Friday, May 25, 2018

Children's Book Review: Snail Mail By Samantha Berger

SNAIL MAIL

By: Samantha Berger

Illustrated by: Julia Patton

Published: May 1, 2018

Publisher: Running Press Kids

Fiction

Nothing says "Love" like a hand-written letter. That is the premise of SNAIL MAIL. A lot of love and heart is put into the writing and sending of letters. When was the last time you wrote or received an actual letter in the mail? Both of my parents worked for the postal service with my mom working the longest as a rural carrier for over 25 years. She personally delivered thousands of pieces of mail through sleet, hail, blizzards, heat, and flat tires. In this story, the love of sending letters is told through four snails who personally deliver a love letter all the way across the USA.

Snail Mail is a term used to describe the delivery of mail. Sometimes, it feels like it is going at a snail's pace. So, this story makes fun of the term and has four snails take on the task of delivering a letter from a girl on one side of the US to a boy on the other side of the US. The snails must deliver the letter and "neither rain, nor snow, nor heat, nor hail will stop a snail from bringing the mail."

I think children will find this story silly but also be inspired to write their own letter. In fact, it would be a great way to encourage your children to write letters to family members or friends, whether they live across the street or across the country. This book would be a great introduction to a summer project of writing a letter a week or maybe even connecting with a pen pal, a distant cousin, or friend who moved away.


The illustrations of the snails taking this letter across the country are adorable and the weather and landscapes of our country share the idea of the snails traveling a long distance to get this letter delivered. It is quite amazing that we can write a letter and have it show up in the receiver's mailbox within a few days. I think most of us are quite relieved that most of the time, the mail doesn't run at a snail's pace.

Samantha Berger - source
Photo by Leo Morton

Samantha Berger is the award-winning author of more than eighty books for children. Check out her website, HERE. See more books by Samantha Berger, HERE.

Julia Patton is an award-winning author and illustrator of more than 25 picture book and educational titles published internationally. You can find out more about Julia by visiting her website, HERE. See the books illustrated and written by Julia Patton, HERE.

To purchase a copy of SNAIL MAIL, click the photo below:




I will be linking up this review on Booking Mama's regular Saturday feature, Kid Konnection. This is a place for bloggers to share posts related to children's and YA books. You will find spotlights, reviews, and sometimes even giveaways by clicking HERE, every Saturday.

Other books you may be interested in:

I Am Famous

PAW Patrol Rescue Time



Thanks to the publisher for sending a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. This review is my honest opinion. If you choose to purchase this book through the above link, I may receive a small commission without you having to pay a cent more for your purchase. 

Friday, May 18, 2018

Children's Book Review: An Atlas of Imaginary Places By Mis Cassany

AN ATLAS OF IMAGINARY PLACES

By: Mia Cassany

Illustrated by: Ana de Lima

Published: May 8, 2018

Publisher: Prestel Junior

Fiction


This beautiful picture book is perfect for reading before bedtime to set up your child for imaginative dreams while they sleep. Or read this book before they head off to the land of make-believe for lots of playtime inspiration.

From volcanoes that spew bubble gum to animals that change their coats whenever someone sneezes, this book is full of imagination. The dreamy illustrations are soothing and yet full of mystery. Imagine your child climbing to the tallest lighthouse and drawing out new galaxies with their finger. That is the kind of magic you can imagine by reading this book.


My favorite page shared a sky full of butterflies that when we are sad, we can look up into the sky and be amazed at the variety of colorful butterflies protecting us. I felt calm just by reading this book to myself. I can't imagine how much a child would love reading this and looking at the pages full of make-believe.

So many kids don't know how to pretend or play make-believe so this book could be a great way to inspire children to think out-of-the-box and have fun. This book is perfect for children in preschool through lower elementary.

To purchase a copy of AN ATLAS OF IMAGINARY PLACES, click the photo below:





I will be linking up this review on Booking Mama's regular Saturday feature, Kid Konnection. This is a place for bloggers to share posts related to children's and YA books. You will find spotlights, reviews, and sometimes even giveaways by clicking HERE, every Saturday.

Other books about imagination and pretend you may like:

Aliens Get the Sniffles Too Ahh-Choo!

