You Are Never Alone by Elin Kelsey

You Are Never Alone by Elin Kelsey

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This book was not what I was expecting it to be, in the best way. It wonderfully and beautifully explained how the Earth is always with you in various ways. From the oxygen plants give, to the coral reefs that protect us, to our lovable pets. Each aspect of the Earth and all its tiny creatures are with us, helping us grow and thrive. Soyeon Kim’s illustrations were breathtaking, creative, and unique. The author brought so much into perspective without losing the magical feel of it. Easily one of my favorite books.

I would highly recommend this for anyone to read, not just children. This book spectacularly described how the Earth takes care of us everyday, in so many small and big ways. We may not be able to see or notice how the Earth provides for us, like the coral reefs protecting us from storms, or microorganisms protecting our bodies, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t protected. This book put so much into perspective for me, and I’m an adult, I can’t imagine what it would do for children. As I mentioned earlier, what with current topics surrounding the planet nowadays, this book is perfect for anyone to read who wants to care for the Earth the same way it cares for us. I can’t recommend this book enough.

Wolf In The Snow by Matthew Cordell

Wolf in the Snow: Cordell, Matthew: 9781250076366: Amazon.com: Books

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This book is told without words and with only illustrations. It follows a girl on her journey home and a small wolf pup, during a terrible snow storm. Both became lost/separated. They find each other and seemed to reach an unspoken agreement to comfort each other. The girl travels far out of her way to bring the wolf pup home. Once the pup was returned safely, the girl tries to find her own way home, only to collapse from the cold. The wolves come and help her, signaling to her family where she is. Both the girl and pup found their way home, with the help of each other.

I would highly recommend this book for anyone, not just children. Books that opt out of telling a story with words can easily flop. This book was not one of those. It told such a beautiful, deep, meaningful story with simple and beautiful illustrations. It reminded me a bit of the story Pax, which is about a boy and his pet fox, and they become separated. Seeing the initial interaction between the child and wolf pup, and the unspoken trust they put in each other was stunning.

When Sadness is At Your Door by Eva Eland

When Sadness is at Your Door: Eland, Eva: 9780525707189: Amazon.com: Books

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This book is an amazing introduction to depression and how to handle it. It follows a boy who is visited by the sad emotion, which is illustrated to be a semi-see through blue blob. The book shows how sadness can feel, like being unable to breath or feeling like your emotions take over you, as well as showing how to handle it, like going for a walk or giving it a name and listening to it. In the end, the sadness disappeared, and the boy got ready for a new day.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone, not just children. So many adults nowadays are disconnected with how they feel, that this would be a nice, easy example of how to reconnect with those lost feelings. I loved that it didn’t show children how to “overcome” the sadness with hard work and determination, but rather showed how to be tender to that sad side and let it happen. Work with it instead of against it. I think this book perfectly portrays depression and I love that there is a children’s book about it.

Time for Bed Miyuki by Roxana Marie Galliez

Time for Bed, Miyuki: Galliez, Roxane Marie, Ratanavanh, Seng Soun:  9781616897055: Amazon.com: Books

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This is a story about a girl who does not want to go to bed. I think we can all relate to a time in our life when we were kids and did not want to go to bed. However, in this story, Miyuki’s grandfather helps her prepare for bed by assisting her with her tasks. She makes a canopy for a dragonfly queen, waters her vegetables, and covers the cat, among other things. By the time everything is complete, both the grandfather and Miyuki are sleepy. They finish the night by reading a bedtime story, and drift off into dreams.

I would highly recommend this book for many reasons. The illustrations are beautiful, the story is sweet, and the message, I feel, is wonderful. First, the illustrations are beautiful, with luscious colors and creative perspectives. It truly feels like I’m inside the imagination of a child. Second, the story itself is so sweet, as we can all relate to a time when we did not want to go to bed. Finally, I feel the message it sends is wonderful: that we, as adults, should encourage imagination in children and assist them with their tasks. While the tasks may seem meaningless to us, they are everything to children, and validating their experiences is great.

This Is The Rope by Jacqueline Woodson

This Is the Rope: A Story From the Great Migration by Jacqueline ...

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This book beautifully illustrates the story of the life of a rope that a young girl finds in South Carolina. The rope follows the girl through her life, her children’s life, and her grandchildren’s life, always helping in different ways. The story begins when the girl finds the rope near her home in South Carolina, and grows up to use that rope to move to New York. She uses the rope to hang flowers from her home, and uses the rope to dry laundry. As her children grow, they use the rope to play games and make friends, and eventually use that same rope to go to college. The story ends with the grandchild giving the same rope to her grandmother for a newer one so she can jump rope outside their lovely home in Brooklyn. 

I would recommend this book to any and all readers, not just children. There is so much about history that we aren’t taught, or briefly mentioned, and the Great Migration is one of them. Thinking back to my own education, I hardly remember anything about the Great Migration or the impact it had on history. This book introduces that part of history without being too serious or dark. It fights typical stereotypes of African-Americans by showing a family succeed and have a wonderful life, despite all the obstacles in their way. It is truly a wonderful role model for African-American children everywhere.

This Is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen

This Is Not My Hat: Klassen, Jon, Klassen, Jon: 9780763655990 ...

