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The News According to Mr. Freels

The News According to Mr. Freels is a feel-good read that will have you smiling from beginning to end. Readers are introduced to an old man named Mr. Freels, who lives alone and spends his days sitting on his porch listening to the news. Mr. Freels likes to share the news with anyone who would listen, but unfortunately, he cannot hear so well, so the news he relays to others is not always accurate.

Author Sheri Lynn Buckner has written a story that takes young readers to a time when life was simple, and people would enjoy time outside and even enjoy having conversations with one another. Mr. Freels’s character is charming, and he reminded me of hearing a story about my grandfather. The images in the story are so beautiful and transport the reader into Mr. Freels’ world. I appreciated that the author not only told a story but she also aimed to challenge the reader by asking questions at the end of the book. This is the perfect way to involve the reader and to test their comprehension. There is also a section at the end of the book where the reader can write down the definition of words that they did not understand.

This book is the perfect read for parents to share with their young ones, and the activities at the end will certainly be a great project to work on together. I highly recommend this charming and captivating read to those who want to learn a little about history and simpler times.

Pages: 46 | ASIN : B093LKCSBF

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Billy’s Wide Crack

What happens when you wake up and look in the mirror while getting ready for school only to realize something is really not right. Unfortunately, that is what happened to Billy. He discovers something alarming that morning, and his solution is to hide in his bed and pretend it doesn’t exist. Then, one by one, his family members come in and observe what he has seen, and all of them are unsure of what to make of the situation.

Billy’s Wide Crack, written by JD Von Lafsalot and illustrator by Pietro Peres, is a humorous picture book with children and adults laughing with each page. The entertaining images and expressions on the characters’ faces will have children guessing right from the start as to what crack Billy has found. I loved that on each page, there was a little bee that seemed to add to the drama of the situation, like sitting on the dad’s tie.

At the end of the book are some quick questions teachers can use to review the story with their class. This helps children recall and identify the context of stories. Some questions require them to have keen observation skills and will allow them to go back and pick out details they may have missed at first.

Billy’s Wide Crack: A Fun Rhyming Story of Assumptions and False Thinking is a light-hearted picture book that will have readers of all ages laughing. With children’s active imaginations, the story will surely bring about many fun, exciting class discussions and laughs.

Pages: 35 | ASIN : B0BFDTGNH7

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The Ghost of the Torn Underpants

A ghost has the unfortunate luck of getting bestowed the name Ghost of the Torn Underpants. Now the way it works is once another ghost gives a name to an unnamed ghost, it can not be changed; that is just how it works. Upset and frustrated at the constant teasing he endured after receiving this name, Ghost of the Torn Underpants moved to a new mansion alone. He was very lonely, but it was better than being teased nonstop over a name he could not change.

One day the ghost postman brought him an invitation to a party at his old mansion. He decided to give it a try as he was lonely all alone. He found a girl ghost sitting alone when he arrived, looking sad. When he asked her what her name was, she shyly said it was Ghost of the Backwards Dress. She was teased just as much as he was, and they formed a friendship. Together they learned to love their unique names and realize being different does not make you a bad person or less worthy of friendship and respect.

The Ghost of the Torn Underpants, written by Isabel Ricardo and illustrated by Pedro Pires, is a captivating children’s story about differences and accepting those that are not the same as you. With the increase in diversity in schools, there are many names children have never heard before. I think this book is an excellent resource for teachers and parents to show that names are unique and not something to be teased about. Ricardo teaches children about acceptance of themselves and others, standing up for themselves, and the value of friendship.

The bold and beautiful watercolor illustrations bring this meaningful story to life. The Ghost of the Torn Underpants has bright red hair that waves like a flame. This makes him stand out visually as well as his name, drawing attention from the other ghosts that fit a more traditional appearance. All the illustrations are engaging with small details that children can pick up on and look for. This is further enhanced by an exercise at the end of the book. The author asks questions about what children saw in the pictures, like how many letters the postman carries.

The Ghost of the Torn Underpants is a well-crafted children’s book combining important messages about acceptance, diversity, and friendship. The author writes in a manner that young kindergarten children will understand the message but is mature enough that children in older grades will be drawn to the story as well.

Pages: 37 | ASIN : B08QG9NGK8

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Kraken Crew

The Kraken motley crew of pirates have big plans to sail to Mount Doom and steal the gold treasure from the fierce dragons. This dangerous mission has never been accomplished before but Captain Kraken knows his crew is up to the job and with teamwork they can reach the island and get the gold. Banshee, Storm Boy, Elf Witch, and parrot sail the ship with Captain Kraken. Together they encounter several dangerous obstacles and each time, a member of the ship uses their special skill to help the crew escape. When they reach Mount Doom, it looks hopeless as the swarm of dragons comes out and attacks. Can the crew use teamwork and defeat the dragons or will they too end up at the bottom of the sea?

Kraken Crew is written and illustrated by Dan Malster. This picture book is written in a fun rhyme scheme that will draw in children and keep their attention. There is a good balance of scary situations with fun and laughter with the crew. The illustrations that go with the text are fantastic. The artwork is bright and colorful, the images have a lot of details that you can pick out from each scene. Each page has something hidden, a mouse, a worm, or a fun detail to highlight the power each crewmate has. My favorite little detail was the list of ship rules when the crew is eating, number six is “Captain’s hat is not a toilet!”

The moral messages presented in this creative story make this fun book spectacular. Malster shows that everyone has special talents that can be helpful and every person is valuable. He also shows that teamwork is needed to accomplish big goals, that no one person can do everything themselves.

Kraken Crew is a magical children’s fantasy picture book for kindergarteners and young elementary students. This enchanting story will enthrall children with musical rhymes and dramatic artwork.

Pages: 36 | ISBN : 1739824601

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