Duck and Hippo: Lost and Found

Alphabetter and How I Did It

Duck and Hippo in a Rainstorm 

Brave Little Finn

Sweet Pea & Friends the SheepOver





Thanks to the publisher for sending a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. This review is my honest opinion. If you choose to purchase this book through the above link, I may receive a small commission without you having to pay a cent more for your purchase. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Quick Lit: Mini Reviews of Some Recent Reads - May Edition






I'm trying to read more books that I choose for my own reading enjoyment. Not for review, but because I've been wanting to read them or they caught my attention. Most of them have been talked about ad nauseam or have been on my to-read list for a long time so they don't really need a full review. But, I'd still like to give them some space here on the blog.

I'll be linking up with Modern Mrs. Darcy and her monthly Quick Lit link up. Be sure to head over to see others link up their Quick Lit posts.

We are five....5....FIVE days from graduation. Oh, my heart. There have been so many tears these last few weeks. It isn't that I'm sad. It is that my heart is overflowing with pride. Our son has truly ended his high school career on a high note and I am just bursting with pride and, yet sadness, that it is over. But, I am so beyond excited for his future! Bring on summer! Then I get to go through all these emotions again next year with our next son! What was I thinking 17 years ago getting pregnant again so soon????

Oh my! Well, as you can imagine, my reading time has been limited this month. I read some books for review including THE GREAT ALONE and LET ME LIE. These books below were ones I read for my own enjoyment. Enjoy!




POPULATION 485
Meeting Your Neighbors One Siren at a Time
By: Michael Perry
Published: October 8, 2002
Publisher: Harper
Format: Audiobook

I remember years ago when this book came out. The memoir is written based on the author's life in the small town of New Auburn, Wisconsin, population 485 people. This small town sits near the city of Eau Claire and the interstate. Yet, the community is able to live a relatively quiet, small-town life. Perry returns home after leaving for Wyoming and working as a nurse. After returning home, he joins the local volunteer fire department. He is introduced back to the community in some of the resident's most difficult times. He tells of a local mother dying in a car accident and having to care for her and her family that he sees every day at the local gas station.  He tells of the lives of his fellow firefighters, many of which are his family members. 

If you live or have lived in a small town in the Midwest, this book will be relatable and heartwarming to you. The audiobook is only a little over six hours in length and is read by the author himself. The last chapter of the book caught me off guard. I had to stop doing dishes to wipe my tears, listening to the author choke up as well. 





FINISH
Give Yourself the Gift of Done
By: John Acuff
Published: September 12, 2017
Publisher: Portfolio
Format: Audiobook

I had been on the waitlist for this book through my library's overdrive and thankfully it came up right when I was ready for a new audiobook. This is a short listen at less than six hours. The author reads it himself and is easy to listen to.

The premise of the book is to help those of us who don't have trouble starting projects or goals but can't finish them. He gives various tips to help us get rid of the perfectionism and be content with our progress in order to finish the goal. Since I was listening to it, it was hard to always remember all the tips exactly, but the ones that stuck with me included:

  • Set your goal, then cut it in half. If you want to lose 40 pounds, change it to 20 because you are more likely to see progress and hit your goal, therefore encouraging you to keep going. 

  • "Don't let the fear of what's next, steal the joy of finishing what's now." Sometimes we purposely sabotage our own goal because of the fear of what's next. The fear of the future keeps us stagnant and not finishing. Don't be afraid to finish.
Both of these tips were beneficial to me and my own issues with finishing projects. I enjoyed listening to his book and found his tips realistic and useful. 



Other posts you may enjoy:







Friday, May 11, 2018

Children's Book Review: Mama's Belly By Kate Hosford

MAMA'S BELLY

By: Kate Hosford

Illustrated by: Abigail Halpin

Published: April 17, 2018

Publisher: Harry N Abrams

Fiction


Perfect for gifting and reading this Mother's Day weekend, MAMA'S BELLY shares the curiosity, love, and apprehension of a young girl awaiting the birth of her baby sister. As the older sister hugs, talks, and sings to her mama's belly, she also wonders what her baby sister will be like. Ultimately, she wonders whether mama will have enough love to go around for both of them. Mama assures her sweet daughter that she will be a wonderful sister and she has more than enough love for both of them. 


I found this story to be so sweet and it reminded me of being pregnant when our boys were three and four. They were very curious about my growing belly, the movement the baby made, and what their sister would look like. This would have been a wonderful book to read to them and answer their questions and help them be excited about their sister's arrival. 




