Category: Children’s books

Secret Engineer: How Emily Roebling Built the Brooklyn Bridge

We have been enjoying Women’s History Month as we have been reading some amazing books on women who are remarkable. In today’s book review, we are keeping up with this theme and introducing you all to Secret Engineer: How Emily Roebling Built the Brooklyn Bridgewritten and illustrated by Rachel Dougherty. 

Synopsis

On a warm spring day in 1883, a woman rode across the Brooklyn Bridge with a rooster on her lap. The rooster was a symbol of victory, and the woman was victorious.

It was the first trip across an engineering marvel that had taken nearly fourteen years to construct. The woman’s husband was the chief engineer, and he knew all about the dangerous new technique required to stabilize the massive structure. The woman had insisted she learn as well. When he fell ill mid-construction, her knowledge came in handy. She supervised every aspect of the project while he was bedridden, and she continued to learn about things only men were supposed to know: math, science, engineering.

Women weren’t supposed to be engineers. They were supposed to be: wives, mothers, homemakers.

But this woman insisted she could do it all, and her hard work helped to create one of the most iconic landmarks in the world.

This is the story of Emily Roebling, the secret engineer behind the Brooklyn Bridge.

#MelAndNikkiReview

Secret Engineer: How Emily Roebling Built the Brooklyn Bridge is an inspiration to any young girl to believe that she can do anything. At a time where a woman’s role was defined solely in the home, Emily rose above expectations and was instrumental in the building of the Brooklyn Bridge. We loved learning about this piece of history and the empowering story of Emily.

“Though Emily was born at a time when women were not given much education or professional opportunity, when life asked more of her, she rose to the occasion. Her mind sharp and her hands steady, Emily proved that women could be as successful in science and engineering as any man.”

For this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give this book 5 Bridges out of 5! We loved the history, empowering message and illustrations. We recommend this book for children ages five to eight.

 

About the Author

Rachel Dougherty is the illustrator of three nonfiction picture books: Your Life as a Cabin Attendant on the Titanic, and The Twelve Days of Christmas in Pennsylvania. She is a lifelong history buff and has always paid special attention to the stories of brave and commanding women. Secret Engineer is the first picture book she has both written and illustrated. She lives in Philadelphia. To learn more about Rachel, click here.

If you would like to purchase a copy, click here.

 

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

 

-Momma Braga

 

 

* The book was provided to Momma Braga in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed her solely belong to Momma Braga.

Bedtime for Little Bulldozer

For some parents (myself included), getting little ones off to sleep can be difficult. This is why this next book review is so perfect!

We are delighted to introduce, Bedtime for Little Bulldozerwritten by Elise Broach and illustrated by Barry E. Jackson.

Synopsis

Falling asleep isn’t always easy, especially for a loud and rumbling little bulldozer.

#MelAndNikkiReview

Bedtime for Little Bulldozer is an adorable book that we truly enjoyed on several bedtime readings.

Little bulldozer has a hard time falling asleep, even after his bedtime routine. I am sure many young children experience the same struggle. Luckily, Little Bulldozer found exactly what he was missing him to get to sleep.

The story flowed beautifully and illustrations were perfect! We just adored this book from beginning to end. This is why we give this book 5 ZZZ’s out of 5!

About the Author

Elise Broach is the award-winning and New York Times – bestselling author of many books for young readers, including the picture books My Pet Wants A Pet and When Dinosaurs Came with Everything, the Masterpiece Adventures early reader series, and the novels The Wolf Keepers, Shakespeare’s Secret, and Masterpiece. She lives in Connecticut. To learn more about Elise, click here.

About the Illustrator

Barry E. Jackson works as a designer, director, and writer. His screen credits include The Prince of Egypt, The Nightmare Before Christmas, and The Grinch, and he was one of several production designers for Shrek. He is also the creator of the picture book Danny Diamondback. He lives in Studio City, California. To learn more about Barry, click here.

If you would like to purchase a copy, click here.

 

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

 

-Momma Braga

 

 

* The book was provided to Momma Braga in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed her solely belong to Momma Braga.

