Christmas Chimney Challenge: A Wild Imagination of Willy Nilly book by Chris Stead
Rating: 5 Stars
I was provided a copy of Christmas Chimney Challenge by the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
In this 4th book on Willy Nilly’s adventures, Willy is writing a Christmas list for Santa along with his sister, Suzie. After a trip to town to see all the lights, Willy becomes upset that he does not have a chimney and fears Santa will not be able to get to them and give them their gifts. Suzie tells him that Santa would use the back door, but this is not good enough for Willy. While in town, an elf had given Willy a satchel of magic glitter. The next day, Willy decides he is going to make a chimney for his house, only he made several chimneys with a bunch of rubbish from the junkyard. Willy felt that if he made several chimneys then they would get MORE presents. After the chimneys were built, Willy dumped the magic glitter into the chimneys. On Christmas Eve, Willy checked on the chimneys and noticed they were glowing. Him and his dog were sucked into the chimneys and landed in a cold, snowy area. Willy and his dog ended up rolling down the mountain in the North Pole as a giant snowball and landing next to a toy factory where he found a very sad elf. Willy couldn’t believe why the elf was so sad when he got to work with toys all day, but he learned that it is because suddenly a bunch of chimneys popped up and the elves would have to make even more toys and may not be done in time for Christmas. Willy felt very bad and indicated he could take them down. In order to get home in time to do so, the elf had a reindeer fly Willy and his dog back home. Once he got home, he noticed that the storm they flew through had knocked down all the chimneys. Though Willy was happy to have helped the elves, he was still sad that he may not get any gifts from Santa because he did not have a chimney. He learned Christmas morning that this was not the case and went into the living room and found many presents under the tree.
As always, this story was really cute, well written, and wonderfully illustrated. This is the 3rd Willy Nilly book I have had the opportunity to review. I am looking forward to purchasing paperback copies to go into my son’s library so we can read them together. I like that Willy goes on adventures but that he always learns something in the process. The illustrations marry the story perfectly and it is easy to see how any child would love it. I look forward to reading more of Willy Nilly’s adventures and sharing them with my son! As always, Chris Stead has delivered another wonderful adventure.
I always enjoy reviewing for Old Mate Media, I am happy they reached out. Christmas is my favorite holiday and I love Christmas stories very much.
Sun Kisses by Lynda Beaver, Illustrated by Jolie Beaver
Rating: 5 stars
I received this book by the author in exchange for my honest review.
This is a cute little story about little Emily who was picked on at school for all of her freckles. Her mother sat with her and told her the story of how the Sun fell in love with her as a young child and would kiss her often. Mom explained that every time the sun kissed her, a new freckle/spot would appear. Mom explains that she had to have a chat with the Sun and explain if the Sun continued to kiss her, that Emily would be covered. Mom knows that the Sun loved Emily also, but it was decided that the Sun would not kiss her so often anymore.
This story was very sweet and beautifully illustrated. I am going to have to get my hands on a physical copy of this book. It is a very short story of only 13 pages making it a quick and easy read. It is a great story, especially, to help a child with many freckles who might get teased often. I recommend this sweet book.
Fox and Raccoon was provided to me free in exchange for my honest review through Netgalley. This review is composed of my own thoughts.
Fox and Raccoon is the cute tale of a Fox and a Raccoon who are friends. Fox and Raccoon played almost every day, and enjoyed each other’s company. Raccoon went to Fox’s house one morning, however, Fox was way too busy to play. Raccoon decided he would help Fox with doing her chores and began completing them. After each chore, Raccoon would return to Fox’s home to see if she could play. But each time, Fox still had something to be done and was to busy to play. So Raccoon would start off with the next task. Finally, at the end of the day, after the last chore complete, and Raccoon returned to Fox’s house, there was a surprise birthday party waiting for him. Raccoon forgot it was his birthday, and each task he aided Fox with, actually was apart of getting the party together.
The illustrations were cute, and I liked the 3Dness to them. I bet the physical copy of this book is gorgeous as the illustrations followed along with the story. I loved the ending and how selfless little Raccoon was that he did not know he was helping set up for his own birthday surprise party, and that he forgot it was even his birthday. This is a great book for parents to share with their kids, and I believe their children can get a lot out of this story and the underlying lesson that is there.
