Tag: Macmillan’s Childrens Publishing Group

Spring After Spring | Book Review

“SPRING AFTER SPRING,

YEAR AFTER YEAR,

A YOUNG GIRL WATCHED

AND LISTENED.”

Synopsis

Rachel Carson lived her life by the rhythms of the natural world. She heard when the birds started their songs and when the insects joined in. She saw the days grow short and the geese fly south. And so it was Rachel who noticed when the birds stopped singing and the spring went silent. It was Rachel who could see how the music of nature had been disrupted and who was to blame. And what she saw and head scared her.

This is the story of how a life of observation and bravery changed the course of environmental science and continues to inspire the young naturalists of today.

#MelAndNikkiReview

Spring After Spring is a charming and inspiring children’s book how one voice can have an impact. The writer Stephanie tells the story beautifully and the illustrations are captivating. We loved learning about Rachel Carson and the environmental movement that she began. There is so much we can learn from her story and it also helps us realize that there is so much more that we need to learn about the environment. Our plant is very fragile and we all need to work together to protect it.

We especially loved the author’s note in the back of the book as it gave us a (little) deeper look at Rachel Carson and what she inspired. This children’s book showcased an empowering story that all children should read. It is important to know history as it will help us learn for the present and for the future.

“The balance of nature is build on a series of relationships between living things and their environment.” – Rachel Carson

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview we give Spring After Spring 5 Chirps out of 5! It is recommended for children between the ages of four and eight.

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

About the Author

Stephanie Roth Sisson is an artist who has illustrated many books for children, including Star Stuff, a picture book biography of Carl Sagan. She divides her time between Mauritius, Africa and Sarasota, Florida.

 

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

 

* The book was provided to Momma Braga in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed here are my own.

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The Nature Girls | Book Review

We are surrounded by nature and it is truly a beautiful sight when we take it all in.

It is also important for children to learn about  nature and what better way then through a book. We are delighted to introduce you all to, The Nature Girlsby Aki.

Synopsis

Aki’s The Nature Girls is a picture book starring an adorable troupe of girls exploring different biomes – the ocean, the dessert, the tundra, the grasslands, the forest – and meeting all the cute animals that inhabit them.

#MelAndNikkiReview

The Nature Girls is a delightfully charming art showcases the girls in scenes outdoors with bright, vivid colors. Aki’s simple lines bring this world of nature fully to life!

We absolutely loved this adorable book! It flows beautifully and the illustrations are simply perfect. The book is written in rhyme which is our favorite type of books to read. At the end of the book you get a brief description of each biomes which is very educational for all, including parents. 🙂

We have read this book several times as Nikki can’t get enough of it. She loved it so much that she wanted to tell everyone herself in this exclusive #MelAndNikkiReview video. You will need to click and watch to hear what we give The Nature Girls. 😉  

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

About the Author

Aki, whose real name is Delphine Mach, has been writing and illustrating since 2008. When she is not illustrating, Aki maintains a culinary blog (The 3 Sisters) that she shares with her sisters (who are equally passionate about cooking). She is the author of The Nature Girls.

 

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

 

* The book was provided to Momma Braga in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed here are my own.

Borrowing Bunnies | Book Review

Ever thought about adopting or fostering a rabbit?

Then you will love reading this new children’s book, Borrowing Bunnieswritten by Cynthia Lord; photographs by John Bald; and illustrated by Hazel Mitchell.

Synopsis

Newbery Honor author Cynthia Lord likes fostering rabbits—or, as she fondly calls it, “borrowing bunnies.” This is the heartwarming true story of the author’s own journey with two very special rabbits.

In the spring of 2016, Peggotty and Benjamin were saved by Maine’s Cottontail Cottage Rabbit Rescue after their previous owners had neglected them. But before the two Netherland Dwarf rabbits could be adopted, Cynthia had to help them learn to trust people and feel safe inside a home. The bunnies slowly settled in, enjoying their clean pens, nibbling new foods, and playing with fun toys, while Cindy’s husband, John Bald, photographed Benjamin and Peggotty’s every step toward adoption. At that time, hundreds of viewers were drawn to Cindy’s Facebook page to watch their progress. Now, she has adapted the rabbits’ true story into a picture book that explores love, responsibility, empathy, and letting go—along with fostering’s many surprises, both big and small.

#MelAndNikkiReview

Borrowing Bunnies is a heart-warming story about one person’s personal experience in fostering bunnies. It is full of great information for anyone considering to get a rabbit.

Young readers will delight in watching these bunnies thrive while also learning a few fun animal facts. With Cindy’s pitch-perfect blend of warmth and real-life experience, Borrowing Bunnies is a new classic in narrative nonfiction.

The photos and illustrations will make you fall in love with each bunny as you go through their journey to adoption. The tips and personal story written will provide the deep appreciation of the amazing people who open up their homes and hearts to foster. Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview we give it 6 Bunnies out of 5! 

