Kevin’s Big Book of Emotions by Liesbet Slegers

kevin

It’s not always easy being a kid. You are dealing with tons of emotions you can’t always understand. Kevin’s Big Book of Emotions by Liesbet Slegers helps youngsters explore their emotions with poems, lift-the-flap games, questions, and fabulous illustrations.

I love interactive books and this one definitely fits the bill. The book opens with Kevin as the narrator telling the reader about his emotions. Then it switches gears with a poem that addresses the reader and how he might feel angry sometimes. The next page includes a picture of Kevin and how he might look when he’s angry with furrowed eyebrows, a frowning mouth, clenched fists, and stamping feet. Then there are a series of pictures that might or might not make the reader feel angry. The story then moves back to Kevin again, but spoken from a third person point of view. “Kevin feels angry. He’s angry at his cat.” By picking up the flap the reader finds out why he is angry at the cat. The next two pages show Kevin getting angry at Mommy because they need to leave and he wants to keep playing and drawing, followed up by a great solution between Mommy and Kevin. Finally, there is a quick game of matching the angry animals up with the right food.

Other emotions featured are: afraid, sad, and happy, Each time the reader goes through this series of steps and activities that teach him about the emotions he can feel and how to cope with them.

I’ve been a fan of Liesbet Slegers for some time. She has done a wonderful job exploring emotions with this book, and she does it with a character that is already well known to her readers. Great job!

Rating: :) :) :) :) :)

Age Range: 3 – 5 years
Grade Level: Preschool – Kindergarten
Series: Kevin & Katie
Hardcover: 56 pages
Publisher: Clavis Publishing (October 1, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1605371645
ISBN-13: 978-1605371641

I received a copy of this book from the publisher. This review contains my honest opinion, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

The Seesaw and Good-bye, Fish by Judith Koppens and Eline van Lindenhuizen

seesaw

The Seesaw and Good-bye, Fish written by Judith Koppens and illustrated by Eline van Lindenhuizen are books featuring the animals from Animal Square.

In The Seesaw, Giraffe wants to play on the seesaw at the playground, but Mouse doesn’t weigh enough; neither does Monkey or Dog. What will Giraffe and his friends do?

The Seesaw is a sweet way to teach children about cooperation and problem solving. It also shows how people can see things a different way. Mouse, Monkey, and Dog think Giraffe is too heavy, but Giraffe feels the issue is that they are all too light.  It’s only when they all work together that they can have fun at the playground.

Good-bye, Fish deals with the loss of a pet. Kitty finds Fish in his bowl lying on his back. No matter what she or Dog do, Fish won’t wake up. Giraffe comes by and helps them to understand that Fish has died. Together they decide to bury Fish and make sure they can remember him.

The loss of a pet is never easy. This summer, our daughter’s hermit crab died after only three weeks. She was distraught over it, and we buried him in the backyard alongside our cat that we had buried last year. It definitely helped her to say good-bye.fish

Both The Seesaw and Good-bye, Fish are sweet stories that children can learn from. The inside front cover shows all the animals from Animal Square introducing themselves and mentions their traits or personalities, Kitty is shy and Giraffe thinks before he speaks. The series also includes a Rabbit, which we haven’t seen yet.  The artwork is calm and soothing, just like the stories are soft and subtle.

I look forward to more from this author and illustrator team.

Ratings: :) :) :) :) :)

The Seesaw

Age Range: 3 – 5 years
Grade Level: Preschool – Kindergarten
Series: The Animal Square
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Clavis Publishing (July 1, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1605371521
ISBN-13: 978-1605371528

Good-bye, Fish

Age Range: 3 – 5 years
Grade Level: Preschool – Kindergarten
Series: The Animal Square
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Clavis Publishing (July 1, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 160537153X
ISBN-13: 978-1605371535

I received copies of these books from the publisher. These reviews contain my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

Circus 123 by Guido van Genechten

circus

Guido van Genechten has done it again. Circus 123 is another wonderful book by this talented author and illustrator. Teaching your children to count should always be this much fun. Playful ladybugs perform in the circus: cycling, walking the tightrope, performing stunts, and lifting weights. All leads up to a grand finale with all the performers taking a bow. The black and red bugs stand out against the cream-colored pages.

Your preschooler is going to adore this book.

