Sunday, February 25, 2018

Be the Change! by Eunice Moyle, Sabrina Moyle

Downloaded through Netgalley to read for an honest review.

Score: 4/5

Will be able to buy on March 6, 2018!


Another inspirational book to encourage young folk to get involved with their community. Bright, colorful and quotes galore.  

It gives positive action plan to create change.  Encourages creativity in doing this. 

Feminism, activism and working to create change in your community, etc.

They keep it general enough that it can be read by any girl wanting to change. There is no religious or political drumming happening while reading this as far as I can tell. They discuss religion, community, politics but there isn't trying to convert or change to certain groups.

Quotes and talking points are from inspirational activists -- Gandhi (who is of course controversial but liked enough to general public), speak about Rosa Parks, Maya Angelou,etc.

This is fantastic for kids who aren't already engaged with community work and want to get involved in some way.

Encourage change and also -- asking permission if under eighteen to do certain things.

Diversity in the people that they highlight -- people who have or are creating change for their communities.

Crafts that go along with the theme of creating change and fighting for things at the end of the book.


For parents who don't want their children to be engage in things such as protests, feminism and "staying woke".

While protesting in American is legal and encouraged it's frowned upon by a lot of people. So, the idea of encouraging protests and activism for families may not be interested or find offense to this book.

Diversity in photos used in this book is very minimum. It looks as if some images are repeated or using the same girls -- so I think they're using images of people they know. Which limits the diversity of photographs.


Sunday, February 18, 2018

Little Pierrot Vol. 2: Amongst the Stars by Alberto Varanda

Downloaded through Netgalley in exchange for a review.
Score: 4/5

Little Pierrot and Mr. Snail's imaginative adventures take them to the stars and beyond! They might fly to the moon on the wings of a well-worn book, or cloud-watch with the new girl in school. Little Pierrot is ever the dreamer, but Mr. Snail is there to bring him back down to earth.

This will be out March 6, 2018!


Illustrations are fun to look at. There's a young boy, his talking snail friend and the moon. Each comic strip has a different theme.

It's easy to read and follow along what is going on in each section. 

"It's good if a book is beat up... it means it was read again and again -- come on let's go!"
Relies heavily on imagination and it works for what you are getting as you read. I enjoyed this.


This is a collection of separate stories that have different things going on. This may be confusing for some kids, especially, those who are newer to reading comics.

But it would still be fun for kids to look through and enjoy either way.


Yes! It's adorable and is extremely fun to read through.

Disney Villains Books - Serena Valentino

Beast Within, The: A Tale of Beauty's Prince

Focus on the Beast in The Beauty and the Beast. From chapter one we start with him having already imprisoned Belle.

First Sentence: The Beast stood in his rose garden, the overwhelming scent of new blossoms making him slightly dizzy.

Fairest of All: A Tale of the Wicked Queen is free to read through Kindle Unlimited. 

First sentence: The apple blossom trees in the castle courtyard bloomed with the lightest of pink petals and sparkled with shimmering silver baubles, reflecting the sun brilliantly.

This begins with her marrying Snow White's father and the trickling of jealousy toward Snow White begins.

The others in this series have to be bought out right there is no borrowing option. Which is Mistriss of All Evil: A Tale of the Dark Fairy -- Maleficent's story and  Poor Unfortunate Soul: A Tale of the Sea Witch, Usula's story.

Fairest of All is the first in the series. Beast's is the second with Ursula's being third and Maleficent's the last in this group of stories.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

My Nana and Me by Irene Smalls

This can be read free through the Kindle Unlimited. Ebook is $5.99. Barnes & Noble has hardcopies for $9.99 paperback and $14.99 for a hardcover.

Score: 5/5

First sentence:

My Nana and Me had a tea party and all my dolls came
We had tea and cake and ate and ate
bread pudding and apple pie.

A child discusses her time with her grandmother. The things they do and say when they are together. Beautiful, colorful and imaginative illustrations go along with the story.

If you buy a hard copy there is a place at the beginning of the book to paste a picture of children and their grandmothers. It's super cute.

An easy to read and follow along excellent for a nighttime read along or even alone for older elementary kids.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

One Crazy Summer - Rita Williams-Garcia

Score: 4/5

Summary: These girls go to their mom's house. Their mother is not excited that they are in her life. They go to a Black Panther summer camp -- they provide food, etc.

