I have decided to start a new blog series called Friday Firsts. Each post will feature a first book-related experience like my first mystery read, my first scary book, the first time I really fell in love with reading, etc. For my first Friday First post, I would like to talk about the first book I remember reading by myself.
I love picture books. I loved them as a child, and I still love them as an adult. When I went back to school, one of the first classes I took was a Children’s Literature course. One of the things I learned in that course is that picture books are designed so that the pictures are for the kids and the words are for the adults. I can see how that’s true with several picture books. There are jokes in certain books that go over kiddos’ heads but manage to give the adults a chuckle. (Shel Silverstein books come to mind!)
But, as an adult, I have developed a real appreciation of both the text and the illustrations in picture books. It’s not just an appreciation of the art that goes into these books, though the art is often what makes a few words on a page come to life. But it’s more about the life lessons that picture books instill in children while offering a gentle reminder to adults as well.
One such picture book is What Do You Do With A Problem? by Kobi Yamada, illustrated by Mae Besom.
There are so many upcoming releases for Fall in the children’s and middle grade genres that choosing just a few to feature on the blog was a painstaking process. But I have managed to narrow it down to a handful of titles that have piqued my interest for one reason or another. So, here it is, the list of children’s and middle grade titles I am most excited about for Fall!
It’s hard to believe that August is here already. I’m starting to see back-to-school sales everywhere I go. The funny thing is that every time I see one, I do a little happy dance inside. Because I don’t have to prepare for back-to-school! Because I did it! Because I graduated!
One of the perks of graduating is that I now have much more time to spend reading, blogging, and working. Speaking of working, I am excited to announce two new services available through Kait’s Bookshelf – book promotion and product promotion. In addition, I am excited to have taken on some new writing opportunities this month, and I will share more on that later. I am also very proud to share the new official Kait’s Bookshelf logo. Honestly, when I think about all that’s happened in July, it’s a little overwhelming. It is an exciting time for sure and I will continue to share as I have news regarding the website, the business, and new services.
But for now, it’s time for my July wrap-up, a brief summary of the book reviews and blog posts I shared this month in addition to highlighting my favorite title from this month’s reads. So, without further ado, my July wrap-up!
I love books. So when people I love write books that I love, life is pretty amazing! My aunt and uncle have joined together to produce an incredible children’s book, which offers a reminder that it is okay, even more than okay, to be a little bit different. I found Differella to be deeply moving, and I share it here in the hopes of encouraging others to read it, share it, and help spread awareness that different is not a bad thing. It’s just different.
I was introduced to Andrea Kaczmarek’s writing for young people last year with Puddle’s Wondrous Worry Dolls, and if you missed that review, you can read it here. There’s a Stinky Goblin in the Shed is another great story from Kaczmarek with a magical element to it.
In this story, Ms. Kaczmarek introduces the reader to Jerry and Jacob, fraternal twins who make a fort out of their Gran’s old shed. As little boys will do, the twins begin to feel adventurous and brave while camping out in the shed and decide to take a walk through the woods at night. It was certainly creepy and of all the things they imagined they might encounter, they never imagined a goblin!
Keep on Reading!
I’ve been busy these last couple of weeks filling my winter break with books and planning for my final semester of school. I can’t believe I’m finally approaching the finish line! I have a lot of good things happening and will have exciting news coming to the blog in the next few weeks.
At the moment, I’d like to get back to what I love most – reading! – and share a new review with you. Last year, I was fortunate to discover many new wonderful authors, one of whom I have now had the pleasure to read twice. I just finished a new book by author Gita V. Reddy titled Tara and the Giant Queen. Ms. Reddy has written several books for children, and if you missed my review of Hunt for the Horseman last year, you can read it here.
Tara and the Giant Queen is a fantasy story for young readers. It is whimsical, and I found Giant Land reminiscent of the land of Narnia (favorite stories of mine!). This was a unique story with an imaginative setting. Giant Land is made up of various kingdoms, each of which is named after a different colored set of mountains – Land of the Purple Mountains, Land of the Red Mountains, etc. These names paint a vivid and exciting place for imaginations to run wild.
Keep on Reading!
Years and years ago I came across a picture book called Christmastime in New York City by Roxie Munro. I fell in love with this book! It is strictly a picture book – no story included. It is a beautiful showcase of the artist’s skills and contains picture after picture of New York City all decorated for Christmas.
I loved this book so much because I had never been to New York City at Christmastime and I had always imagined it would be magical. Though to be fair, I think just about everywhere becomes magical at Christmastime! For me, flipping through this book was the next best thing to being there in person.
Last year, my sweet hubby helped me check Christmas in New York City off my bucket list by taking me to Manhattan in mid-December. It was a wonderful day and I was able to visit many of the sites in the book.
Keep on Reading!
I would like to start this post by thanking Gita V. Reddy for providing me with a copy of her book, Hunt for the Horseman. She thought I might enjoy it because of past reviews I’ve written of books such as Serafina and the Black Cloak. She was right! Hunt for the Horseman is an adventure story for young readers in which Sandy, who has lived her whole life in the United States, travels with her parents to her mother’s home country of India. There she meets her very large extended family, complete with several cousins, who are descendants of royalty and still own the family palace. The children embark on a hunt throughout the palace, which was built with several secret passageways and hiding places, searching for the legendary horseman toy that was supposedly hidden by an ancestor long ago.
Keep on Reading!
This story is intended for early middle grade readers and is relatable with a little bit of magic thrown in. Jemima, or Puddle as she is known, helps out in her Mother’s shop and one day discovers Worry Dolls, little dolls made of paper in bright colors. When you go to bed, Puddle’s mom explains, you should put the Worry Dolls under your pillow and tell them your worries. Puddle is skeptical of this idea until she discovers that some Worry Dolls have made their way into her pocket and come home to her room with her. Deciding she has nothing to lose, she gives the Worry Dolls a try and confides her worries to them. Puddle and her best friend, Ally, quickly discover that the Worry Dolls seem to be listening. Keep on Reading!