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Books for Early Readers

Book Reviews for Early Readers



American Horses Are My Favorite

American Quarter Horses Are My Favorite!American Quarter Horses Are My Favorite! by Elaine Landau
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

American Quarter Horses are My Favorite!
By Elaine Landau

Part of the My Favorite Horses series, young readers are introduced to the American Quarter Horse including its basic conformation, height, and coloring. The basic measurement of horses a hand is defined in terms the ordinary person can understand. A glossary in the back of the book will define terms the reader may be unfamiliar with.

The various uses and jobs of Quarter Horses include Police Horse, Race Horse and even a movie star. In the past the Quarter Horse was used in farming and ranching.

The reader is also introduced to the care and responsibilities a horse owner needs to be aware of before getting a horse.

American Quarter Horses are My Favorite is a good introduction to horses for the young horse lover who has never had much contact with horses in the past.

The publisher provided a Digital ARC for this review.

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A Leaf Can Be...

A Leaf Can Be...A Leaf Can Be... by Laura Purdie Salas
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A Leaf Can Be...
By Laura Purdie Salas
Illustrations by Violeta Dabija

In simple but descriptive language the various functions of leaves are shown.
The first section illustrations with one to two words name the various jobs of leaves in nature.
The second section describes the functions and purpose of the different jobs.
The final section is a glossary of the terms used in the book and suggestions for further reading on leaves.

The poetic rhythm and illustrations will capture the attention of young listeners. Perfect for home schoolers and classroom learning, the pace will hold the attention of even the most fidgety of listeners.

A leaf is a leaf – a bit of tree. But just try to guess what else it can be! (from the back cover)

Digital ARC provided by the publisher for review purposes only.

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Love Twelve Miles Long

Love Twelve Miles LongLove Twelve Miles Long by Glenda Armand
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

By Glenda Armand
Illustrations by Colin Bootman

LOVE TWELVE MILES LONG is a story from the childhood of Frederick Douglas. The twelve miles refers to the distance Frederick's mother had to travel to see her young son. This is an intriguing look into the childhood of a man, who would later champion the oppressed in a land that valued freedom for a select few though claiming it was the right of all men.

Glenda Armand's work focuses on one night in young Frederick's life when Mama came to visit him. Frederick asks her why he can't live with her and Grandmama Betsey like he used to. Mama tells him she wishes he could, but it is not possible. When young Frederick asks if he could come visit her, she tells him the twelve mile journey would be too much for him. Frederick then asks how she can accomplish the journey if it is too much for him.

What follows is a moving journey that covers twelve miles of strength and faith. Mama tells Frederick that each mile is special and unique and this is how she is able to travel the distance to her son. The first mile is one of forgetting the aches, pains and labor of the day. The second is remembering her son. The third mile is for listening to the world around her and the fourth for observing the stars above. The fifth mile is for wondering about God and the sixth for praying to Him about the better days to come, days of freedom. The seventh mile is for singing and reviving herself for the rest of the journey and the eighth for thinking happy thoughts. The ninth mile is for giving thanks and the tenth was for hope – hope for freedom and chance to again be a family. Mama then tells Frederick that the eleventh mile was for dreaming the dream of freedom. As Mama puts Frederick to bed, he asks what the twelfth mile was. Mama tells Frederick that the twelfth mile was for love. As Frederick slept Mama slipped out to walk twelve miles back home.

When Frederick woke the next morning, he knew that Mama's love for him was twelve miles long. This love gave Frederick Douglas the courage and confidence to escape to freedom and to live the remarkable life that he lived.

The illustrations are moving, showing the love of both mother and son for the other and the value they placed on their time together. Love Twelve Miles Long is thoughtfully written. This title would be an important addition to any library collection and ideal for Black History Month.

I received an Advanced Reviewer Copy in digital format of this title for review purposes.

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Never Forgotten

Never ForgottenNever Forgotten by Patricia McKissack
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

By Patricia C. McKissack
Artwork by Leo and Diane Dillon

This is the most difficult book review, to date, that I have ever written. Nothing I write can do justice to this superb work of art. Never Forgotten is indeed a work of art. It is moving and touches the soul.

Never Forgotten is a story of love, a story of memory, and a story of family. The lyrical meter and the artwork add to the feel, the moment of the story.

Never Forgotten is a story of slavery, but it is told from the perspective of those left behind. This is Dinga's story, and even more than that a story of every family that ever had someone stolen from them for the purpose of slavery.

Dinga is raising his son, Mufasa, alone after the death of his wife. But Dinga is raising his son with the help of the four Mother Elements – Earth, Fire, Water, and Wind. As the years passed there have been drums of warning – drums that spoke of an outside threat. But the threat was so far away that Dinga paid them little heed.

When Mufasa was old enough Dinga began teaching him the skill of his family – blacksmithing. But one day as Mufasa gathered the brush for the fire he did not return. Dinga and the village searched for Mufasa, but could find no trace of the boy. Dinga asked the Mother Elements for their help but they were unable to stop the slavers and save Mufasa and stolen children of Africa.

For several years Dinga lived in sorrow with no hope for his stolen son. But one day Wind returned and told Dinga a tale. A tale that made his heart celebrate – though his son was taken and lived across the ocean in a faraway land Mufasa had never forgotten. Mufasa used the skills his father had taught him and told of the father that had taught him well.

This touching story of loss reminds us that ''the family endures forever,'' and that ''loved ones are never forgotten when we continue to tell their stories.''

