Tag Archives: Children

THE GREAT PET HEIST – Review

LITERCURIOUS BOOK REVIEW

TitleThe Great Pet Heist
Author/IllustratorEmily Ecton / Dave Mottram
PublisherAtheneum Books for Young Readers
(June 2, 2020)
FormatKindle, Hardcover
Pages256
GenreChildren’s Suspense / Thriller / Drama / Spy
Language:English
ISBN 10/131534455361 / 978-1534455368

AUTHOR

Emily writes under two names: Emily Ecton and Emily Fairlie. She grew up in Virginia and owned a variety of pets. She moved to Chicago and became a writer and producer for the National Public Radio (NPR) news quiz. She now lives in Charlottesville, Virginia. To find Emily’s webpages; click here for Ecton, and here for Fairlie.

SYNOPSIS

When Mrs. Food gets injured and must go to the hospital her little band of pets are left to wonder if she will come back. Afraid that they may have to go to a shelter if she is not able to take care of them; they decide that they must take matters into their own hands…or paws.

Will they live in the ducts, or the park, or will they have to support themselves? These are the options they must choose from. Of course, being wealthy has its benefits and so this merry little band decides to conduct a heist. There is someone in the complex with a stash of gold that they will soon acquire.

Oscar– Mynah bird and the brains of the outfit. He speaks a little human. He develops plans and strategies.

Walt – A black cat with cunning and stealth. When not preening himself, he is the backup for Oscar. He also has connections…Chad the Octopus.

Butterbean – Longhaired wiener dog. He is cause of the whole situation they are in. He conducts reconnaissance and information gathering.

Marco and Polo – Rats. They help with reconnaissance and observation.

Chad – Octopus. Great at moving through the apartment complex, opening doors, bottles and windows.

Wallace – Ex-pet rat. Now he lives in the apartment complex duct system. He is the guide.

Madison– Human girl. She is the temporary caretaker of the pets while Mrs. Food is in the hospital.

Mrs. Food– Elderly human. She is the owner of the pets.

Through careful planning and clever strategy, they execute the mission. Not all goes well, though, and poor Madison is kidnapped! Now they have to plan and execute a rescue mission. Will they save Madison? Will they have to go to a shelter? Will they have to live in the ducts or on the streets? You will have to read the book to find out.

CONCLUSION

The Great Pet Heist is beautifully written. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of this daring tale. The plot is well constructed. The descriptions of the characters are exciting and detailed. The idiosyncrasies of the individual characters are spot on and humorous.

The illustrations in my copy were black and white, but they were very well drawn. Dave brings to life the characters in vivid detail. I only wish my Kindle was color. His illustrations are wondrous to look at and each one is its own work of art.

This is a great book to read to children. It is full of adventure, intrigue, mystery, danger, and adventure. I highly recommend this book.  

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

SPECIAL MENTION – ILLUSTRATOR

Dave starting drawing as a young child. He drew his first comic strip at the age of ten. He studied Design in college. His first paying design job was with a park creating posters and trail guides. His resume includes Designer, Senior Designer, and Freelance Designer. He is also an accomplished book illustrator. He lives in Ohio and has a daughter who has also taken an interest in drawing. See Dave’s webpage here.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I would like to thank Emily Ecton, NetGalley and Atheneum Books for Young Readers for affording me the opportunity to review The Great Pet Heist.

LITERCURIOUS CHILD FRIENDLY JOKE

Q. How many tickles does it take to make an octopus laugh?

A. Ten-Tickles (tentacles).

OTHER BOOKS BY THIS AUTHOR

SUPER SILLY JOKES FOR KIDS – Review

Litercurious Book Review

TitleSuper Silly Jokes for Kids
EditorVicki Whiting
PublisherHappy Fox Books; First edition (August 11, 2020)
FormatKindle, Paperback
Pages / File83 / 83425 KB
LanguageEnglish
GenreChildren’s
ASINB08CBH821T

EDITOR

Vicki Whiting was a third-grade teacher and now enjoys reaching children through the Kid Scoop page. 

Jeff Schinkel illustrated Super Silly Jokes for Kids. He attended the Academy of Art University in San Francisco and loves teaching children how to draw.

SYNOPSIS

Super Silly Jokes for Kids is exactly what the title implies. The book is full of silly jokes, puns and riddles. The book covers a wide variety of topics. There are knock-knock jokes, jokes about animals, food jokes, school jokes and riddles.

