This Week’s Children’s Books – Despicable Me 3 – Out of Wonder Poems – Luna’s Red Hat – Sleep Like a Tiger and more…

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I have a handful of children’s books to share with you this week and hope you’ll enjoy my reviews for them below. As always, if you’d like to add them on Goodreads, just click the cover to be redirected.


Despicable Me 3 – Agnes Loves Unicorns by Universal

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Blurb: The Minions are back! Join your favorite yellow friends, along with Agnes, Edith, and Margo, on a new, hilarious adventure in this beautiful hardcover picture book that is based on the highly anticipated blockbuster movie Despicable Me 3!

Agnes has two lifelong dreams:
One is to be adopted into a loving family (completed!) and the other is to have a pet unicorn. Explore Agnes’s love of unicorns inside this lovely picture book–and join her as she goes on her biggest adventure yet–to capture a unicorn!

  • Age Range: 5 – 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool – 3
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: LB Kids; Mti edition (May 23, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316507474
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316507479

My review

I was surprised when we first started reading Agnes Loves Unicorns because the story goes all the way back to the beginning of the first “Despicable Me” movie with the girls still in their orphan home. Agnes dreams of having a family and a pet unicorn too.

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Her first dream comes true and she’s adopted by Gru. Then, she gets her very own stuffed unicorn, but soon learns that she must make a sacrifice for her family. She decides its time to find a real life unicorn and the adventure begins.

We loved the full color pages in this picture book. It’s easy to read and perfect for all children because it’s told in chronological order from the first movie. I’m going with 4 stars on this one because it felt choppy at times.

Star_rating_4_of_5


Luna’s Red Hat by Emmi Smid

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Blurb: It is a beautiful spring day, and Luna is having a picnic in the park with her family, wearing her Mum’s red hat. Luna’s Mum died one year ago and she still finds it difficult to understand why. She feels that it may have been her fault and worries that her Dad might leave her in the same way. Her Dad talks to her to explain what happened and together they think about all the happy memories they have of Mum.

This beautifully-illustrated storybook is designed as a tool to be read with children aged 6+ who have experienced the loss of a loved one by suicide. Suicide always causes shock, not just for the family members but for everyone around them, and children also have to deal with these feelings. The book approaches the subject sensitively and includes a guide for parents and professionals by bereavement expert, Dr Riet Fiddelaers-Jaspers. It will be of interest to anyone working with, or caring for, children bereaved by suicide, including bereavement counsellors, social workers and school staff, as well as parents, carers and other family members.

  • Age Range: 6 – 9 years
  • Grade Level: 1 – 4
  • Hardcover: 34 pages
  • Publisher: Jessica Kingsley Publishers; Ill edition (April 21, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849056293
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849056298

My review

This story begins with Luna, a little girl who lost her mother to suicide a year ago and is still dealing with anger and sadness. Her dad tries to help her understand that her mother’s suicide wasn’t anybody’s fault, and it wasn’t her mother’s fault either. She has lots of questions she needs answered and her dad is there to help her through.

Suicide is something you hear about often and many have experienced first hand with a family member or friend. It’s never easy and explaining it to children can be challenge as they have many questions in their little heads.  Why? How? Didn’t they love me? It’s never easy to explain or understand, even as an adult.

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In the past, I lost a friend to suicide. Recently, the death of Chris Cornell became known to my family. I’ve been listening to Chris since I was a young teen and his death hit me hard. My kids, knowing who he is, had questions as well. They didn’t understand. It’s hard to explain to them, especially when they start asking questions about how he did it. Help for parents is found in the back of the book as a bereavement specialist writes to briefly explain how to handle these questions from children.

I found the book very helpful. I thought the illustrations were powerful with showing the emotions of the characters and I believe this book would be good for many parents, teachers, counselors, and children dealing with a loss due to suicide.

5-start

 

 


 

Out Of Wonder – Poems Celebrating Poets by Kwame Alexander

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Blurb: Out of gratitude for the poet’s art form, Newbery Award winning author and poet Kwame Alexander, along with Chris Colderley and Marjory Wentworth, present original poems that pay homage to twenty famed poets who have made the authors’ hearts sing and their minds wonder.

 

 

  • Age Range: 8 – 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 – 7
  • Hardcover: 56 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick (March 14, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 076368094X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763680947

My review

I fell in love with this book as soon as I started reading the preface as the author explains his life growing up with books. His love for books and poetry influenced him to put together this lovely book of poems to introduce poetry to children.

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The poems in the book are written by Kwame Alexander, Chris Chris Colderley and Marjory Wentworth. The poems included here honor and celebrate twenty poets from the past and present including Robert Frost, Langston Hughes, Emily Dickinson, and Maya Angelou to name a few. The illustrations alone are beautiful and eye-catching. Once you get to the back, each celebrated poet is highlighted with information regarding their lives and works.

