Tag: Candlewick Press

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.

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.

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.

Jabari Tries | Book Review

“Jabari Tries is a great children’s story that exemplifies emotions and great problem solving skills.” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

Jabari is making a flying machine. It will fly all across the yard.

“It’ll be easy. I don’t need any help,” he declares. However, it doesn’t work! Jabari is frustrated. Good thing Dad is there for a pep talk and his little sister, Nika, is there to assist, fairy wings and all. With the endearing father-child dynamic of Jabari Jumps and engaging mixed-media illustrations, Gaia Cornwall’s tale shows that through perseverance and flexibility, an inventive thought can become a brilliant reality.

#MelAndNikkiReview

Jabari Tries is a great children’s story that exemplifies emotions and great problem solving skills. We loved how it highlighted engineering into the story. The bond between father and child showcased beautifully and we love how the little sister was brought into the engineer plans. The emotions that Jabari feels throughout the process are all natural feelings and the problem-solving used in the story was brilliant!

*Construction boots do not come with the book 😉

For this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give it 5 stars out of 5! We loved the unique storyline and the illustrations were beautifully done.

“I like using strategies too to solve problems. I feel it helps me a lot.” – Nikki, Age 6

This book is great for children ages four to eight. If you would like to purchase a copy of this book, click here.

About the Author

Gaia Cornwall loves to write and illustrate for children. Her debut picture book, Jabari Jumps, was a Charlotte Zolotow Honor Book and an American Library Association Notable Children’s Book. While not quite an engineer, she can certainly find her way around a pile of Lego bricks and, after much trial and error, can now build a pretty cool flying machine. Gaia Cornwall lives in Providence, Rhode Island.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

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

Love Is Powerful | Book Review

Love is Powerful is an empowering children’s story that shows us that one little voice can be carried out to millions. All you need to do is believe, have confidence and never be afraid to speak up.” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

Mari raised her sign for everyone to see. Even though she was small and the crowd was very big, and she didn’t think anyone would hear, she yelled out.

Mari is getting ready to make a sign with crayons as the streets below her fill up with people. “What are we marking, Mama?” she asks. “A message for the world,” Mama says. “How will the whole world hear?” Mari wonders. “They’ll hear,” says Mama, “because love is powerful.”

Inspired by a girl who participated in the January 2017 Women’s March in New York City, Heather Dean Brewer’s simple and uplifting story, delightfully illustrated by LeUyen Pham, is a reminder of what young people can do to promote change and equality at a time when our country is divided by politics, race, gender, and religion.

#MelAndNikkiReview

Love is Powerful is an empowering children’s book that is so refreshing to read. We loved the storyline and illustrations throughout. The message is loud and clear for our young activists that every voice should be heard. But most importantly that you CAN be heard.

We love how the book included a note from Mari who is the star of the story and her telling us of her real life experience of being heard. A six year old inspired everyone to chant “Love is Powerful.” It is empowering to hear stories like this as it reminds us that we all can be heard.

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give it 5 hearts out of 5! Beautiful storyline and illustrations that will empower the little ones and even the adults reading the story. It truly touched our hearts and we recommend to give this book a read.

If you would like to purchase this great book, click here. This book is great for children’s ages five to eight years of age.

About the Author

Heather Dean Brewer is a writer, artist, and art director who designs books for kids and adults and loves to ride her bike in the woods. About this book she says, “I’ve often felt quiet and small and that no one could hear me. But when I joined others in the Women’s March and saw my friend Mari lifted above the crowd, her voice echoing down the streets of New York City, I learned that even the smallest voice has the power to change the world.” Heather Dean Brewer lives in Michigan wit her family and loves to ride her bike in the woods.

About the Illustrator

LeUyen Pham is a Caldecott Honor recipient and the illustrator of over one hundred books for children, including the Princess in Black series by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale and God’s Dream by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Douglas Carlton Abrams. She says, ” I marched in the first Women’s March in Atlanta in 2017, but I carried no sign. This book is the sign I wish I’d had with me.” 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.