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This book is about a little mean fish who stole a hat from a much larger fish. The little fish kept telling the reader how he would probably get away with his theft and gave various reasons, such as the big fish probably wouldn’t wake up, and probably wouldn’t notice his hat was missing, and probably wouldn’t know who took it and so on. The big fish seemed to know exactly who took his hat and where they were going. He ended up getting his hat back, but what happened to the small fish remained a mystery.

I would recommend this book, but I wish there was more. While I absolutely loved the illustrations, there wasn’t enough to the story. While in the end the big fish got his hat back, he didn’t explain why stealing was wrong, and/or the little fish didn’t even learn a lesson about stealing (or possibly live for that matter). It was a very beautiful book, but I would’ve loved more substance in it.

There Are No Bears in This Bakery by Julia Sarcone-Roach

There Are No Bears in This Bakery: Sarcone-Roach, Julia ...

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This book is not what I expected it to be. I thought it would be about a cat in denial that there was a bear in his bakery that was clearly there. Instead, it is a delightful story about a cat named Muffin who patrols the neighborhood at night, making sure everything was as it should be. One night, he hears a noise he’s never heard before, and decides to investigate it. He finds a huge mouse (a small bear) in his bakery! After realizing it is in fact a small bear and it is hungry, Muffin proceeds to help the small bear eat until he is content. Once the small bear is done, another, larger bear comes to see what’s going on! Muffin helps him eat as well, and once everything has been eaten, they all hug. As dawn approaches, the bears set out for home, and Muffin does as well. As he’s falling asleep in his bed, his owner goes down to the bakery to see a huge mess.

I would highly recommend this book for anyone to read as it is a short, funny, and adorable book about unlikely friendship. I appreciated that the cat was initially scared both times a bear came into the bakery, but that he realized they weren’t going to hurt him and helped them. I really feel this shows children that just because someone is different or in need, doesn’t mean they aren’t worthy of respect and kindness. I think this story also perfectly portrayed what it is like having a cat, and as someone with four cats, I love that. Overall a really cute book.

The Sad Little Fact by Jonah Winter

Image result for the sad little fact

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There was once a sad little fact that nobody believed and everybody ignored. The sad little fact didn’t mind that nobody believed him, because a fact is a fact. But the fact police deemed him unnecessary, and told him to stop saying he was a fact or else. The sad little fact told them that he is a fact no matter what they do to him, and nothing can change that. So the fact police threw the sad little fact into a box and buried him underground, making sure no one would find him ever. Before the sad little fact had time to become more sad, he was greeted by many other facts that had been buried. They were all facts that nobody wanted to hear, and the sad little fact felt less lonely. Pretty soon, the fact police started created false facts, and everyone started noticing that the real facts were missing. In search of the truth, some people began digging for the real facts until they found them, and released them! Though there were some people who decided to ignore the facts, others decided that the truth was more important.

I cannot recommend this book enough for anyone to read, not just children. This book is magical in that it captures what is going on in the world currently without referencing anything. It is its own story, but also is a reminder that the truth isn’t always what we are presented with. Doing your own research and digging for the truth is necessary. Though children shouldn’t be bothered with adult problems like politics, or world issues, this is a wonderful introduction to prepare them for adulthood without burdening them with it. This is a fantastic book, and easily one of my favorites.

The Proper Way To Meet a Hedgehog by Paul Janeczko

Image result for The Proper Way To Meet a Hedgehog by Paul Janeczko

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This book is a series of poems selected by Paul B. Janeczko. Each poem has a different author, but they all rhyme in a wonderful limerick way. The poems themselves are whimsical, and cover topics such as scaring monsters away, taking care of trees, and of course, properly meeting hedgehogs. Each poem is matched with a wonderful illustration that perfectly depicts what the poem is discussing. The poems themselves aren’t too long but give enough information to create a clear image.

I would highly recommend this book for anyone to read, especially children. The topics are all magical and whimsical, letting children’s imagination run free. The illustrations are beautifully done, with so much color and style to them. The poems themselves are pretty easy to understand and straight forward, but still fun to read. The authors all made sure that they were relevant to what children are experiencing, such as swinging on a swing, making snow angels, and seeing fireworks. The limerick to each poem made for easy and enjoyable reading, and in my opinion this would be a great storytime book to read to any and all children. Overall a really great book that anyone can enjoy.

Ten Rules of The Birthday Wish by Beth Ferry

Image result for Ten Rules of The Birthday Wish by Beth Ferry

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There are ten rules that must absolutely be followed when making a birthday wish. Those rules are depicted here in this book. There are rules that we all know of, such as making the wish and keeping it secret, but there are rules that maybe we hadn’t thought of, such as having a party, making a cake to share, and celebrating when it’s possible. This book was so inclusive, not only letting humans know how to celebrate a birthday, but animals as well. So many animals were mentioned in the book from insects, to camels, to sea urchins. Nobody was left out when making this book, and there was an exception to each rule to include everyone’s differences. 

I would highly recommend this book, for so many reasons. First of all, the illustrations are well drawn, cute, and depict what is going on in the funniest way possible. Second, the story is adorable, and joy-filled. Who doesn’t like talking about their birthday? The rules are pretty simplistic to follow and open to interpretation. Which leads to my next point, the fact that the book was so inclusive. I know it was referring to animals in the book, but letting the reader know that these rules aren’t hard and fast and have exceptions was wonderful. It lets everyone know who is reading it that no matter the differences, anyone can celebrate a birthday and make a magical birthday wish. Such a sweet book.