In my opinion, this book belongs in every school, every library, and in every home where there are children. It’s worth every penny and I’m happy to have it.

5-start


A Warm Winter by Feridun Oral

 

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Blurb: One cold winter morning Little Mouse ventures out in search of enough firewood to heat his nest. But when he tries to drag his pile home, he realizes everything he’s gathered is much too heavy for him. Maybe his friends can help out, but they’d better hurry, because there’s a blizzard on the way. If they can find a way to work together and keep each other safe, maybe they can all have the warm winter they’ve been hoping for. This beautifully illustrated picture book shows the power of friendship, persistence–and a little luck–to make our dreams come true. This is a winter story that will warm your heart.

 

  • Age Range: 3 – 5 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool – Kindergarten
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: minedition (October 1, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9888341294
  • ISBN-13: 978-9888341290

 

My review

Little Mouse and his family are enduring a very cold winter. He decides it’s time to go out and find some firewood to keep his family warm. He gathers a rather large pile, but can’t seem to get it back home to his family. One by one, his friends come to the rescue, but they can’t seem to get the pile to budge. Finally, Bear comes to save the day, but will he succeed?

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This is a book that will teach children about friendship, teamwork, and sharing. I thought the story was cute and easy to follow for young readers. I appreciate everything about winter so much and enjoyed the illustrations in the book.

Star_rating_4_of_5


Sleep Like A Tiger by Mary Logue – Illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski

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Blurb: “Does everything in the world go to sleep?” the little girl asks. In dialogue between a not-at-all sleepy child and understanding parents, the little girl decides “in a cocoon of sheets, a nest of blankets,” she is ready to sleep, warm and strong, just like a tiger.

 

  • Age Range: 4 – 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool – 3
  • Series: Caldecott Medal – Honors Winning Title(s)
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (October 23, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0547641028
  • ISBN-13: 978-0547641027

My review

We started reading Sleep Like a Tiger and right away we recognized the illustrations containing the crowns. We were introduced to Pamela Zagarenski after reading Henry & Leo earlier this year. This story focuses on a girl who doesn’t want to go to sleep. She asks her parents, “Does everything in the world go to sleep?” They explain that not every animal sleeps at night, but most do, especially the tiger. He sleeps a lot during the day too. She imagines the animals while she tries to cozy in for a good nights sleep.

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This book is sure to relax anyone before sleep. The illustrations are so colorful and addicting. Paired with this story, it’s a PERFECT bedtime book and a favorite we’ve read this year.

5-start


The Book No One Ever Read by Cornelia Funke

 

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Blurb: What if books want to be read as much as we want to read them? This is certainly true of our young hero in The Book No One Ever Read. Morry, a young book, is tired of standing still on a shelf amid dignified first editions, and yearns for the excitement of sharing his story with a child.

 

The books and illustrations within The Book No One Ever Read pay homage to some of Cornelia Funke’s favorite authors, whose books crowd the shelves of the library the story is set in. Some of the writers included are Toni Morrison, Robert Louis Stevenson, Jane Austen, Victor Hugo, Shel Silverstein, Frank L. Baum, and many others. The inspiration for Morry is Maurice Sendak, author of Where The Wild Things Are.

  • Age Range: 3 and up
  • Grade Level: Preschool and up
  • Hardcover: 36 pages
  • Publisher: Breathing Books (May 14, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0989165698
  • ISBN-13: 978-0989165693

My review

Books are all so different, just like people are different. Morry is a young book on the shelf and longs to be read. He wants fingerprints, smudges, and bent corners. The older books in the library tell him he’s better off just staying on the shelves, but he’s persistent and decides that anything’s better for him than living a life of nothingness. He’s thinking about jumping off the shelf in hopes of being discovered when a book named Jane gives him a shove and Morry falls to his back. This part is quite scary as some of the books prove to be a little violent. Follow along in the story to find out if Morry will ever be discovered.

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What an imagination it took to write this book. The faces on the books are so realistic and the conversations between the books are hilarious. When you use your imagination, you’ll notice that the faces on the books are the true authors themselves! I thought the illustrations were very colorful and interesting. Once you get to the end, the author mentions all of her favorite authors that she’s enjoyed in her life, some of which are used in the book. It’s thought-provoking even for adults when you think about how some of the classic authors are all smudged up with heavy wear, and then others haven’t been touched at all. Overall, it’s a good book that kids will enjoy.

Star_rating_4_of_5

 


I hope you enjoyed reading about this week’s children’s books. If you have any comments or suggestions, please feel free to leave them below. Thanks for reading!

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7 thoughts on “This Week’s Children’s Books – Despicable Me 3 – Out of Wonder Poems – Luna’s Red Hat – Sleep Like a Tiger and more…

  1. starjustin

    I loved reading the reviews and looking at the pictures for all of the children’s books but I especially liked the uniqueness of the last one ‘The Book No One Ever Read’. I just have to find out what happens! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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