Sunday, December 10, 2017

RED AND LULU by Matt Tavares / Book Review

Written & Illustrated by: Matt Tavares
Published by: Penguin Random House
Released on: September 19th, 2017
Ages: 3 & up
Purchase from: Publisher | Amazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads
Rating: 4 Owlets
Source: borrowed book 

Separation and miles cannot keep a determined cardinal from his loved one in an ode to serendipity and belief that is destined to be a new Christmas classic.

Red and Lulu make their nest in a particularly beautiful evergreen tree. It shades them in the hot months and keeps them cozy in the cold months, and once a year the people who live nearby string lights on their tree and sing a special song: O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree. But one day, something unthinkable happens, and Red and Lulu are separated. It will take a miracle for them to find each other again. Luckily, it's just the season for miracles. . . . 

From Matt Tavares comes a heart-tugging story combining the cheer of Christmas, the magic of New York City, and the real meaning of the holiday season: how important it is to be surrounded by love.

Love, Christmas magic, and a bustling New York City setting help create a heartwarming story about two birds hoping for a happy holiday reunion. Readers of all ages will fall in love with Red and Lulu's story.

When Lulu and Red's beloved beautiful evergreen tree is cut down with Lulu still inside, Red desperately tries to follow the tree as it's transported from it's spot. He soon finds himself in an unfamiliar place, and quickly gets lost. New York City's Central Park is beautiful, but it's not home, and his beloved Lulu isn't there. With a little help, and some Christmas magic, Red discovers something truly amazing about the new tree that's all aglow in New York City. 

Tavares's stunning illustrations capture the magic and love of the holidays. He combines all the feel good holiday elements for a book that's worth adding to your holiday book collection. This story's message is one that definitely resonated with us. We enjoyed the notes/history of the Christmas traditions in NYC, Tavares includes at the end of this book.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Penguin Random House Holiday Gift Guide 2017 for Kids & Tweens @PenguinKids @RandomHouseKids

Looking for that perfect holiday gift, or maybe the perfect stocking stuffer for your favorite reader? Penguin Random House has you covered. From board books to middle grade, and readers in between, Penguin Random House recently shared with us their 2017 Holiday Gift Guide for young readers with us. I'm thrilled to share that list with you today. There is something for everyone on this list. 

The list below features books from toddlers through middle grade readers. You can check out the YA list here. There are even collectibles, sets, color books and so much more found on this list. Check it out below:




If you're looking for more gift ideas for readers 8-12, check out the list here on Read Brightly

If you haven't found what you're looking for above, check out these other lists they have below, featuring gift sets, collectibles and more! There's definitely something for everyone on these lists. 

·         THE SECRET GARDEN by Frances Hodgson Burnett (9780425289051)
·         TREASURE ISLAND by Robert Louis Stevenson (9780425289068)
·         THE WIZARD OF OZ by L. Frank Baum (9780425289044)
·         ANNE OF GREEN GABLES by L. M. Montgomery (9780425288993)
·         THE ADVENTURES OF TOM SAWYER by Mark Twain (9780425289037)
·         HEIDI by Johanna Spyri (9780425289020)

·         GEORGE’S MARVELOUS MEDICINE (9780425290101)
·         THE TWITS (9780425290095)
·         DANNY CHAMPION OF THE WORLD (9780425290088)
·         HUNTING FOR HIDDEN GOLD #5 (9780515159073)
·         THE SHORE ROAD MYSTERY #6 (9780515159080)
·         THE SECRET OF THE CAVE #7 (9780515159097)
·         THE MYSTERY OF CABIN ISLAND #8 (9780515159103)
·         DR. FIRST (9780515158465)
·         DR. FOURTH (9780515158472)
·         DR. ELEVENTH (9780515158489)
·         DR. TWELFTH (9780515158496)
·         DR. SECOND (9780515158502)
·         DR. SEVENTH (9780515158519)
·         DR. EIGHTH (9780515158526)
·         DR. NINTH (9780515158533)
·         DR. TENTH: Christmas Surprise! (9781524786236)

