#Mini Book Reviews #Reading For Kids

Reading for Kids is a meme started by Rae Longest at Powerful Women Readers.

I usually post these on Sundays, but as we read picture books every day, Monday is as good day as any to share our new finds.

My Ocean is Blue by Darren Lebeuf and Ashley Barron

From the blurb: “This is my ocean,” the young girl begins as she heads over the dunes with her mother. Then, as they pass the whole day at the seaside, she lyrically describes her ocean in simple, sensory detail.

Our thoughts:
The protagonist of the story is a little girl who uses crutches to help her to walk. I could really relate to her as I spent almost a year using them as a child. The girl spends a lovely day at the beach with her mother. She sees the ocean in its variety of colours and characteristics- big and small at the same time, shallow in some places and deep in others, slimy, sandy, sparkly, dry and wet. She focuses on sounds – the ‘splashes and crashes and echoes, and squawks’ – and the marine life in its glorious diversity.
There is a lot of repetition which is important for a young reader and a lot of vocabulary building (e.g. colours-‘vibrant pink’, ‘rusty orange’, ‘faded white’) to help your child describe their sensory experiences.
The cut-paper illustrations are simple and gorgeous at the same time. Charming and original, this book inspires children to pay close attention to the natural beauty around them.

What Larry Grew in his Garden by laura Alary and Kass Reich

Grace and Larry are neighbours. Together they take care of a little garden where they plant and water and prune things. They solve problems as they come up by doing a bit of research and using their creativity. When Grace asks Larry why they are growing tiny tomato plants, Larry asks her to wait and then she will see that this project is about much more than tomatoes. and indeed it is about growing a community spirit and facilitating kind interactions between the neighbours.

I love the fact that this kind and beautiful book is based on a real person, a teacher, who helps children overcome their fears and mistrust, and become a part of community. He asks his students grow tiny tomato plants and give them as a present with a thoughtful note, showing their appreciation of the person they are giving it to.

The colours are so gentle and lovely, and the whole story is full of genuine optimism and kindness. It is also about persevering, problem solving, and cooperation. The book is aimed at slightly older children than my toddler, 6-7 year olds.

Why do we cry? by Fran pintadera and Ana Sender

This book is so beautiful and poetic!
A little boy asks his mother why we cry and she gently explains all the different emotions expressed by tears: sadness, anger, loneliness, frustration, confusion, and happiness. The pictures are wonderfully expressive. They feature the mother as a young girl experiencing all the feelings she is talking about, and this makes her explanation so powerful. The message of tears being a universal language and helping us in a variety ways (to relieve pain or stress, to express our joy, to empathise with another person to name but a few) and not knowing gender, race, or age boundaries is a very positive one. This book is a marvelous resource for parents and teachers who are trying to help children develop their emotional intelligence and deepen their understanding of the world.

‘We cry for a lot of reasons, Mario. Sometimes we cry because the sadness we feel is so great that we just can’t contain it..

Other times, we cry because we’re full of anger and we need to let it out, like a storm cloud releases rain. after that, we feel lighter, just like the cloud…

We cry because, sometimes, we don’t understand the world, and our tears go in search of the answers we need.

We cry because it helps us grow. Every tear nourishes us, little by little. If we didn’t cry, we’d turn to stone…

and we can also cry when we are happy.

Thank you to NetGalley and Kids Can Press for the advanced review copies provided in exchange for an honest opinion.

Thank you for stopping by! Wishing you happy holidays and wonderful, peaceful time with your loved ones!

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13 Comments

  1. Great reviews Toni. I have read the last two and pretty much agree with all you said. I have not posted my reviews yet. I have not seen the first one, I will have to see if I can find it. It sounds lovely. I love cut paper illustrations.

    Liked by 1 person

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