Dad of Divas' Reviews: 2020

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Book Review - What About Worms

What About Worms



About the Book

Tiger is big. Tiger is tough. And Tiger has an important note for you.

Dear Reader,

WATCH OUT FOR WORMS! They are everywhere! They might even be in this book!

Your friend,
Tiger

P. S. Tiger is afraid of worms.


My Take on the Book
This was a cute book that shows how you might be afraid of something when the fear really is nothing to fear and you might even find that you really like the thing that you fear, you just have to give them a chance. The illustrations throughout the book were wonderful and really drew you into the book from beginning to end. If you love Elephant and Piggy books, you will love this as well!

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Monday, January 27, 2020

Book Review - Hike

Hike by Pete Oswald



About the Book

In the nearly wordless book, which PW gave a starred review, a father and child travel from their urban home to the mountains, where they hike, admire animals in their natural habitat, and plant a tree, which eagle-eyed readers will realize is a family tradition (and perhaps start one of their own!). It’s a lovely celebration of time spent together, active and engaged in the natural world; Osborn’s palette and his varying use of full-bleed spreads and detailed vignettes are perfectly suited to this story of both action and reflection.

An avid hiker himself, Oswald created the book in part because of his own childhood spent outdoors and the role it played in his own family. “I grew up in Utah, where much of my free time was in nature. My father is an avid outdoorsman and his love of wildlife played a huge role in our family. All of our vacations were centered around camping, hiking and exploring new adventures. This book is my love letter to nature which I hope is passed down for generations.”

Hike answers the growing call for picture books depicting African-Americans in the outdoors, and the child’s gender is neither stated or shown, letting all readers feel a sense of connection. But these laudable elements aside, Hike 100% works as a picture book and is sure to be a family favorite for years to come.


My Take on the Book
This is a beautiful book that even without words conveys so much between a father and child. The book is one that really shows the beauty of the outdoors, but beyond that it shows a father and child on a journey together. During this journey there are challenges to overcome but also moments to bond them closer together. It was a wonderfully made story with remarkable images that truly draw you into the world within the book. If you have never read this, this is one that you and your kids will be able to explore together!

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Book Review - Baloney and Friends

baloney and friends



About the Book

Meet Baloney! This book is about him. And also Peanut the horse, his best friend. There's Bizz the bumblebee, too, of course. And Krabbit. He'd rather not be here, but what can you do?

In this graphic novel for young readers, watch our pig protagonist perform some questionable magic, cheer him on as he braves the swimming pool, and root for Baloney and his friends when a case of the blues gets him down.

Brought to you by Geisel Medalist Greg Pizzoli, these delightful tales will get kids giggling in no time!


My Take on the Book
What a great graphic novel by Greg Pizzoli. My daughters and I are big fans of him and his other books and as we read this together we had a blast getting lost in the characters, the illustrations and the story itself. This was a very fun story and you will love seeing everything that happens! It is a fun ride and one that all ages will enjoy, especially if they are reading it together!

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Book Review - Lady and the Tramp - The Junior Novelization

Lady and the Tramp - The Junior Novelization



About the Book
The Live Action remake of Lady and the Tramp on Disney+ is a faithful retelling of the classic animated film, set at the turn-of-the century against the gorgeous backdrop of Savannah, Georgia. All your favorite furry friends return-including Lady, Tramp, Jock, Trusty, and Peg. Voiced by a diverse and talented cast, look for a modern take on the classic song, "He's a Tramp," sung by Janelle MonaƩ. Enjoy the next in line of successful Live Action remakes of a beloved Disney animated film . . . only this time, on Disney+.



My Take on the Book
This is a junior novelization of the new Disney+ live-action version of Lady & the Tramp. The book walks you through the story itself. You really get to know the characters from the new movie and page by page you are drawn into the story and really into the movie too. This is a great book for middle grade readers that is great for kids to read and it gives them a great view into the new movie!

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Book Review - Lady and the Tramp: How Lady Met Tramp

Lady and the Tramp: How Lady Met Tramp



About the Book
The Live Action remake of Lady and the Tramp on Disney+ is a faithful retelling of the classic animated film, set at the turn-of-the century against the gorgeous backdrop of Savannah, Georgia. All your favorite furry friends return-including Lady, Tramp, Jock, Trusty, and Peg. Voiced by a diverse and talented cast, look for a modern take on the classic song, "He's a Tramp," sung by Janelle MonaƩ. Enjoy the next in line of successful Live Action remakes of a beloved Disney animated film . . . only this time, on Disney+.



My Take on the Book
This is an early reader that captures the idea of the new Disney+live action version of Lady & the Tramp. The book brings in images from the movie and walks you through the important parts of the movie. This is a great book for young readers that is great to read with your kids and it gives you a great view into the new movie!

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Book Review - Ellie Makes a Friend

Ellie Makes a Friend



About the Book
A panda has joined the zoo, and just like Ellie, she's an artist! Ellie is thrilled to make a new friend, but with everyone so impressed by Ping's distinctive painting skills, Ellie starts to question her own talent. As she learns more about her new friend from China, though, Ellie finds that a fresh perspective can lead to new inspiration--and maybe something wonderful they can create together!



