Posted in picture books, Preschool Reads

Tales from the TBR: Heart Strings, Hedgehogs, and the Moon

Heart String, by Brooke Boynton-Hughes, (Dec. 2022, Chronicle Books), $17.99, ISBN: 9781452181653

Ages 3-6

A string connects us all together: parents and children; neighbors and friends, we are all connected to one another and our world through this Heart String. Written as an ode to connection, Boynton-Hughes loving, gentle voice could be a teacher reading to their classroom, a parent to a child, or a friend to another. The repetitive phrase, “My heart is tied to yours” brings home the lovely sentiment that we are all together: “Across the garden, across the street, over the city and through the trees”; sharing emotions like joy and sorrow, no matter how near or far; our hearts are tied to each other as we work, play, learn and live. It’s a comforting thought that dispels anxiety and fear; we are part of a family, a neighborhood, a community, a world. Endpapers show a variety of people from all walks of life interacting and engaging with one another. Pencil and watercolor illustrations are soft, gently colorful, conveying a message of warmth and hope, with a warm, glowing string that goes from one person to the next as they work together in neighborhoods; console one another in times of grief; enjoy tea parties, and celebrate being together. A delightful readaloud for storytime collections.

For a fun post-storytime activity, print out some person templates and get some yarn. Ask families to decorate them and use the yarn to connect them. Who are they connecting to?

 

 

Hedgehog and the Art Show, by Özge Bahar Sunar/Illustrated by Ceyhun Sen, (Oct. 2022, Schiffer Kids), $14.99, ISBN: 9780764364617

Ages 4-7

Little Hedgehog is all set to start school, but has an accident the day before. His little fingers need to be bandaged up, but the teacher has announced that there will be a class art show! Little Hedgehog cannot write… with his fingers! He refuses to miss out on his first big art show, and finds ways to create his art using his quills and some leaves! In fact, his creativity inspires his friends to create their own original artwork, making the art show even more exciting. A sweet story of ingenuity and determination that inspires readers to think outside the box, Hedgehog and the Art Show lends itself to a great readaloud, especially for Kindergarten and first graders. Sentences are brief but expand on the basics, adding more details. Sen’s illustrations are textured, with swirling backgrounds and shades of greens, browns, and oranges.

Add this one to your art storytimes, and have plenty of mixed materials to create with for an after-story activity.

 

 

Mending the Moon, by Emma Pearl/Illustrated by Sara Ugolotti, (Nov. 2022, Page Street Kids), $18.99, ISBN: 9781645675600

Ages 4-8

One night, the moon shines so big and so brightly that it becomes to heavy to hold itself up and tumbles down, shattering as it crashes into our world. A girl named Luna witnesses the fall, and, horrified, wakes her grandfather. Grandfather gravely worries about the Earth without a moon, and the two set about collecting the pieces to mend the moon, aided by a group of forest animals. A gorgeously illustrated story with the fantastic feel of a legend, Mending the Moon will delight readers and get a workout as a storytime favorite. Breathtaking illustration shows a cadre of animals working side-by-side with Luna and Poppy; a purple and blue-tinged white backgrounds bring the moon’s cool beauty to the pages, and vibrantly colored animals and people alike are cartoony and kid-friendly. There is magic in every turn of the page as readers will wait breathlessly to find out whether or not the moon will make it back to the sky. Endpapers show a cool, crisp night with moths fluttering around the moon’s light, and Poppy and Luna’s cabin atop a mountain. Mending the Moon is a lovely starting point to talk about legend, STEM (moon concepts!), and the larger idea of working with nature to keep our world safe.

 

 

Posted in picture books

Multicultural Children’s Book Day: Three Pockets Full

A boy wants no part of wearing a traditional Cuban shirt to a wedding that he does not want to attend in this heartfelt story of tradition and family.

Three Pockets Full, by Cindy L. Rodriguez/
Illustrated by Begoña Fernández Corbalán,
(Sept. 2022, Cardinal Rule Press), ISBN: 9781735345154
Ages 5-7

Beto won’t wear a guayabera to the wedding. Nope! Nunca! Not going to happen! Told through notes between Beto and his mother and through omniscient narration, this touching story contains Spanish vocabulary and there are gorgeous cultural details in the illustration. Filled with chuckle-worthy moments – Beto decides that his dog looks better in the shirt than he would – and moments that will move readers as the reason for Beto’s retience becomes clear, Three Pockets Full beautifully captures not only a cultural tradition, but touches on themes of grief, loss, and moving on. Rich artwork pairs with bold, easy-to-read text and makes this an excellent collection addition.