Wild Horse Annie

We have been enjoying Women’s History Month as we have been reading some amazing books on women who are remarkable. In today’s book review, we are keeping up with this theme and introducing you all to Wild Horse Anniewritten by Tracey Fern and illustrated by Steven Salerno. 

Synopsis

Wild Horse Annie was the nickname of Velma Bronn Johnston (1912-77), who loved mustangs all her life. When she saw these wild horses being rounded up and killed to make room for ranchers’ livestock, she knew she had to speak up. In 1950, she began writing letters to local newspapers and politicians, defending the horses’ right to roam free.

Many people told Annie to hush up, but they couldn’t stop her. She soon became a voice for mustangs throughout the state of Nevada, speaking on their behalf at town halls and meetings.

But that was only one state, and Annie was only one person, and she wanted to do more. So she got children to speak up, too, by having them write letters to federal officials to ask them to save the mustangs. Finally, with the help of her young “pencil brigade,” Annie persuaded Congress to pass laws protecting wild horses and burros on public land nationwide.

#MelAndNikkiReview

Wild Horse Annie was an inspiring and empowering book to read. This was the first time reading about Annie’s story and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Annie was a true and early advocate for animal rights and she spoke up for what she believed in. She also empowered a generation of children to voices for the voiceless and that is what we loved the very best.

Annie shows us that even though you are just one person, you can motivate others to create change. One voice became thousands of voices and in turn showed that nothing is impossible.

Nikki loved the book as much as I did and with her love of animals, we think it made her love the book more.

“Annie really helped those beautiful horses live. I love that momma!” – Nikki, Age 4

Wild Horse Annie is a beautiful story filled with courage, love, action and illustrations that look like art pieces. This is why we give this book 6 Mustangs out of 5! We also recommend this book for children ages four to seven (adults would enjoy this book too!). We also suggest to everyone to make sure to read the Author’s Note at the end of the book, as it offers that rich history that us adults will truly appreciate.

About the Author

Tracy Fern is the author of many critically acclaimed picture books, including Barnum’s Bones, Dare the Wind, and W Is for Webster. As a child, Tracey was a member of Wild Horse Annie’s pivotal pencil brigade. She lives with her family in West Newton, Massachusetts. To learn more about Tracy, visit her at www.traceyfern.com.

 About the Illustrator

Steven Salerno has illustrated thirty popular picture books including The Fantastic Ferris Wheel: The Story of Inventor George Ferris by Betsy Harvey Kraft, Goldenlocks and the Three Pirates by April Jones Prince, and Tim’s Goodbye, which he also wrote. A graduate of Parsons School of Design, Steven lives and works in New York City. To learn more about Steven, visit his website at stevensalerno.com.

If you would like to purchase a copy, click here.

 

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

 

-Momma Braga

 

 

* The book was provided to Momma Braga in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed her solely belong to Momma Braga.

Pocket Books Embrace Women’s History Month | Book Reviews

We are continuing our theme of celebrating Women’s History Month with three delightful pocket bio books and we are excited to share a bit about each one.

Anne Frank

Born into a Jewish family in Frankfurt, Germany, in 1929, Anne Frank was only thirteen years old when her family went into hiding to escape persecution during the Holocaust. Anne kept a diary detailing their years spent living in a concealed room behind a bookcase prior to their arrest – a diary so widely published following her death that it is one of the period’s most influential books.

To purchase this pocket size bio book, click here.

Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo remains one of the most celebrated painters of her time for her exploration of themes of feminism, gender, class, and race in her artwork and frequent self-portraits. From her childhood struggle with polio, to the traffic accident that left her with chronic pain, to her artistic exploration of herself and her identity, follow this extraordinary woman’s life and accomplishments.

To purchase this pocket size bio book, click here.

Marie Curie

Marie Curie, the first woman ever to win a Nobel Prize and only person to win it in two different scientific fields, was a physicist and chemist. As she conducted pioneering research, Marie Curie coined the term “radioactivity,” developed some of the first techniques for isolating radioactive isotopes. She also discovered two elements: polonium and radium, and developed mobile X-ray units for use in field hospitals during World War I. In 1934, at the age of sixty-six, she dies of complications from long-term exposure to radiation.

To purchase this pocket size bio book, click here.