CONCLUSION

Super Silly Jokes for Kids is a great starter book for anyone looking to learn child friendly jokes. As with most silly joke books, there are some good jokes and there are a few lame jokes. Kid Scoop did a really good job of compiling these jokes and Vicki did a great job of editing.

The layout of the book is perfect for kids. Some jokes are straightforward; joke – answer. Some of the riddles have to be matched with the correct answer. Topics are generally combined together in sections.

The art is fabulous. The design is pleasing and entertaining.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I would like to thank NetGalley and Happy Fox Books for affording me the opportunity to review Super Silly Jokes for Kids.

LITERCURIOUS CHILD FRIENDLY JOKE

Q. What do you call a camel with no humps?

A. Humphrey (hump-free).

CHILDREN’S LITERATURE – FREE TO READ ON KINDLEUNLIMITED JUNE 2020

Litercurious Book Review

Why not visit our Read For Free link to see all the wonderful children’s books. Simply click on the image above to see all the goodies this month on KindleUnlimited.

THE LOST WONDERLAND DIARIES – REVIEW

Litercurious Book Review

TitleThe Lost Wonderland Diaries
Author/IllustratorJ. Scott Savage
PublisherShadow Mountain (Sep 8, 2020)
FormatKindle, Audiobook, Hardcover
Pages384
Language:English
ISBN 10/131629727865 / 978-1629727868

AUTHOR

J. Scott Savage is a noted author and presenter. He was a teacher and developed Common Core-aligned projects for elementary school writing curricula. He routinely presents at schools across the country inspiring the youth of today to embrace their creativity. He has been nominated for several awards. You can learn more about him on his website here.

WHO IS THE TARGET AUDIENCE?

This book is intended for children 8-11 years old or grade level 4-6. I will testify that people of all ages will enjoy this story, as I am much older than 11 and I enjoyed this very much.

SYNOPSIS

The Lost Wonderland Diaries is a wonderful story about a young girl and her friend in Wonderland. Celia is the main character and she is dyslexic. She befriends a young boy named Tyrus who happens to be a book worm. Together they accidently get sucked into Wonderland. Their guide in Wonderland is a charming new character named Sylvan. She is a young rabbit, barely out of bunnyhood, and tasked with finding “Alice” to save Wonderland. Together they have many adventures.

Celia is the daughter of a librarian, which for her is a nightmare because of her difficulty reading. Due to her dyslexia, Celia has put more effort into learning mathematics. Tyrus is a bit of a book nerd with a giant imagination. Celia and Tyrus must combine her knowledge of math with his imagination and knowledge of books to solve puzzles and riddles while making their way through Wonderland and avoiding its hazards.

Something terrible is happening in Wonderland when they arrive. The characters are being turned into monsters! Celia, Tyrus and Sylvan must navigate a variety of hazards, puzzles and monsters not only to get home but to stop whatever is happening in Wonderland. With the help of some of the original cast of characters and a few new ones, they work their way through wonderland discovering not only what is happening, but they discover themselves in the process!

CONCLUSION

The Lost Wonderland Diaries is a magical book! J. Scott Savage does a superb job of bringing his characters to life. The story line is exceptional, intriguing, and educating. I love books that can entertain as well as teach, and this book does it all.

The little puzzles that the main characters have to solve are wonderfully crafted and educational. J. Scott Savage does a great job of introducing his readers to the problems associated with dyslexia and the difficulties coping with the disability.

I whole heartily recommend this book for anyone of all ages.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I would like to thank J. Scott Savage, NetGalley and Shadow Mountain for affording me the opportunity to review The Lost Wonderland Diaries.

LITERCURIOUS CHILD FRIENDLY JOKE

Q. Why did the rabbit try to eat a diamond?

A. Because someone told him it was 2 carats.

OTHER WORKS BY THIS AUTHOR

STELLA ENDICOTT AND THE ANYTHING-IS-POSSIBLE POEM – REVIEW

Litercurious Book Review

TitleStella Endicott and the
Anything-Is-Possible Poem
Author/IllustratorKate DiCamillo / Chris Van Dusen
PublisherCandlewick Press (June 2020)
FormatKindle, Audiobook, Hardcover
Pages96
LanguageEnglish
ASINB07ZRCKGC6

AUTHOR

Katrina Elizabeth DiCamillo is an accomplished author and is known for her fictional children’s books. She is one of six people to win the Newberry Medal twice. She was appointed the U.S. National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature by the Library of Congress for the term 2014 and 2015. She writes novels, chapter books, picture books and short stories. Several of her stories have been made into motion pictures. You can visit Kate’s website here.

