Category Archives: Children’s

OCEAN PLANET – REVIEW

Litercurious Book Review

Ocean Planet by Ben Rothery
TitleOcean Planet: Animals of the Sea and Shore
(Part of The Rothery’s Animal Planet Series)
AuthorBen Rothery
Publisher Tilbury House Publishers (October 5, 2021)
FormatHardcover
Pages80
GenreChildren’s Environment & Ecology,
Children’s Zoology, Children’s Marine Life
Language English
ISBN# 10/130884489167 / 978-0884489160

AUTHOR

BEN ROTHERY

Author and Illustrator of Ocean Planet – A Marine Life Book for children aged 9-12 years. Ben lives in London and works from his small studio in the capital . See more here.

SYNOPSIS

Ocean Planet, by Ben Rothery, is an exceptional work for children. Rothery’s stupendously executed illustrations bring nature to life. Although Rothery’s exquisite masterpiece is meant for children aged 9-12 years, I believe that the book has a much broader appeal.

Ocean Planet covers a diverse range of wildlife as varied as the marine birds-of-the-air to the bacteria living in hydrothermal vents in the depths of the oceans. The book covers everything from the tiniest of microscopic organisms, also known as plankton, to the largest underwater species – the Blue Whale. Although Rothery primarily focuses on the marine environment, he also includes land animals and their environments and habitats. Polar Bears, Leopard Seals, and Penguins are not neglected; nor are the Wolves of British Columbia or the Bengal Tigers of the mangroves of north-west India.

Rothery shares his enthusiasm for his subjects with large, full color, high definition plates. All the plates are accompanied by comprehensive introductions to the relevant facts, figures, and details about the individual subjects. Rothery’s unbridled enthusiasm for nature and his undeniable skill coalesce into a joyful, engaging, and edifying experience. Ocean Planet is a true work of art in every sense of the word.

CONCLUSION

Ocean Planet is a banquet for the eyes, a stimulant for the mind, and a tonic for the soul. A thing of beauty is a joy forever, and so it is with Ben Rothery’s magnificently illustrated work. It is not an over-statement to say that this book is truly epic.

The illustrations are bordering on hyperrealistic and are so well executed that they move ones soul and strain credulity. That one man could create with his primitive tools such a magnificent panoply of life like, natural subjects is truly an impressive feat.

Do you have a favorite book from your childhood? Does the thought of it even now stir your memory and take you back to more innocent, happy days? Well Ocean Planet, by Ben Rothery could be that legacy for your child. Please do not take my word for it, I encourage you to get a copy and decide for yourself.

This book makes a great gift; but take care, it is such a valuable jewel that you may well claim it for yourself. I have to admit Ocean Planet is on the top of my gift list this year, and I cannot wait to own a stunning copy.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I would like to thank Ben Rothery, Tilbury House Publishers (October 5, 2021), and NetGalley for affording me the opportunity to review Ocean Planet: Animals of the Sea and Shore.

OTHER BOOKS BY THIS AUTHOR

Soaring in Style – Review

Litercurious Book Review

Soaring In Style: How Amelia Earhart Became
a Fashion Icon
by Jennifer Lane Wilson
TitleSoaring In Style: How Amelia Earhart Became
a Fashion Icon
AuthorJennifer Lane Wilson
IllustratorLissy Marlin
PublisherCapstone Editions (February 1, 2022)
FormatHardcover
Pages32
GenreChildren’s Literature, Historical Non-Fiction
LanguageEnglish
ISBN 10/131684464285 / 978-1684464289

AUTHOR

Author Jennifer Wilson Image and bio.

If you would like to learn more about Jennifer Wilson, check out her website here.

ILLUSTRATOR

Illustrator Image and bio.

Lissy Marlin is an award winning illustrator and character designe from the Dominican Republic. She has worked on many projects and has illustrated on a plethora of titles. Learn more about this fantastic artist here.

SYNOPSIS

Soaring in Style is the little known side story of Amelia Earhart. This story not only tells the tale of her becoming a woman pioneer of aviation, but also a pioneer of women’s fashion. It details the motivation behind the aviation icon and what drove her into fashion design.

