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Boone and Jacque: The Brothers’ Odyssey

In The Brothers’ Odyssey, written by A.G. Flitcher, Boone and Jacque have been sent to another realm with their friend Shammy. Boone, Jacque, and Shammy know they must not stay still for too long in any place as danger follows them. The children search for Flint, who was separated from them earlier. Not knowing what treacherous paths are ahead, they go out into the darkness. Surviving an ocean, trees, sokas, and King Reeve, the trio manages to make their way back to Saddleton, or what is now known as New Saddalia.

The Brothers’ Odyssey is a phenomenal novel. This second installment in the series is even more exciting and thrilling than the first novel. This second book answered many questions that readers were left with at the first novel’s end. This epic fantasy novel is creative and has many unexpected twists and turns. It will keep readers guessing even more than the first novel. Flitchers great imagination takes readers into a world that is original and full of surprises. The action-packed story flows smoothly with little time for readers to catch their breath before another surprise or twist is revealed.

The wasteland realm A. G. Flitcher created where Boone, Jacque, and Shammy were transported will really come alive in readers’ minds. The detail written into the story made it very easy to make the words turn into images. For example, there is a scene where the ocean is turned into oil that is incredibly vivid.

In the last novel, readers were looking for Boone to explore his feelings more in-depth, especially those for Shammy. He was able to do that in this book. Shammy was also able to figure out her feelings for Boone as well. Jacque really seemed to be wise beyond his years in this book. He explored his own emotions and dealt with them while finding out about his family. This book tied up all the loose ends from the previous book. It will also leave readers wanting more.

The Brothers’ Odyssey is a riveting epic fantasy novel filled with adventure and action. Middle school, teenagers, and young adult readers will enjoy this fantasy adventure with some mystery mixed in.

Pages: 263 | ASIN : B08KRMFVRJ

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Chesapeake Nursery Rhyme

It’s a beautiful day on the Chesapeake Bay. Emmett the Rockfish is ready to play and hang out with all his friends that live around the bay. A blue heron, otters, a turtle, seahorses, a bald eagle, beavers, a snowy egret, blue crabs, and an osprey are all on their way to join Emmett for a day at the beach. Each animal in this whimsical nursery rhyme has a personality, and author Kay Swann-Gregor gives simple facts that fit into the story for each one.

Readers will learn about life in the watershed of the Chesapeake Bay from this beautifully written picture book. Elissa DiRenzo’s charismatic illustrations will draw children in and give those reading lots of creatures to point out and find on each page. All the animals look inviting and friendly, encouraging young readers to know more about them. Kay Swann-Gregor’s writing style flows flawlessly, making this an enjoyable story to read aloud.

Readers young and old will find excitement as the animals one by one gather together for their day of fun and play. The adventure builds with each new animal that joins the party. This imaginative nursery rhyme shows the diversity of the Chesapeake Bay environment. Readers will see how the expansive environment ranging from birds in the sky to animals that live in and around the water, all work together.

Chesapeake Nursery Rhyme will give readers from the bay area fond memories of nostalgia. Readers who have never been to this beautiful location will learn all about all the wonders that live in and around the bay. Teachers will find this a helpful picture book for preschool and kindergarten students to introduce different animals in the area. This is a great teaching tool for children in the second and third grades to introduce ecosystems around the Chesapeake Bay.

Pages: 24 | ASIN : B08N61XZV3

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Sticky Icky Vicky

Vicky loves the outdoors. It doesn’t matter how dirty the activity is, Vicky does it with all her heart. She is very proud of her nickname Sticky Icky Vicky that was given to her by her two best friends Rhea and Betty. Vicky did have one fear though, water. When she was just three years old she almost drowned in the ocean. Her dad saved her, but ever since she avoids the water, even baths. But one day Betty invites Vicky to her birthday party and it is at a waterslide park. Vicky must overcome her fear or she will not be able to go to the party.

Picture book Sticky Icky Vicky: Courage over Fear by authors Alysia and Michael Ssentamu tells the story of a courageous young girl that has to battle her fear of the water in order to not miss out on fun things with her friends. Believe in yourself is the theme of the book and it is presented in a tangible way that elementary school-age children will be able to conceptualize.

Illustrator Noor Alshalabi uses her colorful and whimsical drawings to engage children in this heartwarming story of overcoming fears. The stunning artwork will draw in readers and really bring this meaningful story to life. The authors include at the end of the book statements and questions for teachers and parents to use to open up the discussion of fear with children. This is an invaluable resource for this complex topic. Another great inclusion to this extraordinary children’s book is a QR code to the audio reading of the book.

Sticky Icky Vicky: Courage over Fear is a great character-building picture book for elementary-age children. Parents and teachers will love the resources included in helping bring home this topic and make the concept approachable to children.

Pages: 38 | ASIN : B09JHXG2NM

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You Belong Too

Annie is a new student at Meadowbrook Public School. She is very nervous about starting at a new school and having to make new friends. Her mom tells her “You can do hard things,” but Annie is not so sure. Throughout the day Annie is afraid to talk to other kids and sits alone. That night she decides she is going to start a friendship club at her new school. The next day she puts her plan into action, looking for all the kids that are alone and bringing them together. Working with her new friends Annie creates an environment of kindness that spreads through her class.

You Belong Too by author Tara Anderson and illustrated by Carissa Harris is a feel-good picture book for early elementary kids. The meaningful message of kindness is presented in a secular format that all families can appreciate. Anderson highlights that despite people being new or different they can be included as well. Harris’s expressive illustrations will help young children understand the emotions such as uncertainty, sadness, and acceptance when a new friend is brought into the circle. Children will be engaged with the stunning colors and playful character drawings.

Included with this picture book is the Friendship Flower, this playful illustration could easily be turned into a classroom activity for students to create. The symbolic flower will help children realize all the different things that go into showing kindness and being a good friend and classmate.

You Belong Too is perfect for teachers and classroom libraries. This beautifully written and illustrated story book conceptualizes the idea of kindness in a way that young elementary and kindergarten students will be able to understand. This is a must read for school children especially in a time when bullying is on the rise to instill the message of inclusion and kindness from the start.

Pages: 32 | ASIN : B09LR9LSTK

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The Problem with Poppy (The Sumatran Trilogy) 

The Problem with Poppy (The Sumatran Trilogy) by [Emma Sandford, Olena Osadcha]

It is hard being a porcupine. Poppy is a young porcupine that scares easily due to being mistreated in the past. Now when someone new approaches her she sticks out her quills, stomping her feet, and hissing at them. It makes it very hard to find new friends, and Poppy is very lonely because of this. One day a young tiger tried to make friends with Poppy and she scared him away, instantly feeling bad. Today was going to be different though, today Poppy was going to go find the little tiger and apologize. After finding the young tiger disaster strikes and Poppy must overcome her fears to save her new friend.

I found the development of Poppy’s character appealing. A timid little porcupine that reacts with fear to all new interactions, turns into a character that is strong and loyal. Poppy will be relatable to young children that are often afraid of new people and situations. Poppy shows them that it is okay to be afraid while still doing new things.

When looking for a children’s book that has a meaningful message, captivating illustrations, and a unique story line look no further. Emma Sandford’s picture book The Problem with Poppy hits all the right marks for children and the young at heart. The reading level is ideal for kindergarteners and those that are on an early elementary reading level.

Pages: 17 | ASIN: B095XF3RK5

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