Holidays

Book Review: A Present for Mom

Posted on Updated on

A Present for Mom 

Written by Vivian French 
Illustrated by Dana Kubick 
Published April 1, 2002 by Candlewick
Genre/Topics: Mother’s Day 
Age: 4-6, 32 pages 
 

It’s the day before Mother’s Day and Stanley doesn’t know what to get for his mother. So he asks his older siblings to get ideas for presents. However, Stanley’s ideas are not perfect. His older brother Rex is giving flowers, so Stanley collects flowers from the garden, but soon all the petals had fallen off. His older sister Flora is baking a Mother’s Day cake, so Stanley creates a mud cake that unfortunately doesn’t stay beautiful. Finally, Stanley has the perfect Mother’s Day idea. Stanley gives his mother a cardboard box that at first glance looks empty, but Stanley says that the box is filled with kisses. Of course, his mother loves the gift, because boxes of kisses last forever and ever.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Book Review: T. Rex and the Mother’s Day Hug

Posted on Updated on

T. Rex and the Mother’s Day Hug

Written by Lois G. Grambling 
Illustrated by Jack E. Davis 
Published March 11, 2008 by Katherine Tegen Books
Genre/Topics: Mother’s Day, Humorous, Dinosaurs 
Ages: 5-7, 32 pages 
 

Little T. Rex wants to do more than get his mother something, instead he wants to do something for her. However, on Mother’s Day his Mama Rex says that what will make her most happy is a Mother’s Day hug. T. Rex wants to do more than just a hug. He offers to wallpaper the dining room, but T. Rex and his friends already did that and even put paper over the windows. T. Rex with his friends decide to decorate his mother’s car, so she won’t have trouble finding the car in the parking lot. T. Rex gives Mama Rex a big hug, which is exactly what his mother wanted most. Mama Rex is happy that Mother’s Day comes only once a year.

If you enjoyed this book, then you should read T.Rex Trick-or-Treats and Here Comes T. Rex Cottontail

Happy Mother’s Day!

 

Book Review: Cinco de Mouse-o!

Posted on Updated on

Cinco de Mouse-o!

Written by Judy Cox
Illustrated by Jeffrey Ebbeler 
Published February 1, 2010 by Holiday House
 Genre/Topics: Cinco de Mayo, Humorous 
Ages: 5+, 32 pages 
 

Mouse wakes up on the fifth of May to wonderful and delicious spicy smells. Mouse crawled out of his hole to try to find the smells. However, Mouse didn’t notice that Cat was also following him down the street. Mouse discovered that there were people eating, dancing, singing, and celebrating Cinco de Mayo. He notices a piñata shaped like a donkey in the neighborhood and wanted it for his fiesta. So, he climbs on the rope carefully like a tightrope walker and he can smell the sweets inside the piñata. However, Mouse flew in the air when the piñata burst opened. He eventually wakes up and everyone is gone including Cat. Mouse found one candy piece and ran home to his hole.

¡Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Book Review: The Best Birthday Party Ever

Posted on Updated on

The Best Birthday Party Ever

Written by Jennifer LaRue Huget
Illustrated by LeUyen Pham 
Published February 8, 2011 by Schwartz & Wade
Ages: 6-8, 40 pages 
 

The birthday girl has big plans for her birthday party, yet it’s still 5 months, 3 weeks, 2 days, and 8 hours away. She wants it to be the best birthday party that she’s ever had. Her party plans soon become very extravagant. A few items she plans to have at her birthday party are 9,000 pink balloons, the tallest cake in the world, a magician, a parade, camel and elephant rides, and even fireworks. She even believes the President of the United States and the Queen of England will send her birthday cards. After months of planning, her birthday finally arrives but she doesn’t find everything on her list. However, she does discover pink balloons, tons of frosting, and the guests sing so loudly they must cover their ears. Her grand plans may not be at her party, but she’s still having the best birthday party ever. Of course, it’s never too early to start planning for next year.

Day 7 Birthday Book Celebration!

Book Review: Scaredy Squirrel Has a Birthday Party

Posted on Updated on

Scaredy Squirrel Has a Birthday Party 

Written and Illustrated by Mélanie Watt
Published February 1, 2011 by Kids Can Press
Ages: 6+
32 pages 
 

Scaredy Squirrel’s birthday is approaching and he decides to throw himself a party. The guest list is very small – just himself. There are many surprises that Scaredy Squirrel thinks will destroy a party which includes clownfish, ants, ponies, porcupines, Bigfoot, and confetti. He keeps a list of exactly what needs to be done so everything runs smoothly at the party and there are no unwelcome surprises. Scaredy Squirrel picks a safe location, practices breathing to blow balloons, and mails an invitation to himself. He then decides to invite one guest, so the party plans are revised so no bad surprises happen. Scaredy Squirrel even practices conversations, reviews activities that should be done at a party, and plans the party schedule. He’s most comfortable sitting quietly. However, Scaredy Squirrel is surprised when party animals arrive at his party. After he panics, screams, and finally passes out for a few hours Scaredy Squirrel notices that all the animals are ready for him to blow out the candles. He’s so touched that he decides to plan and invite guests for next year.