 

A Children’s Book That Brings Out Your Inner Artist

Make Your Mark Gallery: A Coloring Book-ish will let your inner artist shine through as they can express their art through the beautiful pages in this children’s book.” – Momma Braga

About the Book

Draw. Frame. Share! With pages of possibilities, the creator of The Dot inspires us to make our mark and see where it takes us.

Do you have a crayon or marker ready? Children’s book creator Peter H. Reynolds has motivated kids of all ages, in homes and classrooms, to escape their inner critics and let the artist inside of them out to play. Now, with Make Your Mark Gallery, the celebrated author-illustrator offers more inspiration with a coloring book-ish featuring frames of all kinds just waiting to be filled with original art. Readers can follow ish-full suggestions or let inspiration guide their artistic vision, then tear out their creations along a perforated edge to proudly display their work or give it to someone special.

#MelAndNikkiReview

Make Your Mark Gallery: A Coloring Book-ish is an amazing children’s book that embraces your inner artist. This is absolutely the perfect book for our family as Nikki loves being artistic. Each page provides a different frame that you can use to create your masterpiece. Once completed, your child can write their name, date and the name of the drawing.

Your child can give their photo to someone that they love or they can add their photo to their own art gallery. You can even be creative and do an art gallery opening where your child can display their artwork for all to see. We have started the process and we are hoping by Thanksgiving in October we can have “Nikki’s Art Gallery” ready to show our immediate family.

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give this book 10 paint brushes out of 5! Time to roll up your selves and get creative. Your child will love to explore the pages that await them. I wonder if I can sneak a page for my own design while Nikki isn’t looking?! 😉

If you would like to purchase this great masterpiece, click here. It is perfect for children ages four to eight and let their inner creativity flow!

About the Author

Peter H. Reynolds is the New York Times best-selling illustrator of the Judy Moody and Stink series, written by Megan McDonald. He is also the creator of several picture books for children, including The Dot, Ish, Sky Color, The North Star, So Few of Me, Rose’s Garden, The Smallest Gift for Christmas, and Playing from the Heart. The president and creative director of FableVision, Peter H. Reynolds was born in Canada and now lives in Dedham, Massachusetts.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

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

Gold Rush Girl | Book Review

“Newbery Medalist Avi brings us mud-caked, tent-filled San Francisco in 1848 with a willful heroine who goes on an unintended – and perilous – adventure to save her brother.”

Synopsis

Victoria Blaisdell longs for independence and adventure, and she yearns to accompany her father as he sails west in search of real gold! But it is 1848, and Tory isn’t even allowed to go to school, much less travel all the way from Rhode Island to California. Determined to take control of her own destiny, she stows away on the ship. Though San Francisco is frenzied and full of wild and dangerous men, Tory finds freedom and friendship there. Until one day, when Father is in the gold fields, her younger brother, Jacob, is kidnapped. And so Tory is spurred on a treacherous search for him in Rotten Row, a part of San Francisco Bay crowded with hundreds of abandoned ships.

#MelAndNikkiReview

Gold Rush Girl is set during the Gold Rush of 1894 and is filled with adventure to draw a reader in. What captivated me as a reader was the strong female main character, Victoria (Tory). She embraces the unknown and refuses to be underestimated – love that! Tory also portrays great qualities such as being a good friend and being empathetic toward others. Furthermore, she becomes aware of her own shortcomings. Not in a way that belittles her strong character, but rather provides a depth look to who she is. You can’t help but respect it as you see her grow.

It is an interesting era to write about as the author combined real history facts into a functional story which made this book an interesting read. Make sure to read the Autor’s note in the back as there are some really cool facts he shares.

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give Gold Rush Girl 4 stars out of 5! Adventure awaits for readers between 10 to 14 years of age and an empowering story too.

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

About the Author

Avi is one of the most celebrated authors writing for children today, having received two Boston Globe – Horn Book Awards, a Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction, a Christopher Award, a Newbery Medal, and two Newbery Honors. He is the author of more than eighty books, including The Button War, What Do Fish Have to Do with Anything? And Other Stories, and The Most Important Thing: Stories About Sons, Fathers and Grandfatherd. Avi lives in Colorado.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

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