Mom and Me Reviews: Huggy the Python Hugs Too Hard

Huggy has a problem. He loves to hug the things he loves, but he tends to hug them too tight. Can you help huggy learn how to hug gently?

Huggy the Python Hugs Too Hard (Wee Beasties): Dyckman, Ame, Griffiths,  Alex G: 9781534410800: Amazon.com: Books
Huggy the Python Hugs Too Hard by Ame Dyckman

First Line: “This is Huggy the Python.”

Summary: Huggy has a problem. He loves to hug the things he loves, but he tends to hug them too tight. Can you help huggy learn how to hug gently?

Ratings:

                Maggie: “I’m too old for this book.”

                Conor: One Hug + Two fights over who gets to hold the book

3,110 BEST 4 5 Stars IMAGES, STOCK PHOTOS & VECTORS | Adobe Stock
Mama Lala

My Thoughts: This was a simple cute book. It was silly, which is great for my kiddos, but also loving.

FYI: This book is part of a series!

Happy Reading our friends,

Mama Lala, Maggie, & Conor

Mom and Me Reviews: A Song About Myself

This is a collection of four poems with the same subject- a “naughty” boy on his travels.

A Song About Myself: Keats, John, Raschka, Chris: 9780763650902:  Amazon.com: Books
A Song About Myself by John Keats

First Line: “There was a naughty boy,”

Summary: This is a collection of four poems with the same subject- a “naughty” boy on his travels.

Ratings:

               

3 Stars Is the New 5 stars
Maggie

                Conor: Zero Attention Given

SleepSomatics Patient Review: Two of Five Stars (Sriharinaidu S., Round  Rock, TX) — Austin's Top-Rated Sleep Lab
Mama Lala

Their Thoughts: “It’s not what I expected.” She suggests you look through the book before checking it out. She didn’t really understand the content.

My Thoughts: I disagree on the intended audience for these poems. Kids don’t talk like this, and they aren’t used to hearing people talk like this either. While it is good to expose them to new things, it is also important to hold their interest. I’d hold out on this picture book until middle school, when they are taught to evaluate their reading more critically.

FYI: This is a poetry book

Happy Reading our friends,

Mama Lala, Maggie, & Conor

Mom and Me Reviews: On a Magical, Do-Nothing Day

The main character travels to a cabin in the woods with their mother. They experience a day like every other day the spend together in the cabin. Until, their game gets dropped into the pond! (exclamations inserted) At first the main character was very sad, then they started to notice all of the things around them, turning the forest magical.

First Line: “Here we were again.”

Summary: The main character travels to a cabin in the woods with their mother. They experience a day like every other day the spend together in the cabin. Until, their game gets dropped into the pond! (exclamations inserted) At first the main character was very sad, then they started to notice all of the things around them, turning the forest magical.

Ratings:

                Maggie:

File:3 stars.svg - Wikipedia

                Conor:

out-sick - Cardinal Services

                Mama Lala:

File:3 stars.svg - Wikipedia

Their Thoughts: “It was adventurous.” (9 year-olds can be so difficult to talk into expanding on their opinions!)

My Thoughts: I give you permission to be frustrated with me for judging books by covers, or in this case titles. I expected more “magic” in this story. It was still a lovely read, i just hoped for a bit more imagination. The illustrations were well-done. I like the thematic color choices and the bright orange hoodie.

Happy Reading our friends,

Mama Lala, Maggie, & Conor

Mom and Me Reviews: Moving to the Neighborhood

Jodi Platypus moves into the house next door to Daniel Tiger. The new house doesn’t feel like home, because things are different! Together they learn how to feel better when things are new and different.

First Line: “It was a special day in the neighborhood!”

Summary: Jodi Platypus moves into the house next door to Daniel Tiger. The new house doesn’t feel like home, because things are different! Together they learn how to feel better when things are new and different.

Ratings:

                Maggie: Did not participate in today’s storytime

                Conor: CONSTANT Excited chatter

                Mama Lala:

3,110 BEST 4 5 Stars IMAGES, STOCK PHOTOS & VECTORS | Adobe Stock

My Thoughts: This BOARD book was a little too wordy for my two-year-old. He made it through all but the last page, though, so I know he liked the book! This book taught a great lesson– something every young child experiences. Even better, it included a Mr.Rogers/Daniel Tiger jingle!

FYI: This is part of a series, and stems from a television show. The show, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, is actually based off another show, Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood!

Happy Reading our friends,

Mama Lala, Maggie, & Conor

Mom and Me Reviews: Martina the Beautiful Cockroach

Based oon an old Cuban folktale, Martina the cockroach decides she is ready to find a husband. Her abuela suggests she give each suitor “the coffee test” to determine how they might treat her when they are angry.

