Book Reviews–Spoon and Chopsticks by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

Book Reviews–Spoon and Chopsticks by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

Even as an adult, I love everything I’ve read by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, like not that I just love them for kids, but I love them myself.  I feel like I should have a Rosenthal shelf in my house. You can see my excitement about one of her last books, Dear Girl, here. Recently, thanks to a conversation with a colleague, I was introduced to two of her earlier books, Spoon and Chopsticks, which I think are great books for bedtime reads.


Even though my colleague recommended Spoon to me, we read Chopsticks first, because Spoon was checked out of the library. Chopsticks is a great picture book all about the transition from only being able to function with a partner, to figuring out how to do things independently. It’s a great lesson for twins, siblings, or kids who have that one friend that they can’t do anything without. The message of the book is NOT that you can’t have a solid dependable partner, but more that you can be successful both alone and with a friend.

After what seemed like forever, we got to pick up Spoon from the library. Now in this book, our main character, Spoon, has basically decided that he’s jealous of his other friends. The knife gets cut things, the fork gets to eat all kinds of things that spoon doesn’t, and of course, you can’t beat the chopsticks, there’s two of them that get to hang out with each other all the time.  However, as we adults know, perception is everything. So as the story continues, we learn how the other utensils also wish they could do the things spoon can, such as eating ice cream. After we finished reading Spoon, I immediately asked my kids what the message of the story was, and they were instantly able to tell me, “be happy with what you have” and “be careful what you wish for”, which thrilled me.


So, if you are looking for some cute, engaging, funny, and well illustrated books that will also teach lessons, these books (and really any other book by Amy Rosenthal) are the way to go!

*I recently found out that there’s one more book in this series coming out in February 2020–Straw! I’m so excited to see what we learn from that character.


If Your Young Reader Loves Black Panther (or Superheroes)…

If Your Young Reader Loves Black Panther (or Superheroes)…

One thing that I recently noticed is that with the success of the movie Black Panther, there have been multiple children’s books that feature children of color as their main superhero character. I don’t know if there is a direct correlation, but if nothing else, it is a perfect time to build on kids’ interest in those types of characters. Here are a couple of cute early chapter book reads (that are also series!) that I have come across recently that your superhero loving child might enjoy.


The first series that I noticed was Mia Mayhem by Kara West. This is a cute series about a girl who just found out that she’s got super powers and is currently learning lessons in a superhero training school. Mia is very much a regular girl with non-superhero friends and interests like soccer, so I found her to be very relatable for kids. This new series only has 4 books so far, but they are perfect for that reader who is transitioning to chapter books, but still likes/needs the support of illustrations.





Whereas Mia’s superhero abilities are genetic, Meg, the main character in the Mighty Meg series, got her superhero abilities thanks to a birthday gift from her aunt. Whenever 20190820_164458273649592625816233.jpgshe puts on this ring that her aunt purchased on a small island, Meg feels a jolt and suddenly has abilities she did not have before, including things like invisibility and super speed. This illustrated series written by Sammy Griffin, also only has 4 books in it so far, so it may seem more manageable when your child is just starting it.








Honorable mentions: These two books I have mentioned before on this blog and have main characters with super human abilities. You can read my thoughts on the Freddie Ramos series here and read about how the Alston brothers saved the day just like superheroes here.


Now is a great time to capitalize on your reader’s enjoyment of Black Panther, or any other superhero for that matter, with a new book/series. Keep #RaisingReaders!

Our Bedtime Read–Just Read! by Lori Degman

Our Bedtime Read–Just Read! by Lori Degman

I had to write about this book right after our bedtime read tonight because it was just SO cute! Just Read!, written by Lori Degman and illustrated by Victoria Tentler-Krylov is a rhyming book that goes through all the reasons, ways, and places that you can read!

This book made my daughter realize that reading while in the grocery store was an option, made my son wish that he had a pool with aquatic animals he could read in, and made me envy this family’s car:

Look at all the books in that car! I’m jealous!

Just Read! could bring about some great conversations with kiddos about everything that is considered reading (the kid in the grocery store was reading a cookbook) and what could be considered missed opportunities for reading (waiting at the doctor’s office). The illustrations in this book are wonderful, and reflect a wide variety of families, kids, and ethnicities. It was a quick read, but very inspiring for those kids who have just started to be able to read independently. Even though my kids have been able to do that for quite some time, it was still a very enjoyable read for the three of us!


How the Book Julian’s A Mermaid Finally Changed My Thinking by Deana Metzke

How the Book Julian’s A Mermaid Finally Changed My Thinking by Deana Metzke

Nerdy Book Club is a great blog to learn a lot about children’s books, authors, and educator’s experiences around books. Here’s a link to something I recently wrote for the Nerdy Book Club about my experience with the book, Julian’s A Mermaid.

They Are Never Too Old

They Are Never Too Old

My children are 8 and 10, are Harry Potter enthusiasts, have their own library cards, and enjoy reading independently. Now, for those who have read my blog before, it may seem like a random bit of information to share at the beginning of this post, but there’s a reason for it.

The other night my children and I read (and enjoyed) Owls Are Good at Keeping Secrets: An Unusual Alphabet, written by Sara O’Leary and illustrated by Jacob Grant. Yes, this is an alphabet book and my kids learned their letters a long time ago. But I saw this at the library and thought I would be interesting and grabbed it.


Now this may surprise you, but when we settled in for our bedtime read the other night and I pulled out this book and read the title, there were no complaints. These kids, who  when reading independently are reading books with action and/or themes of bullying and friendship drama, had no issues with listening to a book about the alphabet. Why? Because just like as adults we have our guilty pleasure books or TV shows, kids sometimes like to just relax when listening to a story. Whether its silly, funny, or even what some may find babyish, a good story is a good story. Also, its just a relaxing way to end the day, so it doesn’t have to be complicated.

So, don’t feel like you always have to read a book that is heavy in content or equal to or above their own reading level. Sometimes they just want chill and spend some quality time with their adult, even if it is a book about the alphabet.

Keep #RaisingReaders!