CONCLUSION

Soaring in Style is a simple story for young girls 8-10 years old. It describes the hardships that women endured in the early 1900’s in a man’s world. Although the story is uncomplicated, it is inspiring for young girls who want to chase their dreams. Amelia Earhart not only breaks down barriers in the aviation industry, but she bucks the system in women’s clothing design as well.

Although I knew quit-a-bit about Amelia the aviator, I had no knowledge of Amelia, the designer. This book introduces a whole new dimension to the aviation icon.

Soaring in Style is brilliantly illustrated. Lissy Marlin’s use of color and design is breathtaking. The images may be simplistic in nature, but they are provocative, they describe the story well and they are just the right type for young audiences.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

I would like to thank Jennifer Lane Wilson, Capstone Editions, and NetGalley for affording me the opportunity to review Soaring In Style: How Amelia Earhart Became a Fashion Icon.

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Let’s Go On A Hike, by Katrina Liu is currently free-to-read on KindleUnlimited. Discover all the wonders of nature with this beautifully illustrated book all about a little boy on a hike with his dad, mom, and Archie, the corgi. Great for children ages 2 to 8.

Jubilee – Review

Litercurious Book Review

Jubilee K T Johnston
Jubilee by K T Johnston
TitleJubilee: The First Therapy Horse
and an Olympic Dream
 
AuthorKT Johnston
IllustratorAnnabella Ortiz
PublisherCapstone Editions (February 1, 2022)
FormatHardcover
Pages32
GenreChildren’s Literature, Historical Non-Fiction
Equestrian competition,
LanguageEnglish
ISBN10/13168446255X / 978-1684462551

AUTHOR / ILLUSTRATOR

K. T. Johnston Author

Learn all about KT Johnston, her works and her upcoming books on her website.

Annabella Ortiz Illustrator

Annabella Ortiz is a freelance illustrator and designer. Learn all about her on her website.

SYNOPSIS

Jubilee is the story of a Danish woman named Lis Hartel. As a young girl Lis was always around horses. She trained and later competed in dressage competitions. In 1943 she became the National Champion of Denmark. However, a year later she was struck down with Polio.

Fearing she might never walk again, Lis was determined to ride again. Eventually she started working with young gentle horse named Jubilee. Together they worked and trained. Although Lis was handicapped, she never gave up and through her determination and Jubilee’s good nature they started competing again. Not only did she have to overcome her disabilities, but she had to overcome the male dominated sport. She and Jubilee qualified for the 1948 Olympics. However, women were not allowed to compete in the Olympic dressage competition at that time. In 1952 women were allowed to compete and she and Jubliee won the Silver Medal!

CONCLUSION

Jubilee: The First Therapy Horse and an Olympic Dream is a book about courage, determination, overcoming insurmountable obstacles, and a love for horses. This book is an inspiration to all those who not only love horses, but to those who are undergoing extreme hardships.

Lis is a heroine to all young girls! She teaches them to never give up, keep working for what you believe and love. Through hard work and determination, anything is possible.

The story itself, while inspirational, is a little choppy. I feel as if the story has been condensed a little too much. While all the main points are covered, there is much more to her story.

The illustrations are very good and age appropriate. Annabella Ortiz did a wonderful job depicting the horses, the people and the riding attire.

I enjoyed the Author’s Note at the end of the book. It was here that I learned more about Lis Hartel and Jubilee, although I wish this information was included in the book itself.

A great and inspirational story! I highly recommend this book to everyone who loves horses or needs some inspiration to get through a rough time in their lives.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I would like to thank KT Johnston, Capstone Editions, and NetGalley for affording me the opportunity to review Jubilee: The First Therapy Horse and an Olympic Dream.

