Category: Children’s books

The Boy and the Gorilla

The Boy and the Gorilla is a beautiful children’s story that will tug at your heart strings. A story that gently depicts  the tender relationship between a young boy mourning his mother as he finds a path to healing. Articulated with words and illustrations perfectly. A powerful story in the talk of loss.” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

On the day of his mother’s funeral, a young boy conjures the very visitor he needs to see: a gorilla. Wise and gentle, the gorilla stays on to answer the heart-heavy questions the boy hesitates to ask his father: Where did his mother go? Will she come back home? Will we all die? Yet with the gorilla’s friendship, the boy slowly begins to discover moments of comfort in tending flowers, playing catch, and climbing trees. Most of all, the gorilla knows that it helps to simply talk about the loss – especially with those who share your grief and who may feel alone, too.

#MelAndNikkiReview

The Boy and the Gorilla truly tugged at my heart strings as I read the story to my daughter. It opened up more dialogues in the conversation of loss. We loved the questions the little boy asked as they are very common questions that children do ask. But sometimes as adults we may not know how to answer them as they can be tough ones for us. However, the Gorilla answers them beautifully and so simple.

In this story, the Gorilla helps this young boy find the path to healing through their shared grief and bond. This path leads the young boy to talk to his father where they both can bond and heal together. Just absolutely perfect! The author and illustrator did a superb job in articulating with words and illustrations on the toughest topic; loss.

For this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give this book 10+++ hearts out of 5! Loss has always been a hard topic for many and one that is comforting to see in children’s literature. I truly believe this story is one that will help children better understand and will start the toughest dialogue that we as parents may be uncomfortable with. Nikki truly enjoyed this story and the answers comforted her. We have had a loss in our lives this year and we used this book to help her better understand. It did just that and Nikki knows that those special people who are no longer with us, are always in our hearts.

“When will I feel better? When you know she’s still with you.”

If you would like to purchase this heartfelt story, click here. The age recommendation is four to eight on this book.

About the Author

Jackie Azua Kramer is the author of The Green Umbrella and If You Want to Fall Asleep. She was previously an actress, singer, and school counselor. Jackie Azua Kramer lives with her family in Long Island, New York.

About the Illustrator

Cindy Derby is the author-illustrator of How to Walk an Ant and the illustrator of the poetry collection Climbing Shadows by Shannon Bramer. Before she was an illustrator, she went to theater school and performed all over the world as a puppeteer. Cindy Derby lives in San Francisco.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

*Please note that this book was provided in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are our own. We do not make commission off of book sales.

Fauja Singh Keeps Going

Fauja Singh Keeps Going is based on a true story that will inspire all to keep going no matter the obstacles that may stand in your way.” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

Every step forward is a victory.

Fauja Singh was born determined. He was also born with legs that wouldn’t allow him to play cricket with his friends or carry him to school miles from his village in Punjab. But that didn’t stop him. Working on his family’s farm, Fauja grew stronger to meet his own full potential.

He never stopped striving. At the age of 81, after a lifetime of making his body, mind, and heart stronger, Fauja decided to run his first marathon. He went on to break records all around the world and became the first person over 100 to complete the grueling long-distance race.

With exuberant text by Simran Jeet Singh and exhilarating illustrations by Baljinder Kaur, the true story of Fauja Singh reminds us that both where we start and how we finish that make our journeys unforgettable.

#MelAndNikkiReview

Fauja Singh Keeps Going is a children’s story that will inspire everyone. Based on a true story, the author and illustrator articulates beautifully all of Fauja’s struggles and how he accomplished what many thought would be impossible. When you think he has accomplished it all, he takes it even one step further. When he was 100, he ran the Toronto Waterfront Marathon and was the oldest person in the world to run a marathon. What an amazing accomplishment and we love that this moment in history happened in our hometown! 🙂

We loved how he took any doubt or sadness in his life and turned it around to something positive. I think one of my favorite parts is when he would remember what his mom would tell him and that was the inspiration that he would use.

“You know yourself, Fauja, and you know what you’re capable of. Today is a chance to do your best.”