Visit Cardinal Rule Press’s webpage for a free, downloadable readers guide and coloring pages.

***Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher via Multicultural Children’s Book Day so I could provide an honest review. No compensation was given and all opinions are my own.***


MCBD 2023 is honored to be Supported by these Medallion Sponsors!

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🏅 Super Platinum Sponsor: Author Deedee Cummings and Make A Way Media

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🏅 Gold Sponsors: Interlink Books, Publisher Spotlight

🏅 Silver Sponsors: Cardinal Rule Press Lee & Low, Barefoot BooksKimberly Gordon Biddle

🏅 Bronze Sponsors: Vivian KirkfieldPatrice McLaurin Quarto GroupCarole P. RomanStar Bright Books, Redfin.com, Redfin Canada, Bay Equity Home Loans, Rent.com, Title Forward

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Classroom Kit Poster: Led Bradshaw

MCBD 2023 is honored to be Supported by these Author Sponsors!

Authors: Sivan HongAmanda Hsiung-BlodgettJosh Funk Stephanie M. WildmanGwen JacksonDiana HuangAfsaneh MoradianKathleen BurkinshawEugenia ChuJacqueline JulesAlejandra DomenzainGaia CornwallRuth SpiroEvelyn Sanchez-ToledoTonya Duncan EllisKiyanda and Benjamin Young/Twin Powers BooksKimberly Lee Tameka Fryer BrownTalia Aikens-NuñezMarcia Argueta MickelsonKerry O’Malley CerraJennie LiuHeather Murphy CappsDiane Wilson, Sun Yung Shin, Shannon Gibney, John CoyIrene Latham and Charles WatersMaritza M MejiaLois PetrenJ.C. Kato and J.C.²CultureGrooveLindsey Rowe ParkerRed Comet PressShifa Saltagi SafadiNancy Tupper LingDeborah AcioAsha HagoodPriya KumariChris SingletonPadma VenkatramanTeresa RobesonValerie Williams-Sanchez and Valorena PublishingMartha Seif SimpsonRochelle MelanderAlva SachsMoni Ritchie HadleyGea MeijeringFrances Díaz EvansMichael GenhartAngela H. DaleCourtney KellyQueenbe MonyeiJamia WilsonCharnaie GordonDebbie Ridpath OhiDebbie ZapataJacquetta Nammar FeldmanNatasha Yim, Tracy T. Agnelli, Kitty Feld, Anna Maria DiDio, Ko Kim, Shachi Kaushik

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📌 FREE RESOURCES from Multicultural Children’s Book Day


📌 Register for the MCBD Read Your World Virtual Party

Join us on Thursday, January 26, 2023, at 9 pm EST for the 10th annual Multicultural Children’s Book Day Read Your World Virtual Party!

This epically fun and fast-paced hour includes multicultural book discussions, addressing timely issues, diverse book recommendations, & reading ideas.

We will be giving away a 10-Book Bundle during the virtual party plus Bonus Prizes as well! *** US and Global participants welcome. **

Follow the hashtag #ReadYourWorld to join the conversation, and connect with like-minded parts, authors, publishers, educators, organizations, and librarians. We look forward to seeing you all on January 26, 2023, at our virtual party!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

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It’s Multicultural Children’s Book Day! Meet The Princess Inside!

It’s Multicultural Children’s Book Day, and I’m thrilled to be a reviewer once again! I’m starting off this fantastic day of kidlit with a bilingual Spanish and English book by Dr. Nafeesah Allen: The Princess Inside.

The Princess Inside / La princesa en tu interior, by Dr. Nafeesah Allen, (Aug. 2022, Independently Published),
$12.99, ISBN: 979-8985038743
Ages 4-7

A child gazes into a mirror, seeing a princess inside – but she would rather wear overalls and sneakers than a gown and a crown! A rhyming story that takes aim at the role of clothes in gender identity and the conventional image of a princess, Dr. Allen writes empowering phrases like, “It doesn’t really matter what you wear. / The princess inside you is always there. No importa cuál sea tu atuendo.
/ La princesa estará allí, adentro” and “When you storm a building and
save the day… / That’s the princess inside showing you the way. Es tu princesa
interior quien te guía. Cuando entras en un edificio para salvar vidas…”. Clothes don’t make the princess, a can-do attitude and a willingness to change the world do. Uncluttered, colorful illustration and easy-to-read English and Spanish text make this a good readaloud to inspire and empower.

