Bear | Review

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𝐓𝐢𝐭𝐥𝐞: Bear

𝐀𝐮𝐭𝐡𝐨𝐫: Ben Queen

Illustrator: Joe Todd-Stanton

Publisher: Archaia

Genre: Children’s Fiction

𝐑𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

In Bear, we follow the paw steps of a guide dog named Bear. As a guide dog, Bear’s job is to assist his owner Patrick, who is blind. Patrick and Bear happily live their lives in-sync until the unthinkable happens—Bear loses his sight. Scared he’ll no longer be useful to Patrick and lose his job, Bear then follows the racoons to find a mysterious bear to teach Bear magic for his sight. Despite making friends in unlikely places, Bear finds trouble and then gets lost.

Bear’s search is rewarded and reunites with Patrick. Upon their reunion, Bear undergoes surgery for his eyes. Whilst Bear states he wasn’t “one hundred per cent” after the surgery, he notes that he gained something far greater than what he thought he ever wanted—he becomes Patrick’s friend.

Bear is such an endearing character and I found it easy to emotionally invest in him and his endeavours. I enjoyed the themes explored in this book and liked the unique premise of the story and how it highlights the importance of guide dogs. The book also educates the readers regarding how blindness impacts people.

This is a heart-warming read with themes of identity, friendship, and perseverance woven into Bear’s journey. Through his blindness and his tireless search, Bear discovers true friendship and acceptance. His emotional journey for purpose showcases resilience in the face of adversity.

Also, I LOVE the illustration! The artwork is adorable and colourful. The art panels are engaging, successfully evoking intended emotions upon reading the book.

This is a book I’d highly recommend and I’d definitely buy a copy. I can’t wait to read this to the kids.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

 

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This Is Your Brain on Stereotypes: How Science is Tackling Unconscious Bias | Review

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Title: This Is Your Brain on Stereotypes: How Science is Tackling Unconscious Bias

Author: Tanya Lloyd Kyi

Illustrator: Drew Shannon

Publisher: Kids Can Press

Genre: Non-fiction, children’s fiction

Where Can I Find This? Goodreads | Book Depository | Booktopia

Rating: ★★★★★

A gorgeously illustrated book with fantastic information. This book is not only useful for children, but for teens and adults. Topics like stereotypes, prejudice, racism, and many more are covered and well approached. Furthermore, this book contains rhetoric questions and examples in history, keeping the read engaging and informative.

The art is bright and vivid, great for holding attention. The illustrations aren’t overwhelming and complement the text and subject well.

This book serves as a great introduction or place to spark conversation pertaining to stereotypes, prejudice, racism, sexism, and homophobia. I appreciate how carefully and effectively nuanced this book is, guiding the discussion points and possibly contributing to developing an understanding of such complex topics. Consequently, I’d highly recommend this for parents, educators, and anyone else interested in this. This is a book I’d definitely a copy for myself.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

 

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Monthly Wrap-Up: April 2020

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What Grew in Larry’s Garden • Children’s Fiction • ★★★★
I Dream of a Journey • Children’s Fiction • ★★★★
The Fox and the Little Tanuki • Manga, Fantasy • ★★★★
Doctor Mouse • Children’s Fiction • ★★★
Why Do We Cry? • Children’s Fiction • ★★★★★
It Sounded Better in my Head • Young Adult, Contemporary • ★★★★
Ghosted in LA • Graphic Novel • ★★★
Cruel Beauty • Young Adult, Fantasy • ★★★★
Coraline • Children’s Fiction, Young Adult, Fantasy • ★★★★
Lemon Child • Children’s Fiction • ★★★★
If You Were Night • Children’s Fiction • ★★★★
Bibi & Miyu • Manga, Fantasy • ★★★★
So You Want To Talk About Race • Non-fiction • ★★★★★
Time for Bed’s Story • Children’s Fiction • ★★★★
Little Wise Wolf • Children’s Fiction • ★★★

I read a total of 15 books, the majority of them were e-books and eARCs and a few were audiobooks. I highly enjoyed Coraline and highly recommend So You Want To Talk About Race.

Children’s Fiction | Review

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Title: Why Do We Cry?

Author: Fran Pintadera

Illustrator: Ana Sender

Genre: Children’s Fiction

Rating: ★★★★★

 

 

Why do I love children fiction books? Well, there are many reasons. Usually, it comes down to a few points—the illustration is almost always beautiful and the I love how Why do I love children fiction books? Well, there are many reasons. Usually, it comes down to a few points—the illustration is almost always beautiful and I love how simple yet nuanced the words can be. (Also, I do read books to my nephew and am always on a lookout to read books to my niece).

In this book, Why Do We Cry? A mother and son explore various reasons why people cry. The accompanying art with each reason complements the emotion and explanation in a gorgeous manner. I also love how this book normalises crying and validates feelings—“it’s okay to cry if you feel like crying. It’s okay to cry if you’re happy/sad/etc.”

The illustrations are gorgeous and I just can’t get over how it. The only concern I have is that the font can be a little small in some scenes, thereby be a little difficult to differentiate between the background (perhaps have more contrast or maybe I just need glasses haha). Otherwise, this is definitely a book I’d recommend to families, teachers, and anyone, really.

I also liked how there was information on tears and crying at the end. Always love a good fun fact of the day.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

 

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Doctor Mouse

Author: Christa Kempter

Illustrator: Amelie Jackowski

Publisher: NorthSouth Books

Genre: Children’s Fiction

Rating: ★★★☆☆

 

 

 

Doctor Mouse is a cute and simple story about friendship and helping others.
This is such an interesting take and I liked the sense of community and friendship and how the animals helped each other. Also, I find it humorous how Dr Mouse waits for every seat to be filled before starting.