Scaredy Squirrel Has a Birthday Party is the fifth book in a series. Oh, I wish I discovered Scaredy Squirrel sooner because I often feel the same way at parties. Perhaps not as nervous as Scaredy Squirrel, but I’m not a fan of people singing Happy Birthday to me and nobody would ever surprise me with a party. The illustrations are very humorous as the reader sees his party plans.

Day 6 Birthday Book Celebration!

Book Review: Happy Birthday, Monster!

Posted on Updated on

Happy Birthday, Monster! 
Written and Illustrated by Scott Beck 
Published October 1, 2007 by Abrams Books for Young Readers
Ages: 5-8, 32 pages 

Ben is hosting a surprise party for his friend Doris the dragon. Of course, this isn’t your typical party because monsters are on the guest list. The guests include an alien, ghost, robot, mummy, skeleton, and vampire. The book is simple, but very humorous since monsters act and talk differently. There’s brief text, but also jokes and conversations between the guests. A few party highlights include: the robot destroys a piñata, the mummy dances the twist, the ghost jump ropes, Ben gets stuck on the ceiling after playing parachute, and everyone runs when the dragon blows out the birthday candles. I think adults will also get a laugh from the jokes, such as Ben asks the robot if he’d like some nuts and the robot’s response: ‘No thank you… robot prefer bolts!’. Happy Birthday, Monster! is a cute book that will get laughs and no scares.

Day 4 Birthday Book Celebration!

Book Review: On the Night You Were Born

Posted on Updated on

On the Night You Were Born 

Written and Illustrated by Nancy Tillman 
Published October 17, 2006 by Feiwel & Friends
Ages: 3+ , 32 pages 
Topics: World Celebrates Your Birth 
 
 

On the night you were born, the moon smiled with such wonder that the stars peeked in to see you and the night wind whispered, “Life will never be the same.” Because there had never been anyone like you…ever in the world.

Heaven blew every trumpet and played every horn on the wonderful, marvelous night you were born.

Nancy Tillman (On the Night You Were Born)

On the Night You Were Born is a sweet melody as it celebrates when you were born into this world. The message throughout the book is that there is only one you and the world will never be the same now that you are here. Musical notes fill each page as the sound of your name travels through all lands. It travels across the ocean, through trees, and past farmlands. When the great news of your birth was heard the panda bears danced, the geese flew home, and the moon stayed up until the morning. The pictures are beautiful and the words are poetic. Both young and old readers will smile as they imagine how the world changed when they were born.

Day 3 Birthday Book Celebration!

Book Review: The Secret Birthday Message

Posted on Updated on

The Secret Birthday Message 

Written and Illustrated by Eric Carle 
Published September 1, 1991 by Harper Collins Children’s Books
Ages: 3-5, 26 pages 

Tim receives a birthday letter the night before his birthday with a secret message. The message has words, but the missing spaces are filled with shapes. The book follows the message with the first symbol, which is a moon. Similar to other Eric Carle books the pages have cut outs for more interaction. For example, there’s a triangle cut for the entrance to a cave, a circle to climb through, and a rectangle to peep through the door to see the birthday present. The final page has the entire path that followed the secret birthday message with arrows. The pictures are beautiful with bright and bold colors. Children can identify similar shapes in the room while reading.

 

Day 2 Birthday Book Celebration!

 

Happy Birthday to Me!!!

Posted on Updated on

Today’s my birthday, so I thought I’d give a week of birthday book cheer. Who doesn’t enjoy a great book for their birthday or reading about their day? And just one day is too few to celebrate.

 

 

 

Happy Birthday to You! 

Written and Illustrated by Dr. Seuss 
Published August 12, 1959 by New York: Random House
Ages: 6+
64 pages
 

This delightful Dr. Seuss book takes place in the town of Katroo where they sure know how to celebrate each birthday. Katroo is the only place with the Great Birthday Bird who awakes the birthday person and takes on a journey to enjoy their special day. Along the journey, they enjoy hot dogs rolled on a spool, pick the fanciest pet, greeted by Drummers and Strummers at the Birthday Pal-alace, and eat the only birthday cake made of guaranteed certified strictly Grade-A peppermint cucumber sausage-paste butter! (I’m not sure I’d like to taste that cake.) Happy Birthday to You! is slow at times, but it’s a fun book that’s sure to make you smile.

Today you are you! That is truer than true!
There is no one alive who is you-er than you!
Shout loud, “I am lucky to be what I am!
Thank goodness I’m not just a clam or a ham
Or a dusty old jar of sour gooseberry jam! 
I am what I am! That’s a great thing to be!
If I say so myself, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME! 

– Dr. Seuss (Happy Birthday to You!)

 

Day 1 Birthday Book Celebration!