Image

***Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher via Multicultural Children’s Book Day so I could provide an honest review. No compensation was given and all opinions are my own.***


MCBD 2023 is honored to be Supported by these Medallion Sponsors!

FOUNDER’S CIRCLE: Mia Wenjen (Pragmaticmom) and Valarie Budayr’s (Audreypress.com)

🏅 Super Platinum Sponsor: Author Deedee Cummings and Make A Way Media

🏅 Platinum SponsorsLanguage Lizard Bilingual Books in 50+ Languages

🏅 Gold Sponsors: Interlink Books, Publisher Spotlight

🏅 Silver Sponsors: Cardinal Rule Press Lee & Low, Barefoot BooksKimberly Gordon Biddle

🏅 Bronze Sponsors: Vivian KirkfieldPatrice McLaurin Quarto GroupCarole P. RomanStar Bright Books, Redfin.com, Redfin Canada, Bay Equity Home Loans, Rent.com, Title Forward

Poster Artist:  Lisa Wee

 

Classroom Kit Poster: Led Bradshaw

MCBD 2023 is honored to be Supported by these Author Sponsors!

Authors: Sivan HongAmanda Hsiung-BlodgettJosh Funk Stephanie M. WildmanGwen JacksonDiana HuangAfsaneh MoradianKathleen BurkinshawEugenia ChuJacqueline JulesAlejandra DomenzainGaia CornwallRuth SpiroEvelyn Sanchez-ToledoTonya Duncan EllisKiyanda and Benjamin Young/Twin Powers BooksKimberly Lee Tameka Fryer BrownTalia Aikens-NuñezMarcia Argueta MickelsonKerry O’Malley CerraJennie LiuHeather Murphy CappsDiane Wilson, Sun Yung Shin, Shannon Gibney, John CoyIrene Latham and Charles WatersMaritza M MejiaLois PetrenJ.C. Kato and J.C.²CultureGrooveLindsey Rowe ParkerRed Comet PressShifa Saltagi SafadiNancy Tupper LingDeborah AcioAsha HagoodPriya KumariChris SingletonPadma VenkatramanTeresa RobesonValerie Williams-Sanchez and Valorena PublishingMartha Seif SimpsonRochelle MelanderAlva SachsMoni Ritchie HadleyGea MeijeringFrances Díaz EvansMichael GenhartAngela H. DaleCourtney KellyQueenbe MonyeiJamia WilsonCharnaie GordonDebbie Ridpath OhiDebbie ZapataJacquetta Nammar FeldmanNatasha Yim, Tracy T. Agnelli, Kitty Feld, Anna Maria DiDio, Ko Kim, Shachi Kaushik

MCBD 2023 is Honored to be Supported by our CoHosts and Global CoHosts!

MCBD 2023 is Honored to be Supported by these Media Partners!

Check out MCBD’s Multicultural Books for Kids Pinterest Board!

📌 FREE RESOURCES from Multicultural Children’s Book Day


📌 Register for the MCBD Read Your World Virtual Party

Join us on Thursday, January 26, 2023, at 9 pm EST for the 10th annual Multicultural Children’s Book Day Read Your World Virtual Party!

This epically fun and fast-paced hour includes multicultural book discussions, addressing timely issues, diverse book recommendations, & reading ideas.

We will be giving away a 10-Book Bundle during the virtual party plus Bonus Prizes as well! *** US and Global participants welcome. **

Follow the hashtag #ReadYourWorld to join the conversation, and connect with like-minded parts, authors, publishers, educators, organizations, and librarians. We look forward to seeing you all on January 26, 2023, at our virtual party!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

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Posted in picture books, Preschool Reads

Blog Tour Catchup: Turkey’s Valentine Surprise!

That festive, costume-loving Turkey is back to celebrate Valentine’s Day!

Turkey’s Valentine Surprise, by Wendi Silvano/Illustrated by Lee Harper
(Dec. 2022, Two Lions), $17.99, ISBN: 9781542023665
Ages 4-7

The sixth book in Wendi Silvano’s and Lee Harper’s Turkey series, Turkey wants to deliver valentines to all of his friends… in disguise! His friends figure him out every time – but Turkey’s never been one to give up. He’s got a surprise that will top every disguise! With adorable cartoon artwork that we’ve grown to know and love, and hilarious holiday puns aplenty, Plan on giving Turkey’s Valentine Surprise heavy readaloud rotation. The story lends itself to a post-readaloud activity, whether it’s making Valentines or disguising Turkey (there are fun templates available, or you can make your own!). Add this to your Turkey collections and holiday readalouds!

