Blogging at 4RV Blog

 

Every person has their favorite authors and books. Today, at the 4RV Publishing blog, I share some of my personal favorites from this publishing house. You can find the list at https://4rvreading-writingnewsletter.blogspot.com/2018/07/my-4rv-favorites.html

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When the Butterflies Came by Kimberley Griffiths Little

From the author of Circle of Secrets comes a moving, magical adventure filled with family, faith, loss and love.

Tara Doucet’s life is a sham. She lives in one of the most prestigious homes along the bayou of Louisiana, but her father left them, her mother hides in the south wing of the house crippled by melancholy, she has nothing in common with her older sister Riley, and her beloved Grammy Claire has just passed away.

Then the butterflies come and begin to follow Tara around. A strange butler appears at their door to take them back to Grammy Claire’s house on the island of Chuuk, and she finds a stack of keys and detailed letters from her grandmother with a mystery to solve. As she learns more about her grandmother’s life, she knows the truth will change her life forever.

Circle of Secrets is one of my favorite books. When I learned Little had a new book coming out in 2013, I asked her for a copy. She graciously sent it my way, and then my life got crazy. Determined to catch up on overdue reviews this year, I brought When the Butterflies Came with me on vacation. Now, I am kicking myself for not reading it sooner.

What a fabulous book! Filled with mystery and magic, and set against the beauty of the bayou and an isolated island filled with secrets, Little has created an engaging adventure-filled story. Tara is the perfect protagonist–one readers will sympathize with and cheer for from the very beginning. Her troubled life unfolds as she discovers more and more about the grandmother she thought she knew. As she gets closer and closer to discovering Grammy Claire’s secrets, the danger increases until she’s not certain who is friend or foe. The ending will both thrill and shock. With When the Butterflies Came, Little solidifies her place in children’s literature. Her masterful storytelling will draw you right in and hold you tight until the last page is turned.

Highly recommended!

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Paperback: 330 pages
Publisher: Scholastic (2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0545541506
ISBN-13: 978-0545541503

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

Lions, Leopards, and Storms, Oh My! by Heather L. Beal

Learning about storms has never been so much fun. In Lions, Leopards, and Storms, Oh My! by Heather L. Beal, we return to Ms. Mandy’s childcare for another entertaining and educational story.

When Lily and Niko are playing outside, a loud boom makes them wonder what is going on. Ms. Mandy brings them back to the classroom, and with the help of Mr. Raccoon, talks to them about storms and what to expect. Most importantly, the students learn how to stay safe.

Just like in Tummy Rumble Quake, Beal shares important information with young children in a lighthearted way. The cute animal characters, illustrated so sweetly by Jubayda Sagor, ask the questions youngsters will want to know when faced with experiencing a storm for the first time. The colorful artwork also serves to make the story more playful to lessen anxiety. The final page of the book has questions and activities, and the children will enjoy going out to the Train 4 Safety website with the help of their parents to print out a certificate of training completion.

I look forward to more safety books from Beal and Sagor soon.

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Paperback: 24 pages
Publisher: Train 4 Safety Press (May 22, 2018)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0998791261
ISBN-13: 978-0998791265

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

Rosie and Friends: One-of-A Kindness by Helen Hipp

Rosie and Friends: One-of-A Kindness by Helen Hipp is a sweet and encouraging story about friendship and kindness.

When Hornsby loses his horn in a fight, he is no longer accepted by his herd. Struggling with a sense of belonging, he wanders off and winds up finding some new friends that teach him a valuable lesson.

Between the cute story and the delightful illustrations, there’s a lot to like about Rosie and Friends: One-of-A Kindness. It has a terrific message and even includes some discussion questions and an activity at the end. Kids will love this one and parents can use this as a way to discuss friendship, kindness and belonging with their young ones. The colorful illustrations by Taryn Cozzy will keep readers turning the pages. Definitely a fun read.

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Grade Level: Kindergarten – 6

Paperback: 40 pages
Publisher: A Different Kind of Safari, LLC (November 13, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0989013456
ISBN-13: 978-0989013451

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

 

Tummy Rumble Quake by Heather L. Beal

Looking for a fun and easy way to teach your kids how to stay safe during an earthquake? Tummy Rumble Quake by Heather L. Beal can help with that.