  • WONDERFUL, WICKED, AND WHIZZPOPPING: The Stories, Characters, and Inventions of Roald Dahl
  • FLOWER FAIRIES: FAIRY CHRONICLES by Christa Roberts; Illustrated by Cicely Mary Barker
  • HATCHIMALS: Magical Adventures Sticker Activity Book
  • THE MARVELOUS MATILDA STICKER AND ACTIVITY BOOK by Roald Dahl; illustrated by Quentin Blake
  • MATILDA’S FANTASICALLY FINE NOTEBOOK by Roald Dahl; illustrated by Quentin Blake
  • STAR WARS MADLIBS Deluxe Edition
  • HATCHIMALS: The Official CollEGGtor’s Guide by Jenne Simon
  • MUPPETS MEET THE CLASSICS: The Phantom of the Opera by Erik Forrest Jackson; illustrated Owen Richardson
  • THE EMOTIONARY: A Dictionary of Words That Don’t Exist for Feelings That Do by Eden Sher; illustrated by Julia Wertz
  • GIRLS WHO CODE: CODE IT! CREATE IT! by Sarah Hutt; illustrated by Breanna Vaughan
Post-Holiday Gifts

We'll be featuring more Holiday Gift Guides from other publishers through out the month. Be sure to check back soon for more. 

Friday, December 1, 2017

I WANNA BE A COWGIRL by Angela DiTerlizzi #IWannaBeACowgirl

By: Angela DiTerlizzi
Illustrated by: Elizabet Vukovic
Published by: Beach Lane Books 
Released on: November 14th, 2017
Ages: 4 & up
Purchase from: The Publisher | Amazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads
Rating: 5 Owlets
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher, in exchange for my honest review

Grab your boots and spurs and hat—it’s time to be a cowgirl! 

Way out west, the warm winds blow. 
The grass grows high, the sun hangs low. 
I’ll find a farm, there I’ll go, 
and I’ll become a cowgirl.

From sun up to sun down, the girl in this story pretends to be a cowgirl as she pulls on her (rain) boots, saddles up her (stick) horse, and gallops off through the (backyard) hills. Filled with humor and imaginative play, this sweet story from Angela DiTerlizzi captures the dream of zillions of little girls everywhere—the dream of being a cowgirl!

I absolutely loved reading this book! DiTerlizzi's imaginative story telling, paired with Vukovic's simply adorable illustrations, make for a classic picture book I would have worn out as a child.  The rhyming scheme, and repetition, mixed with the classic illustrations, make for an engaging story that even short attention spans will enjoy. 

This is one of my favorite picture books of this year! This book spoke to my inner child. I wanted to be a cowgirl when I was younger, and even had a stick horse similar to one in this book. This book reminded me of when my daughter was younger. She would have paired her cowgirl hat, with sparkling boots, and pretended she was a cowgirl in a similar fashion as the little girl in this story does. 

This book is definitely a must read. This book would also make the perfect gift this holiday season for that special cowgirl in your life. 

Thursday, November 30, 2017

LINES by Suzy Lee / Book Review

Written & Illustrated by: Suzy Lee
Published by: Chronicle Books
Released on: September 5th, 2017
Ages: 3 & up
Purchase from: the PublisherAmazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads
Rating: 5 Owlets - We Loved It
A copy of this book as provided by the publisher in exchange for my honest review 

It starts with a line. Whether made by the tip of a pencil
or the blade of a skate, the magic starts there.

And magic once again flows from the pencil and imagination of internationally acclaimed artist Suzy Lee. With the lightest of touches, this masterwork blurs the lines between real and imagined, reminding us why Lee's books have been lauded around the world, recognized on New York Times Best Illustrated Books lists and nominated for the Hans Christian Andersen Award, the highest international honor given to children's book creators. 

This seemingly simple story about a young skater on a frozen pond will charm the youngest of readers while simultaneously astounding book enthusiasts of any age.