WHO IS THE TARGET AUDIENCE?

Stella Endicott and the Anything-Is-Possible Poem is written for children 5-10 years old.  

SYNOPSIS

Stella Endicott and the Anything-Is-Possible Poem is the story of a young second grader and her antagonist Horace. Stella is an imaginative young girl who likes to fantasize about wizards and castles. Horace is the obnoxious know-it-all that every class has. The two are at ends on most things, but everything unravels when they start arguing in class.

The two get sent to the Principles office but Horace runs off. Stella gives chase and then things go really bad. They have to bind together and provide each other comfort to escape their ordeal.

CONCLUSION

Stella Endicott and the Anything-Is-Possible Poem is a very good book. It provides education and storytelling all in one. The characters are well crafted and believable. The plot is suspenseful and intellectual. The prose is age appropriate and easily to follow. There is the heroine and the antagonist and circumstance forces them to work together. The end of story lesson is relevant and educational.

The illustrations in this pre-release are not the final press release pictures. That said, they are splendid. Chris is an excellent artist and his characters are beautifully rendered. If the final release is anything like the cover, then this will be a delightfully colored picturesque book. I do love the pig and “balloon head Horace.”

Overall, Stella Endicott and the Anything-Is-Possible Poem is an excellent book. Children will absolutely love this story and its characters. When the final release is complete, I have no doubt that the illustrations will only add to the appeal of this little gem.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

SPECIAL MENTION – ILLISTRATOR

Chris Van Dusen is an accomplished author and illustrator. He started drawing when he was a child living in Portland, Maine. Back then he loved drawing aliens, monsters and robots. He attended the University of Massachusetts where he earned a BFA in 1982. He did a few odd jobs after graduation but finally started freelance drawing cartoons and illustrations for magazines. He published his first book in 2000. If you would like to learn more about Chris, you can find his website here, and you can watch his drawing tutorials here or catch him on Facebook here.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I would like to thank Kate DiCamillo and Candlewick Press for affording me the opportunity to review Stella Endicott and the Anything-Is-Possible Poem.

LITERCURIOUS CHILD FRIENDLY JOKE

Q. Do you know why Humpty Dumpty likes Autumn so much?

A. He had a great fall.

OTHER BOOKS BY THIS AUTHOR

THE STORY OF JANE GOODALL REVIEW

Litercurious book Review

TitleThe Story of Jane Goodall: A Biography Book
for New Readers
Author/IllustratorSusan B. Katz / Lindsay Dale-Scott
PublisherRockridge Press (May 5, 2020)
FormatKindle, Paperback
Page67
LanguageEnglish
ASINB0875MRZ6C

AUTHOR

Susan B. Katz is a Board Certified Educator with a quarter century of experience, an award winning bilingual author, and a popular speaker. When not writing, she can be found working as the executive director of ConnectingAuthors.org, a national nonprofit organization that brings authors and illustrators into schools. Susan also enjoys an active social life. You can read more about her here: http://susankatzbooks.com

WHO IS THE TARGET AUDIENCE?

Children 6 to 8 years old will enjoy reading this publication.

SYNOPSIS

The Story of Jane Goodall is a child orientated biography. It’s an attractive and informative revelation about the leading light in conservation. The Story of Jane Goodall describes her life, passions, studies and her meteoric rise professionally, socially and educationally. Her name is synonymous with the study of chimpanzees and the conservation of their habitat. Inspirational throughout, The Story of Jane Goodall is a must read for any child whose parent wants to impress upon them the importance of a life long commitment and conservation.

Dame Jane Morris Goodall DBE., formerly Baroness Jane van Lawick-Goodall, is world renowned for her study of social and family interactions of wild chimpanzees. Over 60 years of studying primates have established her as the worlds leading authority on chimpanzees. She also founded the Jane Goodall Institute and the Roots & Shoots programme. She was named a UN Messenger of Peace in April 2002.

As the title makes clear, The Story of Jane Goodall describes the life of Dame Jane Goodall. It takes us through the evolution of Jane. From her formative years as a young girl in England through her life experiences and the fortunate accident that ushered her to become a woman of letters. Katz’s relates the ups and the downs of Jane Goodall’s life and experiences. Through her skilled writing Katz relates Jane’s enthusiasm for her subject.