Ms. Mandy is preparing for The Great Shakeout™. When Niko asks her about it, he and his class are treated to a run down on how to prepare and stay safe during an earthquake.

Tummy Rumble Quake by Heather L. Beal is going to be a helpful and fun way for children to learn how to prepare and stay safe during an earthquake. Ms. Mandy teaches her students what an earthquake is and all about drop, cover and hold techniques to be used inside, outside and in a car. The best part of this book is that this information is shared without scaring children. The characters are animals. They are in the safety of their classroom with a respected caregiver who speaks to them calmly and answers their questions. It was also wise for Beal to end the story on a light note. The illustrations by Jubayda Sagor were charming and whimsical, also lightening what can be a scary topic for youngsters. It’s no wonder this book is a Mom’s Choice Award Winner.

If you’re looking to teach your children about earthquake preparations and safety, Tummy Rumble Quake by Heather L. Beal will be a great resource for you. Don’t be surprised if your kids ask to read it more than once. These fun characters will draw them in and, for them, the learning will be secondary to enjoying a great story.

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Age Range: 3 – 8 years
Grade Level: Kindergarten – 2
Paperback: 24 pages
Publisher: Train 4 Safety Press (August 1, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0998791229
ISBN-13: 978-0998791227

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

Mamá Graciela’s Secret by Mayra Calvani

Mamá Graciela’s Secret by Mayra Calvani is a delightful story about one woman’s determination to save her restaurant and the animals she loves.

Mamá Graciela’s bacalaítos fritos are so famous that people come from miles around to eat at her outdoor restaurant. The local stray cats love them too. When the local health inspector learns about all the stray cats, he threatens to shut the place down. But Mamá Graciela loves her cats and she must come up with a plan to save her restaurant and all her beloved cats too.

This story will tug at your heartstrings. It is a sweet tale of this woman’s creativity and genius in the face of tough odds. Award-winning author Mayra Calvani consistently develops wonderful stories for children and adults that you want to read over and over again. Young readers will connect well with Mamá Graciela’s love for family and cats. They will be inspired by her determination to protect her restaurant and all the cats she helps.

Illustrator Sheila Fein provided the artwork for Mamá Graciela’s Secret. The colors she uses, the tiny details–like the hearts floating around characters’ heads to show their love for the animals and each other, and the emotions she captures complement Calvani’s text perfectly. I hope they will work together again soon.

Mamá Graciela’s Secreis ideal for cat lovers and those who enjoy stories where characters triumph over obstacles.

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Grade Level: Kindergarten – 6
Hardcover: 36 pages
Publisher: MacLaren-Cochrane Publishing (October 10, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1365861538
ISBN-13: 978-1365861536

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

Patrick Turns His Play in to Pay by Shani Muhammad and Patrick Muhammad

Here’s a book that inspires the entrepreneur in your kids.

Patrick loves fishing holes and his grandmother’s lemon meringue pie. When his fishing line snaps and he finds himself short on funds, he remembers his grandmother told him that just because he enjoys doing something doesn’t mean he can’t get paid for it too. This sets Patrick on a journey to turn his play into pay.

Patrick Turns His Play in to Pay by Shani Muhammad and Patrick Muhammad is a fun story that will encourage young people to turn their passion into something that can support them later on. It’s a great idea, so don’t be surprised if you see a few more lemonade stands out there this spring. I’m glad the authors are turning this into a series, because there is so much involved in this topic that this short story can only touch the surface of it.

Proving that creating a rhyming story is a neat concept but not always easy to put into practice, the rhymes kind of took over this story and became a distraction. The character of Patrick is fun enough with out them, so I hope that style is abandoned in future books.

Absolutely loved the artwork by Natalie Jurosky. It’s colorful, engaging, and expressive. Would love to see more from her.

Patrick Turns His Play in to Pay will inspire your children to think of the future and all it can be.

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Paperback: 40 pages
Publisher: 5 Star Representatives (October 23, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1622096444
ISBN-13: 978-1622096442

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