Welcome Home, Bear: A Book of Animal Habitats

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Written and illustrated by Il Sung Na
Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2015, $16.99, ages: 0-3
Genre: fiction, picture book, bears, camels, moles, 

Stand Beautiful

by Chloe Howard, illustrated by Deborah Melmon
Zondervan, $16.99
Ages 2+, ALL AGES

Genre: picture book fiction, animals, self-esteem, disability, humor, love, friendship, growing, kindness, consideration, inspiration, encouragement, tackling fears, bullies, imperfections,


​   I love this picture book so much I immediately bought two as gifts, one for my daughter’s high school graduation, and one as a new baby gift. Simply put, I think every person who picks up this book can’t help but love it, because everyone EVERYONE can see themselves in one of the animal characters. Not only does the book promote kindness, it teaches kids to recognize feelings and emotions, it promotes self-esteem, and also breaks down bigger concepts into simple language, like bravery. “Stand beautiful,” is says, “Be true to who you are! And stand up for others. That’s standing beautiful.”
   A young girl starts out on a walk and visits friends while making new ones and spreading a message of being proud of who you are, from the inside out. From the first giraffe through a wide variety of animal characters and boys and girls, including a young boy in a wheelchair. And the author knows from experience how sometimes it’s hard to stand proud of who we are. Chloe Howard was born with a foot deformity that required five major operations by the time she was fifteen. Through her hardships, she is now on a mission to empower people of all ages to embrace their uniqueness and boldly  face their beautiful selves. Visit standbeautiful.me for more information about Chloe and her message. 

Fabulous Me, Piper Lee and the Peanut Butter Itch

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By Tolya L. Thompson
Illustrated by Terence Gaylor
Savor Publishing, $16.95
Ages: 4-11
Genre: picture book, food allergies, diversity, multicultural kidlit, adult interest, homeschooling
ISBN: 978-0-97082-967-2

Love is my Favorite Thing

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By Emma Chichester Clark
Nancy Paulson Books, 2015, $16.99
Ages: 3-5
Genre: picture books, dogs, pets, love
ISBN: 9780451475428


dirty Gert

 By Todd Arnold

Holiday House, $16.95

Picture book, Fiction, Ages Pre-K to 6

Ever since she was a little “squirt,” Gert loved to play in dirt, including eating it! One day while snacking on mud in the rain, Gert grows roots! When Hollywood goes haywire over Gert’s earthy transformation, her parents come to her aid. Rollicking rhyme and running commentary made by earthworms add to the humor.

Mom School

​​posted by:  Kim     comments:  

by Rebecca Van Slyke, illustrated by Priscilla Burris
Doubleday, $10.99, Picture book, Fiction, Mother-Daughter stories, Mother’s Day Gift, Kindergarten, School, Ages 3-7

How do moms become, well, Moms? They go to Mom School of course, where they learn essentials like how to grocery shop without losing children, how to read stories, and how to build the best forts. Whimsical illustrations perfectly depict this fun at motherhood from the point of view of a young daughter, inserting her mother into her kindergarten school day.


How Cars Work explains ten mechanisms found in all cars and explores their everyday uses. The interactive book and kit allows children to understand each system by building it themselves! The mechanisms discussed include wheels, gear box, steering, exhaust valve, pistons, accelerator pedal, suspension, and more.                                    -​Brianna B.

Truman the DogTruman the Dog by Debbi Michiko Florence
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

TRUMAN THE DOG, Book 1 in the My Furry Foster Family Series, by Debbi Michiko Florence, illustrated by Melanie Demmer, Age: 5-7; Grade Level: Kindergarten-2, Picture Window Books (Capstone), Aug. 2019, 978-1515844754
Genre: Pet Books, Children’s Orphans & Foster Homes, Bookselling, Bookstores, Veterinarian Career, Animal and Pet Care, Friends and Family, STEM

The Takano’s family’s first rescue pet is a dog Kaita name’s Truman—for tricks and trouble! Any dog owner will lough-out-loud as Truman goes through all the difficulties of being in a scary, new situation, and readers will cheer Kaita on as she win his heart and trust, with the help of her best friend Hanna and Ollie, the family’s dachshund. Filled with great scenes kids will totally relate to as Truman eats various items of importance and Kaita has to clean up the aftermath. But in this book and all of the series, one particularly moving and highly-effective theme comes especially in book one, as Kaita has to say goodbye, and yet she is encouraged because she knows she has helped find each pet their perfect Forever Family. Highly recommend for dog-lovers and any families with young children thinking of getting a dog. Excellent info on how to approach, how to handle mistakes while training and gaining trust.

