Tag: Penguin Random House Canada

Trouble | Book Review

Trouble is a great children’s book that shows us that you can’t judge someone based on what you think you know about them. Everyone is different and deserves the opportunity to show you who they are. A must read.” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

Here comes TROUBLE…Squirrel leads a quiet life. She gardens, drinks tea, and loves her pet mouse, Chamomile. But then a new neighbor moves in and Squirrel isn’t sure she likes the look of him.

He wears strange clothes. He does strange things. And she’s certain he is TROUBLE. Then something horrible happens: Chamomile disappears! Squirrel is convinced it’s TROUBLE’S doing. But who is really to blame? And just how much trouble can one teapot-wielding squirrel cause?

#MelAndNikkiReview

Trouble is thoughtful and creative as it explores differences and prejudice in a way a child can understand. It truly helps open up conversation with your child about this topic and how we can be kinder to one another.

Celebrating differences and seeing everyone for their unique self is what we shall all strive for. We truly loved this story from beginning to end. Trouble has been read multiple times since it arrived and Nikki has really grasped the concept of not judging people without getting to know them first.

For this #MelAndNikkiReview we give it 10 bears out of 5! An inspiring and engaging story for children. The illustrations are vibrant and really bring the story to life. We highly recommend to give this book a read as everyone will enjoy it. It is also a great conversation starter on the topic of prejudice for children and we enjoyed opening up about it with Nikki.

Recommended for children ages three to seven. If you would like to purchase this great children’s book, click here.

About the Author

Katherine Battersby is the critically acclaimed author and illustrator of eleven picture books, including Squish Rabbit, a CBC Children’s Choice Book. She wrote Trouble after moving from Australia to Canada and discovering she was terrified of bears. But the heart of this story is shaped by her belief that everyone deserves to be seen and celebrated for who the are (even bears). Katherine lives in Ottawa, Canada, with her poet, their daughter, and a mischievous puppy.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

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

Simon and Chester Super Detectives!

Simon and Chester Super Detectives will bring out the inner detective in us with mystery, friendship and tons of laughs along the way! This is a must read graphic novel for young readers.” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

Welcome to the world of Simon and Chester, ghost and boy duo extraordinaire. These best friends like to kick butt and take names. They are about to solve the MYSTERY OF A LIFETIME (Oh, and eat some snacks probably).

Join Simon and Chester in their first adventure, and fall in love with this hilarious odd couple by fan favorite author and illustrator Cale Atkinson.

#MelAndNikkiReview

Simon and Chester Super Detectives is the must have graphic novel of the year! It brought out the inner detective in us with mystery, friendship and tons of laughs along the way.

You will fall in love with this duo! Their friendship truly is unique as who can say they are best friends with a cool ghost?!

As they work together to solve the adorable mystery, you learn that Simon can be a little dramatic and Chester seems more of the logical thinker. This is an excellent combination and it adds to the humor throughout the book.

Nikki’s favorite part is when Simon says, “My legs!” You will need to read the story to understand why that comment alone had Nikki laughing for days!

For this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give this book 10 pugs named Von Curly Tail out of 5! An amazing graphic novel that will have you laughing from beginning to end. Even though it has great humor, there is still a great story to read. Did I mention that the illustrations are fantastic?! This novel has made it to our Momma Braga recommended list of 2021!

“I loved this book! It made me laugh so much! Can we read the next book when it comes out?” – Nikki, Age 6

This book is recommended for children ages six to nine. If you would like to purchase this book, click here.

About the Author

Cale Atkinson of Sir Simon, Unicorns 101 and Where Oliver Fits fame. He lives lakeside with his family in Kelowna, British Columbia, and he is assisted in his artistic endeavors by Charlie, a wise noble floof. Cale has never met a ghost, but he would like to, if only to learn the truth about ghost toots, floating and the afterlife.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

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

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.

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.

Fauja Singh Keeps Going

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

Synopsis

Every step forward is a victory.

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

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

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

#MelAndNikkiReview

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

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

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

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

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

About the Author

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

About the Author

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

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

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

Girl on a Motorcycle

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

Synopsis

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

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

#MelAndNikkiReview

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

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

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

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

About the Author

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

About the Illustrator

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

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

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

 

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.

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.