My Take on the Book
This is a cute story that allows readers to be able to understand and experience what it is like to not only meet someone new, but especially meeting someone new that seems very different than you. The book allows you to see how two unlike characters find friendship through difference, but also shows how they can use their gifts to complement each other. The book has beautiful illustrations throughout and I loved how both Ellie and her new friend were both artists in their own lights that in the end compliment each other! This is a wonderful story with a wonderful message.

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Book Review - True To Your Selfie

True To Your Selfie



About the Book

he most hilarious, charming, realistic story of middle-grade friendships you'll ever read, from Megan McCafferty, the mega bestselling, beloved author of Sloppy Firsts.

Twelve-year-old Ella has everything she needs to take seventh grade by storm, from the perfect outfit to the perfect new best friend. She's still not 100% sure why cool, confident Morgan has chosen Ella to be her newest sidekick, but Ella is flattered by the attention, even if it means giving up some of the things she's always loved, like fantasy novels . . . and her former best friend, Sophie. Ella feels a little guilty about ditching Sophie, but middle school is no laughing matter, and Ella knows that it'll be safer in popular Morgan's shadow than by Sophie's side.

But life as Morgan's best friend is trickier than Ella imagined. Everything has to be perfect, from their "on brand" selfies to the videos they record of them singing. And the more demanding Morgan becomes, the more Ella starts to wonder if she made the right choice. But Sophie already has a new best friend, leaving Ella feeling more alone and out of place than ever.

So when Ella discovers a new activity that she's really good at -- a hopelessly dorky sport that Morgan has forbidden her from pursuing, Ella has to ask herself what matters more: popularity . . . or staying true to herself? But does she even know who she really is without loyal Sophie by her side?



My Take on the Book
In the middle school world of this book you really see the complex relationships that fall into place between all of the main characters, I felt bad for Sophie being left in the dust by Ella as she tried to maintain her status and her "friendship" with Morgan. The relationships in the book are complex but thinking back to middle school I can see how the situations in this book could really come true. The author has done a wonderful job at making you care about the characters. This was a great book that I would recommend to any middle school reader!


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Book Review - Bible Stories for Little Hearts

Bible Stories for Little Hearts



About the Book

Bestselling creator Sandra Magsamen's tender first introduction to classic Bible stories, from Noah's Ark to the Nativity story, in a padded board book perfect for babies and toddlers!

A soothing, loving collection of first Bible stories for little ones from bestselling creator Sandra Magsamen. Stories from Noah's Ark to the birth of Jesus are compiled in this soft, padded board format perfect for bedtime. Featuring sweet pastels, gentle rhyme, and adorable animal illustrations, discover this perfect gentle introduction to the Bible for little hearts everywhere to cherish.


My Take on the Book
The book is full of amazing images that truly allow for kids to understand everything within the book. The bible stories in the book were wonderfully told. They are classic stories that support what many kids are learning in Sunday School. The book is a great start for a life of learning about the Bible and God.

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Book Review - The Art of Comic Book Drawing

The Art of Comic Book Drawing


About the Book
Wham! Pow! Bam! Kaboom! Learn everything you need to make your own comic books, superheroes, and story lines with The Art of Comic Book Drawing.

Featuring step-by-step tutorials, helpful tips, and dozens of drawing and illustration techniques, aspiring cartoonists, graphic illustrators, and comic book artists will discover all of the basics, from creating characters to mastering features and expressions to bringing it all together with unique and interesting story lines. Veteran comic book artists teach you to draw basic cartoon characters, superheroes, villains, and more using simple, step-by-step drawing lessons. Once you get the hang of illustrating your favorite characters, you’ll learn to draw action scenes, set up panels, add speech bubbles, and even learn the basics of cartoon and comic book word treatments.

With approachable exercises and projects to guide you, The Art of Comic Book Drawing allows beginning artists to create their own comic books, step by step. This helpful guide also includes dozens of practice pages and easy-to-use comic book templates so you can put your newfound skills to immediate use.




My Take on the Book
If you love super heroes and want to draw more of them, this is the book for you. The book does a great job at walking you step-by-step through the process of drawing some very amazing heroes and the author has done a great job to make the process not too taxing either. As someone that loves to draw, and someone that has kids that love to draw, these types of books are so welcome in my home, especially because they remove barriers. This is a great book for any artist or artist to be!

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Book Review - The Magical Yet

The Magical Yet




About the Book

This Yet finds a way, even when you don't,
And, Yet knows you will, when you think you won't.

Each of us, from the day we're born, is accompanied by a special companion--the Yet. Can't tie your shoes? Yet! Can't ride a bike? Yet! Can't play the bassoon? Don't worry, Yet is there to help you out.

Told in tight rhyme reminiscent of the great Dr. Seuss himself, this rollicking, inspirational picturebook is perfect for every kid who is frustrated by what they can't do . . . YET!