#MelAndNikkiReview

Pocket Bio books are such a great idea to provide children with a brief history lesson in a small size format. They are very informative and all the stories of Anne Frank, Frida Kahlo, and Marie Curie were inspiring all in their own ways.

Pocket size books filled with empowering women of history is what you can expect from the above books. We loved how a timeline is provided in each story and book as it gives us the reader a better idea of the time that these amazing women where from. The illustrations are also very well done in each book. Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give the series 5 stars out of 5!

We would recommend these books for children ages 6 and up.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

 

-Momma Braga

 

 

* The books were provided to Momma Braga in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed her solely belong to Momma Braga.

A Is For Awesome!

March has been designated as Women’s History Month and it is a great month to highlight great achievements.

In our reading lineup this month is A is for Awesome! 23 Iconic Women Who Changed The Worldwritten by Eva Chen and illustrated by Derek Desierto.

Synopsis

Why stick with plain old A, B, C when you can have Amelia (Earhart), Malala, Tina (Turner), Ruth (Bader Ginsburg), all the way to Extraordinary You – and the Zillions of adventures you will go on?

#MelAndNikkiReview

A is for Awesome! 23 Iconic Women Who Changed The World is a fun and inspiring read for young children. It was a great way to do letter recognition and learn about an inspiring woman from the past or present. The quotes were awesome and one letter that stood out the most for my 4-year-old was B (Beyoncé).

“Mom! This is the Single Ladies Song!” – Nikki, Age 4

It is amazing what children obtain! We loved the fact that we can go through each letter and then later explain the importance of each woman in a way that a young child could understand. Books that can offer conversation pieces after the fact is one of our favorite parts of reading time.

Of course we can not forget the bright and vibrant illustrations in the book as it truly made the book eye catching. It is absolutely perfect for this age group.

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give A is for Awesome! 23 Iconic Women Who Changed The World 5 “Sheroes” out of 5! We recommend this book for ages one to three.

“We read books to find out who we are..What we ourselves are and may become.” – Ursula K. Le Guin

About the Author

Eva Chen, the author of Juno Valentine and the Magical Shoes and A Is For Awesome, is a first-generation Chinese-American who grew up in New York City. She blames her deviation from pre-med at Johns Hopkins University on a love of fashion and beauty instilled in her by her mother, whose perfect bob and lipstick made a permanent imprint on her impressionable young mind. Previously the editor in chief of Lucky, Eva has also written for ELLE, Vogue, Teen Vogue, Vogue Chine, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal. She is currently the head of fashion partnerships at Instagram, where she is guilty of the occasional duck-face selfie. Eva lives in New York City with her husband and two children.

 About the Illustrator

Derek Desierto is a Vancouver-based illustrator, designer, and overall nice guy from a nice family. His animation work has been recognized by the Ottawa International Animation Festival, the National Cartoonist Society, and 9 Story Media Group. Currently, he is living the dream as a freelance artist for animated TV shows and picture books. His ultimate goal in life is to meet Oprah and become one of her Favorite Things.

If you would like to purchase a copy, click here.

 

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

 

-Momma Braga

 

 

* The book was provided to Momma Braga in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed her solely belong to Momma Braga.

Spend It! | Book Review

A children’s book that involves teaching the concept of spending is what can be expected from Spend It! by Cinders McLeod.

Synopsis

Sonny gets three whole carrots a week for his allowance and wants to buy everything with it! But he soon discovers his money won’t go that far, and his mom tells him he needs to make some choices. That doesn’t sound like much fun to Sonny, especially when he learns that the bouncy castle he’s been eyeing goes for ONE HUNDRED carrots. Ridiculous! But eventually, after a little math and a little more thinking, he has a blast discovering what’s really important to him and worth spending his carrots on.

#MelAndNikkiReview

Spend It! is absolutely splendid. We love how it touches on the concept of spending through the dilemma that Sonny has with his allowance versus what he wants to buy. The simplicity of the message is brilliant and done in a way that a young child can grasp quickly. This is such a great book that it should be introduced in all homes and even at school. It is important to teach our children about money and spending at a young age. It is a great to set them up for success.

