MIXED: A COLORFUL STORY by Arree Chung is what we all need to read

Published: 2018

Age: 3-7

Themes: Accepting differences, love, understanding, community

Let me first say, I just discovered this book and it is WONDERFUL! I read it to both my 7 and 5, and they both enjoyed it for similar and different reasons. One, it’s a colorful tale that starts with the primary colors living in harmony until RED decides they are the best. The other colors disagree and then segregate. Until one day, a yellow takes a liking to blue, they MIX and make a new color they call GREEN. The story unfolds and new colors start mixing with non like colors and in doing so, make a more beautiful colorful world.

Why I like this story: To start, it can teach young children colors. For the older children in the picture book age group, there are opportunities for educating children about diversity and love. The first learning lesson is that the story is about loving someone despite the color of their skin in a way they can understand. I made sure ask questions as I read to my children.

For example, when the colors are segregated, I asked them how they looked. They both responded sad. Yes! The colors were happier together. Then in the story where yellow and blue mix, they make a new beautiful green color. I told my kids the color of our skin doesn’t matter. It’s what’s inside, how kind, loving and caring a person is that’s important. I gave them a real life example of my friend’s sister who married a man with a different skin color than hers. They had a baby with a beautiful new skin color all his own. This made sense. So not only does this book provide a cute colorful story, it provides an opportunity for parents to discuss the theme of love and diversity.

I highly recommend this book. Happy reading!

CHICKS RULE! by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen Illustrated by Renee Kurilla

Theme: girl power, self belief, teamwork, ingenuity, perseverance

Publication: 2019

Age: 3-8

Let me just start by saying I LOVE THIS BOOK! It’s such a call to arms/ wings really, so to speak. This book starts with a chick on her way to a space rocket meeting. She’s excited. She’s enthusiastic. She’s…..not welcomed?! The nerve of that club excluding chicks! Well, this chick marches on, and finds other wonderful chicks that specialize in everything from art, to construction, to coding and more. They all come together and decide to use their skills and talents to make something together.

My daughter loved this book. My SON loved this book and asked me to read it again! The illustrations are beautiful! It’s colorful, it RHYMES, which is honestly, a talent in itself. I’ve tried to rhyme and failed. This book does so flawlessly.

I highly recommend this book! (If you can’t tell). It’s a great book to read aloud, and I guarantee you will be asked to read it again, and again.

Happy reading and re-reading!

The Phone Booth in Mr. Hirosta’s Garden by: Heather Smith and Rachel Wada

Themes: grief, loss, love, healing

Publication: 2019

Age group: it’s a picture book but I feel it could work for grade school aged kids because of the topic

This is a beautiful story based on real life events. The story follows Maiko, a young boy, and his neighbor, Mr. Hirota. One day, a tsunami washes away the loved ones in Maiko’s village. The entire community is shadowed in sadness. Wanting to talk to his daughter again, Mr. Hirota builds a telephone booth and places an unconnected phone inside. He sits in the phone booth and talks to his daughter, hoping his words are carried to her by the wind. Soon, others visit the booth to talk to their loved ones. Eventually, Maiko talks to his father and begins the process of grieving and healing.

This story touches my heart. I think it’s a great example of how a void is created when we lose people we love. Mr. Hirota’s phone booth allows the villagers to stay connected to those they’ve lost. It doesn’t quickly solve the pain and sadness the villagers feel, but gives them an opportunity to start the healing process. When Maiko does talk to his dad, he tells him he misses him. I think this can show children that it’s okay to say you miss the person you’ve lost.

I recommend this read and hope you’ll give it a chance.

Book Review: Gorillas In Our Midst by Richard Fairgray illustrated by Terry Jones

I love this book! The title automatically makes me think of Jane Goodall. This book is a fun read that children will sure enjoy! It centers around the idea that gorillas have been living in our midst for a long time, naming Aperaham Lincoln and Gorilliam Shakespeare as examples. They live in society and have gotten pretty good at hiding, taking jobs where they can wear masks like surgeon, astronaut ect. There are delightful examples and humorous illustrations that accompany the story, which my kids found pretty hilarious! The end has a twist that even left me surprised! It’s a great book, meant for pure enjoyment, and I hope you find the time to read it!

Happy reading!

Friday Faves: Duck & Goose written and illustrated by Tad Hills

Duck & Goose

Hi everyone and happy Sunday to you all! I’m sorry this post is late. We celebrated my daughter’s birthday and had family in town this weekend, so needless to say, I was just a tad bit busy. But I am so thrilled to share my pick for this week! Duck & Goose is an adorably sweet and funny book by Tad Hills. It’s about two friends that find a very special egg. They can’t decide what to do with it, but one thing they do agree upon is that they each want it for themselves. Through some funny disagreements and illustrations, the two decide to take care of the egg and raise the hatchling together when it enters the world. That is, until a cute little blue bird informs them that their “egg” is actually a ball! Duck and Goose both agree it was a rather peculiar egg, and decide to play of game of ball instead.

It’s a cute tale between two very adorable characters. The great thing is that if you like this book, which I’d be surprised if you didn’t, there are other adventures that these two go on together. I hope you have a wonderful start to your week, and as always, happy reading!

Friday Faves: My Shape Is Sam by Amanda Jackson, Illustrated by Lydia Nichols

My Shape Is Sam by Amanda Jackson, Illustrated by Lydia Nichols

Happy Friday everyone! I have SUCH a special treat to share with you today! I am so excited! My Shape Is Sam by Amanda Jackson is a truly wonderful book. Sam is a square who lives in a place where each shape has a job. He’s a sturdy stacker, but longs to roll like the circles. One day he rolls and continues to roll til his edges smooth out. (There is so much detail that went into this book, even the corners of the pages are rounded!) He loves it, but the other shapes aren’t sure what to think. He follows his heart and when asked what his shape is, he says my “Shape is Sam”. It’s a book about being different and wanting to follow your heart and true self. With wonderful illustrations by Lydia Nichols, this book teaches kids about shapes and shows them that being different is okay. What a great lesson that can be applied to many different aspects of life! I finished reading this to my kids and they immediately asked for me to read it again. It’s new to the shelves so please check it out! Happy reading everyone!