Tag: Candlewick Press

The Princess in Black and the Giant Problem

“With a noisy giant crashing around the kingdom, the Princess in Black uses the Sparkle Signal to call ALL her heroic friends together – for the biggest adventure yet.”

Synopsis

The Princess in Black is ready for her snowy playdate with the Goat Avenger and the Princess in Blankets. It’s a perfect day to build snow monsters and battle them for practice. But just when they’re about to wage battle, a huge foot smashes their snow monster, “SQUASHY!”

It’s a giant, and it’s smashing everything in its path! The giant is too strong for the three friends, so the Princess in Blankets has an idea: it’s time to light the Sparkle Signal and summon help. With a rising crescendo of a plot and delightfully surprising ending, the latest adventure in the New York Times best-selling series features all the Princess in Black’s friends as heroes for the first time.

#MelAndNikkiReview

The Princess in Black and the Giant Problem is the perfect adventure that will have you wanting more! We just loved it from beginning to end! The authors combined our love for princesses and superheroes into one – so awesome! We loved the idea that anyone can be a superhero especially working as a team. Fantastic message for young readers.

This book is recommended for children ages five to eight and is great for the young readers to truly embrace in the reading world. It is a great introduction to chapter books for young readers. We will be using this book to help Nikki really hone in on her reading skills and this is a great way to use all the bookmarkers that we have. 🙂

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview we give it 5 stars out of 5! The storyline is great and the illustrations help bring the story to life. A must read for all young readers.

If you would like to purchase this book for a young reader, click here.

About the Authors

Shannon Hale and Dean Hale are the award-winning husband-and-wife team behind the Princess in Black series, illustrated by LeUyen Pham. Shannon Hale is also the author of Newbery Honor Book Princess Academy as well as the New York Times best-selling graphic novels Real Friends and Best Friends, illustrated by LeUyen Pham. Shannon Hale and Dean Hale live in Salt Lake City, Utah.

About the Illustrator

LeUyen Pham is the illustrator of the Princess in Black series as well as many other books for children, including Pat-a-Cake by Mary Brigid Barrett, God’s Dream by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Douglas Carlton Abrams, Aunt Mary’s Rose by Douglas Wood, and Real Friends and Best Friends by Shannon Hale. LeUyen Pham lives in California.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

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

The Hanukkah Magic of Nate Gadol

“The Hanukkah Magic of Nate Gadol is a beautiful story with breathtaking illustrations. A must read for all.” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

Nate Gadol is a great big spirit with eyes as shiny as golden coins and a smile that is lantern-bright. He can make anything last as long as it is needed, like a tiny bit of oil that must stretch for eight nights, a flower that needs to stay fresh to cheer up someone ailing, or a small lump of chocolate that grows to allow the Glasers to treat their children over the holiday and, during a harsh winter when medicine is needed more than sweets, spurs them to share what little they have with the O’Malleys.

In this charming holiday hybrid story, well-known children’s author and editor Artur A. Levine pairs with award-winning illustrator Kevin Hawkes to offer a mystical, magical take on the way Jewish families came to give and receive gifts over Hanukkah, just as their Christian neighbors do at Christmas, thanks to a loving spirit named Nate Gadol working behind the scenes – together with a certain jolly old soul.

#MelAndNikkiReview

The Hanukkah Magic of Nate Gadol is a beautiful children’s story about the magic of Hanukkah. We loved reading this tale which was full of kindness and magic. It touched upon the Jewish Holiday of Hanukkah which I was able to explain to my six-year old who enjoyed learning about the different religious holidays. So important to enrich our children with the knowledge of other holidays and cultures.

We also loved seeing Santa and Nate Gadol join together to help one another. The real magic of any holiday is the love, kindness and support we can give each other. That was our favorite!

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview we give it 8 candles out of 8! We love this story and the illustrations are breathtaking. The gold texture details on each page truly adds that magical touch. We recommend this story to all.

If you would like to purchase this beautiful book, click here. This book is perfect for children between five to eight years old.

