#QuickReview By Lou of Best Buddies by Lynn Plourde Illustrated By Arthur Lin @LynnPlourde #ArthurLin #BestBuddies @RaintreePub #FriendshipStory #DownsSyndrome #Dogs

Best Buddies
by Lynn Plourde
Illustrated By Arthur Lin

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Best Buddies is a picture book that tells a story of a boy with downs syndrome, the bond with his dog and starting school. Find out more in the blurb and my review below. Thanks firstly to Raintree Publishers for a review copy.

Best Buddies introduces a boy-and-dog duo who are BEST FRIENDS and who do EVERYTHING together! So how will they manage being apart when the boy heads to school for the first time? Find out how a clever boy with Down’s syndrome and his loyal pet find the perfect way to feel close even when they can’t be together. A sweet, inspiring story that will ease concerns about the first day of school and other big changes for kids.

Review

Boy and dog have a special bond and don’t ever want to apart from each other. The time comes for the boy to start school and it’s tough because it means leaving the dog behind. They literally do everything together. All is not lost though as slowly but surely they both find ways of coping and getting used to a new routine. By the end, the boy and his dog discover having to part for awhile isn’t all bad. The loyalty remains and they will reunite after school.

It’s a sweet story with fun illustrations and one that can be red for the joy of it and also to prepare for starting school, either in a new term, after a holiday or if you suddenly get a new pet and child and pet have bonded.

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#Review of We Are All Neighbours Alexandra Penfold and Suzanne Kaufman @AgentPenfold @skaufmanart #ChildrensBook #PictureBook about #Neighbours #WeAreAllNeighbours #ReadingRocks

  • We are All Neighbours 
    By Alexandra Penfold and Suzanne Kaufman

 

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

We Are All Neighbours is a great story with great illustrations that can also be great as a conversation piece as well as a book to simply read for pleasure. Thank to Bloomsbury for giving me an e-book to review, which you can see below. First, find out more in the blurb.

Let’s go walking down our street.

Friends and neighbours here to greet.

Oh so many folks to meet.

We are all neighbours here.

Welcome to a neighbourhood where everyone is welcome. A neighbourhood where children of every culture play together, sharing food and laughter, and learning from each other’s traditions. A neighbourhood where diversity is a strength.

From the creators of the no.1 New York Times bestselling All Are Welcome comes a triumphant picture book that celebrates diversity, kindness and the power of community. Here, we are ALL neighbours!

Review

Everyone belongs and lives somewhere and neighbours are not all the same as you. Everyone is unique and diverse in one way or another, This is the focus, that everyone is different but can still live along side by side each other. The book promotes peace and harmony and illustrates that no matter where you come from or lived in a place all your life, have a disability or are able-bodied, have a different religion or perhaps have similarities to all of that list, you can still play, eat and drink, learn and laugh and generally have fun together.

This is an important book for children to read with adults. It shows kindness and compassion, something that sometimes lacks amongst, not just children, but adults too as communities expand or change in demographics. I say this as children and adults can be unaccepting of others for their own personal reasons, sometimes even coming from a different part of a village/town/city is enough for some people. So, although this is a children’s book, I think adults could also takeaway something positive from this book too.

All in all, this is an upbeat book about society working and playing alongside each other with a focus on neighbourhood. It’s bright, colourful and engaging for children, whether in the home or classroom. It has many benefits from giving a sense of belonging, learning something, putting things into practice, endorphins from reading such an uplifting book for pleasure.
I recommend this book as it could be part of individuals and communities having a positive impact towards those around them.

#HappyNewYear #2023 #ChildrensBooks and #YoungAdultBooks I Highly #Recommend that I #Reviewed in #2022 of many genres from #PictureBooks to #ChapterBooks to #Novels

I reviewed a number of children’s books right across the ages from 0 to teenagers. Here are some I highly recommend. Starting with young children’s books, working up in age range. I have also provided links to the blurbs and full reviews as you wok you way down.