You go through the year of '68 in the view of these kids and the things that are happening in their life. Things are changing with some people happy about it and other's not so much.

For some, the issue with this book is that it shines a positive light on the Black Panthers. Black Panthers had positive community services so for kids this is going to be something positive and nice to have.

Their mother is only in what she did to give them life. She doesn't want or want to be around these kids that she birthed.

When their grandparents send them off, I was disappointed that they were brought to their mom. I know they had to eventually meet her one way or the other but wow.

It's more of a glimpse of the changes and what happened at this time in history. It's not really a happily ever after and family come together kind of story.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Birds of a Feather by Vanita Oelschlager

Downloaded through Netgalley to read for an honest review.
Score: 5/5

First sentence: Goosebumps

This is already published & ready to be purchased!


Simple and colorful illustrations of common idioms. I liked the imagery for, "Look what the cat dragged in." and a "A wild goose chase."

Explanation page at the end about what an idiom is. 

You have to flip the book to read the explanation and example sentence that goes with the idiom. 


May find it offensive that the idiom illustration depiction of a "Wild goose chase" the police officers are pigs.

These are literal depictions which may confuse some kids. 

You have to flip the book to read the explanation and example sentence that goes with the idiom.


Yes,  it's cute and I love it already. Learning about idioms in school was my favorite part of language arts.

Magic Words: From the Ancient Oral Tradition of the Inuit by Mike Blanc (Illustrator),‎ Edward Field (Translator)

Downloaded through Netgalley for honest review
This has been out since 2013!

Score: 5/5

It is a beautiful illustrated story based on an Inuit oral tradition.

The images along with the short sentences on the page just wow. 
Here's a link to the illustrator and the artwork from the book here.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

The Scarlet Letter Manga Classics by Nathaniel Hawthorne, SunNeko Lee, Crystal S Chan, Stacy King

Downloaded through Netgalley for honest review
 This book was published in 1850 so ...spoilers? This has been out for a few years ready for purchase. 

Score: 4/5

First Sentence: Ah... Good morning

Yeah not the best first sentence but you know.

I found this more enjoyable than the actual book. I still did not like the minister but pretty illustrations wouldn't have changed that fact.

The way her husband is drawn throughout this manga is super fun:


They take a stuffy story and made in interesting to get through. In this way it allows students to become more acquainted with older "classics" that they may not have had any interest in before.

These may convince the rigid teacher who doesn't believe comics are reading have them in their classroom. It's still reading and you're giving access to something that the kids may not have had access to. Either because of reading level or scared because the book is "old". 

It doesn't take the messages away about guilt, sin, etc so the students wouldn't be missing that aspect of it.


Yes, I definitely recommend this along with the other classic manga's.But I've only read two of them and it was novels I already read. Next ones Edgar Allen Poe and Les Misérables. I am hoping the Edgar Allan Poe the illustrations help me get through it. As much as I enjoy reading older books I don't much like his stuff.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Big Hair, Don't Care by Crystal Swain-Bates

Can be borrowed through Kindle Unlimited for free or purchased at 99 cent as an ebook. Hardcover is listed as $16.97.

Score: 5/5

First Sentence:
 I've got big hair and I don't care
And even though the kids may stare
I lift my hands up in the air
Then smile and say...
I love my hair!

A celebration of African-American hair focused on girls and styles. The wording is poem form and there is rhyming, great combination. The font is large enough and easy to follow along. The rhyme should make it easier for some students to read and follow along/guess how to pronounce words.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Look What Brown Can Do! T. Marie Harris

Can be read through Kindle Unlimited or bought for $2.99. Paperback is $9.99

Score: 5/5

First sentence: Look what BROWN can do! Brown can inspire through art.. and I CAN TOO!

 Look What Brown Can Do written by T. Marie Harris is a book that is focused on career and job goals for Black students. It is essentially a 'You dream it you can be it' positive children's book.

It covers adults who are in a wide variety of careers. Each section has the persons name and a photograph. Every paragraph starts with "Brown can..." and discusses the field that person is in.

The illustrations are colorful and all in all the book has readable fonts for kids to read on their own. It can be used a discussion with your children or your students in class. A way to introduce students to a wide variety of careers that they may not have thought about before.