My Take on the Book
What an amazing book. This book allows kids to be ok with failing, as well as trying over and over again to get to the point of mastery. The author did a wonderful job at allowing all kids to see that eventually all will get to the point of being able to do things that others can do, but that it takes time and the magic of yet.

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Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Book Review - Green Lantern: Legacy

Green Lantern: Legacy



About the Book

The owner of the Jade Market has a secret--one that will soon change her grandson's life.

Thirteen-year-old Tai Pham lives in the apartment above his grandmother's store, where his bedroom is crammed with sketchpads and comic books. But not even his most imaginative drawings could compare to the colorful adventure he's about to embark on.

When Tai inherits his grandmother's jade ring, he soon finds out it's more than it appears. Suddenly he's being inducted into a group of space cops known as the Green Lanterns, his neighborhood is being overrun by some racist bullies, and every time he puts pen to paper, he's forced to confront that he might not be creative enough or strong enough to uphold his ba's legacy.

Now Tai must decide what kind of hero he wants to be: will he learn to soar above his insecurities or will the past keep him grounded?


My Take on the Book
If you are a fan of the Green Lantern Corp. get ready for a fun new hero in the making. I loved that in this book the ring chooses a 13 year old which is around the same age as my daughter. The fact that the ring uses your creativity, I could easily see how Tai will be able to be a very powerful Green Lantern in the future. I also loved how in one book you not only see Tai learning about being a part of the Lantern Corp., but you also see him meeting and fighting a nemesis. I hope that there will be more books with Tai in the future!


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Friday, January 10, 2020

Book Review - Rise Up: Ordinary Kids with Extraordinary Stories

Rise Up: Ordinary Kids with Extraordinary Stories



About the Book

From surviving a plane crash in the jungle to striking against climate change, you won’t believe the incredible stories of the challenges these brave kids from around the world have overcome! Rise Up: Ordinary Kids in Extraordinary Stories features 29 tales of amazing young girls and boys who have achieved the unimaginable. The stories range from triumphing over illness and injury to overcoming bullying. Entries include Sweden's Greta Thunberg, whose youth climate activism sparked a global movement, and Pakistan's Ayesha Farooq, who became Pakistan's first female fighter pilot at age 25.

Each incredible story is narrated in an exciting and engaging style, and is combined with visually stunning illustrations by Amy Blackwell. Children can lose themselves in the remarkable true-life tales of ingenuity, courage, and commitment. Practical tips and skills accompany each story, from how to tie useful knots to send coded messages, and how to be more environmentally green to how to survive a shark attack. This useful information provides a springboard for children to apply this knowledge in their own lives. These empowering stories show that no matter who you are, how old you are, and what you do, you can rise to the challenge.



My Take on the Book
A great book that was truly inspirational and one that you could really read to your kids. The book is written for kids in mind, but it was also filled with real stories that you will be able to connect to throughout the entire book. There is advice smattered through the entire book. My youngest daughter loves reading these as she was able to connect to so many of them.

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Book Review - Little Heroes of Color: 50 Who Made a BIG Difference

Little Heroes of Color: 50 Who Made a BIG Difference



About the Book

Say hello to heroes! This book introduces preschoolers to 50 men and women of color who have changed the world!

A perfect book for tomorrow's leaders, Little Heroes of Color educates and inspires by showing readers 50 trailblazers from a range of races and ethnicities. Bold colors and simple captions bring the youngest readers face-to-face with those who've shaped history and broken boundaries in science, the arts, government, and more.



My Take on the Book
This was such a great book that allowed young readers to get inspired by the heroes spotlighted in the book. The book really shows the amazing qualities of each hero in a way that young kids can understand. What was great about this was how diverse the group of heroes were. Most kids do not get introduced to such diverse people and this book does just that!

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Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Book Review - Diana: Princess of the Amazons


About the Book
From New York Times bestselling authors Shannon Hale and Dean Hale comes a heartfelt story about making mistakes, learning the hard way, and growing up to become a hero.

Eleven-year-old Diana leads an idyllic life on the island of Themyscira. Cut off from the rest of the world, she's beginning to feel a little alone. Though she has a loving mother and many "aunties," she is an only child. In fact, the only child on the entire island!

After an escapade goes wrong, Diana gets in trouble for not living up to the Amazonian standard. She just can't seem to measure up no matter what she does. Every other person on the island is an adult proficient in their trade and mighty in body, while she is gangly, sometimes clumsy, and not particularly good at anything. She's not Wonder Woman... yet anyway. What Diana needs is a friend; someone her own age whom she can talk to. But when she decides to take matters into her own hands, she encounters the unexpected!


My Take on the Book
This is a fun new way to look at the future Wonder Woman. There are very few books I have seen as of late that allows you to get into the mind of a young Diana. It was fun to think of her as a young girl with the concerns of a young girl instead of the self-assured woman you usually see when she is an adult in comics. The book portrays Diana as a real kid, with feelings of a girl and insecurities of a young girl as well. It is a real book that your kids will relate to, especially if you have daughters!

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