For this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give this book 10 stars out of 5! We love the positivity it brings to the Sikh community; the inspirational message about how determination and grit can help you overcome obstacles; and we love reading the story of Fauja. Make sure to check the back of the book where you get to learn more about Fauja and see all of his amazing records!

If you would like to read and purchase this great book, click here.

About the Author

Simran Jeet Singh loves sports and signed up for his first marathon after being inspired by Fauja Singh – and like Fauja, he hasn’t stopped running since. Simran is an activist, writer, and scholar who believes deeply in the divine goodness of all people. He was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas, and now lives in New York City with his wife and two daughters.

About the Author

Baljinder Kaur is an illustrator and storyteller who is fascinated by her community. She is interested in exploring and celebrating the seemingly ordinary yet hidden narratives of the Sikh and Punjabi diaspora.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

*Please note that this book was provided in exchange of an honest review. All opinions expressed are own and we do not make commission on book sales.

Girl on a Motorcycle

Girl on a Motorcycle will empower young readers and see the world for the beautiful it is.” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

One day, a girl gets on her motorcycle and rides away. She wants to wander the world. To go…Elsewhere.

This is the true story of the first woman to ride a motorcycle around the world alone. Each place has something to teach her. Each place is beautiful. And despite many flat ties and falls, she learns to always get back up and keep riding.

#MelAndNikkiReview

Girl on a Motorcycle is the empowering story every little girl should read. Inspired by a true story, we are taken on a world journey exploring the different cultures and people. It is amazing to read how a woman travelled the world on her own with the view that the world was beautiful.

Such an empowering and impactful story for young readers. You learn so much of Anne-France Dautheville as the author includes a beautiful bio and photos of her. The author also includes a note of what inspired her to write this story.

“What I wish for all young citizens of the world, for every human being on this incredible planet, is the ability and freedom to travel, to wander, and to lust for elsewhere, to meet people, to experience through their own eyes and hearts that the world is beautiful and good.” – Amy Novesky

For this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give it 5 motorcycles out of 5. If you would like to purchase a copy to empower your little one, click here.

About the Author

Amy Novesky is the author of Cloth Lullaby: The Woven Life of Louise Bourgeois, which was a Bologna-Ragazzi Award winner and a Kirkus Reviews Best Book, as well as Me, Frida, winner of the Pura Belpre Honor Award for illustration. She lives outside of San Francisco with her family.

About the Illustrator

Julie Morstad is the award-winning illustrator of The Dress and the Girl; Swan: The Life and Dance of Anna Pavlova; and Julia, Child, which was a Governor General’s Award finalist. She lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, with her family.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

*Please note that this book was provided in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are our own.

 

Gustavo The Shy Ghost

Gustavo The Shy Ghost is an adorable children’s book to get you into the Halloween spirit. It also combines beautiful illustrations with a great story on overcoming shyness.” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

Gustavo is good at doing all sorts of ghostly things: walking through walls, making objects fly, and glowing in the dark. And he loves almost nothing more than playing beautiful music on his violin. But Gustavo is shy, and some things are harder for him to do, like getting in a line to buy eye scream or making friends with other monsters. Whenever he tries getting close to them, he realizes they just can’t see him. Now that the Day of the Dead is fast approaching, what can he do to make them notice him and to share with them something he loves?

#MelAndNikkiReview

Gustavo The Shy Ghost is a delightful story and a great treat for all the little ghouls and goblins. This has quickly become a family favorite and we have been reading it every chance we get. We have even taken this book to Nikki’s cousin’s house who loves the book as much as we do.

The illustrations are beautiful and the storyline of overcoming shyness is heartfelt. We loved how well it was written and so easy for a child to understand. Nikki and her cousin Adriana loved trying to find Gustavo in each page. They both got really excited to see where they would find him next. By the end of the book, Adriana who is only two kept asking if she can find Gustavo again. So it is safe to say that Gustavo quickly became a great hit!

For this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give Gustavo The Shy Ghost 10 phantoms out of 5! If you are looking for a heartfelt story about overcoming shyness, being brave and about friendship then this is the story for you. It is definitely a must read in our books!

If you would like to purchase a copy for your little ghoul and goblin, click here.