The illustrations are gorgeous. The colors offer a calming feel to quell the anxiety your child may have about the upcoming baby. The story offers ways to interact with the baby still in mama's belly as well as ways to prepare for the birth by making a blanket so that sister doesn't have to share hers. 

This book celebrates motherhood, sibling love, and the joy of creating a family. If you have someone in your life expecting a baby, this would be a wonderful gift to give. 


Check out the book trailer for MAMA'S BELLY:








Kate Hosford is the author of several picture books, including Infinity and Me, which was a New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Book award and was named an ALA Notable Children's Book. Her books have been translated into Chinese, Korean, French, and Romanian. Kate lives with her family in Brooklyn, New York. To learn more, visit her website, HERE


Abigail Halpin is the illustrator of many books for children, including Finding Wild. She lives in southern Maine. Visit her website, HERE


To purchase a copy of MAMA'S BELLY, click the photo below:





I will be linking up this review on Booking Mama's regular Saturday feature, Kid Konnection. This is a place for bloggers to share posts related to children's and YA books. You will find spotlights, reviews, and sometimes even giveaways by clicking HERE, every Saturday.


Other posts you may like:

Tips for Quick Ways to Pamper Yourself from Take Lessons

Book Review: Little Things Long Remembered

Women Living Well

Book Review: Mom's the Word: The Wit, Wisdom, and Wonder of Motherhood

Book Review: The Baby Cheapskate - Guide to Bargains: How to Save on Blankets, Bottles, and Everything Baby




Thanks to the publisher for sending a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. This review is my honest opinion. If you choose to purchase this book through the above link, I may receive a small commission without you having to pay a cent more for your purchase. Thanks for supporting SincerelyStacie.com. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Book Review: Let Me Lie By Clare Mackintosh

LET ME LIE

By: Clare Mackintosh

Published: March 13, 2018

Publisher: Berkley

Fiction/Suspense





LET ME LIE is the third novel by Clare Mackintosh, a former UK detective who uses her background in police work to write thrilling novels. Her newest thriller will leave readers in disbelief as the twists are revealed.

Anna is overwhelmed with grief. Over a year ago, her father, a well-known business owner and loving husband, killed himself by jumping off the cliffs at Beachy Head. Then months later, her mother did the exact same thing. Anna has never been able to understand why her dad committed suicide, but it was unfathomable to her that her mother would put Anna through the same unimaginable grief. She has never fully understood until, on the one-year anniversary of her mother’s suicide, Anna receives a card with the inscription, Suicide? Think again. It’s all the confirmation she needs that her mother didn’t commit suicide and was instead, murdered. Maybe her father was murdered too. Anna takes the card to the police and luckily meets a retired detective who is working a desk job to help out on the force. Murray agrees to do a little investigating because he feels sorry for Anna. Of course, he has to do the investigating under the table since he really isn’t a detective anymore. What he uncovers is beyond anything he imagined.

“I just want answers”

“Sometimes they’re not the ones we want.”

Each chapter is told from the alternating viewpoint of Anna and Murray with an occasional chapter from the ghost of Anna’s parents. Even though the ghost character turned me off a bit, it does offer the opportunity for the reader to understand their perspective and eventually leads the reader to the shocking conclusion.

Murray’s life story emerges in the background as he investigates Anna’s parents’ death. His wife’s frequent stays at the hospital for the mentally ill don’t diminish his deep love for her. On her good days, Sarah is the wife he always dreamed of having and he loves picking her brain about the cases he is investigating. Sarah’s numerous attempts at suicide give him a unique perspective on Anna’s case with empathy towards Anna’s grief and disbelief related to her parents.

Mackintosh expertly creates an unreliable narrator in the story that will lead you to believe one thing and then drops on bomb on the reader revealing something quite different. You will frantically want to flip back through the pages to reread everything from the new perspective that has just been revealed.


Mackintosh created this story after a well-known suicide that was all over the UK papers several years ago. Her fascination with the particulars of that case led her to create this seemingly cut and dry version of two suicides with a shocking twist. The author does address the serious topic of suicide and encourages those who are suffering to call the hotline. The place described in the story is real and the Chaplaincy Team that patrols it has saved countless lives from making that final decision. Her focus on this important group of volunteers will hopefully continue to save lives and bring more awareness to suicide prevention. 