Each book contains STEM-related back matter, glossaries, animal fats, questions, activities, and information about the real-life 8-year-old Kaita, a Japanese-American who also rescues animal, with a real-life dachshund named Ollie like in the stories, who serves as inspiration behind this highly-recommended series. Back matter content unique in each book, and especially appealing to kids will be Kaita’s personal notes and animal pictures.

BUTTONS THE KITTEN, Book 2 in the My Furry Foster Family Series, by Debbi Michiko Florence, illustrated by Melanie Demmer, Age: 5-7; Grade Level: Kindergarten-2, Picture Window Books (Capstone), Aug. 2019, 978-1515844747
Genre: Pet Books, Children’s Orphans & Foster Homes, Bookselling, Bookstores, Veterinarian Career, Animal and Pet Care, Friends and Family, STEM

Five baby kittens! Kaita’s next foster animal family includes five of the most adorable and hilarious kittens anyone could every know! Except for Buttons. Buttons is really shy and won’t trust Kaita, no matter how hard she tries. One by one all of Buttons littermates are adopted, but now buttons, until Kaita finds an unexpected way to comfort buttons, and when she DOES help Buttons find the perfect person, Kaita makes a huge sacrifice that all children will strongly relate to—(spoiler) she gives up her favorite blanket mader for her by Grandma. I tried not to cry… Excellent for teaching kids empathy, understanding, and (wow) sacrifice, SHOWN through the story and illustrations, extremely well-written and effective. Highly recommend for classrooms, homeschoolers, parents, grandparents, educators, EVERYONE.

APPLE AND ANNIE, THE HAMSTER DUO, Book 3 in the My Furry Foster Family Series, by Debbi Michiko Florence, illustrated by Melanie Demmer, Age: 5-7; Grade Level: Kindergarten-2, Picture Window Books (Capstone), Aug. 2019, 978-1515845614
Genre: Pet Books, Children’s Orphans & Foster Homes, Bookselling, Bookstores, Veterinarian Career, Animal and Pet Care, Friends and Family, STEM

Katia can’t wait to learn how to take care of her latest foster animal recsues—a pair of hamsters! Food, toys, bedding, no problem! Except—it turns out Annie and Apple love to play escape and hide-and-seek! It will be hard to adopt them out if Kaita can’t find them!

BETTY THE BEARDED DRAGON, Book 4 in the My Furry Foster Family Series, by Debbi Michiko Florence, illustrated by Melanie Demmer, Age: 5-7; Grade Level: Kindergarten-2, Picture Window Books (Capstone), Aug. 2019, 978-1515845591
Genre: Pet Books, Children’s Orphans & Foster Homes, Bookseller, Bookstores, Veterinarian Career, Animal and Pet Care, Friends and Family, STEM

Ah how this book made me miss my own, old beardies Igor and Tony. We had them for 10 years (they can live up to 25 years!), before we had to move and find our own animal rescue near us! We were fortunate to find a special veterinarian in our area who also specialized in adopting and finding homes for reptiles. I know Igor and Tony found their perfect Forever Family. Though Kaita has a harder time learning about Betty the bearded dragon. She required completely different care, like she needs to eat crickets! Yet before Kaita even has time to bond with Betty, she’s already getting adopted! And Kaita is shocked and excited to discover Betty’s Forever Family.

