Book Review: Where Will I Live? by Rosemary McCarney

The Heart of Where Will I Live?: Looking for books about refugees for kids? Where Will I Live? is an extremely timely nonfiction title for kindergarten to third graders about refugees fleeing their homes for safety and a better life. Readers learn how refugees travel: walk, run, ride on the backs of trucks, and trek through the desert. McCarney describes where they are running to geographically and structurally, which is sometimes unknown. Will they live under a staircase, along the travelled roads, or in a tent? Even the climate makes a difference.  Each question or set of questions is paired with a picture and its respective country. Refugees are not just one culture, religion, group, or ethnicity. After all of this dangerous and indeterminate traveling, McCarney ends with the notion of hope. Maybe someone will welcome these children and their families into their homes, communities, neighborhoods, and countries. Lets have hope for friends,…

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Book Review: Zoo Zen- A Yoga Story for Kids

Geared toward pre-k to third grade, join Lyla as she embarks on a yoga journey with the help of the zoo animals. Each pose is paired with brightly colored mixed media illustrations and numbers as the story also reinforces counting. The animals gently encourage Lyla and give her practical tips to make the most of each pose. Small details, such as Lyla’s hair falling loose, warm this instructional story and make Lyla relatable to any young reader. The story ends with a page of smaller text explaining to parents how the poses work, which is a great aid just in case the illustrations are not enough. The rhyming adds to the cadence and flow of story, making this a relaxing and informative read. If only my yoga instructor was a dolphin. I would like to thank NetGalley and Sounds True Publishing for providing me with a free ARC in exchange…

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Book Review: All Birds Have Anxiety by Kathy Hoopmann

A kindergarten to third grade nonfiction read, All Birds Have Anxiety describes the debilitating and all-pervasive nature of severe anxiety, juxtaposing emotions with beautiful yet telling pictures of birds. Hoopmann explains how everyone feels anxiety at some point in their lives and why certain anxiety can be good for achieving goals and working harder and faster when needed. Unfortunately, others have more anxiety, even when everything is going well, that prohibits everyday functioning. Negative and even frightening anxiety, as Hoopmann writes, is when nothing gets done, we want to be left alone, we cancel plans, and we feel as though everything is out of control. There are coping mechanisms such as cuddling with a pet, exercise, eating well, and going for walks, and Hoopmann ends on an optimistic note with a variety of solutions. Medication and therapy are not discussed. As other critics have mentioned, the text in All Birds…

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Book Review: The Dance of the Violin

Joshua loves making music, even with everyday household items. His parents feed into his passion, buying Joshua a violin. Deciding that he wants to play a difficult piece in a Kalamazoo competition, Joshua practices with his teacher to perfect his performance. Joshua chooses this song because he can hear, see, and feel its captivating story. Once at the competition, Joshua stumbles on his first try, tumbling an imaginary dancer onto her face. The piece falls flat. Not yet defeated and determined, a brave Joshua asks the judge to try again. The music comes alive in his mind, the room disappears, and although the reader never learns the outcome of the competition, the actual winner is irrelevant. Joshua has achieved his goal and demonstrated his enthusiastic talent for music. Joshua’s ambition and story is based on a real person, Joshua Bell, who is now a talented classical violinist. The Dance of…

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