The Picture Books – 0 to 6 years

Trains, Trains, Trains! Is a fun-packed picture book that works on different levels. It encourages thought, speech and language as kids choose their favourite trains. It also has fun with counting and speed and provides children, including babies with a certain comfort in its train like rhythm of the words. It’s a book that adults can have fun with reading to children. Here is the link: Trains, Trains, Trains

Tilda Tries Again By Tom Percival was recently on CBeebies, read by Rob Burrows. It has fantastic illustrations, which really goes towards aiding the story along. It’s a positive, encouraging story that takes children into Tilda’s world, where it’s okay to give things another try. Here’s the link to the blurb and full review Tilda Tries Again

David’s Bathtime Adventure By Sue Wickstead is great for kids who love or dislike bathtime alike. It’s full of imaginative fun. It’s also got great tips for adults after the story too. Here’s the link to the blurb and full review: David’s Bathtime Adventure

The Fairy In The Kettle By Pauline Tait is a sweet story about friendship. It is also fun with a fairy who lives in a kettle and plenty goes on in this short adventure. Check out the blurb and review here: The Fairy In The Kettle

What The Ladybird Heard at Christmas By Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks is full of adventure and trepidation in this fun poetic story. Find out more in the link here: What The Ladybird Heard at Christmas

Daddy’s New Shed By Jessica Parkin sees him needing a new one, but who will get to use it? It has much humour. Here’s the link to the review and blurb: Daddy’s New Shed

Where Is My Smile? is charming and about a boy who has lost his. Is there a solution that can be found? The book promotes talk of feelings and wellbeing. Here’s the link to the blurb and review: Where Is My Smile?

The Middle Grade Books – 7 plus years

 

The Ultimate Guide to Growing Dragons by Andy Shepherd shows you too can grow dragons. The book is great for the adventurous and for young gardeners and the curious. It’s part of the excellent The Boy Who Grew Dragons series. This one also has fun pages set out like collection cards and so much more, as well as the story. Find out the blurb and full review in this link: The Ultimate Guide to Growing Dragons

Benji And The Gunpowder Plot By Kate Cunningham gives children a great time travelling adventure to the time of Guy Fawkes. It’s the first book in The Time Tumblers series. Find out more in the link for the review and blurb: Benji and the Gunpowder Plot

Jump By J.G.Nolan is a football story where old and young come together. They each learn something about football and a particular footballer. Here is the blurb and full review: Jump

Dread Wood By Jennifer Killick, author of the successful Craters Lake, is middlegrade horror at its best, on a par with Goosebumps by R.L. Stine. It’s atmospheric and twisty with mystery and dark tunnels… also a detention to boot. Why then is a teacher underground and a caretaker acting strangely? Here is the link to the blurb and full review: Dread Wood

Which Way To Anywhere By Cressida Cowell – author of How To Train Your Dragon and Wizard of Once, is exhilarating with a terrific cast of characters, including a robot assassin and trees not being quite how you would expect in this new magical world. Here is the link to the blurb and full review: Which Way To Anywhere

Young Adult/Teens -12 years plus

Being is Better and Beyond Invisible is a duology of books. Meet Amber and her friend. Both have quite different backgrounds and yet find each other. The book highlights teenage loneliness, grief, parental divorce, health issues, friendship. It is relatable and essential reading for teens/young adults. Here is the link to full blurbs and reviews of both books – Being Is Better Duology

#Review By Lou of. Where Is My Smile? By Natalie Reeves Billing @BillingReeves @LoveBookTours #ChildrensBook #Wellbeing #PictureBook

Where Is My Smile
By Natalie Reeves Billing
Illustrated By Hannah Jesse

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

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Where Is My Smile? is charmingly illustrative with an engrossing story children can engage with and adults can use as a conversation starter about emotions.

Natalie Reeves Billing has many successful books, including the Monsterous Me series for young children.

Thanks to Love Books Group for the book and review opportunity. Discover more in the blurb and my review below.