About the Author

Flavia Z. Drago was born and raised in Mexico City. As a child, she wanted to be a mermaid. When that didn’t happen, she began her career as a graphic designer and a children’s book illustrator. She loves color, texture, and shapes and enjoys creating them with different materials and a bit of digital sorcery. She lives in Mexico.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

*Please note that this book was provided in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are our own.

Fairy Science Solid, Liquid, Gassy

Fairy Science Solid, Liquid, Gassy is an absolute must read as it inspires the inner scientists within us all. For the world has always something new to discover.” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

Esther likes facts and evidence. But fairies use magic wands and mix magic potions. That can make the land of Pixieville a frustrating place for a budding scientist.

When an entire pond goes missing, the other fairies are convinced it disappeared by magic. But Esther’s sure that there’s a scientific explanation…one that doesn’t involve a thirsty ogre.

Fairy and science fans alike will love Esther’s spellbinding introduction to the water cycle!

#MelAndNikkiReview

Fairy Science Solid, Liquid, Gassy is the must read children’s book as it offers the triple threat: interesting storyline, amazing illustrations and a dash of humor. Those are my top three reasons to love a book. Fairy Science knocks all three out of this world!

We love how the story opens up the world of science to kids and we love how Esther asks important questions even though people don’t believe her. They are fairies after all who do love to dabble in magic. 😉 We also loved learning about the transformation of solid to liquid to gassy. Nikki loved giggling to Fig (Esther’s friend) who made the book truly funny for little ones with his funny sayings. “My favourite part is when he said I think mine peed. I laughed so much!” – Nikki, Age 6

We both agreed that our favourite part was the bonus included in the book which is a step by step experiment that you can try at home with your kids to show condensation. Nikki loved doing it and she has been conducting her own experiments since and it has been amazing to watch her love for science grow. Children’s books like these open the doors for little ones and it allows them to grow.

Therefore, it is no surprise that Fairy Science Solid, Liquid, Gassy got a glowing review with 10 stars out of 5! We recommend this book for your reading line-up and it is great for children who are between the ages of three and seven. What type of science experiments have you and your kids been up to lately? Let us know in the comment section below. 😉

If you would like to purchase this great book, Click here.

About the Author

Ashley Spires is the author and illustrator of many books, including Fairy ScienceEsther’s first scientific adventure, the bestselling The Most Magnificent Thing, now an animated short film, and the Binky the Space Cat series, which was adapted for television as an animated series. She can often be found making books, walking by the river, and drinking a nice cup of tea. Ashley lives with her husband, her dog, and far too many cats in ladner, British Columbia, a place known for its tumultuous and soggy water cycles.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

*Please note that this book was provided in exchange of an honest review. All opinions expressed are our own.

Will You Be My Friend?

“Will You Be My Friend? will be a classic in children’s literature that reminds us how beautiful friendship is. You will fall in love with the story and illustrations. Bravo!” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

Little Nutbrown Hare sets off exploring on his own. Off he hops along the path and through the grass until he reaches Cloudy Mountain, where something extraordinary happens: he discovers a new friend. This gentle story of burgeoning independence and first friendship will resonate with readers of all ages. Told with the sweetness and simplicity that are the hallmark of Sam McBratney’s writing, and illustrated in Anita Jeram’s signature style, the book is destined to become another beloved family read-aloud.

#MelAndNikkiReview

Will You Be My Friend? tugged at my little rabbit heart as we love rabbits as the main characters! In this children’s story, we go along with Little Nutbrown Hare exploring until he finally makes a friend. The friendship and bond that they develop in the story is heartfelt and pure. We just loved how it was articulated so beautifully in the story.

We have to also mention that the illustrations are breathtaking in the most classic way. It truly made the story feel complete and we know this story will become another classic in children’s literature.

For this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give it 10 rabbits out of 5! This book is perfect for children ages three to seven and those who love a story about friendship.

If you would like to purchase a copy of this beautiful book, click here.

About the Author

Sam McBratney is the author of Guess How Much I Love You and You’re All My Favorites, illustrated by Anita Jeram, There, There and Just You and Me, illustrated by Ivan Bates, and many other books for children. He lives in Northern Ireland.

