Book Review–Baby Kai and the Monster in the Closet

Book Review–Baby Kai and the Monster in the Closet

Davy, his brother Baby Kai and the rest of the family are back in author Danual Berkley’s latest book, Baby Kai and the Monster in the Closet. In the first book about this family, they went on a pirate ship adventure, and you can read more about that book here. This time, younger brother Kai is struggling to fall asleep because, like many other kids, there’s a monster behind his closet door. In this story we get to see Baby Kai pleading his case to his parents for help to no avail, so he has to deal with this problem all on his own. Luckily for him, there are a couple of twists that let Kai and the reader know that monsters aren’t always all bad.

The illustrations in this book, created by Amariah Rauscher, are awesome and consistent with the illustrations in Davy’s Pirate Ship Adventure, so if you’ve read it, there’s continuity with the characters. The illustrations also play an important role in figuring out the twists in the story, which is a concept in picture books that I love. During my first read I didn’t notice things that I saw after reading it again, and I think that makes for more lively bedtime reads, especially if, like me, you have kids that like to read a book more than once.

 

So if you are raising a reader who has some fears about monsters hiding in their closet or under their bed, this book can help with lighten that concern. Additionally, as author Danual Berkley has done in the past, he makes it a point to make sure that all members of this African-American family are present in the story, which helps to expose your young reader to that sort of representation. You can read more about his quest to achieve diversity in my interview with him here.

This book was just released on June 7 of this year, and you can find this book on Amazon or Barnes and Noble. You can also learn more about budding author Danual Berkley at his website, danualberkley.com.

A Little Competition Never Hurt…

A Little Competition Never Hurt…

I realize that there is truth and evidence to the idea that incentive-based reading programs don’t do much to create lifelong readers, which is always my goal.

And while the summer reading program in my children’s school district isn’t really incentive based, they can log on and see how long (& what) other kids in their school are reading. After logging on and seeing what their classmates were doing, this is what happened in my house:

You’ll have to excuse the messy hallway, but hey I’m not interrupting reading for something I can clean later. I’m actually going to grab my own book, get in my own comfy spot and join them.

#RaisingReaders

Art Parts by Kim Bogren Owen– A Book Review

Art Parts by Kim Bogren Owen– A Book Review

We were lucky enough to receive the book Art Parts: A Child’s Introduction to the Elements of Art, plus a couple of the companion journals from author Kim Bogren Owen. So since we’ve got some free time this summer, we turned on some Kids Bop music and decided to have some #SummerReading fun with this book.

The cool thing about this book is that not only do the readers get to learn about art, they get to practice it at the same time, which makes it real interactive. Here’s how we decided to go through it one afternoon.

The book is really nice and hardback with glossy pages, so even though it allows the child to draw in the book, the book lover in me wouldn’t allow me to let them do that, so I was super grateful that we had the journals, which have the same sketch pages as the book does.

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Here’s the book and the journal

I read it to them first, but they got real antsy and ready to get down to drawing, so luckily the book is short and we went right to the journals. (If I had it to do over, I probably wouldn’t it have read it first, we would’ve done the journal and the book at the same time.)

So my kiddos got to demonstrate that they understood each element, things like shapes, lines, and color, and then (this is the part they really enjoyed) they got to create their own picture using that element.

The way the book is set up with the examples of each element, it worked out well for both of my kids, who have different strengths. My daughter, who is an art lover, did a really good job coming up with her own creative ways to use each element. My son on the other hand, didn’t feel like he could draw anything without looking at the examples. If I didn’t have those, he may have gotten too frustrated to continue.

We didn’t complete all the pages of the journal, but I told them they could keep them and finish whenever they wanted to, which they were excited about. The directions in the journal are simple enough that my 6 and 8 year old will be able to read them on their own. Below are some examples of the artwork my kids created.

Thanks to Art Parts, we really enjoyed some quality time together reading, drawing, and creating masterpieces. You can learn more information about author Kim Bogren Owen, including where to purchase her books at here.