About the Author

Arthur A. Levine has been a children’s book editor for more than thirty years. He is also the author of many acclaimed picture books for children, including What a Beautiful Morning, illustrated by Katie Kath, and The Very Beary Tooth Fairy, illustrated by Sarah S. Brannen. He had his own eponymous imprint at Scholastic Press and has published many of the most exceptional children’s titles of all time, including J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, Philip Pullman’s The Golden Compass, Shaun Tan’s The Arrival, and Peggy Rathmann’s Officer Buckle and Gloria.

About the Illustrator

Kevin Hawkes is the illustrator of many books for children, including the best-selling Library Lion by Michelle Knudsen and Weslandia by Paul Fleischman. Kevin Hawkes lives with his family in southern Maine.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

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

Flying Painting The Zhou Brothers: A Story of Revolution and Art

“A Story of Revolution and Art is an epic story of two Chinese brothers who became art-world legends, illustrated with stunning paintings by the artists themselves.”

Synopsis

First there was one Zhou brother, and then there were two. They lived in a bookstore with their grandmother, Po Po, whose stories of paintings that flew through the air and landed on mountain cliffs inspired them to create their own art. Amid the turbulence of China’s Cultural Revolution in the 1970s, the Zhou Brothers began painting together on the same canvas. Today, ShanZuo and DaHuang Zhou are icons in the art world, renowned for working side by side on all their paintings and sculptures.

#MelAndNikkiReview

Flying Painting The Zhou Brothers: A Story of Revolution and Art is based on a true story and it gives us a glimpse of the lives of the Zhou brothers who changed the world of art.

In this extraordinary biography, author Amy Alznauer joins with the Zhou Brothers to tell the story of their unique and often difficult childhood and their pursuit of a wild, impossible dream. The lyrical writing blends elements of legend, while the brothers’ dramatic illustrations soar with vibrant colors and surreal imagery from ancient Chinese cliff paintings.

This children’s story is inspiring for young artists and dreamers of all kinds, this deeply felt collaboration explores how art can bring people together, as well as set them free. For this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give this story 5 stars out of 5.

If you would like to purchase a copy of this book, click here. The age recommendation for this book is five to nine years old.

About the Author

Amy Alznauer is the author of The Boy Who Dreamed of Infinity, illustrated by Daniel Miyares. She has a master’s degree in creative writing from the University of Pittsburgh. When she isn’t writing, she is teaching calculus and number theory classes at Northwestern University or spending time with her family in Chicago.

About the Illustrator

ShanZuo Zhou and DaHuang Zhou were born in China, where they started painting together on the same canvas. They left behind a promising art career in China when they moved to the United States, where they have flourished as fine artists creating work that is sold around the world, including a painting commissioned by President Obama and gifted to President Hu of China. They are the founders of the Zhou B Art Center in Chicago, where new artists work and show their art.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

*This book was provided in exchange for an honest reviews. All opinions expressed are our own. We do not make commission on book sales.

In The Half Room Book Review

In The Half Room gives us a full beautiful story in halves. A great children’s story that opens up conversations on perspectives. Truly delightful.” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

The half room is full of half things. A half chair, a half cat, even half shoes – all just as nice as whole things. When half a knock comes on half a door, who in the world could it be?

With inventive flair, Caldecott Honoree Carson Ellis explores halves and wholes in an ingenious and thought-provoking picture book. Ink and gouache illustrations featuring wry detail and velvety textures conjure a dreamlike mood while leaving space for imagining. A celebration of the surreal and the serendipitous and the beauty of the two together, this brilliant picture book will have readers seeing halves with whole new eyes.

#MelAndNikkiReview

In The Half Room truly brought out the whole in halves. 😉 It was an intriguing story to read and got us talking about how we see things in our world. Two halves make a whole and that can be applied with relationships. This is why sometimes we say, “This is my better half.”

It was such a delightful read and the best part of this book for us was having Nikki read it to us on her own. It makes reading time that more fun for me and watching how proud she was to read it. Of course the concept of a half cat had her giggling especially when the other half started to interact with the other half. You will need to read the story to find out what we mean. 😉

For this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give this book 10 stars out of 5! An intriguing and delightful story that will have you opening the conversations on perceptions and how sometimes you need to look at things half full.