 

“Gobble, gobble! Grab this farmyard story full of Valentine’s Day puns…The spirit of Valentine’s Day shines bright in this caring community.” ―Kirkus Reviews

“A must-have for any size library: school, public, or home.” ―School Library Journal

Wendi Silvano was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, and has lived in Oregon, Colorado, and Peru. The author of the Turkey Trouble series, she has a BA in early childhood education and taught preschool and elementary school for eleven years. She is the mother of five children and the owner of an assortment of odd pets that are not nearly as clever as Turkey. She now writes from her home in Colorado, where she enjoys hiking, reading, and playing the piano. Visit her online at wendisilvano.com.

Lee Harper is the author-illustrator of the books Coyote, The Emperor’s Cool Clothes, and Snow! Snow! Snow! Lee is also the illustrator of the Turkey Trouble series, by Wendi Silvano, as well as the Woolbur series, written by Leslie Helakoski. Lee has four children, a German shepherd, two barn cats, eleven chickens…but no turkeys. Yet. He lives with his wife in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Visit him online at leeharperart.com.

Posted in picture books

Tales from the TBR: Sterling and Nugget the Dragon by Judd B. Shaw & Marrieta Gal

Sterling and Nugget the Dragon (Sterling the Knight #1), by Judd B. Shaw/Illustrated by Marrieta Gal, (Dec. 2022, Morgan James Kids), $9.95, ISBN: 9781631959356

Ages 4-7

A boy named Sterling believes that he must fell a dragon to become a knight. Nugget is a dragon who has no idea that the villagers nearby are terrified by him. When Sterling heads to Nugget’s cave to slay the beast, he discovers something quite different: Nugget is no fierce, man-eating dragon, but a friendly dragon who’s injured wing is causing him great pain. Morality wins the day as Sterling tends to Nugget’s injury; the two become friends, and decide together to show the villagers that bad reputations aren’t always earned. A story of kindness and compassion, Sterling and Nugget the Dragon is a delightful read for younger children, while teaching them a good message: it’s not always about the dragons you slay, but the dragons you save, that makes one a knight. Cartoon artwork is colorful and cheerful. A good additional addition to collections.

 

 

 

Posted in picture books, Preschool Reads

Tales from the TBR: The Topsy Turvy Bus by Anita Fitch Pazner & Carolina Farías

The Topsy-Turvy Bus, by Anita Fitch Pazner/Illustrated by Carolina Farías, (March 2022, Kar-Ben Publishing), $17.99, ISBN: 9781728419497

Ages 4-8

Environmentalism is so much fun in this uplifting story inspired by a real-life powered by a real-life religious environmental agency whose biodiesel bus runs on “sunlight, veggie oil, and Torah”. Maddie and Jake are two students who are worried about the Earth after learning about all the environmental challenges the planet faces – pollution, overplanting, drilling and mining – but aren’t sure what to do until the Topsy Turvy Bus rolls into town, smelling like donuts thanks to biofuel power! Wren, the Topsy Turvy Bus driver, gets the class and teacher on board, and takes them all over town to introduce ways people are coming together to heal our planet; from worm farmers who help create healthy compost to nourish soil, to collecting discarded oil from food vendors to use as biofuel, the Topsy Turvy Bus has exciting lessons to teach. The upbeat story moves at an easy-to-read, easy-to-understand pace, with the repetitive phrase “Tikkun olam, tikkun olam, tikkun olam / Repair the world, repair the world, repair the world” running throughout. Artwork is bright, colorful, and kid-friendly, and the story is inspiring, spurring readers to action. Back matter includes notes on the actual Topsy-Turvy Bus and the concept of Tikkum olam; a glossary, and instructions for an easy-to-make compost bin. A fun story with an empowering message, The Topsy-Turvy Bus is a good addition to collections and storytimes; display this one with your Earth Day titles.

