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Kayla Travels in Her Dreams

Kayla wakes up and is excited for her family to travel and see their friends. She is all packed and ready to head to the airport, full of energy and anticipation. Unforintly, her father has to tell her that they can no longer go on their trip that day because of a big snowstorm. Kayla is devastated and ends up falling asleep while crying on her mom’s lap. In her sleep, Kayla dreams of traveling. She visits places all around the world and sees her friends in her dreams, but her family is not in her dream with her. After many countries and sites, Kayla realizes that even though she has her friends, her family is not with her, and she wants to return home.

Kayla Travels in Her Dreams by author Kyra Zeidan is a magical story about traveling and the importance of family. Children reading this picture book will see images from Dubai, China, Australia, France, Egypt, and even the Amazon Rainforest in Brazil. Each country she visits gives children a few fun facts about the location, accompanied by bright, colorful images created by illustrator Musa Abdul Aziz Hasan. They will also be shown that even with all the unique places a person can visit, it is not the same if you are not with your family and the ones you love. Therefore, traveling is better with family.

This educational children’s book includes resources for parents and teachers. The included questions and lesson ideas allow this story to be used in various ways by parents and teachers. There is even a page for cutting out the characters to create their own stories.

Kayla Travels in Her Dreams is a whimsical picture book that takes children worldwide to see all the unique sites found in different countries. Parents will love the included message about the importance of family.

Pages: 28 | ASIN : B0BHKQ6X6S

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Buddy and Bailey’s Alaskan Adventure

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Alaska is home to many different animals and environments. From icebergs to thick woods to miles of grasslands, there is a home for all kinds of animals. Buddy and Bailey, two dog brothers, take readers on an exciting adventure all over Alaska to meet new animals and make new friends. First, they meet a beaver, some moose, a polar bear family, a pack of wolves, some grizzly bears, ox, caribou, salmon, and puffins, and finally, they meet up and play with a dog sled team! They have traveled all over the state to meet these animals, which has been an exciting adventure.

Buddy and Bailey’s Alaskan Adventure by Kai Reeg, illustrated by M.F. Shobaru, does more than show readers different animals. It shares some of the highlights of Alaska, Mount Denali, and the Kenai Peninsula and even talks about the Iditarod race. Young children will learn so much about Alaska by reading this book. After learning about each animal, there is a question to keep children engaged in the story and actively listening.

I love all the different animals that children are introduced to in this picture book. Children will learn more than just the animal names. They get to know simple facts about them and about where they live. It is an excellent introduction to the different wildlife in Alaska. I can see parents using this to read to children before taking a trip there and getting kids excited about everything they may see.

The narrators are two dog brothers, which makes this exciting book even more enjoyable. Who would not want to go on a journey led by two dogs to meet new animal friends? Teachers and parents will enjoy reading Buddy and Bailey’s Alaskan Adventure as much as children as they learn all about Alaska and the wildlife that make it their home.

Pages: 33 : ISBN 979-8-9851783-0-2

A Calf Named Brian Higgins

A Calf Named Brian Higgins, written by Kristen Ball, is a child-friendly story that addresses serious and interesting topics, including poverty, different cultures, friendship, mourning death, and personal development. The story follows Hannah Higgins, a typical grumpy teenager from suburban New York who is dragged to the plains of rural Kenya to visit her Uncle, Brian Higgins, while he is there doing charity work. Leaving behind her comfortable American lifestyle for one that is drastically less comfortable poses many challenges that Hannah needs to overcome, such as limited access to fresh water. By spending time with the local people and being immersed in the culture, she slowly understands why her Uncle loves Sauri so much.

This story answers a couple of important questions. How would a typical white teenager react to going into rural Africa? And what does it take for that teenager to change their perspective on their life? Ball tackles both of these questions in a way that is simple enough for children to understand but sophisticated enough for all ages to appreciate. This is a story of personal growth. Hannah goes from a naive and unworldly teenager to an individual who begins to value her life, others around her, and opportunities wholeheartedly.

Ball’s debut novel was written based on her experiences of being the first westerner to live in Sauri, the Kenyan village where her story is set. Therefore the book touches on many of her first-hand experiences, enabling her to paint a far more vivid and authentic landscape of an environment many Westerners (especially children) are likely not to be familiar with. Ball’s spin on the story’s events helps to give the story a more genuine and sincere feel. The reader is not being presented with a shallow story from someone with limited knowledge of these complex topics. Still, they’re experiencing the insight of someone who lived under these circumstances.

A Calf Named Brian Higgins is a fantastic novel to introduce children to heavy and challenging topics, such as poverty or entitlement, in a simple and engaging way. It’s essential for children to be exposed to several cultures and walks of life, and reading this novel with them and discussing it would be a great starting point.

Pages: 272 | ASIN : B07DNKC7G4

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