Martina the Beautiful Cockroach: A Cuban Folktale by Carmen Agra Deedy,  Michael Austin, Paperback | Barnes & Noble®
Martina the Beautiful Cockroach– A Cuban Folktale by Carmen Agra Deedy

First Line: “Martina Josefina Catalina Cucaracha was a beautiful cockroach.”

Summary: Based oon an old Cuban folktale, Martina the cockroach decides she is ready to find a husband. Her abuela suggests she give each suitor “the coffee test” to determine how they might treat her when they are angry.

Ratings:

3,110 BEST 4 5 Stars IMAGES, STOCK PHOTOS & VECTORS | Adobe Stock
Maggie

                Conor: Too long to hold his attention

3,110 BEST 4 5 Stars IMAGES, STOCK PHOTOS & VECTORS | Adobe Stock
Mama Lala

Their Thoughts: “I didn’t get some of the jokes.” — Maggie. She also said she prefers human characters to animal characters, but that it didn’t affect whether she enjoyed the story or not.

My Thoughts: Reads like a good folktale. I enjoyed reading a folktale I hadn’t heard of before– I try to subject my kids to as many different cultures as possible, especially through literature. The story, as written, was pretty punny, which was a nice addition for the adults reading the story. My only complaint is the idea of “finding a suitor” as a topic. Obviously that idea is a little dated, but when viewed in the context of a folktale it is still enjoyable.

FYI: ¡También tenemos una copia de esta historia en español en la sucursal de Park City de nuestro consorcio!

Happy Reading our friends,

Mama Lala, Maggie, & Conor

Mom and Me Reviews: If You Come to Earth

Quinn writes a letter to anyone who might visit Earth, and tells them about all the things they might see if they were to visit. Quinn tells them what earth looks like, who lives here, and how life is different for each of them.

First Line: “Dear Visitor from Outer Space, If you come to Earth, here’s what you need to know.”

Summary: Quinn writes a letter to anyone who might visit Earth, and tells them about all the things they might see if they were to visit. Quinn tells them what earth looks like, who lives here, and how life is different for each of them.

Ratings:

                Maggie:

Four Stars Images, Stock Photos & Vectors | Shutterstock

                Conor: one point toward the planet earth

                Mama Lala:

Four Stars Images, Stock Photos & Vectors | Shutterstock

Their Thoughts: My children did not have much to say about this book. They read it with me, dutifully, but didn’t think much of it. Maggie “liked” it, that’s about as much as I could get out of them.

My Thoughts: The illustrations in this book are beautiful, which makes sense since Sophie Blackall is a two-time Caldecott Medalist. I also appreciate the lettering of this book. (For those unaware, lettering is the style and placement of the words and letters in a book, though not the content of the words themselves.) The idea behind the book is quite lovely, as well. A beautiful book, top to bottom. I suppose the book may be a bit too cerebral for the audience it is directed at, which is why it lost a star for me. A great idea can only go so far, if it doesn’t connect to its audience. I recommend it more toward older readers, or teachers prepared to discuss the content with their class.

Happy Reading our friends,

Mama Lala, Maggie, & Conor

Mom and Me Reviews: I Am Every Good Thing

First Line: “I am/ a nonstop ball of energy.”

Summary: This book puts on display a set of inspiring poetry about a group of young black boys. It speaks of their virtues, and insinuates their innocence, kindness, and goodness. Each page reads like its own poem, but they flow together to form a larger piece.

Ratings:

                Maggie: 5 stars (2 – 4 stars after it made her emotional)

                Conor: 5 stars for page 23; 0 cares of all other pages

                Mama Lala: 5 stars

Their Thoughts: Maggie says, “Its like when you go home after a bad day, and you just sit on your bed… and your mom brings a blanket and just holds you. It feels good. Like that.”

Conor: My assumption of what he would say, “the picture on page 24 is pretty! I want to touch it!”

My Thoughts: This book was beautiful and inspirational. It can be (and should be) read both with and without the context of race. These statements and lyrics should be felt by all young people. That said, this book provided an excellent opportunity to discuss race and the issues surrounding race at this time.

I should note, Maggie said this was a 5 star book before I had this conversation with her. After I provided the context of the dedication page, she became emotional. I told her about Trayvon Matin, who was still a child when he’d been attacked. I told her he was about the same age as one of her cousins. This made the tears flow (which made her star count drop).

I explained to her that these conversations are sad and uncomfortable, but important to have.