Visually stunning, Suzy Lee's newest, wordless book is a treasure to have through the winter months. I absolutely loved feeling like I was transported into a wintery scene with the story's ice-skater. This book illustrates a powerful message about not giving up despite mistakes. The end result is stunning. Definitely another Suzy Lee classic that readers of all ages will enjoy. 

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

WILLIAM'S WINTER NAP by Linda Ashman / Book Review #WilliamsWinterNap

By:Linda Ashman
Illustrated by: Chuck Groenink
Published by: Disney Hyperion
Released on: October 10th, 2017
Ages: 3 & up
Purchase from: Publisher | Amazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads
Rating: 4 Owlets - We Loved It!
A unbound copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for my honest review

Just when William is ready to fall asleep in his cozy cabin, there is a tap on his window. A chilly chipmunk asks to stay, and Will scooches over in bed. “There’s room for two–I’m sure we’ll fit.” The chipmunk is just the first in a parade of mammals, each bigger than the last, until the bed is full. Then a note is slipped beneath the door: “Do you have room for just one more?” William tugs the door to see who’s there . . . only to find a great big BEAR! Is there enough space to spare? Will the other animals be willing to share? Kids will delight at each new guest’s arrival and enjoy counting along as the animals keep scooching over to fit in William’s bed. Linda Ashman’s clever rhymes set up each page turn with suspense and humor, and the expressions on Chuck Groenink’s characters are perfect. This is must reading for the dark time of year when everyone wants to hibernate!

A heartwarming bedtime story that's sure to become a new favorite. Ashman's engaging storytelling and use of rhyming and repetition will appeal to young kids. Paired with Groenink's warm, and delightful illustrations make for a book that's worth adding to your bedtime story collection.

We really enjoyed the sweet story of a young boy and his neighboring woodland animals working together so that everyone had room to come in from the cold and take a winter nap. Kids will easily pick up on the message of sharing and being kind. Reminiscent of the classic Mitten by Jan Brett, this story is a pure delight, and the perfect read on a cold winter's night. We enjoyed the way this story was told, and loved the illustrations. 

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

LITTLE OWL'S EGG by Debi Gliori / Book Review #LittleOwlsEgg

By: Debi Gliori
Illustrated by: Alison Brown
Published by: Bloomsbury
Released on: November 14th, 2017
Ages: 4 & up
Purchase from: Bloomsbury | Amazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads
Rating: 4 Owlets
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for my honest review 

I'm your baby owl. You don't need a new one. Little Owl isn't pleased to hear that there's a baby owl in the egg Mummy has laid. So Mummy pretends it might be a baby penguin ... or crocodile ... or elephant. In the fun of imagining different kinds of siblings, Little Owl realises that a baby owl might just be the best thing of all.

A gentle, lovely story about the arrival of a new sibling, addressing fears that Mummy's love will stop. Debi Gliori is a bestselling, award-winning author and writing for the first time for another illustrator: the talented Alison Brown.

What happens when Little Owl finds out Mummy's new egg will have a little owl in it? His Mummy gets creative, and easy his worries by pretending the egg may have different animals in it. From a baby dragon to a penguin and more. Through her pretending, Little Owl tells her why that wouldn't work and soon realizes that having a baby owl isn't so bad after all. He also learns that no matter what, his Mummy will still love her first baby owl. 

Really cute story with equally cute illustrations. We enjoyed the light hearted humor in the book. It's definitely a cute story and worth reading through. This book is great for easing the worry of any child who is about to be welcome a new baby into their family.

Friday, November 24, 2017

ESCARGOT by Dashka Slater / Book Review

By: Dashka Slater
Illustrated by: Sydney Hanson
Published by: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Released on: April 11th, 2017
Purchase from:
Add it to Goodreads
Rating: 4 Owlets 
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for my honest review

Bonjour! Escargot is a beautiful French snail who wants only two things:

1. To be your favorite animal.
2. To get to the delicious salad at the end of the book.

But when he gets to the salad, he discovers that there's a carrot in it. And Escargot hates carrots. But when he finally tries one—with a little help from you!—he discovers that it's not so bad after all

A cute story with great illustrations, and some French charm. It wasn't hard to fall in love with Escargot, the story's narrator. His message about not being a peaky eater may get kids to try that one food they claim they hate, though they've never tried it. After all, Escargot hates carrots. That is until he tried one and discovered they're not so bad after all. 

