encounter are also shown at the back of the book. Using an innovative technique that mixes fiction and nonfiction, this book is the perfect resource for life science lessons on habitats and the environment. It encourages observation skills, curiosity and critical thinking -- building blocks for studying science. This book would be a terrific inspiration for a trip around the neighborhood in which children can find, identify and draw treasures of their own. It could also be used as a starting point for storytelling, in which children imagine the story of a treasure -- Toshi's or their own -- before it was found.
This book is about the special treasures Toshi finds when he goes for walks with his grandmother. It reminded me of my own walks with my grandmother and how I would ask her about the different things that I saw. It also reminded me of my nephews and how inquisitive they are, always picking up different things in the yard when we play with them outside. Toshi’s Little Treasure has lovely bright colors and so much to seek and find. You travel along with Toshi and his grandmother to the riverbank, the town, the country, the forest, the park and the beach.
At each location, Toshi goes exploring with his grandmother and finds many different little treasures to add to his growing collection from a glittery rock, dog whistle, a partridge feather and so much more. This book is a great starting point to encouraging exploration of nature and different habitats as well as promoting being in nature. This is definitely a great book to inspire your own family to go on your own treasure hunting adventure. I loved that after each place you have a list of all the treasures that Toshi found and you have a matching “game” to see if you can match the different items you found to where they come from.
I would have loved for the illustrations to have been a bit more detailed, but that is really just me being picky. At the back of the book, there is an answer key with all the matching answers, as well as some interesting and educational little tidbits of information about each item.I think this book would be a great addition to any family library. Be it used for exploring, or just as a “seek and find” reading activity it is sure to entertain and captivate young readers.
Thank you to Netgalley and Kids Can Press for the opportunity to read and enjoy this delightful book.
I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Storybook Knight by Helen Docherty
Published by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky on October 16th 2016
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Even dragons can’t resist a good story…
Even though Leo would rather sit at home and read, his parents send him out into the world in the hopes that Leo will become a famous knight. But when Leo comes up against the land’s most fearsome beasts, he soon discovers that scary monsters enjoy a good book as much as anyone…
The Storybook Knight is a charming tale about a little mouse named Leo who loved to read and was gentle “in thought, and word and deed”. His parents have other plans for him which include seeking glory, slaying a dragon and bringing home fame. They give Leo a sword and shield and send him off into the world, because though there is nothing wrong with reading, Leo can’t just do that.
Before Leo departs, he packs away some books for his journey ahead, and on his mighty steed they set-off on their adventure. As Leo travels he encounters fearsome beasts: a Griffin, a Troll and finally a Dragon. Coming face to face with such dangerous creatures Leo thankfully stays safe by convincing them to let him read a book about themselves (“with some changes truth be told”) instead of fighting or gobbling him up. With clever thinking and entertaining tales, he conquers them with words and befriends them with his books.
I absolutely LOVED this story. It has such a wonderful message about how books and stories can help us make friends and even avoid violence. It’s a powerful message also to parents who want to push their children to do something they want vs. what the child really loves. Aside from these valuable lessons, The Storybook Knight was very entertaining to read. It was written with nice fluid rhymes and the illustrations were bright and beautifully done. Definitely the kind of book that the reader would enjoy reading multiple times, and the listener would also enjoy listening to over and over.
I loved little Leo from the start, he is just the kind of character that you immediately like. I also could see a little of my younger self in him (as I think many bookworms of all ages will too) and I too remember my family being concerned that I rather have my “nose in a book” than go play sports or do other “normal” kid activities. Besides Leo, the illustrations of The Storybook Knight really captivated me. They were detailed and really “POPPED” off the page. I definitely plan on adding The Storybook Knight to my ever expanding picture book collection once it is released this September 6th, and I highly recommend you do too.