Friday, March 30, 2018

A is for Alpine: An Alphabet Book for Little Hikers

A is for Alpine: An Alphabet Book for Little Hikers 
by Rebecca Douglass
and Dave Dempsey

A is for Alpine: An Alphabet Book for Little Hikers is just that. This is a simple book for young kids who are interested in the outdoors and camping and are learning their ABCs and word associations.

You'll want to bring this ABC book outside with your kids, or just to your backyard, so while you read each page you can point out more outdoorsy things can start with each letter, turning this into an activity book.

At first, I wished there was a bit more than just one small sentence for each letter/page, but the simplicity is part of the charm, along with the images. The images are real photos taken by the author of her children when they were between the ages of about five and eleven. The photos of nature were taken by Dave Dempsey.

At the end of the book it explains how the author got the idea to first create this book and why she decided to publish it.
"B is for boys on a Backpacking adventure."
I imagine many young kids will want to go backpacking after reading this. Even if its just for a short hike and nature hunt.

RECOMMENDED for nature-loving kids ages 3 - 5.

Sammy Approved!

About the Author:

Rebecca Douglass grew up in Idaho, Arizona, and Washington states, and now lives near San Francisco. Her passions include backpacking, hiking, books, and running and biking. She works at the library, volunteers in the schools, and is having a great time writing for kids and adults of all ages.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Creepy Pair of Underwear / Review

Creepy Pair of Underwear!

Written by Aaron Reynolds

Illustrated by Peter Brown

An enjoyable story that tickles your funny bone. With a humorous storyline, this story teaches children how fear can crop up anything or anywhere and that fear is not a bad thing.

Jasper's mom brings him to the store to buy him plain white underwear, but then Jaspers sees...CREEPY UNDERWEAR that glows in the dark. 

He claims he's a big bunny now, so his mom buys him one pair. That night, he puts on his new underwear and goes to bed, but they're so bright and eerily green that he can't go to sleep. He takes it off and puts on his plain whites. That's when things get really creepy. This scary underwear has a mind of its own and clearly doesn't want to go away. Just when they're gone for good, he realizes he likes the green glow at night. Without it, it's too dark!

The illustrations are amazing. The underwear really does seem to glow, adding to the entire experience.

This story will have you and your kids laughing out loud. 

All kids go through that stage of needing to buy "big kid" underwear and being afraid of the dark, and this tale combines both of those in a cute way.


Saturday, March 3, 2018

Juliane's Story #DiverseKidLit

Juliane's Story: A Real-Life Account of Her Journey from Zimbabwe

Written by Andy Glynne

Illustrated by Karl Hammond

(Based on the BAFTA winning animations)

Juliane lived on a farm in Zimbabwe. She was only three and a half when her mom left for her own safety. Church people took Juliane in and raised her.

"I had to learn to be my own mother and father."

But she believed, deep down, her mom was looking for her.

"In the orphanage, there were about 30 children trying to eat from one plate."

Reading about what life was like in the orphanage is heartbreaking. For kids, especially for many kids in America, it'll show them that they have things and privileges that other kids around the world don't have--a full plate of food and clean drinking water. There are things many children take for granted in this generation of iPhones, video games, and YouTube.

"I survived by drinking water, but it wasn't clean."

One day, all the orphan are put on a truck. Juliane's the smallest and the last to get on the truck. All of a sudden, a woman is chasing at it--her mom! They're reunited and leave Zimbabwe, but Juliane struggles to adapt to her new life in her new host country.

She experiences severe panic attacks, something not many kids understand, so this is a great teaching moment for parents to see if their children have ever experienced anxiety.

This is a picture book with few words, but the illustrations are stunning. There are also several lessons for kids today between these pages, such as acceptance.