Escargot is the perfect read aloud! Of course you it's even more fun when read in a French accent, even if it's a bad one like mine. What makes this book so much fun to read, aside from the charming illustrations, is that Escargot talks directly to his audience. This quickly engages kids, and makes for a fun, entertaining read. We recommend picking this book up!

Thursday, November 23, 2017


Wishing all of our readers a Happy Thanksgiving!
We're so thankful for each of you, and appreciate all your support in taking the time to visit our blog to read our reviews, and various book related posts. We love connecting with you and enjoy talking books with you on our social media accounts as well as here on the blog. Thank you for your continued friendships and supporting us in promoting children's books. We hope you have a wonderful and safe holiday surrounded by those you love. 

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

COOKIESAURUS REX by Amy Fellner Dominy & Nate Evans / Book Review #CookiesaurusRex

Written by: Amy Fellner Dominy & Nate Evans
Illustrated by: AG Ford
Published by: Disney Hyperion
Released on: September 26th, 2017 
Purchase from: Amazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads
Rating: 5 Owlets - We LOVED It!
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for my honest review

As soon as Cookiesaurus Rex comes out of the oven, he declares that he is King of All Cookies. He should be frosted before all of the standard-shaped cookies, in a nice bright green. But the other cookies are getting sprinkles, or shiny stars, or even gumdrops . . . WAIT ONE STINKIN' STOMPIN' MINUTE! Cookiesaurus wants a do-over. Problem is, he might not end up with the kind of "do" he wants. Readers will love the funny back-and-forth between this cheeky cookie and the hand that frosts him. See who gets his licks in at the end!

A delicious laugh out loud! Who knew a little cookie could have such a big attitude. Though I guess if I was a dinosaur cookie and being decorated not the way I wanted, I would have done the same thing. Trust me, you don't want to mess with Cookiesaurus Rex. This tough little cookie isn't afraid to decorate himself if he has to. Oh does he. This self proclaimed King of the Cookies should be decorated the only way a dinosaur cookie king should be... with all the cookie decorations. 

This is brilliantly written, laugh out for readers of all ages! I love it when picture books have humor for the whole family. You know what would be perfect with this story, a plate of cookies! Mixed in with the nonstop laughs, this book will definitely make you look at cookie decorating in a whole new way. Now I want to go make dinosaur cookies..... 

I highly recommend picking up this book! It just may end up on my 2017 favorites list. Not only is the story hilarious, the illustrations are great. This is definitely a book to add to your holiday gift giving lists this year. 

Friday, November 17, 2017

WE'RE ALL WONDERS by R.J. Palacio / Book Review #ChooseKind

Written & Illustrated By: R.J. Palacio
Published by: Alfred A. Knopf
Released on: March 28th, 2017
Ages: 4 & up
Purchase from: The PublisherAmazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads
Rating: 5 Owlets - We Loved The Message
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for my honest review

The unforgettable bestseller Wonder has inspired a nationwide movement to Choose Kind. Now parents and educators can introduce the importance of choosing kind to younger readers with this gorgeous picture book, featuring Auggie and Daisy on an original adventure, written and illustrated by R. J. Palacio.

Over 5 million people have fallen in love with Wonder and have joined the movement to Choose Kind. Now younger readers can meet Auggie Pullman, an ordinary boy with an extraordinary face, and his beloved dog, Daisy.

Countless fans have asked R. J. Palacio to write a book for younger readers. With We’re All Wonders, she makes her picture-book debut as both author and artist, with a spare, powerful text and striking, richly imagined illustrations. Palacio shows readers what it’s like to live in Auggie’s world—a world in which he feels like any other kid, but he’s not always seen that way.

We’re All Wonders may be Auggie’s story, but it taps into every child’s longing to belong, and to be seen for who they truly are. It’s the perfect way for families and educators to talk about empathy and kindness with young children.