Clare Mackintosh - source
Clare Mackintosh spent twelve years in the Thames Valley Police Department, during which time she worked on criminal investigations. She left the police force in 2011 to work as a freelance journalist and social media consultant. She is the Director of the Chipping Norton Literary Festival and lives in the Cotswolds with her husband, a police officer, and their three children. Visit Clare Mackintosh at her website, HERE

To purchase a copy of LET ME LIE, click the photo below:






Other books by Clare Mackintosh:

I LET YOU GO


I SEE YOU





Thanks to the publisher for sending a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. This review is my honest opinion. If you choose to purchase this book through the above link, I may receive a small commission without you having to pay a cent more for your purchase. Thanks for supporting SincerelyStacie.com. 

Friday, May 4, 2018

Children's Book Review: Anna and Johanna By:Geraldine Elschner

ANNA AND JOHANNA
A Children's Book Inspired by Jan Vermeer

By: Geraldine Elschner

Illustrated by: Florence Koenig

Published: April 10, 2018

Publisher: Prestel Junior

Fiction

Jan Vermeer was a 17th Century painter from The Netherlands. He married, had at least ten children, and died at the young age of 43, leaving his family in debt, but also leaving his paintings. His paintings represent the day-to-day life of the Dutch. Elschner takes two of his famous paintings, "The Milkmaid" and "The Lacemaker" and creates a tale that could be told for centuries.

Anna, the daughter of the master of the house, and Johanna, the daughter of the housemaid were born on the very same day. These girls have become friends and are secretly making a birthday gift for each other. Anna's father, however, has a secret to reveal to the girls on their birthday. This story within a story is one to tell for years to come.

The book is a bit large for a picture book, but the pages are so gorgeous, you won't mind the size. The paper quality is top-notch, very thick and glossy that gives this book a classic, precious gift quality. Koenig's painted images on the pages are in perfect compliment to Vermeer's painting style. The blues and greens used on the pages are calming and her character portraits tell the story so beautifully.

The end of the book features Vermeer's two paintings and a brief history of him. The author also gives a bit of her history and interest in writing this children's book.

History and art come together in a beautiful story of friendship, chance, and family. This gorgeous book is perfect for gift-giving and one that could be passed down for generations.

Geraldine Elschner is the author of numerous books, including THE CAT AND THE BIRD and WHERE IS THE FROG?. She lives in Heidelberg, Germany.

Florence Koenig is an illustrator and art teacher living in Paris.

To purchase a copy of ANNA AND JOHANNA, click the photo below:







I will be linking up this review on Booking Mama's regular Saturday feature, Kid Konnection. This is a place for bloggers to share posts related to children's and YA books. You will find spotlights, reviews, and sometimes even giveaways by clicking HERE, every Saturday.



Other posts you may like:

OUR STORY BEGINS

WONDERFUL YOU: An Adoption Story

TALES FROM THE ARABIAN NIGHTS

I WONDER

THE KNOWING BOOK

THE OLIVE TREE




Thanks to the publisher for sending a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. This review is my honest opinion. If you choose to purchase this book through the above link, I may receive a small commission without you having to pay a cent more for your purchase. Thanks for supporting SincerelyStacie.com. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Books that Came in April 2018


Boy, you can tell I have a lot going on, I only read 6 books in the last month and four of them were children's books. I also had one audio that I was listening to, but it expired before I could finish it, so I'm currently back on the waitlist. April was full of more winter days than spring-like days. Many of our track meets were canceled and the ones we could have were pretty chilly. I'm now in full-on graduation mode and spending a lot of time getting things ready. We are at the point of all the "lasts". Last band concert. Last choir concert. Patrick turned 18 last month and I just can't even believe I have been a mom for 18 years.


I did take a few days for my annual trip to Minneapolis with my mom, her sister, and daughter. We have been taking this trip for nine years and it is just such a wonderful time. The mother/daughter/sister/cousin time is priceless and full of laughter....and ice cream.


This array of pansies was a welcome sight during our trip as it has seemed that Winter was never going to end. But, we had lovely weather and I think that Spring has finally arrived.


We ended the trip by seeing "Jersey Boys" at the Orpheum Theatre. Oh. My. Gosh. That was an amazing show! It's the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Season and our moms loved reliving their younger years through those songs.