Blurb

A beautifully illustrated picture book about mental health for young readers. Where Is My Smile? is the story of a little boy who can’t find his smile anywhere. He searches and searches, but it’s nowhere to be found. Where could his smile be? This delightful picture book is perfect as a bedtime story, and to help little children understand that it’s okay to be sad sometimes, but we can always find our way through it. Where Is My Smile? is the first in a new series of picture books from Natalie Reeves Billing focused on children’s mental health.

Review

This is a well illustrated book of a boy who is very sad. He knows he has a smile, but it appears to be lost. He searched for it around the house. He sees the rest of his family with smiles, but he can’t seem to fin his. Even the rainy weather means the sun has lost its smile… until one day, it all changes and smiles are back.
It’s a simple story where children can have fun looking for the boy’s lost smile and guessing where it may be and how he finds it. It is clear, not only in the blurb, but also in the construct of the story, that with a pinch of ingenuity, it can also be used as a simple conversation starter to engage with children who are sad or becoming depressed. The book holds a lot of family love and a solution to what makes the boy in the story happy.

The illustrations are bold and fun as well as meaningful in a way that will also help children engage with emotions, as well as easily follow the story.

It, in conjunction with other books and support, will be a valuable tool for any parent and an enjoyable story for many young children as they learn about their own emotions and those of others, so it also then brings some empathy and understanding, which Natalie Reeves Billing does very well in her books; as proven not only in this one but also books such as her Monsterous Me series. This book – Where Is My Smile? however, also focuses on wellbeing and specifically mental health p, in a way children will quickly understand through also being entertained.

#BookReview by Lou – The Wild World Handbook – Habitats by Andrea Debbink #AndreaDebbink @quirkbooks #MiddleGrade #ChildrensNonFiction #ChildrensNature

The Wild World Handbook – Habitats
by Andrea Debbink

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Great for Middlegrade with facts and STEAM activities. Thanks to Quirk Books for gifting me a copy to give an honest review on.
Follow down to the blurb and my full review of The Wild World Handbook…

The Wildhandbook

Blurb

Packed with real-life tales of adventure, breathtaking illustrations, and practical tips, this handbook is an inspiring guide for the next generation of climate activists, conservationists, and nature lovers.

 

The first book in a middle grade series for young environmental activists and nature lovers, The Wild World Handbook offers a roadmap for change and an invitation to explore the outdoors, alongside surprising facts and hands-on STEAM activities. Featuring nine habitats from around the globe, each section includes diverse biographies of outdoor adventurers, scientists, and artists who used their passion and skills to become bold allies for Earth’s natural diversity and resiliency.

Inside you will find:
   • Nine Amazing Habitats • Eighteen Inspiring Biographies • Nine Kid-Friendly DIY Activities
   • Nine Fun Field Trips • And much more!

Review

The Wild World Handbook is great for Middlegrade. It is comprehensive, without being overly complicated, but allows them to have an adventure and “meet” people, different aspects of nature and fits right into encouraging children to care for the environment and to learn about it. Children can explore:-

Mountains, Forests, Deserts, Polar Lands, Oceans, Freshwater. Cities, Rainforests, Grasslands

The WildhandbookThis book whisks children into introductions to each are of earth and takes them to  the past, present and a small bit into the future of planet earth. So, children are introduced to each of the areas mentioned above, via quick, sharp, easy to follow facts, bold and sharp.

There are interactive elements to map out their own expeditions, do some artwork, plant a tree, find the stars, make a desert biome and more…

“Meet” people from a mountaineer to a naturalist to animals to trees and other plants and more…

There are questions about what they have read, so their knowledge and understanding all tally’s up.

It also takes a nod to those (which is refreshing), who played their part in helping to do good, not just in the present, but in the past, something that isn’t talked about much these days. It’s positive as it refrains from making sweeping generalisations and shows the young, that people older than them (including their parents) did do good stuff to help the environment too. It talks about what children can do too. So, it balances understanding what is in each area with what people have done, in both destruction and to save the earth as it balances out the positives and brings pages of fun to it too.

