Friday, March 24, 2017

6 Children's Book Reviews You Don't Want To Miss!

As domesticated moose, we love doing lots of domesticated things. One of those things is reading.
We love to read and we love to have someone read to us. We've had a special couple of weeks because we got a whole load of new books to enjoy. Our Moo met author Carolyn Findlay Davis and she shared her books with us.  Boy, what a treat!  We read them over and over trying to decide which is our favorite, but they are all so good it was too hard to choose. Those of us who did have a favorite want to share our thoughts.  Then we figured it would be nice for our Moo to give a more "professional" review (since she's the one who got the books for us to begin with, and she types a lot better too).
Note: Clicking on any picture will make is larger.

What Is Your Name?

Our thoughts:
We just LOVED this book because it's about all different kinds of animals. And, if you look at our picture, we are all different kinds of animals too. 
Do you know who we are? Tell me true?  Do you know what animals we are? Do you? Do you? Oh yeah, this books also has some rhyme in it and as you can tell, we love that too!

Moo's thoughts: 
As I was reading What Is Your Name? by  Carolyn Findlay Davis, a smile appeared on my face thinking what a great book this is for children.  Each page is dedicated to learning about a fascinating animal whose story is written in rhyme.  Not only is rhyme fun for children, but there is just enough repetition that it makes the reading both fun and comfortable.  This is a great book for kids to read on their own, or it could be used as a read-aloud.  I can see this as a favorite book to read with children before bed!

As a teacher, I thought this book would be a great introduction for further study of animals, or better yet, a stepping off point to write poetry following the same pattern as Davis does in her books.  I think even middle school students would enjoy writing poems about themselves or their friends.

Miss Winnie Lilly's Extraordinary House 

Our thoughts: 
What a great story! As you can probably tell by our picture, we love to use our imaginations. By day we are all regular cute little moose, but  by night we are hunters, weathermen, ballerinas, indians, police officers, and even kings. There is no end to what we can do when we use our imaginations.  Go ahead, give it a try. See what you can do when you let your imagination run wild!

Moo's thoughts:
"If the children aren't here, the surprises don't appear."  That's what Miss Lilly told the townspeople who wondered why so many children loved to go to Miss Winnie Lilly's Extraordinary House.  What made Miss Winnie Lilly's house so extraordinary?  It wasn't just its sheer size, the endless rooms behind closed doors, and the fun treats.  At Miss Winnie Lilly's it was the imagination that made anything possible.  Oh, the adults were skeptical, as most adults would be, until one of the women quietly opened one of the doors. At first, the room was empty.  Then something unimaginable happened.  Or, did something incredible happen because of what the woman imagined?  After this, Miss Winnie Lilly realized she was going to have many more visitors at her home and not just from the children.

What a wonderful story with creative illustrations to help us all remember what a great thing it is to use our imaginations!

Miss Sara Sit-a-Spell's Garden

Our thoughts:
Oh, how this book was made for us! We just love to sit-a-spell and enjoy the day around us. We can certainly relate to Miss SarahBut, we also learned a very important lesson too - hard work pays off and it makes you feel good to see the results. 

Moo's thoughts: 
While Miss Sara's friends are busy taking care of their flowers, Miss Sara enjoys the fruits of their labor while sitting-a-spell outside on her blanket.  When Miss Sara asks her neighbors how she too can have a beautiful and lovely smelling garden, it seems like it would take a lot of hard work.  Miss Sara didn't think she'd like that. Then, one of her neighbors gave her a small sack of seeds and without realizing it, one seed fell out in Miss Sara's yard and soon a sprout began to grow.  She was so excited to see it, Miss Sara began purposefully planting the other seeds from her small sack and taking care of them.  From then on Miss Sarah enjoyed the fruits of her own labor!  Cute story, excellent message!

Santiago's Sombrero

Our Thoughts:
This was such a fun book for us because it has two things that we love - friends and hats! I am Petunia, the one with the colorful hat.  Hats really add to a personality and I think Satiago's sombrero makes him look swell.  I also have great fun with my friends.  TD (Tuner's Dog) has been my best friend since we met up in The Moose Room many years ago. And just like Santiago has several friends, Dolly and Golly Pawolly (pictured here with us) are just two of our many moose friends!  

Moo's Thoughts:
Santiago's Sombrero is an appealing story for young readers. Santiago is a cute snake with a friendly personality who likes to sing. Poor Santiago has a cold and loses his sombrero when he sneezes, so he sets out to find his hat. He first sees his friend Sanchez the scorpion. Sanchez can't help him, but sends Santiago to another friend who he thinks might have seen his sombrero. It turns out this friend didn't see the hat either, but his friends keep trying to help. Santiago continues to slither and sing through the area going from one friend to the next. Luckily, Santiago finds his hat and a new friend along the way.  


The Moon-Faced Gollywampus

Our Thoughts:
Some words are so much fun to say and "Gollywampus" is one of them!  We each took turns reading this story because we wanted to be able to say Gollywampus, but we also wanted to see which one of us can speak with the best Gaelic accent. Since we're moose and not linguists, you could just imagine how that turned out, but boy oh boy did we enjoy the story!  (And, we found out what a Gollywampus is.) This story has some mystery, adventure, and surprise!  Just what a good story needs. (And a little extra, because we got to say Gollywampus!)

Moo's Thoughts:
We have all heard of the Loch Ness monster and Bigfoot, and now we have The Moon-Faced Gollywampus!  Deep in the waters off the shores of Scotland, after the sun goes down, the Moon-Faced Gollywampus comes up out of the water with a roar and an unbelievable fury! Colin heard his father tell the story and wondered about this mysterious beast.  
One day Colin sets out to go fishing on his own.  His dad is ill and can't go with, but he reminds Colin to be sure to get back to land before the suns goes down.  He doesn't want to risk the wrath of the beast in the water.  Colin sets out and has a very prosperous day of fishing.  As he heads for home, Colin falls asleep in the wooden boat. He is jarred awake when his boat hits a rock. Water quickly fills the boat, and Colin fears the boat will sink before he could make it home. As night moves in and the moon shines high above the water, the Moon-Faced Gollywampus comes out and Colin finally learns the truth!  I do agree with the moose, this is a fun book filled with adventure and suspense! 

A Star for Anana
Our Thoughts:
As bears and moose and dogs, we love to play in the snow and we loves to play in the cold. (Now that we are domesticated, we love that we have shelter and heat too. Yes, we are a bit spoiled.) We liked the character of Anana and we could certainly relate to her playing around on the ice and snow! We also liked how she helped our her new friend! The four of us are great friends and we love to hang out and play together.

Moo's Thoughts: 
Anana the polar bear is like any other child.  She'd rather play and be silly than focus on learning the skills her mom knows Anana needs for survival. When Anana finds herself lost in a blizzard, she realizes how important those skills really are.  As Anana carefully moves along the ice, she finds another young polar bear, Nutara, who is also lost. Now, Anana really appreciates what her mom was trying to teach her and she tries to recall many of the lessons to make sure both she and her new friend get back to their mothers safely.  A Star for Anana is a delightful story that incorporates facts about polar bears and their surroundings. 

For further information on any of these books, you can visit Carolyn's website at 

We give these books our...

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