Based on the popular story, WONDER, this new picture book from author R.J. Palacio, shares a similar, yet wonderful reminder that kids will comprehend. That is, we all look different on the outside, but we're all same on the inside. Just because someone looks different, doesn't mean it's okay to be mean to them or make fun of them. The world is big enough for each of us. We need to change how we look at people, and stop seeing people by their outward appearance, but see them as another human being. 

Both the storytelling and the illustrations tell a powerful story about how wonderful we all are. No one likes to be made fun of, or have others treat them unkindly. All it takes is one person choosing to be kind, for kindness to spread. I really enjoyed the illustrations, and loved that they featured Auggie, the boy from the original Wonder story. The illustrations do a great job at painting a picture of kindness and empathy towards others, and show kids how our actions effect others. 

This is a wonderful story! Great for both fans of the book WONDER, and also a great introduction to those new to the story. I highly recommend being up this book as well as Palacio's WONDER. Be sure to catch the movie this weekend in theaters. Remember, CHOOSE KIND!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

PASS IT ON by Sophy Henn / Book Review

Written & Illustrated by: Sophy Henn
Published by: Philomel Books
Released on: April 11th, 2017
Ages: 2 & up
Purchase from: The PublisherAmazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads
Rating: 5 Owlets - We Loved It
We're a PHR partner and received this book in exchange for our honest review

Here's a fun idea: When you laugh or smile--pass it on! A story about giving, sharing, and joy. 

"When you see something terrific, smile a smile and pass it on! If you chance upon a chuckle, hee hee hee and pass it on. Should you spot a thing of wonder, jump for joy and pass it on!" 

So begins Sophy Henn's ode to the excitement of sharing happiness with others. With a refrain that begs to be uttered before every turn of the page, children will eagerly read alongside their parents as they discover how wonderful--and fun!--it is to share the good things in life. After all, if you spread happiness to others, even on a gray, rainy day, when you least expect it, like a bolt out of the blue, a smile or a chuckle might be passed right back to you! This heartwarming, upbeat book is the perfect way to bring a warm ray of sunshine into every reader's life."

This book is a happiness wrapped in a wonderful story about the power of being kind. It's so easy to spread joy, and do nice things for others, and best of all it's free to do! This story does a beautiful job at telling that in a way that young readers will understand. With it's bright colorful, yet simplistic illustrations, Henn's newest picture book will easily put a smile on your face. Great for toddlers and readers with short attention spans, this is a picture book for readers of all ages. 

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

NOPE! A Tale of First Flight by Drew Sheneman / Book Review

Written & Illustrated By: Drew Sheneman
Published by: Viking Books for Young Readers 
Released on: January 17th, 2017
Purchase from: Amazon 
Add it to Goodreads
Rating: 5 Owlets - We Loved It!
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for my honest review

A nurturing mama bird, a fearful baby, and a nest in a tall, tall tree. Ready, set, soar? Nope!

Sweetly and humorously told, here is a sparkling debut about the joys that come from embracing new experiences, written and illustrated by nationally-syndicated cartoonist Drew Sheneman.

Be prepared to laugh a lot with this debut picture book! Full of vivid illustrations, and little words, this picture book is down right hilarious.

It's time for baby bird's first flight. Unfortunately this bird lacks the confidence mama bird has when it comes to his first leap from the nest. All he can do is imagine the number of things out there waiting to get him. This baby bird's imagination definitely runs wild. Thankfully this baby bird has a mama who trusts in his ability, even it means he literally needed a push from the nest to find that bravery in overcoming his fear. That first push was all he needed to discover how much fun it is to fly. 

These illustrations are perfect! We laughed non stop through out this book. This may end up being one of my favorite picture books of the year. Sheneman's illustrations are so expressive, that adding too many words to this book would take away from the story that illustrations perfectly tell. 

On a mama note, I loved mama's bird's love, and the confidence she had for her baby bird. She trusted in hiss ability to fly, even if he didn't realize he could at first. I really appreciated that subtle message in the story. 