It is better than some books out there as it does balance positivity between the negativity, lots of fun as well as the serious. 

This book could easily be used at home, as part of a school eco-group or a Girlguiding or Scouting group such as Brownies and Cubs. It has scope for a lot of activities and it shows this area of study can be positive and it can be fun.

 

The Positivity Project – #Review by Lou of Understanding Kids – 3 books – The Friendship Maze, What’s My Child Thinking? What’s My Teenager Thinking? @TanithCarey @Summersdale @dkbooks @RandomTTours #parenting #UnderstandingKids

The Positivity Project – Understanding Kids
By Tanitha Carey
Rated: 5 stars *****

3 books – The Friendship Maze, What’s My Child Thinking, What’s My Teenager Thinking

I have something a bit different today and this is indeed a very exciting I have 3 short reviews on 3 books that create part of The Positivity Project, which I see as being highly exciting, totally worthwhile and exactly what people need right now, which is why I am excited to have been invited onto the blog tour by Random Things Tours and books gifted and what a treat there is in store. The 3 aforementioned books focus on creating positive children and adults. The books are best used by parents, carers, educationalists, counsellors. They are plain-speaking. There’s no challenging jargon. They are easy to follow. I have a quick overview of the books and then quick reviews and blurbs for each book in turn. Check out the layout of the pages as you scroll down too.

The books The Friendship Maze, What’s My Child Thinking, What’s My Teenager Thinking are the best, healthiest parenting books in a long time…. read further as to what you can find in them and why this seems to be the case… The books are simply incredibly amazing!!! They are some of the most exciting parenting books around right now, my fingers can hardly contain themselves as I write about them. I think they are the Must Read books if you’re a parent of a baby, a toddler, a child, a teenager. They will guide you through every stage.

Being a parent at any time can be a joy and yet challenging, especially in the age we live in. There are behaviours, influences, questions, social media, social pressures and so much more to deal with. These books are much more unique and nuanced than other parenting style books. These are, practical books that don’t pile the pressure of what the latest trend in parenting style is ie helecopter or tiger parenting etc. These books are stripped from all of this and creates something incredibly positive and rounded for parents to read as they bring up their children at all the different ages and stages of their lives. These books also, perhaps inadvertantly, shine a more positive light on future children and adults too as these books give a realistic, healthy look into childhood and teenagers and healthier ways to deal with them as parents. The books are suggestive, rather than preachy.
So many parents are going to find these books highly helpful and sensible. No subeject matter goes untouched. No subject seems to be too small or too big. They amazingly cover literally everything that can crop up at every single age-group in a dynamic, sensitive and most helpful way so parents can use them in their quest to have well-rounded, resilient children and teenagers, as well as helping themselves a bit along the way.

The books have all recieved high praise from key educationalists and psychologists. The books are developed to be used by parents/carers, but can also be used as a useful tool for educationalists and counsellors.
Today I bring you The Friendship Maze, What’s My Child Thinking, What’s My Teenager Thinking. Find out more about them in my reviews and the blurbs and then concluding in bullet points, what each book looks at in turn.

About the Author

Tanith Carey Author PicTanith Carey is a journalist and author who writes on the most pressing challenges facing today’s parents. Her writing has featured in The Telegraph, The Times, New York Daily News, and more. She also appears on TV and radio, such as Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour, ITV’s This Morning, and Good Morning Britain.

The Friendship Maze

Review

The Friendship Maze Cover (1)Friendships, it can’t be assumed social skills and actually making friends is a linear process, nor should be taken for granted that this happens naturally, it doesn’t. The book starts off explaining a bit about friendships and then moves onto how sometimes what starts off as being good, can fall into difficulties. It has great tips on bringing up children to show kindness and developing friendships as well as giving some space for independence to grow. It shows that these skills are also something that needs to be taught and gives non-evasive, yet highly practical hints on how to do this.