OTHER BOOKS BY THIS AUTHOR

Railway Jack by K. T. Johnston
Railway Jack by K. T. Johnston

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BEAUTIFUL HORSES – REVIEW

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ANTHONY AND THE GARGOYLE – REVIEW

Litercurious Book Review

Anthony And the Gargoyle Written by Jo Ellen Bogart Illustrated by Maja Kastelic
Anthony And the Gargoyle Written by Jo Ellen Bogart Illustrated by Maja Kastelic

INCLUDING 5 MORE FREE TO READ KINDLE UNLIMITED BOOKS

TitleAnthony and the Gargoyle
AuthorJo Ellen Bogart
IllustratorMaja Kastelic
PublisherGroundwood Books (October 5, 2021)
Pages48
GenreChildren’s European Books, Children’s
Friendship Books, Children’s Fantasy &
Magic Books
LanguageEnglish
ISBN /ASIN #978-1773063447 / B0937KDQJH

#Children’s European Books #Children’s Friendship Books #Children’s Fantasy & Magic Books

AUTHOR

Jo Ellen Bogart studied education and psychology at the University of Texas, Austin.

SYNOPSIS

Anthony and the Gargoyle by Jo Ellen Bogart and illustrated by Maja Kastelic, is a revelation. The story begins with the enigmatic image of a small house with a tiny garden in a semi-rural setting; and just like that the scene is set for Anthony’s adventure. The story revolves around the friendship between a young boy, Anthony, and a recently hatched Gargoyle. 

We quickly learn that Anthony is part of a traditional French family unit consisting of his Mother (Mère), Father (Père) and Anthony (Antoine). His home environment is comfortable without being extravagant. Going to bed one night his favorite rock metamorphosis’s into something rare. On waking he discovers a surprise that leads him into a close relationship with his new-found friend. Recognizing that his new pal is different from him, Anthony questions his mother in order to better understand his bon ami. An unexpected phone call requires his mother to go to Paris. She takes Anthony and the Gargoyle with her. What follows is a journey of discovery for both Anthony and his Gargoyle. Anthony experiences love, loss and mortality. The Journey is tinged with both happiness and sadness; with new beginnings and endings.

CONCLUSION

Bogart’s work relies heavily on the graphics of Kastelic and together they have managed to infuse what could have been an average children’s book into a sparkling gem. Anthony and the Gargoyle exudes warmth and magic previously only seen in works of great authors such as Lewis Carroll. Whilst the styles are diametrically opposed, they both share the ability to tell a captivating story and include illustrations as a central part of the process.

The illustrational nature of the book is compelling from the outset. The plates are so finely sculpted that they capture the natural inclination of the child to continue exploring until the end. In this kind of word-free novel the synergy between the writer and the illustrator are crucial and Bogart and Kastelic together have created a rare synergy here. Nothing less than a literal feast for the child’s eye and mind. The pictorialization is exquisite throughout and the force of Bogarts illustrated narrative are enhanced through the symbiosis of their collaboration. The quality of their mutual creativity and the visualization of their work stands alone and speaks for itself. 

The story seems to be inspired by an allegoric theme, that is to say in the style of a morality play. The absence of text frees the child from the encumbrances of reading whilst enhancing the child’s ability to stretch their comprehension and their imagination simultaneously. Additionally the concepts of love, responsibility, and mortality are all covered providing a realistic view on life and its challenges. 

The work may be especially valuable to challenged children and their guardians. Children who find communication difficult could benefit greatly from the lack the print in this wordless novel. 

Bogart’s story is recommended for ages 6-9 years but it could easily be enjoyed by younger or older children. It would not be hard to imagine that Anthony and the Gargoyle could easily become a favorite of any child. 

Rating: 4 out of 5.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I would like to thank Jo Ellen Bogart, NetGalley, and Groundwood Books (October 5, 2021) for affording me the opportunity to review Anthony and the Gargoyle.

