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Amber Tambourine and the Land of Laugh-a-Lot

Amber Tambourine and the Land of Laugh-a-Lot by [Aimee C Trafton]

Amber Tambourine and the Land of Laugh-a-Lot follows a little girl who takes her dogs for a walk in the woods after the rain stops. As they make their way through the woods Amber discovers a polka dotted rainbow that leads to the magical town of Laugh-a-Lot where everything is polka dotted and the people sing and dance all day.

This is a wonderfully imaginative children’s book that, like Alice in Wonderland, leads the main character and readers into a wonderous land where odd but fun things happen. The art is vivid and sharp and really accents the kaleidoscopic nature of Laugh-a-Lot. Children will have plenty of eye candy to enjoy in this book as Amber dances and sings the day away.

The story is easy to follow and understand, with some challenging words for young readers that will help build their vocabulary. When the fun ends and Amber returns home I was delighted to learn that her mother was in Laugh-a-Lot as a child too. This gives the story a fairy tale like quality with a deeper backstory than a simple child’s picture book often offers.

Amber Tambourine and the Land of Laugh-a-Lot is a delightful picture book that takes readers on a colorful journey to a land where having fun is easy.

Pages: 30 | ASIN: B095653NH6

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A Stranger in the Clearing

A Stranger in the Clearing: In the Woods Series by [Victoria Smith, Marcela Werkema]

A Stranger in the Clearing is a wonderful children’s picture book that follows a golden retriever named Sequoia who comes across a Piebald Deer in a forest clearing. The young deer is hiding and doesn’t want to return home. After some investigation Sequoia realizes the deer ran away from home to keep her family safe because her unique look makes her stand out to hunters. They both soon realize that what makes the deer unique is not its color but its boundless courage.

The illustrations in this children’s book are absolutely phenomenal. Each page has a sprayed graphic art with a soft color palette and striking contrasts, giving each piece an artistic look but ensuring the faces of the many adorable creatures throughout the story are all emotive. This is a perfect children’s story for parents to read to their kids at night. It reminds me of classic pieces of fairy tale literature, poetic lines coupled with the beautiful art to deliver a sentimental but enchanting story.

The story conveys some very important lessons told in a direct and easy to understand manner. We learn that it is not what we look like that defines us, but our actions. Sequoia, ever welcoming and loving, encourages the young deer and ensures her that the animals in the forest will love her for who she is.

A Stranger in the Clearing is an inspiring and colorful children’s book that teaches a valuable lesson in an easy to understand and heartwarming story.

Pages: 38 | ASIN: B08PDQF2Q3

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Mangrove Sands

Mangrove Sands: The Enchanted Sea World by [L. J. Nilsson]

Imagine having a dream that included all of your closest friends. You are swooped away hearing promises of future adventures below the sea to worlds beyond your wildest imagination. Your dream is so very vivid and involved that you wake up recalling you were ultimately sworn to secrecy. Picture waking up from this most amazing and magical experience, rushing to tell your friends about it all the while believing that everything you saw, touched, and felt was a fantastic figment of your imagination. Now, imagine listening as your friends describe for you the same dream down to the very last detail.

Mangrove Sands: The Enchanted Sea World, by L.J. Nilsson, takes four friends who all seemed destined for uncertain futures and are living far less than ideal lives and gives them a most magical experience. This short fantasy adventure story is a quick read that hands young readers relatable characters for whom they will be more than happy to cheer.

Nilsson caught this elementary teacher in the first chapter with the detailed descriptions of each of the four children. It is not often young readers get to see four characters all having either disabilities or suffering from some type of tragedy or abuse. Many stories may feature one of this character type, but to see so many as main characters is refreshing and gives me hope. Children need to see themselves reflected in the books they read, and seeing children they essentially know in Tommy, Maria, Jake, and Dino is uplifting to say the least.

One of the most captivating aspects of Nilsson’s work is the joy clearly conveyed in each of the main characters. Their everyday lives are such a stark contrast to the pure unfettered delight the children feel as they take this new path. They deserve happiness in massive doses, and the reader is witness to all of their discoveries, their joyful outbursts, and the colorful way in which the author describes their eagerness for more adventures.

Nilsson has developed a beautiful adventure story that also spreads a message of hope to its readers. Mangrove Sands: The Enchanted Sea World builds on the curiosity of youth, the power of dreams, and contains a strong message of kindness. It is just what today’s young readers need to feel. As it will appeal to readers of mixed genres, I would recommend Nilsson’s work to any upper elementary teacher looking to add a touching and heartfelt adventure story to their library.

Pages: 108 | ASIN: B087N5QGDT

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What’s So Great About Silent E?

What’s So Great About Silent E? is an entertaining children’s book that teaches readers about the importance of silent E and provides various fun examples of how silent E modifies words. Every amusing example shown throughout the book is accompanied by a brightly colored picture that hilariously shows how the modified word can alter the world.

This charming picture book is filled with hand drawn art that is colored in with markers and is very appealing and relatable to children. Talking about the English language to children can often be abstract, Author Deanna Thompson provides readers with a fantastic book that will literally show readers how silent E works to modify words. The silly imagery accompanying each example will certainly capture the attention of young readers and ensure the lesson is learned well. The combination of sketch art and fun lessons reminds me of the old children’s cartoon Schoolhouse Rock.

This is a fantastic addition to any parent or teachers reading comprehension lessons as it is filled with easy-to-understand words that will build a new readers comprehension skill. What’s So Great About Silent E? is a crazy fun book that teaches readers about the important of a single letter.