The book  shows what can impact on social skills and what can in a negative way, with reality tv, puberty, pressure of cliques and social media and what can be positive and what can be negative. The book, as it does throughout, explains and sometimes has a scenario and then has bite-size bubbles with hints how parents can help their child or teen navigate through these times. Parents really can find that there is a helping hand at every stage, even how to have happier playdates.

The Friendship Maze Cover (1)

Blurb

Friendship battles among children have existed since the words ‘you can’t play with us’ were first uttered in the playground.

But the concern today is that unkind and excluding behaviour appears to be starting sooner than ever – even in nursery school.

Yet despite playing such an important part of their well-being, friendships are the area of our children’s lives that adults understand the least – but worry about the most.

By bringing together the latest social science on friendship for the first time for a UK audience, parenting author Tanith Carey peels back the mystery of children’s relationships so parents can guide their children better.

This bold analysis looks at the factors which have made the friendships of British children some of the most fraught in the world.

What’s my Child Thinking

Review

What's My Child thinking Cover (1)No one can totally know what their child is thinking, after all no one is a mind-reader, but it does give some pretty educated insights and how to handle them in a positive way.

To do this, the book asks the parent to take a few minutes to think about their own childhood and what their values are. There are some directional questions to aid in this process. There are some milestones for child-development given, before looking into child behaviours. It’s all broken down into age-groups and bite-size chunks. There isn’t any jargon to get your head around, it’s done plainly and simply.

The book jumps into what the child is thinking and verbalising, such as the word “no” and seeking that bit of independence of wanting to try to do something themselves. The book clearly explains these and then has a great way of how parents can respond. The book gives an informative chart of how to handle eating out, then goes onto behaviours such as hitting and wanting something, such as your phone. As well as detailing these behaviours and how to deal with them, it clearly states what to do in the long term, as well as in the moment, making this book excellent for longevity.

The book literally goes into every crevice of the child’s world and has a reassuring and healthy way of dealing with anything. Parents often say, there isn’t a handbook for bringing up children. This book comes pretty close. It’s one of the best and sound parenting books because of this and its roundedness and not focusing on any particular trend of a parenting style, which makes this book practical for years and years to come.

What Is My Child Thinking - Layout

Blurb

For this unique new book, Tanith and Angharad have pulled together the most important aspects of research and advances made in child development, which up to now, hasn’t been available to parents.

Designed for time-pressed parents, it allows mums, dads and carers to quickly and accurately interpret their child’s behaviour in the moment in more than 100 different challenging situations – and give the best science-based solutions, without having to wade through text and opinions

From tantrums, friendships (real and imaginary), sibling rivalry and having a new baby to sleep problems, aggressive behaviour and peer pressure, parents can quickly find a situation and understand exactly what their child is thinking, and the best way to respond. 

There are also practical survival guides dotted throughout which offer more detailed information and key principles to follow when dealing with more complex issues. These include shyness, coping with birthday parties, hitting and biting, travelling in a car and eating out. Complicated situations like separation and divorce are also included.

The book highlights the importance of working together as a team if you have a co-parent, and how it can helpful to seek advice from others if you are raising your child alone. There is guidance on how to decide what matters to you most in terms of values, along with reminders about why children react in the way they do, especially when they don’t yet have the words to explain. Feeling pressured to be the ‘perfect’ parent is also addressed.

What’s My Child Thinking? is the first parenting book that simultaneously brings together the thinking of both the parent and the child. It clearly explains how to decode a child’s behaviour, understand the psychology behind it and confidently find the best solution to resolve it. It shows that by tuning into your child’s innermost thoughts you can get a calmer, happier family life.

What's My Child Thinking Layout 3

What’s My Teenager Thinking?