Katz does a great job describing Janes’s life. She goes into detail such as: the type of books that Jane loved to read as a child, her ambitions to travel to Africa and her love of animals. She describes how Jane got her job in Gombe, Kenya with Dr. Louis Leakey Ph.D., an archaeologist and paleontologist. Katz relates how working with the notable Leakey led Jane to earn her Ph.D., in ethology. She went to Newman College, Cambridge and became the eighth person to be allowed to read for her doctoral thesis before having been awarded either a graduate or post graduate degree.

CONCLUSION

The Story of Jane Goodall is a refreshing new take on an old genre; that of the biography. Katz’s years spent as a teacher are obvious from the outset. Her prose is written with children in mind, and yet speaking as an adult, I enjoyed the simplicity and the clarity of her writing style. It is fun and enjoyable throughout.

The illustrations contained within the pages are delightful. They are age appropriate, colorful and fun. Lindsay Dale-Scott did an excellent job telling the story through pictures. I especially liked the way she put faces with the names of Jane’s chimpanzees. I thoroughly enjoyed her art work.

The Story of Jane Goodall is a tiny gem; enlightening, informative, compelling and concise. Large enough to satisfy and short enough to read in an hour or two. The timeline is interspersed through the chapters and easy to follow. Included are many memory retention tools and quizzes. I loved this book, and you will too.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

SPECIAL MENTION – ILLUSTRATOR

Lindsay Dale-Scott is an accomplished illustrator and designer. She studied Graphic Design and Illustration at Columbus College of Art and Design. An animal lover herself, she she earned an award for her advertising campaign for the sloth sanctuary of Costa Rica. She says, “I have always been an artist ever since I could hold a crayon, drawing on walls and just creating.” Her works are not just on books, she also creates greeting cards for American Greetings. If you would like to learn more about Lindsay Dale-Scott, her web site is here and you can follow her on Instagram here.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I would like to thank Susan B. Katz, NetGalley and Rockridge Press for affording me the opportunity to review The Story of Jane Goodall: A Biography Book for New Readers.

LITERCURIOUS CHILD FRIENDLY JOKE

Q. Why isn’t a Koala bear a real bear?

A. Because he isn’t Koalafied.

SIMILAR BOOKS BY THIS AUTHOR

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HERBIE AND THE T. REX – REVIEW

Litercurious Book Review

TitleHerbie and the T. Rex
Author/IllustratorCharlotte Sebag-Montefiore / Anita Schmidt
PublisherOlympia Publishers (26 Mar. 2020)
FormatKindle, Paperback
Pages30
Language:English
ISBN 10/131788304977 / 978-1788304979

AUTHOR

This is the third book in Charlotte Sebag-Montefiore’s repertoire.

WHO IS THE TARGET AUDIENCE?

Herbie and the T. Rex is written for children 2-6 years old.  

SYNOPSIS

Herbie and the T. Rex is a short children’s story about “Herbie the Herbivore” and his friends. They go out together to get some nice leaves to eat when they are set upon by a T. Rex. Herbie and his friends have to think fast to get out of this situation.

CONCLUSION

This book is very nicely illustrated. Anita Schmidt did a wonderful job depicting the dinosaurs and the scenes. The drawings are age appropriate, colorful and delightful.   

Herbie and the T. Rex starts off slowly but the plot develops rapidly. As the T. Rex approaches Herbie and his friends, Sebag-Montefiore includes an element of suspense into the story. However, the story line is disjointed and doesn’t flow well.

I wish Herbie had made friends with the T. Rex because I don’t want to teach a 2-6 year old child that violence is the first answer to a bully. Furthermore, some of the vocabulary used is not age appropriate.

Rating: 1.5 out of 5.

SPECIAL MENTION – ILLUSTRATOR

Anita Schmidt is a mother of two and lives near the Baltic Sea in northern Germany. She studied graphic design and now works with Bright Children’s Authors and Illustrators.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I would like to thank Charlotte Sebag-Montefioreand Olympia Publishers for affording me the opportunity to review Herbie and the T. Rex.

LITERCURIOUS CHILD FRIENDLY JOKE

Q. Why couldn’t the teddy bear finish his dinner?

A. Because he was already stuffed.