Posted in picture books, Preschool Reads

Love Made Me More imbues objects with love and magic

Love Made Me More, by Colleen Rowan Kosinski/Illustrated by Sonia Sánchez, (Dec 2022, Two Lions), $17.99, ISBN: 9781542006200

Ages 4-7

A boy and with brown skin and dark hair, and his grandmother with tan skin and greying hair sit at a table, folding origami cranes. The boy’s paper – “just a piece of paper – orange with white and blue spots” – transforms into Origami Crane, and his love for his Boy runs deeply. The feeling is mutual, as we see Origami Crane provide friendship and comfort, imagination and adventure. As the boy grows older, he and Crane go on fewer adventures, and when a new person enters the Boy’s life, Crane is momentarily upset: and then the Crane discovers that love can multiply, not divide. A superb story of the magic we give objects, Love Made Me More spans generations and illustrates the passage of rituals. Uncomplicated storytelling, narrated by the Crane, is moving and creates an invested relationship between the Crane and the Boy; children and adults alike will understand the relationship and the meaning of the phrase, “Love has made me so much more”: it’s the love, the memories, the feelings, that create our investment with certain objects. Digital illustrations have a hand-colored feel. The Crane gives off a warm glow during time spent with the Boy. Bright oranges and deep greens bring the spreads to life, and movement swirls around each spread: pieces of paper, dream journeys, tendrils of light. An excellent readaloud choice, Love Made Me More allows for discussions on our favorite objects and the memories they hold for us.

The Spruce Crafts has step-by-step instructions on folding a paper crane, complete with photos and a video.

Love Made Me More has a starred review from School Library Journal.

 

Colleen Rowan Kosinski is the author of A Home Again and the author-illustrator of Lilla’s Sunflowers and A Promise Stitched in Time. She received her BA from Rutgers University in visual art, is an alumna of Philadelphia’s Moore College of Art and Design, and spent many years as a successful freelance fine artist. Colleen calls New Jersey her home and resides there with her family. Learn more at http://www.colleenrowankosinski.com.

Sonia Sánchez is the illustrator of a number of picture books, including Evelyn Del Rey Is Moving Away by Meg Medina, A Crazy-Much Love by Joy Jordan-Lake, and The Little Red Fort by Brenda Maier. Her books have been nominated for the Eisner Award and named a CBC/NCSS Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People and a Bank Street College Best Book of the Year. She lives with her husband, her kids, and a sleepyhead cat in Barcelona, Spain.

 

Posted in Non-Fiction, picture books

Blog Tour: LOVE IS LOUD: How Diane Nash Led the Civil Rights Movement

Diane Nash is a civil rights leader who was a Freedom Rider; a lunch counter protestor, and a 2022 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient. Sandra Neil Wallace and four-time Caldecott Honor recipient Bryan Collier bring her story to vibrant life in Love is Loud.

Love is Loud, by Sandra Neil Wallace/Illustrated by Bryan Collier,
(Jan. 2023, Simon & Schuster), $18.99, ISBN: 9781534451032
Ages 4-8

 

Born in 1938 in Chicago’s South Side, Diane Nash was a child of the diaspora; her parents refusing to raise a family in the segregated South. Enveloped in love and surrounded by diversity, she experienced Jim Crow laws once she moved to Tennessee to attend college. Angry and humiliated, she refused friends’ attempts to tell her “it’s always been this way” and “go along to get along”, and took action, enduring abuse at Nashville’s lunch counters and joining the Freedom Riders to protest segregated bus terminals. Wallace writes a tribute to Nash’s accomplishments, with key words and phrases bolded and capitalized to invoke strength and power in readers: “ELATION, INVIGORATION”; “NO HIDING. NO FIGHTING BACK”; “LEADING, PROCEEDING”. Bryan Collier’s watercolor and collage illustrations bring texture and realism to spreads, creating both warm and dramatic moments in Nash’s life. Back matter includes notes from the author and illustrator, a timeline of Nash’s life, and resources for further reading.

 

An inspiring picture book biography that shouldn’t be missed, Love is Loud is an essential addition to picture book biography collections. Put this one front and center in your Black History Month displays and booklists.

Love is Loud has starred reviews from Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, and The Horn Book.

Sandra Neil Wallace writes about people who break barriers and change the world. She is the author of several award-winning books for children, including Between the Lines: How Ernie Barnes Went from the Football Field to the Art Gallery, illustrated by Bryan Collier, which received the Orbis Pictus Book Award and was an ALA Notable Book. A former ESPN reporter and the first woman to host an NHL broadcast, she is the recipient of the Outstanding Women of New Hampshire Award and creates change as cofounder of The Daily Good, a nonprofit bringing twenty thousand free, culturally diverse foods to college students each year through its Global Foods Pantries. Visit Sandra at SandraNeilWallace.com.
Bryan Collier is a beloved illustrator known for his unique style combining watercolor and detailed collage. He is a four-time Caldecott Honor recipient for Trombone ShortyDave the PotterMartin’s Big Words, and Rosa. His books have won many other awards as well, including six Coretta Scott King Illustrator Awards. His recent books include By and By,ThurgoodThe Five O’Clock Band, and Between the Lines. He lives in New York with his family.
*”A poignant and powerful portrayal of the life and work of an unsung civil rights activist….Wallace’s text lends buoyancy to the narrative, making it a memorable read-aloud.”

— Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW

*”Wallace’s emotive second-person text condenses Nash’s extensive activism into an inspiring meditation on love as the heart of justice, while Collier’s watercolor and collage illustrations bring artful dimension to Nash’s nonviolent resistance.”
— Pubishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

*“During the 1960s, Diane Nash was one of the most influential and effective leaders of the Civil Rights Movement, yet most people don’t know who she is.” Wallace’s latest picture-book collaboration with Collier seeks to correct that ….the book opens with images of Nash’s parents cradling her as a baby and then of Nash, as a small child, being hugged by her grandmother, highlighting the love that encouraged her activism.
— The Horn Book — STARRED REVIEW

Posted in picture books, Preschool Reads

The Construction Crew goes to the farm!

Construction Site: Farming Strong, All Year Long, by Sherri Duskey Rinker/Illustrated by AG Ford, (Nov. 2022, Chronicle Books), $17.99, ISBN: 9781797213873

Ages 2-5

The latest addition to Rinker and Ford’s Construction Site series features every toddler and preschooler’s favorite trucks helping out farm vehicles through the seasons. They meet new friends, like Big Tractor and Little Tractor, who prepare the soil and plants seeds; Little Skid Steer, who helps clear areas and dig holes, and Combine, who harvests the rows of corn. There’s something to do in each season, and duties are laid out in the familiar rhyme pattern that readers have come to know and love: “Summertime brings heat and sun, / and lots of work needs to be done. / Sunshine and care, all season long, / help crops grow healthy, tall, and strong”. Rinker’s rhymes and story is cheerful, and gives readers insight into farming through the seasons and what various farm equipment does; Ford’s wax oil crayon illustrations are familiar and lovable, with friendly vehicles helping one another. In short, little ones love books about cars and trucks; this is a great series, and you need this one on your shelves.

Posted in picture books, Preschool Reads

Tales from the TBR: The Llove Llama books

The Love Llama Travels the 7 Continents, by Monica Talbot-Kerkes & Sharla Charpentier/Illustrated by Aljon Inertia, (Dec. 2022, Book Endeavors), $14.99, ISBN: 978-1736282908

Ages 4-7

The kickoff to a children’s series that teaches geography and the natural world, The Llove Llama Travels the 7 Continents is a cute story about finding friendship. Born in South America, a sweet llama named Llove decides that she needs to search the world for a friend. As she explores the continents, she meets all sorts of new friends: a sloth named Bob, living in the Amazon Rainforest; a penguin named Peppermint living in Antarctica; a narwhal named Ned, living in Africa, and more, all of whom direct Llove to other continents in her search for a special friend: a child! Compass roses throughout help place readers as Llove explores the world in search of her friend. Comprehensive back matter includes fast facts on the animals mentioned in the story and discussion questions. Colorful maps place Llove and her animal acquaintances in their respective continents. Colorful cartoon art and expressive, friendly animals make this a fun go-to for preschoolers and early grade schoolers.

 

Ned the Narwhal Voyages the 5 Oceans (The Llove Llama and Friends), by Monica Talbot-Kerkes & Sharla Charpentier/Illustrated by Aljon Inertia, (July 2021, Book Endeavors), $14.99, ISBN: 978-1736282960

Ages 4-7

Now that readers have met Llove the Llama, it’s time to meet the friends she made on her journey! Ned the Narwhal is born with a rainbow horn and flipper wings, setting him apart from the other narwhals. When Ned is bored with life in the Arctic, he decides to be like his friend, Llove the Llama, and travel the world. Being a narwhal, he sticks to the world’s oceans, meeting all sorts of new friends, including sharks, crabs, and seals. He learns some valuable lessons, the most important being that everyone is special. Upbeat rhyme, colorful maps, and illustrations throughout place the reader and invest them in the story. Back matter offers fast facts on all the animals and the oceans appearing in the story; discussion questions offer opportunities to reinforce and deepen learning.

The Llove series is a cute way to introduce young learners to world geography and link it to the natural world. The third book in the series stars Bob the Sloth – the first animal Llove meets on her journey – and published in September 2022. Visit the Llove Llama and Friends website for more information about the series and free resources, including coloring pages to keep handy for a post-storytime activity.