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SADIE SPROCKET BUILDS A ROCKET

Litercurious Book Review

Sadie Sprocket Builds A Rocket by Sue Fliess Illustrated by Annabel Tempest

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TitleSadie Sprocket Builds a Rocket
AuthorSue Fliess
IllustratorAnnabel Tempest
PublisherTwo Lions (February 1, 2021)
Pages40
GenreChildren’s Space Exploration, Young Childrens
Fantasy and Adventure, Children’s Technology,
Fiction, Girls and Women’s Books
LanguageEnglish
ISBN 10/13/ASIN‎ 154201803X/978-1542018036/B088FFR2D7

AUTHOR

Sue Fliess

Sue Fliess, pronounced “fleece,” is an award winning author. She lives in Northern Virginia with her family and English Labradors. Find out all about her, her books and upcoming books here.

ILLUSTRATOR

Annabel Tempest

Annabel Tempest is a freelance illustrator living in Somerset, England. She received her fashion/textiles degree in Bristol in the 90’s. You can learn more about her or contact her here.

SYNOPSIS

Sadie Sprocket Builds a Rocket is an adventure in imagination for children aged 3-7 years. Sadie, a very young girl, wants to be an astronaut some day. So she decides to become the first person on Mars. In her imagination she builds her own rocket and crews it with her stuffed animal friends. Once the rocket is built, she blasts off to explore Mars.

Once on Mars, Sadie and her crew conduct all sorts of scientific experiments. But when the weather starts to turn bad, they have to leave in a hurry. However, all does not go well with the take-off! The rocket gets stuck! Sadie and her friends have to think fast if they want to get back to earth safely.

CONCLUSION

Sadie Sprocket Builds a Rocket written by Sue Fliess and illustrated by Annabel Tempest is a little jewel of a book. The story flows well with a lot of rhyming and the illustrations are splendid. The combination of the story and the pictures make this a great read for young children.

The story itself is cute and shows the power of imagination. The story and the depictions are age appropriate. The rhythm of the tale is perfect for this type of book. It is easy to read and understand.

The illustrations are fabulous! Annabel did a great job bringing this story to life. Her depictions are bright and colorful. They fit the story and the tempo. I especially like the drawing of Sadie and her crew trying to play cards in zero gravity.

Sadie’s Notebook at the end was a very nice touch. It has information on Mars and some women who were pioneers in space.

Overall, I must say this is a fabulous little book. This is a great book for a bedtime story.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

I would like to thank Sue Fliess, Two Lions Publishing, and NetGalley for affording me the opportunity to review Sadie Sprocket Builds a Rocket.

OTHER BOOKS BY THIS AUTHOR

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BIRDS OF A FEATHER: A Book of Idioms and Silly Pictures – Review

Litercurious Book Review

TitleBirds Of A Feather: A book of Idioms and Silly Pictures
Author/IllustratorVanita Oelschlager / Robin Hegan
PublisherVanita Books; Reprint edition (May 1, 2011)
FormatPaperback, Library Binding, Hardcover
Pages32
LanguageEnglish
ISBN10/130980016282 / 978-0980016284

IDIOM Noun – The language peculiar to a people or to a district, community, or class.

Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, 30 February, 2021. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/idioms

AUTHOR

Meet Vanita Oelschlager.

SYNOPSIS

Birds of a Feather is eminently engaging, informative, entertaining, and educational for children young and old. It’s fun, whilst learning about idioms and improving a child’s linguistic understanding and technical use of language concepts. Oelschlager’s book also promotes an understanding of the cultural basis of language through the form of idioms.

Given that this work is only 32 pages in length, it feels much larger due to the numerous beautiful full page color illustrations.

Birds of a Feather‘s greatest strength is its simplicity.

CONCLUSION

No doubt, Birds of a Feather will be well received and loved by children and adults. Many years after a child has grown out of this book, they will still hold fond memories of the enjoyment of reading and learning about idioms. I struggle to remember a better tool for demystifying and teaching a child the complexities of language.

Despite being no spring chicken, I was totally taken with Oelschlager’s fabulously fun trek into the world of idioms. Birds of a Feather is the perfect synergy of concept and illustration which combine to excite the eye and engage the mind. Vibrantly colorful, beautifully drawn, and entertaining throughout, this book is a joy to any young child and the perfect edition to their growing library. Reading this book is like having your cake and eating it too; educational and entertaining.