The only concern I have is that some scenes may be a little wordy for the young ones but at least the artwork is captivating and beautiful each page. I loved the art—the illustrations are gorgeous.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

 

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I Dream of a Journey

Author: Akiko Miyakoshi

Illustrator: Akiko Miyakoshi

Publisher: Kids Can Press

Genre: Children’s Fiction

Rating: ★★★★☆

 

 

 

Wow. Even as an adult I can empathise with the hotel keeper and his quiet wonder and yearning to explore the world. This is a simple story, yet it holds such a dreamy atmosphere.

I loved how the strong contrast of colours in the illustration—where at home, in his hotel, the colours are in greyscale yet closed-off and full of routine but out in the world, it’s full of colour and the scenes are open and free. Although this book has a bit of a melancholic feel to it, it’s also full of wonder and hope. I’d recommend having an adult read this book to a child.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

 

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What Grew in Larry’s Garden

Author: Laura Alary

Illustrator: Kass Reich

Publisher: Kids Can Press

Genre: Children’s Fiction

Rating: ★★★★☆

 

A light-hearted read with stunning art. ‘What Grew in Larry’s Garden’ is inspired by the true story of a teacher and his tomato plant project. This is a heart-warming story focusing on patience, kindness, understanding, and staying positive. Furthermore, I just love how this book is not only about cultivating plants but relationships as well. One of my favourite aspect of this book was how Larry’s positive attitude of ‘We can figure this out’ influenced Grace in the end.

This was an adorable read and I’d highly recommend this.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

 

 

 

 

 

Monthly Wrap Up: February 2020

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Despite being a relatively short month, I managed to squeeze 11 books in February (although the majority of them were e-books and graphic novels so they were quick and easy). The trick? I’ve joined NetGalley and decided to use it more and write more reviews.

Of the 11 books, two were young adult genres, four were manga/graphic novels, and five were children’s fiction. My average rating for this month was 3. In terms of rating, that’s pretty good.

Overall, this was a pretty good month. I’m usually a mood-reader, so I’m not too fussed with reading goals. Rather, I prefer to enjoy the books than read a high number.

Of the 11 books I read, I physically own two and here they are naked.

Children’s Fiction | Review

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Title: The Not BAD Animals

Author: Sophie Corrigan

Publisher: Frances Lincoln Children’s Books

Genre: Children’s Fiction

Rating: ★★★★☆

 

 

A fun book that is both educational and great for reducing certain animal stigma. There is a large variety of animals known to have a bad rep (such as spiders, black cats, wolves, etc.) and on the first two-page spread the pages comprise of the myth and misconception with darker, heavier tones. The following spread uncovers the truth and the whole atmosphere changes dramatically with light and friendlier tones. I found the illustration effective, cute and engaging.

However, I feel like this is best for bite-sized moments as it can be a little overwhelming with many little facts regarding numerous animals. Despite that, I really enjoyed the book. The illustration and execution were exceptional. A great read. I’d recommend this book.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


 

cover185188-mediumTitle: Oops! Step by step.

Author: Mack van Gageldonk

Publisher: Clavis Publishing

Genre: Children’s fiction

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

 

At first, I wasn’t sure if it was my version but the illustration was jarring and felt incomplete. Unfortunately, the art was a huge aspect and thus affected the read. I would have read this to my niece or nephew, but given the art style, I don’t feel like it would capture and hold their attention for the whole book.

Other than that, this is an easy book with simple art.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for a preview of this book in exchange for an honest review.


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Title: The Little Ghost Who Lost Her Boo

Author: Elaine Bickell

Illustrator: Raymond McGrath

Publisher: Philomel Books

Genre: Children’s fiction

Rating: ★★★★★

 

 

The illustration is bright and vivid, complimenting the story well. The rhyming texts are fun and engaging and the book invites reader participation at the end.

I’d definitely recommend this book and I can’t wait to read this with my nephew and niece.

Thank you to Edelweiss and the publisher for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Children’s Fiction Books | Review

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Title: Play Like an Animal

Author: Maria Gianferrari,

Illustrator: Mia Powell

Genre: Children’s Fiction

Rating: ☆☆☆☆

 

‘Play Like an Animal’ is a fun read. The story-telling is engaging and the illustration is gorgeous and vivid. I like how the art captures each of the animal’s actions and how each page is appealing. The little fun facts were a great bonus (especially for the curious).

I’d definitely recommend this read and can’t wait to read this to my niece.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.


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Title: If…

Author: Sarah Perry

Genre: Children’s Fiction

Publisher: Getty Publications

Rating: ☆☆☆☆

 

 

This is a simple yet complex book. Filled with beautiful and intricate illustration and imaginative scenarios, ‘If…’ is a fun read with a great concept. I loved the art, it was vivid and unique.

‘If…’ would be a fun read for children (and adults), encouraging creativity and for minds to roam free. I’d recommend this book to both children and adults.

Thank you to NetGalley and the Getty Publications for an e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.


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Title: A Surprising Friendship

Author: Andrew Wald

Illustrator: Tara J. Hannon

Genre: Children’s Fiction

Rating: ☆☆☆☆

 

‘A Surprising Friendship’ is an endearing story filled with beautiful illustration (the art complimented the story well) and a sweet message. This book focuses on an unexpected friendship formed between a goose and bear and how differences matter little. I liked how this book shows that a good friendship surpasses seasons. This is a book I’ll definitely read to my niece.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for an e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.