Books About Big and Small: Just The Right Size Book Review

Are you looking for brand new children’s books about big and small?  Bonnie Grubman’s Just The Right Size is the perfect 2018 animal picture book.  With characters that you just want to cuddle right off of the pages, learn Goldilocks-style what is big enough, small enough, and just right. Book Review Of Just The Right Size by Bonnie Grubman Illustrated with beautiful pastel watercolors and colored-pencils, Diederen captures the playfulness of this brand new concept book. Beginning with a ladybug that is just small enough to land on a tree branch, young readers learn that while a giraffe cannot accomplish a similar feat, a giraffe can naturally reach the treetops. Kittens sleep in flowerbeds as elephants cover their young from the rain. Mice can hide anywhere while giant moose are the perfect size to romp in the snow. Dolphins may not be able to gently glide through the seaweed like a…

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Review: Every Shiny Thing by Cordelia Jensen and Laurie Morrison

Sierra’s mom is once again struggling with her addiction to drugs, alcohol, and poorly chosen men while her father is serving jail time for similar vices. Placed in the foster care system, Sierra moves in with a kind, mysteriously heartbroken interracial couple next door to Lauren, a tween fraught with compassion and her rapidly changing family dynamics. Lauren’s autistic brother has just moved to NC in hopes that a specialized school will better meet his needs. No longer a shadow or crutch, Lauren must determine who she is as well as how to function in an unfair world full of homelessness and privilege. As these two characters navigate their friendship through typical school drama, Lauren begins to lose control and fall into emotional instability, seeking solace in shoplifting and stealing her wealthier friends’ and families’ extravagances. Even with somewhat innately good intentions—hoping to sell these items to donate money for…

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Review: The Layover by Amy Andelson & Emily Meyer

Flynn, Amos, and Poppy represent the spectrum of adolescence as well as a dysfunctional, nontraditional, and white family. Their parents have been through multiple marriages with added instabilities of affairs, aloof-ism, and alcoholism. The by-products of different marriage combinations, the siblings find themselves once again caught in the selfish throes of their parents’ latest whims. In an effort to buy off the family’s understanding, the parents—who are already in Bora Bora—decide to fly Amos, Flynn, and Poppy out for an extravagant boat ride to break the news of their upcoming separation. When ten-year-old Poppy relays her suspicions to Amos and Flynn, they decide to runaway during their layover at LAX. The Hangover-style, the youth meet up with Flynn’s latest crush and find themselves touring LA, attending parties, and going to Disneyland, mostly all with the wrong crowd. During this newly found freedom, Amos and Flynn must reconcile their romantic feelings…

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Animal Picturebooks About Friendship: Yak and Dove by Kyo Maclear

A Unique Short Story Set-Up: One of many great animal picturebooks about friendship, Maclear’s Yak and Dove does not disappoint. Told in three different short stories, children fight and love along with Yak and Dove.  Similarly to Shireen’s, Yeti and the Bird, Yak and Dove are unlikely friends.  They must learn to embrace their seemingly large differences in the most endearing way. Laugh out loud as Yak and Dove begin their story by contemplating what it would be like if they were twins.  Concluding in an obvious fight of opposites, their feud carries over to a second story. Above all, Yak wants a new friend who values fine music and furriness.  Does he have that respectful relationship with Dove?  Realistically Yak must learn to appreciate the friend he already has.   True to Maclear’s Beautiful Style: By the third story, the plot takes a calmer change of pace.  Yak and…

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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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Review: Pashmina by Nidhi Chanani

Priyanka or “Pri” lives in a world where she does not fully understand who she is or where she came from. Her mom mysteriously left India and hasn’t spoken to their family in over a decade. Whenever Pri inquires about her Indian father, her mother changes the subject. Both mother and daughter fail to understand each other’s motivations, creating an angsty relationship. While struggling with her identity, the sphere of Pri’s family also starts to see cracks. Her Uncle Jatin, a father-like figure that picks her up from school and takes her on special Indian foodie adventures, and his wife are having their first baby. With her world falling apart, Pri prays to the goddess Shakti, a silent wish that changes her outlook on life and current and almost self-destructive course. With such serious tones, add in a magical pashmina made from Indian golden thread, and Pri finds herself on…

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