If A Horse Had Words by Kelly Cooper and Lucy Eldridge
Rating: 5 stars
I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review through Netgalley. This review is of my own thoughts.
This is the story about a foal that was born on a spring morning and her feelings as she grew. From the time she learned how to stand, the bond she made with “the boy” to being sold of for cowboys to ride in shows, it follows how she feels through each stage and words she would use to describe that feeling. This story actually did make me tear up a bit when the horse bucked the boy off and ended up being sold at an auction. I loved that it came full circle, and after no cowboy could ride her, this boy, now more grown, came to soothe her.
The illustrations were beautifully done and were appropriate for the story. Overall, this story is sweet and I hope to get my hands on a physical copy one day for my own future little ones to read.
Gertrude and Toby Save the Gingerbread Man by Shari Tharp art by Jim Heath
Goodreads rating: 5 stars
I received this book through Goodreads Giveaway. This is my honest review.
Gertrude and Toby Save the Gingerbread Man is a cute, short story, about Gertrude (goat) and Toby (turtle), two farm animals who like to go on adventures. This particular adventure starts off with the Farmer taking the prized pig to the fair. Gertrude and Toby decide to go off to town for an adventure. Along the way, they see a magic carpet flying in the woods. Shortly after, a young boy and girl running out of the woods away from a witch. The magic carpet flies underneath the children and brings them to safety by Gertrude and Toby. These two children are Hansel and Gretel. They tag along with Gertrude and Toby into town. Once there, they hear a scream and see a Gingerbread Man being carried by a beanstalk into the sky. The magic carpet took Gertrude and Toby up into the clouds to a cabin of a giant. Gertrude was able to rescue the Gingerbread Man and they escaped back to the town. The baker told Hansel and Gretel they could live with him, and Gertrude and Toby happily went back to their farm.
This was a cute story. This book is great for young children and is able to keep their interest. There are many pictures with a paragraph or few sentences on most pages. It is a great stepping stone book, or to be read to young children at bedtime. This is the second book, but you do not have to read the first book to follow along. Each book appears to be it’s own new adventure and is written in a way to keep kids interested.
I really liked the mixture of identifiable fairy tales such as Hansel and Gretel, Gingerbread Man, and Jack and the Beanstalk. I think that is an interesting concept to include them. This was probably my favorite part of the story. I liked how they all connected to each other.
The illustrations were great. Jim Heath is a great artist and each picture was interesting and helps visualize the story.
Follow the Bread Crumbs is another cute story where Willy Nilly has a big idea that does not go according to plan. Willy Nilly is one day at the lake feeding the ducks and other birds and he has the idea of building a pond in his back yard for the birds to stay so he no longer had to clean his room in order to be permitted to the go to the pond. He went to the local baker and got some of his stale bread. He went home and dug a big hole in the back yard and filled it with water. He left bread crumbs from the pond to his back yard. When he went to bed, he hoped that a couple of ducks and geese would follow the bread crumbs. The next morning he finds out all the animals at the pond, and even an alligator, followed the crumbs to his house! Willy Nilly had to go get more bread to feed them because the animals were getting antsy and hungry. As he rode by the pond, he saw people crying because there were no ducks to feed anymore. When he got back to his house he decided to leave bread crumbs from his home back to the pond. The next morning when he woke up, he saw that all of the animals left the yard. When Willy Nilly rode his bike to the pond, he saw all the animals were back and everyone was happy again.
This is another story following Willy Nilly’s adventures. It was a cute story and once again, the graphics were amazing. I think young children will enjoy Willy Nilly’s Adventures. Chris Stead is a great children’s writers, and I hope to one day share them with my own children (once I have them!).
To find out more about the author and see the rest of the series, visit Old Mate Media
My Birthday Cake Needs a New Home is about a little girl who had a great birthday, but had too much leftover birthday cake. She searches high and low for a new place to put her cake. She tries her ears, her belly button, the refrigerator, her bookshelf, and even in her dad’s car! She finally settled on giving it to her brother.
