New Arrivals

CBW Kid Lit Giveaway Hop 2014 - Banner - FINAL


I love it when the mail carrier brings me books. Last week, an entire box of books arrived from Clavis. I’ll be using at least some of these titles for next week’s Children’s Book Week Kid Lit Giveaway Hop sponsored by Mother Daughter Book Reviews and Youth Literature Reviews. The deadline to sign up for this giveaway hop is tomorrow night.

Books by Liesbet Slegers:


Books by Guido Van Genechten:

odd one out 1odd one out 2kai


Books by Anita Bijesterbosch and France Quatromme & Parastou Haghi



Have you received any children’s books lately?


Don’t Be Afraid to Say No by Ilona Lammertink


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.

Top 10 Picture Books of 2011

This took longer than expected. As I mentioned in my last post, selections this year were hard. In addition, I discovered I needed to segregate picture books for little kids (babies, toddlers, preschoolers) from those for school-age children. While some books could overlap between the two age groups, there was no way for me to compile a fair list if I lumped them all into one group. For books where I couldn’t find an age listing, I put them where I felt they fit best. I’ll start off with my Top 10 for the youngest category and then list the Top 10 in the older category.

Top 10 Picture Books for Preschoolers and under

  • Ricky’s Christmas Tree by Guido van Genechten
  • A Cat’s Alphabet Book by Sally O. Lee
  • My Daddy by Guido van Genechten
  • Going to the Beach with Lily and Milo and Going to the Zoo with Lily and Milo by Pauline Oud (I reviewed these together, so I am counting them as one.)
  • One Little Blueberry by Tammi Salzano
  • Oops! by Leo Timmers
  • 1-2-3- Count with Me and A is for Apple by Georgie Burkett (Again, I reviewed these together and count them as one.)
  • Ricky is Brave by Guido van Genechten
  • Thankyouplease by Pierre Winters and Barbara Ortelli
  • Ian’s New Potty by Pauline Oud

There are repeat names on this list, but I felt these authors and publishers truly knew how to create books attractive to this market.

Top 10 Books of 2011 for Ages 3 and up

  • A Dog is A Dog by Stephen Shaskan
  • My Mom Has X-Ray Vision by Angela McAllister
  • Will & Kate: A Love Story by Ink Robin
  • Sea Monster’s First Day by Kate Messner
  • The Butt Book by Artie Bennett
  • Not Fat Because I Wanna Be by LaNiyah Bailey
  • The Dancing Clock by Steve Metzger
  • Humbug, A Christmas Carol by Lee Baker
  • My Name is Not Alexander by Jennifer Fosberry
  • Fifo “50 States” by Hayley Rose

Honorable Mentions

  • A Christmas Secret by Candace Hall
  • Frederico, The Mouse Violinist by Mayra Calvani
  • The Ice Cream King by Steve Metzger
  • Marta’s Gargantuan Wings by J. Aday Kennedy
  • Every-Day Dress-Up by Selina Alko
  • Freckleface Strawberry Best Friends Forever by Julianne Moore
  • Limelight Larry by Leigh Hodgkinson
  • Don’t Worry Douglas! by David Melling
  • Cinderfella and the Furry Godmother by Dixie Phillips
  • Tumbleweed Christmas by Beverly Stowe McClure
  • Secret Service Saint by Janet Ann Collins
  • Seven Miles to Freedom by Janet Halfmann