Rating: :) :) :) :) :)

Age Range: 3 – 5 years

Grade Level: Preschool – Kindergarten

Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Clavis Publishing (October 1, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1605371629
ISBN-13: 978-1605371627

I received a copy of this book from the publisher. This review contains my honest opinion, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

Funny Faces: A Big Book of Face Painting by Charlotte Verrecas

face

Want to bring face painting to your next event? You can learn how with this step-by-step guide from makeup artist Charlotte Verrecas.

A Big Book of Face Painting includes instructions for more than a dozen fun designs from animals to fairies to monsters and more. Stunning photography will help you see each step of the way through your design. The book opens with a list of products and tips for certain techniques.  From silly to zany to spooky, you’ll be able to create tons of looks for your child. I’m thinking I can modify the “Zombie Kid” one for my daughter on Halloween. I believe the age range on this book is for the designs themselves, because this is a book parents will want to read.

Highly recommended.

Rating: :) :) :) :) :)

Age Range: 5 – 7 years

Grade Level: Kindergarten – 2

Hardcover: 80 pages
Publisher: Clavis Publishing (September 1, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1605371734
ISBN-13: 978-1605371733

I received a copy of this book from the publisher. This review contains my honest opinion, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

New Books for Review

seesawClavis sent me a group of books to review, which you’ll be seeing soon. Here’s a list of what arrived this week:

 

The Seesaw and Good-bye, Fish by Judith Koppens,

Circus 123 by one of my favorites, Guido van Genechten,crypto

A Big Book of Face Painting by Charlotte Verrecas,

Kevin’s Big Book of Emotions by another favorite, Liesbet Slegers.

 

I also purchased a copy of The Crypto-Capers in The Peacock Diaries by Renee Hand. I’ve been following this series since the beginning, so I sure don’t want to miss out on any of them.

Overdue is my review of Soccer Dreams by Clare Hodgson Meeker, but it’s coming soon. I promise.

 

Don’t Be Afraid to Say No by Ilona Lammertink

afraid

Don’t Be Afraid to Say No by Ilona Lammertink will help your child realize the importance of when and how to say the word, “no.”

Poor Jill is afraid to say no to her friends because she doesn’t want them to stop liking her. But with the help of her mother, Jill learns saying no isn’t so bad.

This is a wonderful book. Lammertink has created a sympathetic character in Jill, who wishes she said no to her friends more often. It makes her sad and angry that going along with her friends can lead to bad things. With her mother’s help, Jill realizes by saying yes to her friends all the time, she’s actually saying no to her very best friend–herself.  While this can be a difficult thing to teach children, it’s also very important. We want our children to stand up for themselves without being bullies. We want them to share without feeling like they must give up their favorite toys.  We want to slowly make them independent while listening to our direction. I would recommend this book to kids and parents everywhere.

A review of a picture book isn’t complete without some mention of the artwork. I loved Lucie Georger’s style. The variety in the characters’ faces, the details on each page, and the nice combination of colors makes for a lovely book.

The last two pages of Don’t Be Afraid to Say No include information for parents and teachers, a discussion on self-confidence and how we can increase it, and a series of tips to try. You can tell Lammertink has put her experience as a child therapist to work with this book.

Rating: :) :) :) :) :)

Age Range: 5 – 7 years

Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Clavis Publishing; Reprint edition (July 1, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1605371483
ISBN-13: 978-1605371481

I received a copy of this book from the author’s publicist. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

Happy Easter! by Liesbet Slegers

Celebrate spring and Easter traditions in Happy Easter! by Liesbet Slegers.

The colorful artwork and delightful stories of Slegers return in this seasonal offering that is sure to engage young readers. From a hopping Easter Bunny to cheerfully colored eggs, from baby animals to new leaves on the trees, and from baskets to toys, Happy Easter! is as perky as a puppy and just as cute.

Slegers has been one of  my favorite authors/illustrators for a while now. I always enjoy seeing her books in my mailbox. You can’t go wrong with this one if you’re looking for a fun Easter tale.

Rating:  :) :) :) :) :)

  • Hardcover:30 pages
  • Publisher:Clavis Publishing (April 1, 2012)
  • Language:English
  • ISBN-10:1605371149
  • ISBN-13: 978-1605371146
  • SRP:  $15.95

I Have Two Homes by Marian De Smet

I Have Two Homes by Marian De Smet is a touching story that will help encourage young children experiencing the challenges of divorce.

Nina discusses her feelings about her parents’ divorce and living in two homes. Things are different than they used to be, but one thing has never changed–how happy her parents are with her.