Our team has decided to award Birds of a Feather our highest rating so far this year for a children’s book.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

SPECIAL MENTION – ILLUSTRATOR

Robin Hegan, The illustrator of Birds of a Feather has produced a large range of humorous sketches that both amuse and educate the reader. Hegan has a particularly definitive artistic style that I very much enjoyed. I will be looking for his work in other literature.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I would like to thank Vanita Oelschlager, NetGalley, and Vanita Books for affording me the opportunity to review Birds of a Feather: A Book of Idioms and Silly Pictures.

Sol Invictus – Review

Litercurious Book Review

TitleSol Invictus (book 2 “Eye of Ra” series)
AuthorBen Gartner
PublisherCrescent Vista Press (February 1, 2021)
FormatKindle, Paperback
Pages / File300 / 3901 KB
LanguageEnglish
GenreChildren’s Historical Fiction
ISBN 10/13173415523X/ 978-1734155235

AUTHOR

Find out about Ben Gartner and The Eye of Ra series here.

SYNOPSIS

Sol Invictus is the second book in the Eye of Ra series. It continues the adventures of its two main characters Sarah and John.

Sarah and John are pre-teens that are transported through time to the ancient Roman frontier. There they must unite the Roman Emperor Caesar Constantius with an enemy to save the time line and return home. This proves to be a difficult task since his enemy, the Alemanni teen Crocus, was made a slave after the Emperors soldiers killed his father. Crocus hated the Romans and only wanted revenge for his father death.

Sarah and John go through a lot of death-defying adventures to accomplish their task and return home. They fight in the arena, go on the run from the Romans, are turned into slaves, fight wild wolves and much more. The odds seem insurmountable, but they must endure if they ever want to get back to their own time and family.

CONCLUSION

Sol Invictus is an action-packed adventure into ancient Roman times. Mixed with a little history and a lot of imagination this book has it all for a young reader. There are ancient sword and shield battles, arena fighting with wild animals, chases through rough mountainous country, the defeat of capture and slavery, and the joy of friendship and camaraderie. This book has plenty to keep a young reader enthralled.

My only criticism is the constant referral to the first book in this series. My OCD wanted me to stop reading this book and start at the beginning of the series. Sol Invictus is a strong book and can stand on its own without the constant reminder of the previous book. If you can get past this little inconvenience, then you will truly enjoy this story.

My final thoughts on this book are: it is a great read. It has a lot of action and suspense, there are times of joy and sorrow, but overall, I’m glad I read it. Now, I must go get the first book, so I can appease my OCD.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

I would like to thank Ben Gartner, NetGalley, and Crescent Vista Press for affording me the opportunity to review Sol Invictus.

The Story of the Wright Brothers – Review

Litercurious Book Review

TitleThe Story of the Wright Brothers
AuthorAnnette Whipple
PublisherRockridge Press (July 28, 2020)
FormatKindle / Paperback
Pages / File68 / 3011KB
LanguageEnglish
GenreChildren’s Historical Biographies
ISBN 10/13164739239X / 978-1647392390

AUTHOR

Find out about Annette Whipple here.

SYNOPSIS

The Story of the Wright Brothers is a condensed children’s book about the first two men to fly a heavier than air vehicle. It provides a quick glimpse into the surrounding political turmoil in America during their early years. She also tells children how people lived without electricity, indoor plumbing, and telephones. 

The book covers the family dynamics, siblings, and the constant moving. Through it all Orville and Wilber were not just brothers but best friends. They did a lot of reading, tinkering, and learning. The boys were fascinated with flight from a very early age. Due to some injuries and sickness their dream of attending college never materialized. The boys started working together and continued with their fascination of flight. They built gliders and eventually an airplane. They pioneered many flying techniques, including “wing warping”.

Orville and Wilber not only invented the airplane, but they were also the first flight instructors. They taught the Army how to fly and many more. They were more than inventors; they were pioneers, adventurers and daredevils.