“This book was fun to read and I really liked the cat part. Two halves do make a whole and it can always be found.” – Nikki, Age 6

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

About the Author

Carson Ellis is the author-illustrator of the best-selling picture books Home and Du Iz Tak?,  a Caldecott Honor Book and E.B. White Read-Aloud Award winner. She has illustrated a number of books, including The Shortest Day by Susan Cooper. Carson Ellis lives in Portland Oregon, 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. We do not make commission on book sales.

A Polar Bear In The Snow

“A Polar Bear In The Snow will take you on an intriguing journey that will be a delightful read for children. Another amazing story by Mac Barnett!” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

A majestic polar bear heads out on a mysterious walk in a dazzling, playful collaboration from an exciting pair of picture-book creators.

Follow a magnificent polar bear through a fantastic world of snow and shockingly blue sea. Over the ice, through the water, past Arctic animals and even a human…where is he going? What does he want?

Acclaimed author Mac Barnett’s narration deftly balances suspense and emotion, as well as poignant, subtle themes, compelling us to follow the bear with each page turn. Artist Shawn Harris’s striking torn-paper illustrations layer white-on-white hues, with bolts of blue and an interplay of shadow and light, for a gorgeous view of a stark yet beautiful landscape.

#MelAndNikkiReview

A Polar Bear in the Snow takes us on a polar bear journey which is intriguing through words and illustrations. The perfect combination for a delightful reading time for children.

We absolutely adored this book and it is no surprise as Mac Barnett is one of our favorite authors. He does not disappoint in this beautiful polar bear tale.

Simple and thought-provoking, illuminating and intriguing, this engaging picture book will have readers pondering the answer to its final question long after the polar bear has continued on his way.

“My favorite part was when he passed the seals. First you think that is who he is visiting and then you find out he is just passing through. I love seals.” – Nikki, Age 6

For this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give it 10 polar bears out of 5! The perfect story to read while cuddling on family night with a nice cup of hot chocolate!

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

About the Author

Mac Barnett is the author of several books for children, including Extra Yarn, illustrated by Jon Klassen, which won a Caldecott Honor and a Boston Globe – Horn Book Award; Sam and Dave Dig a Hole and The Wolf, the Duck, and the Mouse, both also illustrated by Jon Klassen; and President Taft Is Stuck in the Bath; illustrated by Chris Van Dusen. Mac Barnett lives in California.

About the Illustrator

Shawn Harris’s debut picture book, Her Right Foot, written by Dave Eggers, was named an Orbis Pictus Honor Book, an American Library Association Notable Children’s Book, and a Publishers Weekly Best Children’s Book of the Year. He began his illustration career in the early 2000s when he designed the album art for his band the Matches, for whom he continues to moonlight as a singer-songwriter. He lives near Mac.

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. We also do not make commission off of book sales.

Julián At The Wedding

“Julián at the Wedding is a beautiful children’s story that reminds us that everything is easier with a good friend by our side.” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

Julián and his abuela are going to a wedding. Better yet, Julián is in the wedding. Weddings have flowers and kissing and dancing and cake. And this wedding also has a new friend named Marisol.

It’s not long before Julián and Marisol set off for some magic and mischief of their own, and when things take an unexpected turn, the pair learns that everything is easier with a good friend by your side.

Jessica Love returns with a joyful story of friendship and individuality in this radiant follow-up to Julián Is A Mermaid.

#MelAndNikkiReview

Julián at the Wedding is a beautiful children’s story that embraces uniqueness, friendship and love. We truly enjoyed reading this book and Nikki loved how kind Julián is with his new friend Marisol. We also enjoyed the joy everyone was having in celebrating love at a wedding.

We got a sneak peek at the author’s interview on her book and we loved her answer of what she hopes the reader gets out of her book.

“It’s also a story about making a friend by sharing a feeling of complicité, about connecting in a moment of vulnerability. It is a story about the power of dress-up, and it’s a celebration of nature, love, and of course, dancing. I suppose my hope for the book is a simple one: that it will make people happy.” – Jessica Love

For this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give it 5 stars out of 5! If you would like to purchase this book, click here.

About the Author

Jessica Love is an actor and the author-illustrator of Julián Is A Mermaid. She has a BA in studio art from the University of California, Santa Cruz, as well as a graduate degree from Juilliard. She has appeared in plays both on and off Broadway. Jessica Love lives in Brooklyn.

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 and we do not make commission on book sales.

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.

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.