The month of May will fly by in a blink of an eye as we move through the end of the school year and graduation. I can't stop that train, so I'm going to enjoy the ride and soak in all the scenery.

Make sure you check out all the wonderful books that were added to my shelves in May.

Currently Reading: LET ME LIE
Currently Listening: POPULATION 485
Still Reading:  THE GIFT OF AN ORDINARY DAY, GRACE NOT PERFECTION
Up Next: I'm just going to focus on these for now with the limited free time that I have to read.

If you would like to purchase any of the books in this post, clicking the photo or title of the book will take you directly to the product on Amazon. If you choose to purchase the book I may receive a small commission without you having to pay a cent more for your purchase. 








HEART LAND
By: Kimberly Stuart
Published: July 17, 2018
Publisher: Howard Books
Format: Paperback

Kimberly Stuart is an Iowa author and I'll be reviewing her newest book for the Cedar Rapids Gazette in July. I've previously read and reviewed her book BETTER TOGETHER.

Grace Klaren has finally made her dream of living in the Big Apple and working in the fashion industry a reality. But when she’s unexpectedly fired and can’t afford the next month’s rent, Grace does something she never thought she’d do: she moves back home.

Back in Silver Creek, Iowa, Grace is determined to hate it. She rails against the quiet of her small town, where everything closes early, where there’s no nightlife, where everyone knows each other. She’s saving her pennies and plotting her return to New York when she almost runs over a man who’s not paying attention at a crosswalk. It turns out to be Tucker, her high school sweetheart whose heart she broke when she left ten years ago. They reconnect, and Grace remembers why she fell for him in the first place.

And her career begins to turn around when she finds a gorgeous but tattered vintage dress at a flea market. She buys it, rips it apart seam by seam, and re-creates it with new fabric, updating the look with some of her own design ideas. She snaps a picture and lists the dress online, and within a day, it sells for nearly $200. Suddenly, Grace has her ticket out of here.

But Grace can’t fight her growing feelings for Tucker. Sometimes when they’re together, Tucker paints a picture of what their future could be like, and it feels so real. And when she finally gains the funding to move her new business back to New York, Grace must decide where home really is—will she chase her long-held New York dream, or find a new dream here in the heartland?
 







THE BATTLE OF JUNK MOUNTAIN
By: Lauren Abbey Greenberg
Published: April 17, 2018
Publisher: Running Press Kids
Format: Hardcover

I love finding great middle-grade novels to recommend to my daughter's friends and my fellow teacher friends for their classroom. This one sounds perfect for summer reading.

Twelve-year-old Shayne Whittaker has always spent summers on the Maine coast, visiting her grandmother Bea and playing with her BFF Poppy. Both Shayne and Bea are collectors, in their own ways: Shayne revels in golden memories of searching for sea glass and weaving friendship bracelets with Poppy, while Bea scours flea markets for valuable finds, much of which she adds to a growing pile in her house that Shayne jokingly calls Junk Mountain. 

This summer, though, everything has changed. Poppy would rather talk about boys than bracelets, and Bea's collecting mania has morphed into hoarding. Only Linc, the weird Civil War-obsessed kid next door, pays attention to her. Turns out Linc's collected a secret of his own, one that could enrage the meanest lobsterman on the planet, his grandpa. What begins as the worst summer of Shayne's life becomes the most meaningful, as she wages an all-out battle to save her friendships, rescue her grandmother, and protect the memories she loves the most.







GIRL IN PIECES
By: Kathleen Glasgow
Published: August 30, 2016 - April 10, 2018, Paperback
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Format: Paperback

This was the Target Book of the Month pick. I didn't realize it was written for teens until I saw it in the teen section at Barnes and Noble. It is a 2019 nominee for the Lincoln Award which is voted on by participating Illinois High School students.  So, I'm guessing it'll be a great read! GIRL IN PIECES is also a debut novel for Glasgow, which I love.

Charlotte Davis is in pieces. At seventeen she’s already lost more than most people lose in a lifetime. But she’s learned how to forget. The broken glass washes away the sorrow until there is nothing but calm. You don’t have to think about your father and the river. Your best friend, who is gone forever. Or your mother, who has nothing left to give you.

Every new scar hardens Charlie’s heart just a little more, yet it still hurts so much. It hurts enough to not care anymore, which is sometimes what has to happen before you can find your way back from the edge.







