Reviews of Children Books I Read in 2016

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An enchanting modern fable

The frogs enjoy their life at the pond, filling their days with fly brunches and night music. But one day a little frog finds a crown at the bottom of the pond and is instantly pronounced a queen. She starts doing what queens do: making demands and expecting others to serve her. But when her royal subjects start to question her authority, she must prove she's fit to rule—if she can.

Reminiscent of Aesop's fables, this beautifully illustrated book is sure to start a discussion about the concept of leadership and the importance of humility.







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 photo 28256172_zpseupihqqf.jpgMaxwell the monkey operates a barbershop, where he offers everything from a trim to a chop. He excels at helping his fellow animals look shipshape and feel their best, no matter how unruly their locks. Whatever the coiffure quandary, Maxwell is your monkey. He tames Baboon’s curls, styles Lion’s mane, and trims Bear’s beard, exclaiming each time: “Your hair’s the best I’ve seen today!”

All’s well until Elephant comes in, feeling sad because he has no hair. Can Maxwell help? Of course! After some careful thinking, he devises a solution to help even Elephant feel his best.

Cale Atkinson’s bright, cartoon-like digital illustrations beckon readers into Maxwell’s world in this playful tale. Rhyming text, speech bubbles, and a refrain make this story a fun read-aloud accessible to early readers. Full of personality and style, Maxwell has a genuine charm and enthusiasm for helping others that kids will find immediately contagious.





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 photo 32956666_zpsheccnobh.jpgA lovely and tranquil celebration of nature

The sun has set, the day has ended, but the night hasn't quite arrived yet. This magical twilight is known as the blue hour. Everything in nature sky, water, flowers, birds, foxes comes together in a symphony of blue to celebrate the merging of night and day.

With its soothing text and radiant artwork, this elegant picture book displays the majesty of nature and reminds readers that beauty is fleeting but also worth savoring.
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 photo 30817596_zpsed5pgrdg.jpgOne by one, Caterpillar, Tadpole, and Flamingo gaze up at the night sky and wish upon a star for their wildest dreams. Baboon, who can’t help but overhear, insists these dreams could never come true. But when he sees Caterpillar turn into a winged butterfly, Tadpole into a dancing frog, and Flamingo into a beautiful pink bird, Baboon realizes that a transformative power exists between these stars and the animals once they truly believe in themselves and their dreams. When Baboon tries out this secret, CATCH-M, his Magical, Mystical, Wished-Upon Star, whooshes down from the heavens to wham! ignite the courage in his chest too, and what happens next is fantastic!

Inclusive of an Arts/Activities resource section, this richly illustrated book demonstrates that together we can all be inspired to identify and pursue our dreams, no matter how big or impossible they may seem. Dream Big is the perfect heart-warming gift of encouragement for anyone starting a new phase in their life or a great send-off for grads—preschool, high school, college, and beyond!


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 photo 28957170_zpsakazwdnl.jpgPrincess Lemonella is born angry. She always looks sour and never smiles.
When the king and queen try to find a prince for her, she sends all the candidates away.
Until one prince just rides past her …

A funny and romantic fairy tale about how love can make you smile.




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