The illustrations are precious and make it really fun for children to follow along. The characters are big, bright and just so adorable! Perfect for this age group.

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give Spend It! 6 carrots out of 5! We recommend this book for ages three to five and it will have young readers laugh and learn simple math concepts.

“We have to be careful how much we spend because some things are expensive. That is why I save my money in my piggy bank for one REALLY big thing.” – Nikki, Age 4

About the Author

Cinders McLeod also wrote Earn It! and is the creator of the book and comic strip Broomie Law. Her illustrations have appeared in the Guardian, the Express, the Observer, the Independent on Sunday, the Glasgow Heald, Scotland on Sunday, the Globe and Mail, CBC, Macleans, and the Ottawa Citizen. Her work has been recognized by the Society of Newspaper Design, National Magazine Awards, National Newspaper Awards, Advertising and Design Club of Canada, Thames Television, and The Guinness Book of Records. Cinders is also a singer-songwriter-doublebassist, with a CD (Beyond our Means) on Billy Bragg’s Utility Label. She lives in Toronto, Canada.

If you would like to purchase a copy, click here.

 

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

 

-Momma Braga

 

 

* The book was provided to Momma Braga in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed her solely belong to Momma Braga.

Circle | Book Review

A children’s book that involves shapes, adventure, rules and a bit of imagination is what can be expected from Circlewritten by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Jon Klassen.

Synopsis

This book is about Circle. This book is also about Circle’s friends, Triangle and Square. Also it is about a rule that Circle makes, and how she has to rescue Triangle when he breaks that rule.

#MelAndNikkiReview

Circle came right in time as Nikki has been learning her shapes in school. Therefore, she was extra excited to have this book read to her and she got to point out what shapes she was seeing in the story. We loved the storyline and the clever illustrations throughout.

By the end of the book, we got to use our imagination on what shape could have been on the other side of the waterfall. It was funny to hear what shapes Nikki thought it could be. We can see why this duo has been writing many great children’s books! We just adored Circle.

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give Circle 5 shapes out of 5! We recommend this book for ages five to nine.

“I think the mystery shape is a Cone. A Cone isn’t scary because you can eat ice cream out of it.” – Nikki, Age 4

About the Author

Marc Barnett is the author of numerous books for children, including five illustrated by Jon Klassen: Square; The Wolf, the Duck, and the Mouse, an E.B. White Read-Aloud Award winner; Triangle; Sam and Dave Dig a Hole, an E.B. White Read-Aloud Award winner and a Caldecott Honor Book; and Extra Yarn, which received a Caldecott Honor and a Boston Globe-Horn Book Award. Mac Barnett lives in California

About the Illustrator

Jon Klassen is the author-illustrator of I Want My Hat Back, an E.B. White Read-Aloud Award winner and a Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor Book; This Is Not My Hat, winner of the Caldecott Medal and the Kate Greenaway Medal; and We Found a Hat. He is also the illustrator of two Caldecott Honor books, Sam and Dave Dig a Hole and Extra Yarn, both written by Mac Barnett. Jon Klassen lives in Los Angeles.

If you would like to purchase a copy, click here.

 

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

 

-Momma Braga

 

 

* The book was provided to Momma Braga in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed her solely belong to Momma Braga.

I Want My Hat Back | Book Review

We are always intrigued by books that are different and that make us laugh out loud. That is exactly what you can expect with I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen. 

Synopsis

The bear’s hat is gone, and he wants it back. Patiently and politely, he asks the animals he comes across, one by one, whether they have seen it. Each animal says no, some more elaborately than others. But just as the bear begins to despond, a deer comes by and asks a simple question that sparks the bear’s memory and renews his search with a vengeance.

#MelAndNikkiReview

I Want My Hat Back tells a tale with a mischievous twist and that is what we love best about this book. It makes the book different from the rest and it is told in complete dialogue. You do have your classic repetitive tale; however, the end will have your child laugh and the adult literally laugh out loud. I know that is how it worked in our home.

The illustrations tell the story beautifully and with visual humor. A combination that is great in a children’s book.

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give I Want My Hat Back 5 Hats out of 5! We recommend this book for ages four to eight.