HOUSE OF ROUGEAUX
By: Jenny Jaeckel
Published: April 24, 2018
Publisher: Raincloud Press
Format: Paperback

Another debut novel and one I'm definitely intrigued to read.

For Abeje and her brother Adunbi, home is the slave quarters of a Caribbean sugar plantation on the Antilles Island of Martinique. Under the watchful eye of their African mother, the children thrive despite what threatens to break them. After a night of brutality changes their lives forever, it is their strength and extraordinary bond that carries them through. 

At the dawn of emancipation, Adunbi’s daughter Hetty finds her way to Quebec City as the maid to the slave owner’s daughters. There she discovers a talent for piano and meets a bold saddler’s apprentice named Dax Rougeaux. After buying her freedom, Dax and Hetty join a growing community of Afro-Canadians living free. 

In moving prose, author Jenny Jaeckel creates a brilliantly imagined epic, weaving a multi-layered narrative that celebrates the Rougeaux family triumphs while exposing the injustices of their trials. As each new member of the family takes the spotlight, a fresh piece of the puzzle is illuminated until at last, after a span of nearly two centuries, the end brings us back to the beginning. 

In her debut novel, award-winning author Jenny Jaeckel masterfully blends coming-of-age, folklore, and historical fiction with explorations of gender, race, and sexuality, creating a wondrous tale of hope and healing. A relevant work of love, determination, and the many small achievements that make up greatness, House of Rougeaux draws a new map of what it means to be family.







POPULATION 485
Meeting Your Neighbors One Siren at a Time
By: Michael Perry
Published: October 8, 2002
Publisher: Harper
Format: Audiobook

I remember this book coming out and being interested in it. I found the audio version in my library overdrive and downloaded it. It's a short 6 hour listen, which is perfect right now since I don't have a lot of free time. I can listen in the morning while getting ready and I will finish before my time runs out on the library loan.

Here the local vigilante is a farmer's wife armed with a pistol and a Bible, the most senior member of the volunteer fire department is a cross-eyed butcher with one kidney and two ex-wives (both of whom work at the only gas station in town), and the back roads are haunted by the ghosts of children and farmers. Michael Perry loves this place. He grew up here, and now -- after a decade away -- he has returned. Unable to polka or repair his own pickup, his farm-boy hands gone soft after years of writing, Mike figures the best way to regain his credibility is to join the volunteer fire department. Against a backdrop of fires and tangled wrecks, bar fights and smelt feeds, he tells a frequently comic tale leavened with moments of heartbreaking delicacy and searing tragedy.









COLORAMA
From Fuchsia to Midnight Blue
By: Cruschiform
Published: March 20, 2018
Publisher: Prestel Junior
Format: Hardcover

This is a children's book, targeted for elementary-aged readers, but I am loving this for me. I am a color geek and have skimmed this and can't wait to set aside time to read every page. On one side is a full page of the color with the opposite page listing the name of the color and a description of something that color. I just think it is the neatest book. I won't be able to wait to dive in and then share it with you.

What is the color white? The serenity of a snowfall? The peace of a dove? The purity of alabaster? This original and captivating exploration of color delves into the nuances of the universal palette while also explaining the history behind some of the terms used to describe certain hues. Elegantly designed it offers two-page spreads for 133 different shades. Each full-page of brilliant color faces a charming explanatory illustration and text of technical, scientific, historic, etymological, or linguistic terms. Two helpful indices present the colors in the order in which they appear in the book and also sorts them thematically in categories such as "Birds," "Cloth," "Modes of Transport," and "Formulas." The book also offers inspiration and guidance to painters and illustrators. Young lovers of art can understand why artists chose a particular shade over another. As fun to peruse as it is informative, this unique, cleverly designed book offers a wealth of surprises about the colors around us.






AN ATLAS OF IMAGINARY PLACES
By: Mia Cassany
Illustrated by: Ana de Lima
Published: May 8, 2018
Publisher: Prestel Junior
Format: Hardcover Picture Book

The gorgeous picture book combines geography and fantasy and looks like such a fabulous book.