Pages: 28 | ISBN: 1449092748

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Simple Activities For Toddlers

It can be difficult to find activities to please a moody toddler and even more challenging to find something to do with only what you have on hand at home. In addition, if activities are too involved, require oddball materials, or take too long to complete, things can go downhill for a frantic parent very quickly. Fortunately, Lisa Forsythe offers parents, caregivers, and teachers of children ages 2-5 a fantastic how-to guide on quick and easy activities that hold interest and provide important lessons at the same time.

Simple Activities for Toddlers: A Practical Play-at-Home Handbook for Parents, by Lisa Forsythe, is a real lifesaver for families as well as teachers and caregivers. Cover to cover, the author has filled this handy book with step-by-step instructions for engaging projects and quick activities to keep toddlers’ little hands busy in a constructive and not-so-scary-for-parents manner!

This book is a gold mine for things to do on weekends and rainy days. I was especially taken with the format of the activities. Forsythe leaves no parent guessing–she lays out every activity in very simple terms, includes easy-to-access materials, and shows it all in lovely photographs that further excite kids as well as adults. I think my favorite activity is the Sea Creature Craft–so easy and just classically cute.

As a teacher, I can’t say enough about Forsythe’s attention to detail with reading, math, and writing skills. The more parents and caregivers can do at home with toddlers, the better off their children will be once they start kindergarten. These activities are rich with opportunities for little ones to practice those skills side by side with their parents–and none of it will feel like work to the toddlers.

Simple Activities for Toddlers: A Practical Play-at-Home Handbook for Parents, by Lisa Forsythe was written with 2-5 year olds in mind. I can see many of these activities fitting smoothly into elementary classrooms as part of thematic units. From cardboard boxes to noodles and muffin tins, the author keeps it simple and stress-free. Forsythe has given parents and teachers a true treasure!

Pages: 158 | ASIN: B08YS62P5Q

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The Rules of a Little Boss: A book of self-love

The Rules of a Little Boss: A book of self-love (Big Boss Series) by [Haelee Moone, Arsalan Khalid, Dedrick Moone]

The Rules of a Little Boss helps readers accept who they are and provides the tools needed to be self-confident and stand up to bully’s and peer pressure. This vivid children’s book shows kids in various situations that they normally face in school and in life. The book shares positive messages about being who you are and never being ashamed of it.

I really loved the diverse cast of characters in this book and how the story shows that that is why we’re all special. The lessons in the book range from building self-confidence, to being nice, to avoiding drugs. All the lessons are delivered with colorful graphic art and emotive characters that will certainly keep the attention of any children reading along.

Every page of the book shares a new message about self-love and being kind and gives readers simple but powerful messages that will help motivate them to implement these ideas in their own life. As the introduction to the book states “you have to be willing to do the work”. This book serves as a fantastic guide for children to follow, and is a great book for parents and teachers to use as talking points about self-esteem.

The Rules of a Little Boss shares important messages that can improve children’s lives for years to come. This is a beautifully written children’s picture book that deals with a variety of personal and social issues in an easy-to-understand manner and truly embraces the values of diversity and inclusion.

Pages: 25 | ASIN: B097193LWG

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Green Toenail Soup and Bat Fuzz

Green Toenail Soup and Bat Fuzz by [Sharon CassanoLochman, Lucy Belle]

The town of Madwacky is experiencing a bout of bad weather, so the citizens head over to the local wizard to ask him for help. Unfortunately, the wizard feels under the weather. It is up to the youngest wizard trainee to put his skills to the test and see if he can bring good weather back to the town by waving his wand and stringing together wild and wacky magical words.

Green Toenail Soup and Bat Fuzz uses sharp but simple sketch art to really bring this fun children’s story to life. The wizard trainee tries several times to bring good weather to the town, and each time he can’t seem to get it right, and brings about even more bizarre weather. The color schemes change and the townspeople run around in a flurry. I really appreciated the full range of emotions the diverse cast of characters show throughout the story.

Kids will love the wacky words included in each chant, ensuring a giggle every time a line is read. I really enjoyed the ending scenes with the strong contrast between darkness and light. As with all of author Sharon CassanoLochman’s children’s books there is a lesson hidden in this enchanting story. With all the magical spells cast, the most powerful magical word of all brings everything back to normal, ‘please’.

This is a fun kids book that will surely delight young readers and get them thinking of their own silly magical chants. This will help children develop a strong understanding of sentence construction and inspire the imagination.

Pages: 31 | ASIN: B082MVKGB1

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Grandman Dean’s Preschool Adventures

Grandman Dean's Preschool Adventures (Adventures with Pop Pop Book 2) by [WARREN MARTIN, Star Huddleston, Karen Tucker]

The second book in the Adventures with Pop Pop series follows Grandman Dean to preschool. Readers get to follow along as Dean learns about all the fun activities that happen at school. This is a great story to read to children that are about to go to school for the first and might be apprehensive about what they will encounter. This is one of the few children’s book that I’ve read that shows a great variety of the different activities that can happen at school. I even remember the day when I was young when a firetruck showed up to school. Each scene at school shows a different activity and shows what is great about it in an easy-to-understand manner.

This is a beautifully illustrated children’s book with lots of cute and colorful pictures that will sure keeps kids’ attention as their parents read the story. My favorite scene was of Dean holding a picture of his family that he drew. It was so cute. Warren Martin’s book provides plenty of fun and education as Grandman Dean goes on his preschool adventure.

Grandman Dean’s Preschool Adventures is an enjoyable and instructive children’s picture book that is perfect for young kids who want to read a fun story or need a little encouragement to get to that first day of school.

Pages: 58 | ASIN: B08XX3HC3K

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