About the Author

Jon Klassen received the 2010 Canadian Governor General’s Award for his illustrations in Caroline Stutson’s Cat’s Night Out. He also created illustrations for the popular series The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place and served as an illustrator on the animated feature film Caroline. I Want My Hat Back is the first book he has both written and illustrated. Originally from Niagara Falls, Canada, he lives in Los Angeles.

If you would like to purchase a copy, click here.

 

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

 

-Momma Braga

 

 

* The book was provided to Momma Braga in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed her solely belong to Momma Braga.

The Happy Book | Book Review

As a parent we realize that it can be difficult for a child to understand and express their feelings at a young age (let’s be honest, as we get older it can still be difficult). It appears that in the toddler years, these emotions are more intense as they try to figure it all out and as they get older they start to slowly start to learn. We are still in the high emotion phase with our four-year-old as she tries to grasp and understand her feelings.

Therefore, The Happy Book by Andy Rash, was a great welcome in our home.

Synopsis

Camper is happy as a clam and Clam is a happy camper. When you live in The Happy Book, the world is full of daisies and sunshine and friendship cakes…until your best friend eats the whole cake and doesn’t save you one bite.

Moving from happiness to sadness and everything in between, Camper and Clam have a hard time finding their way back to happy. But maybe happy isn’t the goal — being a good friend is about supporting each other and feeling all the feels together.

 

#MelAndNikkiReview

A children’s book filled with the different emotions a child can feel is absolutely perfect! We love the journey that the book takes us and how we get to visit some of the different emotions and why each character was feeling that way. We were able to pause throughout the book to talk about each feeling. Happy, sad, anger, and scared are very well described for a young child to understand and the characters were great. Camper and Clam are a great duo!

The illustrations are colorful and fun. It fits in perfectly with the story and message about friendship as we go through the rollercoaster of feelings. A fun read for all and it offers so much to parents as it opens the conversation of feelings and friendship.

“They have lots of feelings like me. I like how they talk about it together.” – Nikki, Age 4

For this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give The Happy Book 5 rollercoasters of feelings out of 5! We recommend this book for ages three to seven.

If you would like to purchase a copy, click here.

 

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

 

-Momma Braga

 

 

* The book was provided to Momma Braga in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed her solely belong to Momma Braga.

Dollop And Mrs. Fabulous | Book Review

Imagination play is one of the best parts of being a child as there are never any limits to where the imagination can take a young mind. Play often offers freedom on how to use your imagination but what if there were so many rules such as no Nnjas allowed at a tea party? Well, sisters Dollop and and Lili are put to the test in this children’s book that we are reviewing today.

We are delighted to introduce our readers to, Dollop and Mrs. Fabulous, written and illustrated by Jennifer Sattler.

Synopsis

Make way for bunny Dollop and her sister, Lily (otherwise known as Mrs. Fabulous). 

It’s looking like just another boring day playing monster vs. monster when Dollop overhears her big sister, Lily planning…a tea party? Lily is happy to have Dollop join her, as long as Dollop follows a few simple rules. There are no ninjas allowed and absolutely NO burping. But there is dressing up and sipping tea with your pinky finger in the air and making mindless small talk. Suddenly what started out as a fun idea is nothing but a bunch of rules. Can these two unalike sisters find common ground?

#MelAndNikkiReview

As the oldest sister in my family, this book reminded me a lot of growing up and playing with my younger sister. It was really cute! Dollop and Mrs. Fabulous touches upon how sisters can fight but at the end of the day they can find common ground to get along. Most importantly it shows that imagination is a marvelous tool that shouldn’t be contained by so many rules. Like who doesn’t want a ninja at their tea party?! I know we sure would love that!

We just adored this book and the illustrations are vibrant and captivating to the eye. We also enjoy books that have monsters, tea parties, ninjas and a whole lot of family fun.

“I would allow Ninjas, monsters and burping at my tea party!” – Nikki, Age 4

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give 5 “Ninjas” out of 5! We recommend this book for ages three to seven.

If you would like to purchase a copy, click here.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

 

-Momma Braga

 

 

* The book was provided to Momma Braga in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed her solely belong to Momma Braga.