This beautifully told book is complemented by the lovely artwork of Nynke Mare Talsma. The gentle colors work so well with the encouraging prose. The reader follows Nina along as she shares how things used to be and how they are now; how things are different and what has stayed the same. Divorce is never easy, especially on children. De Smet has created a book that reassures children of divorce that while things are different, they are still very good. Nina admits at the end:

“It’s strange.

But it is nice, too.”

I can’t think of a better way to put it.

I highly recommend I Have Two Homes. I’ll be on the lookout for more of De Smet’s books.

Rating:  :) :) :) :) :)

 

  • Reading level:Ages 5 and up
  • Hardcover:32 pages
  • Publisher:Clavis Publishing (December 2, 2011)
  • Language:English
  • ISBN-10:1605371025
  • ISBN-13: 978-1605371023
  • SRP: $15.95

I received a free hardcover copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinions. I received no monetary compensation of any kind for this review.

Little Snowman Stan by Guido van Genechten

Author and illustrator Guido van Genechten is back with another wonderful book in, Little Snowman Stan.

Stan is a little snowman who desperately wants to go off and explore the world. Mister Tophat the snowman tells him he better not move or he’ll melt. Snow Solider insists he stay still and be silent just like all snowmen should. Little Snowman Stan knows he must move, and once he does, he’s not about to stop. He discovers Freezeland where it’s so cold the snow never melts and snow people are free to move around as much as they like.

I’m a huge fan of van Genechten’s books. He is so in tune with children that it shows in every word he writes and every illustration he creates. Little Snowman Stan shows children the importance of being true to yourself and following your instinct. Just because something has always been done one way for a long time, doesn’t mean it can never change. I’m a big proponent of that. While kids might not realize what they are learning in this book, what van Genechten does is foster a healthy sense of independence through Stan’s decision to move. Now, I think this has to be couched with a brief discussion on how some rules can’t be tested–like those on safety issues–but Stan’s story allows children to see that exploring new things can be exciting. While it doesn’t state this, Stan also has the ability to go home if he doesn’t like what he finds, which is another great discussion to go along with this book.

Like all of van Genechten’s books, the artwork is superb. The pale blues and icy whites will have children dreaming about winter weather. It’s my opinion that Little Snowman Stan will get read often if it’s on your bookshelf.

Rating:  :) :) :) :) :)

 

  • Reading level:Ages 3 and up
  • Hardcover:32 pages
  • Publisher:Clavis Publishing (October 1, 2011)
  • Language:English
  • ISBN-10:1605371084
  • ISBN-13: 978-1605371085
  • SRP:  $16.95

I received a free hardcover copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion. I received no monetary compensation of any kind for this review.

My Little Troublemaker by Thierry Robberecht

What happens when one well-behaved fairy starts having mischievous moments?

This little pink fairy is never mean and always does what is asked of her. When her classmate, Sabrina begins bragging, a tiny fairy that looks just like her–right down to her pink dress–appears and pours soup down Sabrina’s fancy dress. Soon the tiny fairy is making mischief all over the place. The pink fairy knows it has to stop, so she visits the Fairy Principal, where she learns all about her little troublemaker and the importance of controlling her.

My Little Troublemaker by Thierry Robberecht is an adorable and silly book that aims to teach children about self-control. The humorous antics of the troublemaking fairy cause the little pink fairy to take action. She knows it has to stop and she talks to the Fairy Principal about it. This shows kids that it’s okay to seek an adult’s help when necessary.

My only challenge with the book is the last page, where the fairy admits she tries to be on her best behavior, but every once in a while when Sabrina annoys her she turns her into a lizard or some other animal. She says it’s not her; it’s her little troublemaker. While we can’t expect children to display self-control all the time,  they still need to take responsibility for their actions. We had a problem with this here, where our youngest child would blame the naughty things she did on her imaginary friend. We didn’t make a big deal out of it, but we didn’t allow our daughter to escape a time out just because her “friend” did it.

The artwork by Philippe Goossens is wonderful. The overall design is nice too, with a font that stood out sharply against the colored pages.

I like this book, but I think some parent/child discussion needs to go with the ending.

Rating:  :) :) :) :)

Reading level:Ages 3 and up

  • Hardcover:32 pages
  • Publisher:Clavis Publishing (December 2, 2011)
  • Language:English
  • ISBN-10:1605371076
  • ISBN-13: 978-1605371078
  • SRP:  $15.95

I received a free hardcover of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion. I received no monetary compensation of any for my review.