Book Review: Rhyme Time Valentine

Posted on Updated on

Rhyme Time Valentine

Written and Illustrated by Nancy Poydar 
Published August 28, 2002 by Holiday House 
Ages: 6-8, 32 pages 
 

Ruby loves Valentine’s Day and spends time making the perfect Valentine’s Day card with a special rhyme for her classmates. She lightly teases other students’ cards, since she can make perfect hearts and has already finished. She plans to wear all red on Valentine’s Day. Finally, on Valentine’s Day she bundles up for the cold weather and takes her homemade cards to school. However, the strong wind causes the cards to fly out of the bag. She arrives at school upset, but decides to make Valentine’s Day cards with the supplies in the classroom yet there’s no more red paper. She remembers the candy hearts from her parents and gives them to her classmates. Ruby learns that cards don’t need to be perfect, instead it’s the message that counts.

Rhyme Time Valentine is a sweet book with rhymes. If you’d like to remember making Valentine’s cards and passing them out to mailboxes in class then you’ll enjoy this book.

 

Book Review: Mouse’s First Valentine

Posted on Updated on

Mouse’s First Valentine 

Written by Lauren Thompson 
Illustrated by Buket Erdogan 
Published January 1, 2002 by Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing
Ages: 3-5, 32 pages 
 

Little Mouse follows big sister, Minka, around the house watching as she creates something. Mouse watches as Minka gets red paper, white lace, ribbon, and sticky glue. She carefully puts all the supplies together and ‘surprises’ Little Mouse with a Valentine’s Day card. I suggest this book for younger ages, because there are questions after Minka finds each item. The readers can guess what Minka found before turning the page. Children can make their own Valentine’s Day cards with simpler supplies. The illustrations appear as though they are painted on canvas. If you enjoyed Mouse’s First Valentine, you’ll be happy to know that Little Mouse is a series with many firsts.

Book Review: If You’ll Be My Valentine

Posted on Updated on

If You’ll Be My Valentine

Written by Cynthia Rylant
Illustrated by Fumi Kosaka
Published December 1, 2005 by Harper Trophy 
Ages: 4-6, 32 pages 

 

If You’ll Be My Valentine begins each page with ‘If you’ll be my valentine…” then it gives a loving message that relates to the page. For example, a cat receives a scratch behind the ears, a dog gets to lick feet, a friend/sibling gets a story read to them, and a bird receives a song. There are a total of eleven unique Valentine messages. If You’ll Be My Valentine isn’t exactly a story, but it’s a cute book for young ages to appreciate and love all things and people. I also enjoyed this book, because the wording has a smooth flow and somewhat rhymes.

 
 

 

 
 
 

Book Review: Love, Splat

Posted on Updated on

Love, Splat 

Written and Illustrated by Rob Scotton 
Published December 1, 2008 by Harper Collins
Ages: 5-8
40 pages 
 

Splat is in love with a special cat in class named Kitten. Splat has problems, since his tummy always seems to rumble when Kitten is near. He’s not even sure if Kitten likes him, because she always pulls his ears, pokes his belly, calls him smelly, and then runs away. Splat is puzzled, but takes his special Valentine to school. The cats exchange their cards at school, but Splat decides to wait until after recess. Another cat, Spike, sees Splat’s Valentine card to Kitten then states that he also likes her. Splat and Spike proclaim each likes Kitten more. Finally, Splat sees Spike’s card to Kitten and feels awful because the card is bigger. Splat throws his card in the trash, but doesn’t realize that Kitten found the card and read it. Inside is a simple message: ‘I Like You.’ Splat also receives a Valentine’s Day card from Kitten with a poem and three little words: ‘I Like You’. I thought this was an adorable Valentine’s Day book. The book is humorous and  sweet. Rob Scotton wrote other Splat the Cat books.

Book Review: Love, Ruby Valentine

Posted on Updated on

Love, Ruby Valentine

Written by Laurie Friedman 
Illustrated by Avril Cravath 
Published June 15,2006 by Lerner Publishing Group
Ages: 6+, 32 pages 

 

Ruby Valentine’s favorite day is Valentine’s Day, since she loves telling everyone ‘I Love You’ and it’s the perfect fit for her name. Ruby Valentine lives in Heartland and even her bird is named Lovebird. She has big plans to celebrate for the entire town. Ruby Valentine bakes heart cookies and cake, makes glitter Valentine’s cards, and puts ribbons around goody bags. After counting down days she’s now exhausted and sleeps to prepare for the next day. However, when Ruby Valentine finally awakes it’s now February 15th. She feels awful that she’s missed Valentine’s Day and sadly puts things away for next year, but Lovebird peeps that they can still deliver the goods to town. Ruby Valentine is afraid that the people in Heartland will be upset, but she’s pleasantly surprised when the people rejoice as she shares her treats. Now Ruby Valentine tells people she loves them all year and each card is signed ‘Love, Ruby Valentine’. The entire book is written in a cute rhyme.

Ruby loved to say, “I Love you,” and she loved to say, “Be mine,” and she loved to sign her hearts and cards…Love, Ruby Valentine.

Laurie Friedman (Love, Ruby Valentine)