I really enjoyed the art work for this book. I liked how it had smashed cake everywhere she tried to hide it. I feel it really helps connect the story together. It only takes a couple of minutes to read and is a great bedtime story, especially for those who love their birthday and want to keep all of their leftover cake forever 🙂
I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
The Little Green Boat is about a little boy named Willy Nilly who has a trip to the beach planned with his parents. When Willy Nilly gets to the beach, he goes exploring and finds a little green boat. This little green boat takes him out into sea. Willy Nilly becomes very hungry he becomes determined to find food. Two dolphins swim up to him in the boat and inquires about what is wrong with Willy Nilly. Willy Nilly tells him he was taken out to sea and he is hungry. The dolphins offer to bring him to land, however, the land they bring him to is not the same as from where Willy Nilly departed. In search of food, Willy Nilly begins to traverse the island and pass monkeys who throw things at him, bats in a cave, alligators that try to eat him, up a mountain to where he finds a chest full of food. At the bottom of the chest is a note with a number and a phone to call for help. Willy Nilly calls the number, and before you know it, a helicopter comes and picks him up and brings him back to the beach his parents are located. His parents are just sitting down to eat, but Willy Nilly is no longer hungry and wants to go play.
This story was very cute. I really enjoyed Willy Nilly and his adventure for food. A kid after my own heart! I think this story is very light and enjoyable for kids. I believe it will keep a child’s attention throughout the story. I think, in the future, Willy Nilly should have a female friend go on these adventures as well. I think it would be great for young female readers. Working with children, this will definitely be a book I let my clients read while sitting in my office. Willy Nilly’s adventures on The Little Green Boat are fun and require Willy Nilly to be smart and brave. These are great factors in stories for young readers.
To find out more about the author and see the rest of the series, visit Old Mate Media
Sami the Magic Bear- A Trip to the Hospital by Murielle Bourdon
Goodreads Rating: 5 stars
Leukemia is any parents’ worst nightmare for their children. In Sami and the Magic Bear- A Trip to the Hospital, Laurie becomes sick and is diagnosed with leukemia. Laurie was very active prior to this diagnosis, and becoming sick makes her feel lonely and very tired. One day, Laurie’s teacher and classmates send a giant card and Sami the Magic Bear. Sami makes Laurie very happy, and less lonely. One night as she goes to sleep she says that maybe she just let go. The next morning Sami is alive and tells Laurie that she needs to be strong and keep going. This gives Laurie hope. Later, Laurie is released from the hospital and her life gets back to normal.
I try not be critical when it comes to reviewing children’s books, but I try to review objectively. I did like this Sami story, but it seems like something is missing. I think it is a great story to help sick children when they need a lift or to be reminded to hold on and keep strong. This would be a great story for any kid, sick or not. It is very positive, and even made me a bit teary eyed.
The author, Murielle Bourdon, reached out to me via email to review a copy of Sami the Magic Bear: No to Bullying.
Thomas is a 9 year old child who is very depressed and upset. He is bullied constantly by kids at school. On the day of his birthday, he is pushed down and hurt by another child in school. This child also runs off with Thomas’ new baseball cap. Thomas did not want to tell his parents, so he made up a story about losing his hat and falling on the ground and hitting his face. Thomas’ grandparents came to Thomas’ house for his birthday and gave him Sami. While Thomas was crying later that night, Sami came to life and provided Thomas an idea on how to address this bullying issue. The next day, Thomas provided this idea to the principal. This idea was that the bully and Thomas would work together. Thomas would help tutor in French and math, and the bully, Victor, would coach Thomas to play basketball. The end of the story concluded that Victor was most improved in math and French, while Thomas was asked to join the basketball team.
I think this story was cute, however, I am not certain of the full relevancy. I am aware this is a child’s book so it took a difficult conversation and tried to give it a positive outcome. I think in some situations, what Thomas suggested be done may work. Working with abused and neglected children for a living, I do not know if this will work as many of the bullying an abused or neglected child may do to others, may stem from the treatment they received when they were abused or neglected. I think, as a way for parents to begin a conversation on not bullying, this book is appropriate.