Happy Reading our friends,

Mama Lala, Maggie, & Conor

Mom and Me Reviews: Once Upon a Dragon’s Fire

This is the story of a dragon, and two children– Sylas and Freya. No one has ever seen the dragon, but there are many stories about him; stories to put fear into the minds of most. Freya and Sylas are not afraid, though. When the town says the dragon is at fault for their latest plight, the two children set off to make things right… and discover something new about the dragon.

First Line: “Once upon a magic kingdom, before fire ever existed, there lived a terrifying dragon near a village.”

Summary: This is the story of a dragon, and two children– Sylas and Freya. No one has ever seen the dragon, but there are many stories about him; stories to put fear into the minds of most. Freya and Sylas are not afraid, though. When the town says the dragon is at fault for their latest plight, the two children set off to make things right… and discover something new about the dragon.

Ratings:

                Maggie: 5 stars

                Conor: One big smile

                Mama Lala: 4 stars.

Their Thoughts: Conor was mostly uninterested in this story. He did, however, LOVE the giant fold out picture of the dragon!

Maggie enjoyed this story. She said she enjoyed the adventure, and the “moral of this story” ending. She believes the lesson to be learned here is not to judge a “dragon” by the words other people say about him. She says because of this lesson, it is a good story for all ages.

My Thoughts: The illustrations of this book are beautiful and vivid. I, also, enjoyed the giant fold out picture of the dragon. I also, as a parent, appreciate the teachings this book holds. Maggie was correct about the moral of the story, but there was one more: friendship can warm any heart.

Happy Reading our friends,

Mama Lala, Maggie, & Conor

Mom and Me Reviews: Red Riding Hood

This classic fairy tale is retold in graphic novel form for elementary aged readers. This version of the story includes the woodsman, red, grandmother, and red’s mother. Red’s mother asks her to deliver moon cakes and steamed buns to her grandmother, but a tricky wolf distracts her and tries to lead her off the path.

First Line: “Once upon a time there was a girl named Red.”

Summary: This classic fairy tale is retold in graphic novel form for elementary aged readers. This version of the story includes the woodsman, red, grandmother, and red’s mother. Red’s mother asks her to deliver moon cakes and steamed buns to her grandmother, but a tricky wolf distracts her and tries to lead her off the path.

Ratings:

                Maggie: 5 stars

                Conor: One laugh (for mama’s funny reading voice)

                Mama Lala: 4 stars

Their Thoughts: This story was different from the other versions Maggie has been told. We haven’t heard of a woodsman in this story before. Grandmother’s role is also different from the version we know. She liked the telling of this story in graphic novel form, though, and didn’t think it strange to be both graphic novel and read aloud.

My Thoughts: This is a fantastic introduction to the world of graphic novels. Aside from the story, there is also an instruction on how to read graphic novels, panels, and word bubbles– perfect for the age group who would be attracted to this book.

The book also included an introduction to the characters and some atypical words within the story (before the story began), and hosted some review and writing prompts at the end of the tale. Those things alone make this book worth reading.

I agree with Maggie that the story was well transferred into a graphic novel. I liked the delivery.

The story itself was nothing new, so it didn’t hold my attention especially well. However, if tried-and-true fairy tales are your “bag”, this is a great option for you!

FYI: This is a part of a series! There are a total of 6 books in the series. Derby Public library currently has two: Red Riding Hood and Sleeping Beauty.

Happy Reading our friends,

Mama Lala, Maggie, & Conor

Mom and Me Reviews: Wonder Walkers

A brother and sister go on a “wonder walk”. A Wonder Walk is what it sounds like, a walk where you voice the things you wonder about as you walk.

First Line: “Wonder Walk? Sure.”

Summary: A brother and sister go on a “wonder walk”. A Wonder Walk is what it sounds like, a walk where you voice the things you wonder about as you walk.

Ratings:

                Maggie: Five Stars

                Conor: One Sigh

                Mama Lala: Three stars

Their Thoughts: Conor wasn’t very interested in this story. He sat still for the reading, but nothing gripped his attention.

Maggie did not appear to pay attention, but at the end of the reading I was proven wrong about that assumption. It seems she was listening intently, but not looking at the illustrations.

She said she thought it was as good book, especially for preschool and elementary aged kids. Then said it was a good bed time or relaxing book. “It’s a good book to let you get away from the world for a little bit.”

My Thoughts: This is not an exciting book. It is a beautiful concept, though. I wish it were more memorable. I do not have words for what would take it from this level to the next. Do not mistake me, its a good book… it’s just also, unfortunately, forgettable.

The book DID provide for a wonderful discussion between my kids and me. We, like the main characters, played “I wonder”. We wondered if the leaves were the tree’s clothes, and if humans felt like tics or fleas to the world.

Happy Reading our friends,

Mama Lala, Maggie, & Conor