Rummanah Aasi

  I'm very happy to be included in the Earth Day Celebration tour hosted by Candace’s Book Blog & CBB Book Promotions! Today I'll be reviewing author Stephanie Lisa Tara's picture books. Along with the reviews, there are two great giveaways associated with this tour! Check out the giveaways at the end of this post.

Description: It s a headline we all have seen: Global warming is melting the Arctic. Once the Arctic sea ice has vanished, the majestic polar bear, a magnificent creature who needs the sea ice to survive will vanish, too. The ice is home to the bears, as well as to their primary food source, the ringed seal. Polar bears feed, mate, travel, den, and give birth on the ice. Some scientists say polar bears will be extinct within fifty years if something isn t done, and soon.

Review: In this eye popping picture book, young readers are introduced to the world of polar bears. The mother polar bear is raising cubs to threats posed by global warming. The oversize format features vivid and almost life-like watercolor Arctic scenes are best when shared with a group. Unfortunately, the pages leave an overly busy impression, partly because of the illustrator's detailed style but also because they are printed on paper that features a subtle snowflake background and border. I just wished the text was a bit more clearer and simplistic of what global warming is about. I can see many young readers be confused and ask a lot of questions of why the glaciers have melted. I think this book would work best with some previous classroom preparation, discussion, and lessons about global warming.

Rating: 3 stars

Words of Caution: None. Recommended for K-2.

If you like this book try: The Magic School Bus and the climate challenge by Joanna Cole, The Glaciers are Melting! by Donna Love

Description: On a quiet, moonlit beach, a baby green sea turtle stirs from a dream of home. Slowly, slowly, with a tap, crick, crack, the baby turtle embarks upon a mysterious nighttime journey. Gentle, tender verse and enchanting illustrations carry this tranquil tale from sand to sea.

Review: Gorgeous watercolors chronicle the journey of a baby sea turtle from its hatching to its first swim in the sea. Unfortunately, the text is not quite as good, as it tries to be to tell many stories at once. First, there's the sweet, but incorrect, idea of a baby turtle seeking a reunion with its mother, reiterated on every page. Next is the actual journey of the baby sea turtle. There are scientific facts included in the story, but they are kind of hard to glean from the spare text. I think this picture book would have been better if it was wordless since the meticulously detailed illustrations provide excellent context clues. If you are reading this for scientific facts, you will be disappointed but readers reading for the sweet mother and offspring relationship will find much to enjoy.

Rating: 3 stars

Words of Caution: None. Recommended for K-1.

If you like this book try: The little sea turtle who was afraid of the ocean by Barbara Lesser, Don't worry, be happy : a sea turtle story by Seth Ofgang, Totty by Paola Opal

Description: Gwynne, Fair & Shining is a twenty-four page children's book, written in verse, about a young girl who learns she is special and can be anything she wants to be.

Review: Although I loved the energetic pictures, I had a really hard time with this book. The world of Gwynne was unclear as characters came and went, which left the important message of a child realizing that he/she is special and can be anything he/she wants to be without much of an impact. The text could have been stronger to reinforce the pictures. Still I would recommend this book to children who like eccentric characters. There is much to like about the bold and happy Gwynne.

Rating: 2 stars

Words of Caution: None. Recommended for K-1.

If you like this book try: Our Granny by Margaret Wild, The Adventures of Granny Clearwater & Little Critter by Kimberly Willis Holt

Description: Even when you are little, you can imagine big. At closing time a key locks the library, and unlocks the dreams of a little mouse who waits in the shadows. Skipping, sliding, down the pages of books? he steps inside magical stories, inviting readers to come along for the ride. Witty verse and fantastical illustrations celebrate the joys of reading in this tale with innovative charm.

Review: This is my favorite of the pictures that I've reviewed today. The idea of finding yourself being part of the stories you come across is extremely creative. As readers, I think we picture ourselves as the protagonists in the books that we read subconsciously. The drawings and text are whimsical. Though I would have liked a bit more of a background of how the mouse found himself in the library and what happened to him at the end. Young readers will have fun connecting the text to the fun pictures.

Rating: 3.5 stars

Words of Caution: None. Recommended for K-1.

If you like this book try: Bats in the Library by Brian Lies, A Story for Bear by Dennis Haseley

There are TWO fabulous giveaways for this tour!

Giveaway #1:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway #2:

  a Rafflecopter giveaway
5 Responses
  1. Jenny Says:

    I'm a little in love with that turtle from the second book, I'm not going to lie. I just keep picturing the baby turtles from Finding Nemo and I just get all happy. I think my nieces would really like that once since you said the illustrations are so well done, they're not of the age yet where scientific facts are as interesting as pretty pictures:)

  2. Candace Says:

    I'm sorry you didn't like them more. My kids really love them and the scientific stuff doesn't matter so much since I have to explain all that anyway. Stephanie does have a turtle book coming out really soon that is non fiction and all about sea turtles. It has real photographs and is filled with facts.
    Anyway, I appreciate you taking the time to read and review them and host a tour stop!

  3. I really like the Turtle book the best. It is so soft and soothing. I think this is such a great tour. I am looking forward to my post!

  4. Lauren Says:

    I haven't read the others, but I did love Little Library Mouse; I think I would have adored this as a child. To me the library was a magical place where adventures were found, and the idea that a library mouse comes out after the doors are closed and experiences the same reading adventures as me would have thrilled me. Thanks for your honest reviews of these!

  5. I have these books and I have to say, scientifically correct or not, I'll Follow the Moon took my breath away when I opened it up. The water color pictures are stunning. I think as a picture book, it's beautiful. Sorry you didn't like them more.


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