Review: Lions, Leopards, and Storms, Oh My!: A Thunderstorm Safety Book by Heather L Beal

Lions, Leopards, and Storms, Oh My!: A Thunderstorm Safety Book by Heather Beal is another wonderful book in her collection this time teaching the children of the class about thunderstorms. Nikko, Lily and the gang are back after experiencing the new experience outside. Lucky for them, once of their classmate’s dad is a meteorologist who is more than delighted to teach them all about using relatable examples, their effects and what they should do. As always, a cute song for the group in the end to sing along.

Overall, another wonderful book by Heather Beal. So colorful and her characters are so lovable. I really enjoyed this new installment teaching the children about the weather. There is a nice question and activities page in the end along with resources to get more information. Here’s another to add to the list as a fun way for them to learn about thunder and lightning.

Review: Little Pencil Finds His Forever Friends: A Rhyming Pencil Grip Picture Book by by Christine Calabrese and illustrator Maria Victoria Flores

While trying to find something fun to do like his other friends, Little Pencil is upset because he feels upset because he find something to do. When he discovers a new set of friends who give him a purpose, he feels appreciated and loved. 

I love books created by educators. They find a great way to introduce important techniques that children can apply through creative storytelling that they can relate to. I love the illustrations showing the emotions from the characters. You not only see what they do but learn their functions. This is wonderful when we see Little Pencil with his friends because it teaches your child about gripping a pencil with the introduction to writing. There is also a wonderful workbook that you can get to accompany that you will find resourceful and informative.

Review: A New School Year: Stories in Six Voices by Sally Derby and illustrated by Mika Song

About the Book

In a unique narrative, readers meet a diverse group of six children ranging in age from Kindergarten through fifth grade. With nerves and excitement each child gears up for a new school year by hustling in the morning, meeting new teachers and new classmates during the day, and heading home with homework and relief by day’s end.

Simple, bright illustrations focus on each child and his/her worries, hopes, and successes on the first day of school.


With school around the corner, this is such a wonderful read for those jitters to be eased. This was such a fun read experiencing six different perspectives from kindergarten through fifth grade on their journey starting from the night before through their first day of school. We experience all their worries, what they anticipate to happen and then a boost in their confidence when all works out well. I love the diversity of the characters. Their stories were sweet and fun. The illustrations were beautiful. I’d recommend checking this one out.

The recommend age is 5 - 9 years old

Review: Don’t Ever Look Behind Door 32 by B.C.R. Fegan


The magical Hotel of Hoo is a mysterious place with some very unusual occupants. As our guests explore the strange hotel, they are invited to experience everything it has to offer with just one warning… don’t ever look behind door 32.

This imaginative picture book aims to take children beyond the first ten cardinal numbers, and introduces them to the patterns of counting in a fun and accessible way. With rooms to explore and unique objects to count, children will enjoy lingering on each page as they make their way closer to the forbidden door.


This book was so much fun. We follow a tour through the hotel, where each door has a different theme. The illustrations were gorgeous. I loved the animated emotions of the characters as they experienced their journey through the book. It really brought the book alive.  I can only imagine how much fun this will be for the young reader but I found myself excited with curiosity wanting to flip faster to find out what was behind the door. The build up was fun and will really get their imagination going. Overall, it was a fun adventure that I know your reader will enjoy. I would recommend this to their reading list.

Review: Patrick Turns His Play into Pay by Shani Muhammad & Patrick Muhammad and illustrated by Natalie Jurosky

What a fun and inspiring book for kids to tap into their entrepreneurial spirit. The book centered around a young boy named Patrick. He broke his favorite fishing rod and needed another one. He went to his parents but they couldn't help at the moment but then he got a bright idea. Tapping into something that he and his grandmother loved to do would be the answer to all his problems. Patrick learns a great lesson in creativity, courage, perseverance and how you can do anything that you put your mind to.