This title is a must for any African-American collection and would be perfect as the focal point of any Black History month display. It is appropriate for all age groups.

This review is from an Advanced Digital Reader Copy provided by the Publisher for review purposes.

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A Bedtime Kiss for Chester Raccoon

A Bedtime Kiss for Chester RaccoonA Bedtime Kiss for Chester Raccoon by Audrey Penn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


By Audrey Penn

Illustrated by Barbara L. Gibson

It's time for Chester Raccoon to go to bed, but the shadows created by the sun are scaring him. When Chester's mom tells there is nothing to fear from the sunlight she gives him a kiss, Chester is then able to fall asleep and dream.

A Bedtime Kiss for Chester Raccoon shows the power of a mother's love. She is able to soothe and quiet the fears of her children with her love and caring words.

The delightful illustrations bring the story to life for even the youngest of listeners. This is a wonderful bedtime story that will chase away the monsters before they have a chance to come out and play.

Digital Advanced Reader edition provided by publisher for review purposes.

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Halloween Night on Shivermore Street

Halloween Night on Shivermore StreetHalloween Night on Shivermore Street by Pamela Pollack
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A Halloween masquerade party is taking place on Shivermore Street. The costumes are varied, the food a bit unsettling, and then the clock strikes THIRTEEN!!! At thirteen the fun begins with a surprise, sure to give shivers as the party comes to an end!

Everyone is getting ready for the masquerade party at the house at the end of Shivermore Street. It's an eerie night with a pea green moon. It's six o'clock as the party begins.

Food consists of insect treats, as much as you want, if you're brave enough to try. From seven to eight a game of musical chairs is played until all the witches are out. From eight until nine, five vampires set to work carving five pumpkins so that by nine the jack o'lanterns are burning bright. Bobbing for apples isn't easy especially for werewolves who always miss the apples, even though they have GREAT BIG teeth. From ten to eleven the house on Shivermore Street is silent with a game of hide-and-go-seek as everyone hides from a little fat ghost. Then it's time for a game of limbo and what better way than using a broom. Unfortunatly for the mummies they lose their wrappings as they go and need to be re-rolled. A dance of do-si-do is in full swing as the clock strikes THIRTEEN!

As the clock strikes thirteen everyone holds their breath and prepares to take off their mask. On the count of three the surprising twist is complete, not everyone is who you'd think. The guests, who came to the party at the beginning of the story, scream and run away from the party on Shivermore Street.

For some added fun when reading this book, turn down the lights and play some spooky sounding music to get everyone in the mood.

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Munschworks 4:The Fourth Munsch Treasury

Munschworks 4: The Fourth Munsch Treasury (Munschworks)Munschworks 4: The Fourth Munsch Treasury by Robert N. Munsch
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A delightful treasury of five stories that includes 50 Below Zero, The Boy in the Drawer, Moira's Birthday, From Far Away, and Millicent and the Wind. Five very different stories that are all masterfully written.

"50 Below Zero" - Jason is sleeping when something wakes him up. His father is sleep walking. This story covers all the zany deeds Jason's father does in his sleepwalking escapades, including a trip outside on a 50 degree below zero night. Jason has to rescue his father from freezing. Jason then ties his father's toe so he can't walk further than the kitchen. The surprise Jason's mother finds in the kitchen is priceless!

"The Boy in the Drawer" - Shelley finds her room a mess, socks are everywhere. The culprit is a small boy who is reading in her sock drawer. When Shelley informs her mother of the mess, her mother tells her to clean it up. After Shelley cleans up the mess, the small boy precedes to grow a tomato plant in her bed, paint a window black, and take a bath in the breadbox. Shelley continues to clean up the mess the boy makes.

"Moira's Birthday" - It is Moira's birthday and she wants to invite grades one through six and kindergarten. Her mother and father both say, "NO," She can only invite six kids. All of Moira's friends beg to be invited, so Moira ends up inviting 200 kids, but Moira doesn't tell her parents. When the kids all show up, her parents don't know how they will feed everyone so Moira orders 200 pizzas and birthday cakes. When only 10 pizzas and cakes are delivered the kids all go home and come back with food. Moira tells everyone if they help clean up, they can take home a present. After everyone goes home 190 pizzas and cakes are delivered so Moira has another party the next day!

"From Far Away" - Saoussan is writing to her reader buddy about what her life use to be. Saoussan is now 7 years old and in second grade. She use to live in another country but a war caused her and her family to leave. They moved to Canada and Saoussan started to school in kindergarten. She didn't know any English so she couldn't understand her teacher or the children. For Halloween a skeleton was placed in the washroom, this scared Saoussan and she thought the war would come to Canada. Her teacher tried to explain but she still didn't understand English. When her father picked her up at school he explained Halloween to her. Saoussan did learn English and considers her kindergarten teacher a friend.

"Millicent and the Wind" - Millicent lives on a mountain which is a 3 day walk from the nearest children. She has no friends. When Millicent makes friends with the wind she has someone to play with. One day Millicent and her mother make the 3 day trip down the mountain to the far valley. The wind can't find Millicent because she is deep in the forest. The children in the town aren't nice to Millicent when they find out she is friends with the wind. One boy who is in his disbelief is picked up by the wind and tumbled, so the children run away. After Millicent and her mother return to the mountain, Millicent wishes she had someone other than the wind to play with. So Millicent asks the wind to find her a friend. The wind comes back with a boy for Millicent to play with and they do!

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