This is definitely one picture book worth picking up! 

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

CHARLOTTE AND THE ROCK by Stephen W. Martin / Book Review

By: Stephen W. Martin
Illustrated by: Samantha Cotterill
Published by: Dial Books
Released on: March 14th, 2017
Ages: 3 & up
Purchase from: The PublisherAmazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads
Rating: 4 Owlets
A copy of this book as provided by the publisher in exchange for my honest review

An unexpected friendship forms between a girl and her pet rock in this charming story that's perfect for fans of What Pet Should I Get?

Charlotte has always really wanted a pet, so when her parents present her with one for her birthday she expects a cat, dog, or maybe a bird. Instead, she receives a rock. Rocks can't cuddle, fetch, or even help her eat her vegetables, but that doesn't stop Charlotte from loving her rock as if he were real. If only he could love her back...or can he?

This is a really cute picture book. Anyone who's ever longed for a pet will enjoy this delightful story, and appreciate the fun surprise at the end! 

Charolette is not a fan of the pet rock her parents have boughten for her. It can't do any of the things a normal pet can do. But, there's more to her pet rock than she realizes. Her new pet rock, isn't just any rock. That part of the story is a fun surprise for both Charolette and readers. 

We really enjoyed this story, and loved the vintage style of the illustrations. It felt like an ode to the 60's & 70's. It fit perfectly with this story. This story was not what we were excepting, which made it even better. We really enjoyed it, and would recommend picking this one up. 

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Happy Halloween!

Wishing everyone a Happy Halloween! 
We hope you have a fabulous day and fun & safe evening.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

MOUSE'S FIRST HALLOWEEN by Lauren Thompson / Book Review

By: Lauren Thompson
Illustrated by: Buket Erdogan
Published by: Little Simon / Simon & Schuster 
Released on: September 1st, 2000
Ages: 3 & up
Purchase from: Amazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads
Rating: 3 Owlets
Source: read at the library 

One spooky night in the fall, Mouse creeps out and hears bats flying
Flit! Flit! Flit! and apples dropping Plop! Plop! Plop! and children singing "TRICK OR TREAT!" 

What could it be?

A fun, interactive, easy to read Halloween story. Kids will love joining little mouse as he ventures out on his first Halloween night. With so many things happening, what could little mouse run into? From the howling of the wind, to the plopping of apples falling from the tree, and the fluttering of bats, each turn of the page reveals a new site and sound. Kids will guessing what each sound will reveal on the next page. 

Bright colorful, really cute illustrations, and an engaging story, make this book one spooktacular Halloween read. Perfect for story time and reading aloud, this book was a hit with the kindergarten class I recently read this too. Don't worry, there's nothing to be scared off in this book. With engagement on each picture, kids will love predicting what the little mouse is about to see. Definitely recommend picking up this fun read. 

** This book is also available in a board book version, out by Little Simon. Though I've not personally read the board book, I can only imagine how cute the board book is, as this book is a cute read. 

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

OTTER LOVES HALLOWEEN by Sam Garton / Book Review #OtterLovesHalloween

Written and Illustrated by: Sam Garton
Published by: Balzer + Bray
Released on: July 21st, 2015
Ages: 4 & up
Purchase from: Harper CollinsAmazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads
Rating: 5 Owlets
Source: read at the library 

Get in the Halloween spirit with Otter—the irrepressible picture book character from I Am Otter and Otter in Space, sure to be adored by fans of Llama Llama.
Halloween is Otter's favorite holiday. It's also a very busy time for her and Teddy. With so much to do, it's a good thing she's a Halloween expert!
With Otter's winning voice and Sam Garton's classic yet fresh artwork, Otter Loves Halloween! is sure to be a holiday favorite.
Really cute Halloween story. In preparing for Halloween, Otter uses her imagination when it comes to decorating her house, and making the perfect costume. But what will Otter be? There are so many choices to make. Things seems to be going great, until Otter gets scared with some of the costume choices. It's definitely scary for her at first when the trick or treaters come. Thankfully she's got her otter keeper to help her understand that trick or treating and dressing up is a lot of fun.