We recommend this book for children ages three to six. If you would like to purchase a copy, click here.

“Bunnies are SO cute! It’s important that we know how to take care of them.” – Nikki, Age 4

About the Author

Cynthia Lord is the Newbery Honor author of Rules and other middle-grade novels. Her first picture book, Hot Rod Hamster, inspired a bestselling series about a speed-loving hamster that also includes four early readers. Her chapter-book series, Shelter Pet Squad, appeared on the American Booksellers Association’s ABC Best Books for Children list. Cindy lives in Maine with her husband, John Bald, their children, and a collection of beloved animals, including three rabbites (so far!).

About the Photographer

John Bald is best known for his stunning photographs of landscapes and seascapes throughout New England, particularly along Maine’s rocky coastline. When he and Cindy fostered the family of rabbits featured in this book, he couldn’t resist documenting each precious moment – happy, sad, or silly – with his camera.

About the Illustrator

Hazel Mitchell is the author and illustrator of Toby, as well as the illustrator of several other picture books. When Fezzi and Dodger were old enough to have visitors, Cindy invited Hazel and other artists over to sketch and handle them. Hazel used those early drawings as inspirations in Borrowing Bunnies. She is originally from Yorkshire, England, and currently resides in Maine.

 

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

 

* The book was provided to Momma Braga in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed here are my own.

My Easter Basket | Book Review

For many an Easter tradition is egg hunting and it truly is a fun activity. Imagine all that excitement in a children’s books?!

We are delighted to introduce My Easter Basket, written by Roger Priddy and illustrated by Jennie Bradley.

Synopsis

My Easter Basket is an illustrated board book basket, with colorful, foiled Easter egg tabs and search-and-find scenes of busy animals on an Easter egg hunt.

#MelAndNikkiReview

My Easter Basket brings Easter fun in a book format and we love it! Nikki loved searching for the Easter eggs right along with the animals in the story. She has even promised that she will help her little cousin on Easter to find the eggs in the book at Easter time. Family bonding over a book is just perfect for this special holiday.

We absolutely love the cute basket-shape format which makes it easy for a child to carry the book around with them to enjoy. It is a colorful story of spotting all the eggs that the Easter Bunny has hidden on his rounds. It also provides learning about color, counting and matching through play. Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview we give it 6 Eggs out of 5! 

We know this would be an egg-errific book for a child for Easter and the best part is that it is sugar free. 😉 It is recommended for children between the ages of 0 to two years of age; however, a 4-year-old can appreciate it too as our daughter did. If you would like to purchase a copy, click here.

“Finding Easter eggs in a book is so much fun Momma! I was very good at finding them all too.” – Nikki, Age 4

About the Author

Roger Priddy’s passion for educating children through fun, informative and engaging books has led him to create some of publishing’s most enduring and successful non-fiction early learning books. Roger lives in London and has three children, who have been the inspiration behind many of his best publishing ideas.

 

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

 

* The book was provided to Momma Braga in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed here are my own.

The Astonishing Maybe | Book Review

“A new friendship becomes the adventure of a lifetime.”

Synopsis

Gideon hates the idea of moving to Nevada from the East Coast. It’s so empty and hot in his new neighbourhood. Only one person his age lives nearby: the girl next door, Roona.

Gid notices right away that Roona is…different. She wears roller skates and a blanket as a cape when she needs to feel strong. What he doesn’t bargain for, however, is how far outside his comfort zone Roona will take him, as she enlists his help in finding her long-gone father. For a kid who’s not allowed to ride his bike more than a few blocks from home, this will be an adventure that changes his life.

#MelAndNikkiReview

The Astonishing Maybe was a novel hard to put down as it captivated my attention. It brought real issues into light and I loved that as topics of mental illness, abuse and family dynamics can be difficult to discuss. However, Shaunta brings it all together in a way to have middle school graders to understand.

Gideon comes from a very loving family. Roona has a dad who isn’t around all her life and her mother is battling a mental illness. Very opposite family dynamics but with the same capability of forming a friendship. Gideon and Roona find themselves in many adventures that lead to some sad discoveries and scary moments. However, their friendship prevails as they learn that they can truly count on one another.

Absolutely loved the whole story and yes I did cry at some points but these are the best stories as they really speak to us. Engaging a reader in emotion is always the best form of a compliment. Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview we give it 5 stars out of 5!

“I didn’t know what to do. My stomach hurt, my head hurt. I felt tears just behind my eyelids and I fought desperately to keep them in.”

About the Author

Shaunta Grimes has worked as a substitute teacher, a newspaper reporter, a court counselor, and a vintage-clothing seller. She lives in Reno with her family, where she writes, teaches, and perpetually studies at the University of Nevada. The Astonishing Maybe marks her middle grade debut. Visit her blog about writing at whatisaplot.com.

We recommend this novel for readers 12 and up. If you would like to purchase this great book, please 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.

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.