About the Illustrator

Anita Jeram is the illustrator of Guess How Much I Love You and You’re All My Favorites by Sam McBratney, Little Chick and a series about Sam and Mrs. Bear by Amy Hest, and Skip to the Loo, My Darling! by Sally Lloyd-Jones, amongst other books. She lives in Northern Ireland.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

*Please note that this book was provided in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are our own.

Stink and the Hairy, Scary Spider

“Stink and the Hairy, Scary Spider is another amazing addition to the Judy Moody and Stink series. Everything you would expect and more. It makes a perfect book for a young reader in your home.” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

Creepy! Crawly! Criminy! Everyone knows that Stink is bonkers about most scientific things. But there’s one exception: dangle a spider in front of him and he goes berserk! Stink is so freaked out by spiders that he can’t read about them. He can’t look at them. He can’t think about them. And he for-sure can’t touch them! Stink has arachnophobia (a fear of spiders), and he has it bad. But when a hairy backyard emergency arises, Stink is forced to face his fear – and eight beady eyes – head on. Will he manage to tame the heebie-jeebies, or will love the comics sprinkled throughout with facts about spiders as well as a hands-on origami challenge.

#MelAndNikkiReview

Stink and the Hairy, Scary Spider is a great story of overcoming fears with a dash of humor along the way. Another impeccable book to add to the Judy Moody and Stink series.

I just loved reading this story and going on another adventure with Stink. There is even a little extra bonus included in the story which is instructions on making an Origami Jumping Frog. We thought that was super cool!

For this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give this book 5 spiders out of 5! It is recommended for children ages six to nine and it would make a great addition to your reading line-up.

If you would like to purchase this book, click here.

About the Author

Megan McDonald is the author of the popular Judy Moody and Stink series for older readers. She has also written many other books for children, including two books for beginning readers: Ant and Honey Bee: A Pair of Friends at Halloween and Honey Bee: A Pair of Friends in Winter. She lives in California.

About the Illustrator

Peter H. Reynolds is the illustrator of the Judy Moody and Stink books and the author-illustrator of The Dot, Ish, Sky Color, So Few of Me, The North Star, Rose’s Garden, The Smallest Gift of Christmas, and Playing from the Heart. Born in Canada, he now lives in Dedham, Massachusetts.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

*This book was provided in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are our own.

See the Cat: Three Stories About A Dog

“Move over, Spot…Spoofing classic primers, Max the Dog talks back to the book in a twist that will have fans of funny early readers howling.”

Synopsis

See Max. Max is not a cat – Max is a dog. But much to Max’s dismay, the book keeps instructing readers to “see the cat.” How can Max get through to the book that he is a DOG? In a trio of stories for beginning readers, author David LaRochelle introduces the excitable Max, who lets the book know in irresistibly emphatic dialogue that the text is not to his liking. Illustrator Mike Wohnoutka hilariously depicts the pup’s reactions to the narrator and to the wacky cast of characters who upend Max’s – and readers’ – expectations as the three stories build to an immensely satisfying conclusion. Hooray, Max, hooray!

#MelAndNikkiReview

See the Cat: Three Stories About A Dog is a great story for early readers and it will have everyone laugh out loud. Absolutely love the banter between dog and book throughout the three stories. We were very glad that by the end of the story, the dog finally got a better ending to the story with some tough negotiating. 😉

The illustrations and storyline are a perfect combination to make this easy and fun for young readers. The repetitive wording is fantastic for early readers as it helps them pick up on reading much quicker. Nikki truly loved reading this book with me and I know in no time she will be reading this on her own to her family. It was hard to just read without giggling along the way.

“This book was so funny! I loved it! The best part is that it is easy to practice my reading.” – Nikki, Age 6

For this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give it 10 dogs out of 5! A clever and funny story that will delight all readers. We truly recommend to give this book a read. 🙂

If you would like to purchase a copy for your reader, click here. This book is recommended for ages four to eight.

About the Author

David LaRochelle is the author of many books for young readers, including Isle of You, illustrated by Jaime Kim, and Moo!, illustrated by Mike Wohnoutka. He is the recipient of a Sid Fleischman Humor Award as well as a Bell Award for Early Literacy. See David LaRochelle in White Bear Lake, Minnesota.