Great for story time, and reading out loud, or by one's self, I'd definitely recommend adding this book to your Halloween lists. We love Otter, and her stories. Not only are her stories fun, the illustrations are simply adorable! We love the little details in each picture. 

This book is great for a class/group story time! I recently read this adorable book during a story time at a local elementary school, and the kindergarten class loved it. It was engaging, and easy for them to follow along. They loved seeing all that Otter does to get ready for Halloween. This book is definitely worth picking up and reading. 

HAPPY HALLOWEEN MITTENS by Lola M. Schaefer / Book Review #HappyHalloweenMittens

By: Lola M. Schaefer
Illustrated by: Susan Kathleen Hartung
Published by: Harper Collins
Released on: 7/27/2010
Ages: 4 & up
Series: My First I Can Read!
Purchase from: The Publisher | Amazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads
Rating: 3 Owlets - It's A Good Read
Source: read at the school library

Mittens the kitten wants to help Nick get ready for Halloween. But when Mittens tries to paint spooky faces, put up spooky cobwebs, and make orange cookies, he makes a mess instead! Halloween activities take center stage in this sweet beginning reader about Mittens.
This My First I Can Read Book is perfect for shared reading with toddlers and very young children. Basic language, word repetition, and whimsical illustrations make this book just right for the emergent reader.
It's Halloween and Mittens wants to help Nick get ready for it. Only problem is, when ever she tries to help him, she ends up making a bigger mess. Whether making cookies, or carving pumpkins, things don't turn out quite like she tries to make them. That is, until the decorating. Thanks to Mittens, Nick has a really cool Halloween decoration hanging up outside.

This is a great earlier reader. With easy to read words, repetition and cute illustrations, early readers will enjoy reading about Mittens, and the fun that's had at Halloween. It also makes a great read out loud for story time or one on one reading. 

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

HERBERT'S FIRST HALLOWEEN by Cynthia Rylant / Book Review #HerbertsFirstHalloween

By: Cynthia Rylant
Illustrated by: Steven Henry
Published by: Chronicle Books
Released on: August 1st, 2017
Ages: 2 & up
Purchase from: The PublisherAmazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads
Rating: 5 Owlets
* A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for my honest review

Herbert is deeply doubtful about his first Halloween—but with a little help from his dad and a special tiger costume, Herbert might just find confidence on Halloween night. 

Together, father and son practice roaring, carve a pumpkin, and venture out in search of candy. And by the end of the night, Herbert finds his doubts have melted away. A sweet introduction to Halloween and to being brave, this book is sure to delight the youngest of trick-or-treaters.

A first Halloween must read! Halloween can be a little scary, especially if it's a child's first time experiencing trick or treating, dressing up etc. Herbert's First Halloween takes those worries, and fears, and puts them into an adorable story, with equally adorable illustrations. 

Herbert is unsure about what to except his first Halloween. He's a little anxious. Thanks to his dad's fun loving ways, Herbert realizes Halloween can be really fun and exciting. With the help of his dad, Herbert experiences carving his first pumpkin, making his first (adorable tiger) costume and even practices pretending to be a tiger. He even has fun dressing up with his dad to go trick or treating. Herbert has so much fun, he forgets that he's worried. He even knows what he's going to dress up as next Halloween.

This book is such an adorable story. With it's easy to read, and comprehend words, and down right cute illustrations, this book will help ease kids into the Halloween festivities and shows them what it's all about. A lot fun! I love that the dad's role in helping Herbert ease into Halloween traditions. Definitely worth picking up this cute story!

RUNNY BABBIT RETURNS by Shel Silverstein / Book Spotlight #RunnyBabbitReturns

Check it out Shel Silverstein fans! Harper Collins Childrens Books will be publishing Runny Babbit Returns! This never before published collection of spooky poems by Shel Silverstein is sure to be a hit with fans. Check out this sneak peak:

Per the Official Press Release we received from Harper Collins:

CELEBRATE HALLOWEEN WITH SHEL SILVERSTEIN AND RUNNY BABBIT RETURNS! HarperCollins Children’s Books to Publish RUNNY BABBIT RETURNS, a Never- Before-Published Collection of Spoonerism Poems by Shel Silverstein!