View all my reviews


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By Randy Cecil
Candlewick press, 2016, $19.99
Ages: 5-8
Genre: children’s fiction, dogs, picture book
ISBN: 978-0-7636-6808-2

Adrian Simcox Does Not Have A Horse
by Marcy Campbell
Illustrated by Corrina Luyken
Dial Books $13.32

Ages 3-5
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A new picture book that made my heart melt upon reading a lovely, simply told story that every young reader understands, no matter what side of the monkey bars you’re on. Shows kindness, empathy, imagination, understanding, service, and forgiveness, and don’t judge based on appearances. The illustrations perfectly complement the story, in such a way that even the youngest of readers will understand what is happening. The story is short and simple, allowing readers to view or think about how another may feel as a result of someone's words from facial expressions and body language. The reconciliation occurs in a seamless, non-preachy way, as the characters reach out in a completely realistic way to resolve their differences, and apologize, even if in a non-traditional way. This deeply moving story has a satisfying ending, and readers are able to view how sometimes friends fight and being angry and upset is okay. And friends make up, too. With themes of kindness, empathy, compassion, and of course, never judge a book by its cover. #MustRead#HolidayGifts #BookGifts #TeachersGifts #KidLit #PictureBooks#Kindness #Empathy #Forgiveness #MarcyCampbell #Corinna #Dial, #KimChildress #GirlsLife #ChildressInk #BookReviews #kquinn Marcy Campbell Books Katie Quinne 


Unique and fun way to introduce a new baby to an older sibling. Lift the flaps and see under Mommy's shirt as the new baby grows. Great illustrations. Perfect gift for siblings and new babies.

betsy red hoodie

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By Gail Carson Levine, illustrated by Scott Nash

HarperCollins, $16.99

My kids and I read this many MANY times, and its humor and twist on the familiar tale doesn't get old! 

find momo

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By Andrew Knapp

Quirk Books, 14.95
Nonfiction picture book, dog lovers, photography lovers, find the dog Momo in each scene, ages 2-7

the frazzle family finds a way

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by Ann Bonwill, illustrated by Stephen Gammell

Holiday House, $16.95

Frog trouble and eleven other pretty serious songs

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Written and illustrated by Sandra Boynton

Workman Publishing, $16.95
Novelty song and picture book, music CD, 12 songs

Featuring some of today's most recognized music artists, Frog Trouble is sure to be a hit! An accompanying songbook uses illustrations to tell the story of each song, while the written lyrics lets listeners sing along to songs such as "Trucks," "Broken Piano," "When Pigs Fly," and, of course, "Frog Trouble."

Planes, trains, and automobiles: a visual history of moder transportation

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Written and illustrated by Mike Lemanski

Big Picture Press, $17.99
Novelty picture book, historical nonfiction, ages 5+

As the title suggests, one hundred ionic designs from all sorts of vehicles are featured in this fold-out book. Within its colorful pages unfolds a comparative history of the various forms of transportation.

Filled with explanations on the key points of aerodynamics as well as instructions and materials for crafting five different airplane models, Flying Machines is informative and hands-on. Readers can build paper airplanes, more complex propeller-powered machines, then use the tips to fly like an ace.

Flying machines

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By Nick Arnold, illustrated by Brendan Kearney

Candlewick, $19.99
Novelty, nonfiction, picture book for older children, ages 9-13

How cars work​

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By Nick Arnold, illustrated by Allan Sanders

Running Press Kids, $19.95
Novelty nonfiction picture book,cars, novelty, high-interest, historical nonfiction, ages 5

Shadow chasers

​​posted by:  Kim     comments:  

Written and illustrated by Elly MacKay

Running Press Kids, $16.95
Poetry, rhyming fiction, bedtime stories, newborn+

A simple, rhyming, bedtime story, beautifully illustrated by the creator of If You Hold a Seed. The sun is setting as three children chase their shadows through trees, down the garden path, and then say goodnight, only to be greeted again by their shadows at first morning's light.

Hello in there! A big sisters book of waiting

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By Jo Witek, illustrated by Christine Roussey

Abrams, $16.95
Novelty nonfiction, lift-the-flap, ages 4-8

Grumbles from the forest: Fairy-tale voices with a twist

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by Jane Yolen and Rebecca Kai Dotlich, illustrated by Matt Mahurin

Wordsong, $16.95
Poetry, fractured fairy tales, ages 6+

By viewing classic fairy tales from a new perspective, Jane Yolen and Rebecca Dotlich have crafted enchanting and surprising poems about the stories and characters you thought you knew so well.

​Picture Books Galore!