This was such a lovely book. Let me start with how beautiful the illustrations were. I love the pictures of those soft crayon images. It gives the story such a warm, inviting feel. The words are lively and the rhythm of the book is catchy. Patrick is such a lovable young kid and it's so great to see how he took an idea and didn't give up despite the obstacles that came his way. It's always a great lesson when kids can learn the value of money and hard work but especially going the route such as this or a lemonade stand to give them a sense of accomplishment. For all those young kids that have ideas or have dreams to do something, this story is so encouraging to give them some support. Overall, I think this was a cute one that has some great educational value to it and a great lesson in how teamwork can make those dreams work. I'd recommend adding this to your reading list.

Review: Tummy Rumble Quake by Heather L Beal

Buy on Amazon

Buy on Amazon

Earthquakes can be a very scary experience, especially for kids. If you have small children, Tummy Rumble Quake is such a great way to have a discussion about earthquakes on a level that kids can understand. Beautiful illustrations, along with characters that they will relate to, will allows kids to comprehend what an earthquake is, what you should do indoors and out and how to prepare for it. 

Since I don't live near any area that are prone to earthquakes, I personally found this very informative. I had no idea the protocol for them nor that people prepare for them via the Great Shakeout. Tummy Rumble Quake did a great job explaining the preparation and what you should do before and after and followed up with questions and activities from the characters to supplement the book.

The only thing I'm bummed about is that there is a song that is put in the book and would've been awesome to hear.  I'm not sure if it's in the print version but if it's not, than it would be nice to hear to add that little extra to the fun. Overall, I think the author did a great job with putting in terms that the younger reader will understand. If you are a parent or teacher in an area that is affected by them, take a look at the book and hopefully you will add this one to your conversation.

Review: The Monster at Recess by Shira Potter

Before Sophie came to her new school, she felt loved and accepted. When she arrived at her new school, she was made to feel invisible because she was perceived as different. In an attempt to make friends, she was either laughed at or treated as if she wasn't there. During class, she starting observing the monsters playing at recess. Since they were different, they weren't allowed to play with the students who weren't. They were called names and she was told bad things about them because they were different.

One day when she was walking home, she found a hat that belonged to the one of the monsters. When the opportunity arose, she decided to find out what the monsters were like despite what she was told. She saw how much they enjoyed each other and wanted to be a part of it and not wanting to be like her peers, she wanted to return the hat to whomever it belonged to. She got side tracked by for the first time feeling accepted. As you follow her journey, she learns the true value of self worth, acceptance and true friendship.

Overall, I thought this was a fantastic lesson for young kids considering the climate out there in schools where kids don't feel accepted and are bullied. It isn't just with the kids, in many school systems, teachers and administrators need to evaluate their role in students who are bullied. How they treat those students can have a severe impact as well as of the bullies. The journey Sophie takes is admirable and inspiring because it takes a lot for someone to internalize what she had to go through. The love and acceptance that she found with the monsters being the catalyst for her to find self acceptance without anymore fear and really be accepted will inspire kids out there who don't feel included to know that they are somebody. A wonderful story that embraces the love of acceptance, friendship and finding your way will leave a lasting impression. I would definitely grab a copy!

Review: When I Grow Up I Want to Be a Good Person by Wigu Publishing

When I Grow Up, I Want To Be a Good Person, was a departure from the books in the series that I've read that were based on professions. What I enjoyed about this book was the life lesson on the importance of being a good person shown through the example of celebrating the life of one of the most beloved people in a community, Mr. Beckett. 

The book centered around two brothers who felt they were being dragged by their parents to a funeral for someone that they couldn't understand why they had to go.  A quote in the story that I absolutely loved was said by their father, “Sometimes in life, we have to do things that we don't want to but should do.” Sometimes its better to show a person than tell. For every person they met that day, they learned the importance of the value the good Mr. Beckett brought to so many lives. Learning this important lesson about a person who gave his life to being there and helping others, it's the least you can do to give back to show how much you appreciated the time they were here. 

As always, this is another good story that was complimented with colorful illustrations and some great food for thought for the young reader. I thought the moral of the story complimented with the quotes and tale in the back really was fitting for a book that promotes a positive message.