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The Adventures Of Pick Pock Tick Tock: The Attack Of The Monkeys

Three teenagers struggle to fit in at the local middle school. Rad, a boy with a warrior’s heart and an artist’s eye, fights to understand why mundane school subjects like math are important. Mia, an athletic girl, strives to get to the top no matter what, especially if that means proving she’s the best in a fight. Eric, a quiet boy with Tourette Syndrome, struggles to communicate and find understanding. When the school suddenly catches fire, all three children find themselves in the same proverbial boat. With their teachers at their wit’s end and their parents called to speak with the principal, Rad, Mia, and Eric soon begin a journey to the small town of Pic Pock for enrollment in a behavioral course to improve their performance at school. But the course is beyond anything they could have imagined, and a wild adventure soon begins in the mysterious woods surrounding the quiet town.

The Adventures of Pick Pock Tick Tock: Attack of the Monkeys by Michael Clarke is an outside-the-box middle-grade adventure. The struggles of Eric, Mia, and Rad are understandable and easy to identify with. Rad is often bored with school and dreams of becoming a great warrior one day. Mia wants to push herself and win but has difficulty relying on others and resents being told what to do. Eric is the character that touched my heart the most. Shy and often misunderstood, Eric fights to find his inner courage and focus. Together, all three must learn to help each other if they hope to pass the tests ahead.

This book is fast-paced and has a good page length for the age group. However, I felt there were a few problems, mostly in how Eric was portrayed. Although I liked that a character with Tourette Syndrome was included in the story, I thought the character could have been represented with more sensitivity. Although the book’s tone is light and not meant to be taken too seriously, the depiction of Tourette Syndrome in the book could be seen as offensive in a few instances. I also disliked that the teachers in the story had so little patience and respect for a child with special needs.

The story is highly engaging and ends with the promise of many more adventures. Though we have only scratched the surface of the magical mysteries of the town of Pick Pock, the continuing tale of Eric, Mia, and Rad has lots of potential. This journey of three young teens trying to find their place in the world has only just begun. Great for ages 10 and up who like a story where anything is possible, this fast-moving tale is perfect for reading on a relaxing Saturday afternoon.

Pages: 101 | ASIN : B0BM9RC95C

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God Made It All

In God Made It All by Ruthie Godfrey and illustrated by Helen Ayle are a match made in heaven. Godfrey’s exquisite writing skills are accentuated by Ayle’s majestic artistic abilities resulting in one powerful duo. We are taken on a journey of illustrative beauty through all the places God has touched and his goodness. All that surrounds us and all that is, God made it all.

“From the quietest blowing breeze to the loudest clap of thunder” especially stood out to me because I could feel the sweeping of the wind through the page. The art is remarkably masterful and connects the reader to the story’s overall theme. Each page is immensely evocative and held me captivated and yearning for more. The author has exceptionally encapsulated the incredible power of God throughout her verses in this book. It is apparent that this writer has tremendous passion for her writing, creating, and faith.

God Made It All is the perfect picture book for any person’s library and easy enough for beginner readers to get through and understand clearly. I would imagine this book to also be a great tool in starting conversations about God, the world around us, and God’s goodness. How everything and everyone is connected through God in so many ways.

Pages: 37 | ASIN : B09L7CCPBM

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Where’s My Monster?

There is a family of monsters, the Archon Family, and they are very hungry. There are five of them, Mamma, Papa, Calvin, Aurora, and Bryce. This family does not eat food, instead, they eat fear. To find their food they hide in children’s rooms and scare them as they come yelling “BOO.” They do this to a little boy and he runs away. But the monsters are still hungry so they wait for another child to come in.

Lucy is curious and decided to investigate these monsters, but she brings a candle with her to light the way. When she enters she is not afraid of the monsters, they are afraid of her! Then something amazing happens, the monsters are no longer hungry. The warmth and light fill them up and no one is afraid anymore.

Where’s My Monster written by Wendy Monica Winter and illustrated by Yulia Popova is a delightful picture book with an important message for children. The message that love is stronger than fear is present and illustrated in a creative manner that will engage young children.

Yulia Popova’s watercolor illustrations are vibrant and memorable. The image of Aurora is my favorite with the little bows tied below each of her five eyes. Aurora is the first one to go to the light and exclaim how it is comforting to her. The joy and innocence that radiates from this illustration are magical and children will pick up on it right away.

The quote from Martin Luther King Jr at the end sums up the story perfectly. Love will drive out darkness, you can not find light from more darkness and hate. Winter has taken this concept and created a children’s book that they can relate to and understand the message. Facing hate and darkness to show others how fulfilling it can be to live in the light, to show kindness and acceptance, is an extraordinary message. This beautifully written story is presented on a level that even preschoolers and kindergarteners can grasp the concept.

Where’s My Monster is a well-crafted picture book combining a meaningful message and remarkable illustrations. The combination makes this a perfect book for teachers, schools, and caregivers. With a secular approach, it is sure to be a welcome addition to help teach kindness and compassion.

Pages: 56 | ASIN : B09MSX18JW

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