New York, NY (February 8, 2017) – Today HarperCollins Children’s Books announced the publication of Runny Babbit Returns, a never-before-published book of spoonerism poems by the legendary Shel Silverstein and follow-up to the 2005 publication, Runny Babbit. Antonia Markiet, Senior Executive Editor at HarperCollins, acquired U.S. and Canada rights, and publication is scheduled for September 19, 2017.

Runny Babbit Returns takes us back to the green woods of Runny Babbit with 41 never-before-published poems and drawings. Compiled from completed but unpublished works in the Silverstein archive, this next installment encompasses beloved themes such as friendship, kindness, family, and, of course, food. The first Runny Babbit is a charming and witty collection of spoonerisms written and illustrated by Silverstein before his death and his first book published posthumously, in 2005. Filled with creative words and phrases with letters or syllables swapped (bunny rabbit becomes Runny Babbit), this poetry book follows the warm, insightful, and laugh-out-loud adventures of an endearing cast of characters. Maurice Sendak said of Runny Babbit, “I wish I had done this book!” 

Runny Babbit has sold over 770,000 copies and spent 39 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. This companion book, Runny Babbit Returns, features extraordinarily imaginative poems that embody Silverstein’s iconic humor and style, with tongue-twisting wordplay and uproarious characters. New and old readers alike won’t want to miss their chance to revisit their favorite Runny and meet even more of his woodland friends.

“We’re delighted to continue the legacy of the extraordinary Shel Silverstein, a household name for over fifty years,” said Suzanne Murphy, President and Publisher of HarperCollins Children’s Books. “This never-before-published collection of poems and drawings will be cherished by readers of all ages and is a wonderful companion book to follow Runny Babbit.”

Generations have grown up with the works of Shel Silverstein, known not only as a poet and illustrator but also for his work as a cartoonist, playwright, performer, recording artist, and Grammy Award–winning songwriter. Silverstein’s children’s books have sold more than 39 million copies in the U.S. alone and have been translated into 46 foreign languages. He has encouraged children to dream and dare to imagine the impossible with his exceptional poetry and unforgettable characters. 


Shel Silverstein is the author of Lafcadio, the Lion Who Shot Back; A Giraffe and a Half; The Giving Tree; Who Wants a Cheap Rhinoceros?; Don’t Bump the Glump!Where the Sidewalk EndsThe Missing PieceA Light in the AtticThe Missing Piece Meets the Big OFalling UpRunny Babbit; and Every Thing On It.  He was a cartoonist, playwright, poet, performer, recording artist, and Grammy-winning/Oscar-nominated songwriter. Shel Silverstein’s children’s books have sold more than 39 million copies in the U.S. alone and have been translated into 46 foreign languages. You can learn more about Shel and his books by


HarperCollins Children’s Books is one of the leading publishers of children’s and teen books. Respected worldwide for its tradition of publishing quality, award-winning books for young readers, HarperCollins is home to many timeless treasures and bestsellers such as Charlotte’s Web, Goodnight Moon, Where the Sidewalk Ends, Where the Wild Things Are, The Graveyard Book and series including The Chronicles of Narnia, Ramona, Warriors, Pete the Cat, Fancy Nancy, Divergent, and The Selection. Consistently at the forefront of digital innovation, HarperCollins Children’s Books delights readers through engaging storytelling in all formats, including e-books and apps. HarperCollins Children’s Books is a division of HarperCollins Publishers, which is the second largest consumer book publisher in the world, has operations in 18 countries, and is a subsidiary of News Corp (NASDAQ: NWS, NWSA; ASX: NWS, NWSLV). You can visit HarperCollins Children’s Books at and and HarperCollins Publishers at

I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves. ~ Anna Quindlen

Good children's literature appeals not only to
the child in the adult, but to the adult in the child.
~ Anonymous ~