Review

What's My Teenager Thinking Cover (1)Often parents find some of the most challenging times being when their small child becomes a teenager and there are even more and different things to navigate. I love that, again, this isn’t preachy and nor does it go into any parenting trends and is much more down-to-earth and more rounded than that. It’s another must have for any parent’s bookshelf. It serves as a practical guide and support, which is bang up-to-date and covers the very sort of world your teen is living in. I’m super impressed and excited for those with teens, that they can have such a book.

The book has a lovely, but easy to understand introduction to what is going on the inside of your teenager’s brain to the hormones it is producing. For the younger teens, it goes from needing the latest phone to addressing hygiene and body changes to FOMO to the changing friendships, crushes and social media, joining marches, moodswings and the more sinister side,. It also handles even more serious issues such as self-harm.It moves up in increments in age as some thoughts change or get deeper than at 13/14. So at 15/16 the themes continue, but extends to exam pressures to thoughts of certain people hating them. It focuses on sleep and shaving too, to wanting more of an allowance to sexual behaviours, dating, coming out as gay. It also handles when the teen wants driving lessons. At 16/17 it takes the themes further to consent, drugs, being worried about the future, anxieties and suicidal thoughts.

These are just a few of the meaty subjects within the book, that have been broken down to just a few pages, giving parents the support they need in a practical way. Each has a very realistic scenario, then segments of what your teen may be thinking and how as a parent you can respond in that moment and practical tips on how to in the long-term.

What is my Teenager Thinking Layout

Blurb

Are your child’s teenage years more challenging than you ever imagined?

Do you struggle to know how to respond when your child says: ‘I hate you!’, ‘Get out of my room!’, ‘My life is over if I don’t get these grades’ or ‘Do I look fat in this?’

Despite your best efforts to say the right thing, do you often find that your suggestions are seen by your teens as ‘criticism’ and your concerns about their well-being are viewed as ‘controlling’?

At a time when our teenagers face unprecedented challenges to their mental health, it’s more important than ever for adults to find better ways to understand and connect with adolescents. What’s My Teenager Thinking? by parenting author Tanith Carey and clinical child psychologist Dr Angharad Rudkin, is a new kind of book that takes a unique approach.

  • It uses the best child and development psychology to translate adolescent behaviour in more than 100 everyday scenarios, many of which are not tackled in other parent books, including issues that have surfaced in lockdown.
  • Drawing on the best research in child psychology, development and neuroscience, each scenario offers practical, easy-to-access solutions parents can use both in the moment and the long-term.
  • It compressed the best science in a way that time-pressed parents can quickly and easily access when a problem arises, without wading through text.
  • Unlike other books which lump the teen years together, it looks at how the teenage brain and thinking evolves through the early, mid and later teenage years

What's My Teenager Thinking Layout 4

What the Books Look At:

The Friendship Maze…

  •  How has social media changed the way children relate to each other?
  • How do hierarchies form in every classroom?
  • Why are boys now just as like to engage in ‘mean behaviour?
  • Why do some children always seem to be left on the side-lines?
  • Are we too quick to call ‘bullying’?
  • Deal with classroom and social media politics.
  • Inoculate your child against the effects of peer-group pressure, cliquiness and exclusion.
  • Learn what’s really going on in your child’s social circle.
  • Bully-proof your child throughout school.
  • Work out when to step in and step out of your child’s conflicts.
  • Help your child make friends if they are stuck on the side-lines.

What’s My Teenager Thinking

  • Designed for parents of all adolescents, What’s My Teenager Thinking includes what to say when your teen says:
  • I am revising
  • Stop following me on social media
  • Everyone else plays this computer game
  • You never listen
  • You swear. Why can’t I?
  • I’ll tidy my room in a minute
  • I’m going anyway
  • Can my boyfriend sleep over?

What’s my Teenager Thinking? tackles real-world concerns including online safety, exam pressures, eating disorders, depression, alcohol, drugs, and sex and doesn’t shy away from hard-hitting themes such as porn, self-harm and suicide.

Understanding Kids BT Poster