CONCLUSION

As someone who hails from a family of pilots, I love any books about the origins of flight. Annette does a great job condensing this epic tale into something for children. She discusses the four forces of flight in a manner easily understood. Aerodynamics is a very complex subject matter when you think of all the forces that act on an airfoil at different speeds and temperatures. She includes a glossary at the end which is wonderful. The illustrations were appropriate and very well drawn.

The Story of the Wright Brothers is a comprehensive tale of the two most important men in aviation. I find it amazing that Annette could write such a good book in children’s terms. There is so much information covering their lives, trails and tribulations. Annette cuts through all of that and brings the important aspects to life for young readers. 

As Certified Flight Instructor Instruments (CFII) and professional helicopter pilot, I can say that did enjoy this book. It is very basic, but it is intended for very young children. Of course there are a lot of books that go into much more detail, but as an introduction for children this book is great.

I was working at an airport while attending college and I actually met a pilot who had his original license signed by one of the Wright brothers. This book reminded me of the awe I felt as I looked upon the signature of one of the original inventors and flight instructors.  

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

ILLUSTRATOR

To learn more about Alessandra Santelli click here.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I would like to I thank Annette Whipple, Netgalley, and Rockridge Press for affording me opportunity to review The Story of the Wright Brothers.

TINY TRAVELERS SERIES: CHINA MEXICO, AND PUERTO RICO – Review

LITERCURIOUS BOOK REVIEW

Title(s)Tiny Travelers, Treasure Quest:
China, Mexico, and Puerto Rico
Author(s)Steven Wolfe Pereira & Susie Jaramillo
Illustrator(s)Susie Jaramillo, Mei Li & Magali Reyes McDonald
PublisherChina: Encantos (November 26, 2019)
Mexico: Encantos (October 22, 2019)
Puerto Rico: Encantos (February 25, 2020)
FormatKindle, Board Book
PageChina: 22
Mexico: 22
Puerto Rico: 22
LanguageEnglish
ISBN #China
ISBN-10: 1945635258
ISBN-13: 978-1945635250
Mexico
ISBN-10: 1945635223
ISBN-13: 978-1945635229
Puerto Rico
ISBN-10: 1945635304
ISBN-13: 978-1945635304

AUTHOR

Find out about Steven Wolfe Pereira by clicking his name. You can download a PDF about Susie Jaramillo by clicking her name.

WHO IS THE TARGET AUDIENCE

These publications are designed towards Pre-School 5-6 (Grade 1) or anyone who is a kid at heart.

SYNOPSIS

Get your boarding pass today for the Tiny Travelers: Treasure Quest trilogy. The Tiny Travelers series of books uses art and content as an educational vehicle powered by fun.

The series combines education and learning through a cultural-inspired approach in a multicultural world. They empower parents by encouraging the development of bilingualism in their children. They introduce children to new languages, cultures, geographic regions, foods and animals. Tiny Travelers are exceptional learning tools for pre-school children enhanced by additional online resources.

With so many diverse and disparate nations, cities, and cultures on our world, Tiny Travelers builds a greater level of understanding through infographics and interactive challenges. They expose children to the global diversity beyond their own limited experience. The books inform them about language differences, encourage empathy and understanding of diverse cultures. They also introduce children to geography, cultural festivals, exotic foods, and important historic locations.

CONCLUSION

Tiny Travelers Is exciting, visually pleasing, beautifully illustrated, emotive, exhilarating, and incredibly engaging. They are interactive, fun, enlightening, educational and entertaining. The illustrations are superbly crafted, very colorful and full of useful information.

The series is filled with fun facts, hidden features, and rhymes to aid memory retention. They are embroidered with keywords and pronunciation taken from each country’s language. They even include some common useful phrases.

Children will love this series.

You can visit Tiny Travelers website here to view all of their products. You can purchase the China, Puerto Rico, and Mexico series here.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I would like to thank Steven Wolfe Pereira & Susie Jaramillo, NetGalley, and Encantos for affording me the opportunity to review Tiny Travelers, Treasure Quest: China, Mexico, and Puerto Rico.

LITERCURIOUS CHILD FRIENDLY JOKE

Q. What did the bee say to the flower?

A. Hi honey.