About the Illustrator

Mike Wohnoutka has illustrated more than twenty books for young readers, including Moo! by David LaRochelle. He is also the author and illustrator of several picture books, including Croc & Turtle. See Mike Wohnoutka in Minneapolis.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

*This book was provided in exchange for an honest reviews. All opinions expressed are our own.

V is For Voting | Book Review

“V is for Voting is the perfect book to inspire all ages on the importance of voting.” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

V is for Voting is an engaging ABC book that introduces kids to concepts like social justice, civil rights, and democracy. Featuring Kate Farrell’s playful rhyming text, Caitlin Kuhwald’s bold art, and thoughtful material for further exploration, the book is a beautiful, and crucial, addition to every young reader’s library.

#MelAndNikkiReview

V is For Voting is a great children’s book to truly inspire the little ones of the importance of voting. No one is ever to young to learn how our voices can be heard with using our right to vote.

Voting is something that has always been important in our household and it was something that my parents always told me that I need to do once I was the legal age to vote. It is a duty that I am proud to do and vote every election year.

This book encompases all the importance of voting in ways that children can relate. We loved how the alphabet was used to make the points easier for kids to comprehend. We also love the illustrations that were beautiful and diverse.

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give it 5 stars out of 5! “V is for voting to make your voice heard!”

If you would like to purchase this great book to inspire your little future, click here.

About the Author

Kate Farrell believes that every vote counts! She is a writer and an editor who lives in New York City. V is for Voting is her first picture book.

About the Author

Caitlyn Kuhwald has a BFA in illustration from the California College of the Arts in San Francisco and an MFA in painting from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Her work has appeared in various magazines, DVD covers, and books, including Who Did It First? 50 Scientists, Artists, and Mathematicians Who Revolutionized the World. She lives in Los Angeles. V is for Voting is her first picture book.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

– Momma Braga

*This book was provided in exchange of an honest review. All opinions expressed are our own.

My Favorite Color | Book Review

My Favorite Color will captivate readers of all ages to a pallet of colors that intertwine so beautifully. An absolute masterpiece at your fingertips.” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

People always ask for your favorite color. But who said you can only have one? Open this gorgeous board book to find an ode to ever-changing colors, offering a spectrum of hues evoking the sun, the sea, clouds, and dew-dappled fruit. In colorful grids of small squares – some translucent inserts, some painted on the pages – Aaron Becker uses layering to make colors shift and transition from spread to mesmerizing spread. As fun to look at as an alluring paint-chip display and as inspiring as an artful concept book can be, My Favorite Color promises to be a favorite, well-thumbed read and a prized art object in itself.

#MelAndNikkiReview

My Favorite Color exemplifies art in board book form and we absolutely love it! We found the concept of the book and the way colors changed and connected were brilliant. All the colors in the story captivated our eyes and hearts. It made me start to think how I can incorporate those colors in my interior design at home. 😉

Nikki and I love talking about colors as we discuss how each of our favorite colors is better than the other. It has been an epic battle since Nikki was able to tell me that her favorite color is pink (mine is Purple). I am happy to say that this book allowed us to see beyond our favorite colors and appreciate all the colors that surround us.

As we read the story and came to the question, “I can only have one favorite color?” Nikki shouted, “You can have as many as you like.” As we turned the page to get the response, Nikki smiled with glee as it truly is impossible to just pick one. Nikki’s favorite color (today) is Pink and Blue. It may change as she grows but one thing that won’t change is her love for all the colors.

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview we give this book 10 rainbows out of 5! It truly brought color to life for us during reading time and it can definitely be treasured as a masterpiece of art.

If you would like to purchase a copy of this beautiful book, click here.

About the Author

Aaron Becker is the Caldecott Honor-winning author-illustrator of the Journey trilogy and of A Stone for Sascha, as well as You Are Light, the acclaimed companion book to My Favorite Color. His favorite color is bluish-green. And reddish-orange. And also yellow. He lives in western Massachusetts with his family.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

*This book was provided in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are our own.