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Monday, September 14, 2015

Children's Book Reviews

Disclosure: Penguin Kids and Penguin Random House gave me a copy of these books free of charge for this review in return for an honest review. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation.  As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation.

Penguin Kids has some fun books recently or soon-to-be released that I want to share with you. The first is perfect for a preschooler and/or emerging reader. It teaches the concepts of in and out, over, under and around, and on and off in a very fun manner. The book is In! Over! and On! (the Farm) by Ethan Long. 
http://www.penguin.com/book/in-over-and-on-the-farm-by-ethan-long-illustrated-by-ethan-long/9780399169076


This book is divided into three chapters: In, Over, and On. In each chapter the farm animals (hen, pig, goat and cow) display the meanings of the chapter names as well as their opposite. My favorite is the In chapter. It is raining and Hen wants into her coop, but the other animals say she cannot come in. She finally kicks them all out so she can be dry. The other two chapters have fold-outs to see the extra pictures. In the Over chapter Goat wants Hen to go over the fence and then under the fence. When Hen cannot go over or under, Cow comes and shows her how to go around the fence. The fold-out page extends the picture to go around. Needless to say it is a fun book with very easy reading. I had Hazel read it to me the first time we looked at it, and she had no problems with it. This book was recently released!


http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/231906/the-wonderful-things-you-will-be-by-written-and-illustrated-by-emily-winfield-martin/#

Our second book is the type of book a parent loves to read to their little one. It is The Wonderful Things You Will Be by Emily Winfield Martin. It is about that question/wonder every parent has about their child. What will the child do in his/her life? It goes through with beautiful illustrations of the special relationship parents have with children and then has the child doing different things. It ends with a fold-out page with the children in many different uniforms/costumes to show that the possibilities are endless. It is a wonderful tale for a young child and really pulls at my mother's heart when I read it to Hazel. It was released in the beginning of September and is now available for purchase.

The next book is being released September 29, 2015. It is A Dog Wearing Shoes by Sangmi Ko. 


http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/235376/a-dog-wearing-shoes-by-sangmi-ko/

This book has black and white illustrations except for the dog's shoes. It is the story of a mother and daughter finding a lost dog who happens to wear yellow shoes. The girl wants to keep the dog but the mother knows the dog must be someone's. They eventually find the owner and then go to the animal shelter to adopt their own dog (where yellow comes into the pictures again). 

It is a sweet and fun book. There are so many ways of expanding on this book. The artwork is one place to start. An activity like the one Hazel did at a museum story time with Mo Willems's Knuffle Bunny.  Another would be to expand on the last page of information about adopting a dog and of course visiting an animal shelter. 

Our final book for today is being released October 5, 2015. It is Happy! by Pharrell Williams. 


http://www.penguin.com/book/happy-by-pharrell-williams/9780399176432

 This book puts the words of Grammy Award winner, Pharrell Williams's song "Happy" in pictures and for young children. "Happy" was in Despicable Me 2. 



It is a fun song and book. The pictures are a mixed media with photographs, clip art and more. It is a book meant to be to spread happiness in the world. Let's face it, the world needs more happiness. At the end of the book there is a letter from Pharrell Williams asking the readers to be Happiness Helpers and to help spread the happiness by sharing the book. We plan to do this with all of these books by donating them to our public library and/or Hazel's school. This is a fun book. My only issue is that the song lyrics do not always make sense as a story in a book. It is not really a story but is about feeling happy and not letting anything bring you down. It is fun though and definitely attractive to young children. 

 Those are four fun books from Penguin Books and Penguin Random House. I hope you will take the time to check them out.