Upside-down mountains, volcanoes that spew bubble gum, a gentle humpback whale keeping an entire city afloat. These and other wonderful worlds may not exist on Earth, but elsewhere--who knows? Each spread of this captivating book invites readers on a fantastic voyage. Ana de Lima's whimsical, softly colored illustrations are filled with surprising details that reward close examination, while Mia Cassany's soothing narrator is a nameless fellow traveler. A jungle where the animals exchange stripes, spots, and markings each time they sneeze, an archipelago made up of dessert-shaped islands and a lighthouse so tall you can draw a new galaxy with your finger are just some of the wild places to visit. Perfect for before-bed reading, or daytime dreaming, this stunningly illustrated book will delight young readers and encourage them to conjure their own imaginary places. 






MAMA'S BELLY
By: Kate Hosford
Illustrated by: Abigail Halpin
Published: April 17, 2018
Publisher: Harry N. Abrams
Format: Hardcover Picture Book

A perfect book for a child who is waiting for a new baby brother or sister to arrive.

As a curious little girl awaits the arrival of her baby sister, she asks Mama many questions: “Will she have freckles?” “Will I have to share my blanket?” She helps Mama and Dad prepare to meet her little sister, singing her songs and knitting her a new blanket. But the most important part of getting ready is taking care of Mama. When Mama can’t see her toes, she counts to make sure there’s still ten. When Mama’s tired, she draws her a picture and gives her hugs. An honest and gentle exploration of the excitement and anxiety kids feel when welcoming a new family member, Mama’s Belly is ultimately a celebration of motherly (and daughterly) love and a soothing story for older siblings that even with the spotlight on a new baby, there is always enough love for everyone.






I GOT A CHICKEN FOR MY BIRTHDAY
By: Laura Gehl
Illustrated by: Sarah Horne
Published: March 1, 2018
Publisher: Carolrhoda Books
Format: Hardcover Picture Book

After reading and reviewing Gehl's PEEP AND EGG books, I saw that this one had just come out. So I tracked down her publisher and begged for a copy of this one.  My nieces love their chickens and I bet they will love this book!

What a birthday girl wants more than anything from her Abuela are tickets to the amusement park. Instead, she gets a chicken. But this chicken is no ordinary chicken; it has plans! With a lot of hard work and help from lots of other animals, this chicken may just end up building the girl the best birthday gift ever!






SNAIL MAIL
By: Samantha Berger
Illustrated by: Julia Patton
Published: May 1, 2018
Publisher: Running Press Kids
Format: Hardcover Picture Book

I love writing letters and supporting our US Postal Service. My mom retired as a rural carrier after 25+  years and my dad worked as a postmaster after he retired from his newspaper job. This book looks like a great way to encourage your kids to write letters.

A long, long time ago, before email and texting, the mail was delivered in a much slower way-it was called Snail Mail (because some thought it was delivered by a snail). Although it took much longer, everyone agreed that letters were a little more special when they were delivered by Snail Mail. They might be handwritten. They might include a drawing. They might even contain a surprise inside! One such letter was sent by a Girl to the Boy she loved, and it was up to four special snails to deliver her card across the country. The snail's trek across the country-through desert heat and dangerous blizzards, across mountains and plains, through cities and forests-and along the way, they find that taking time to slow down and look around makes the journey all the more beautiful. 

Snail Mail's playful and educational story encourages kids to have slow living and to approach life with determination and wonder. Julia Patton's rich illustrations showcase America's diverse terrain and national monuments from coast to coast. Kids and parents alike will delight in this celebration of America's beauty and the power of a simple handwritten letter.





These next two books offer a unique way to teach kids about animals and the human body. Through 3D illustrations and unique lenses, kids can learn in a fun, interactive way. These would be great for a homeschool or classroom library and would make a great end-of-year teacher gift. 




ANIMALS
A Lens Book
By: Valentina Facci
Translated by: Sally-Ann Delvino
Illustrated by: Alberto Borgo
Published: May 1, 2018
Publisher: Running Press Kids
Format: Hardcover

Do you know what the difference is between vertebrates and invertebrates? How are mammals different from other types of animals? How does a fish swim? How do birds fly? Why does a jaguar have spots? Answers to these fascinating questions and more lay inside Animals: A Lens Book, a fun and fascinating illustrated book that promises to provide hours of fun and learning for kids. Use the three different color lenses in the book's cover to make discoveries about all different types of animals on each page. You'll never look at the animal world the same way again after learning all these curious facts about our furry (and not-so-furry) friends. 




THE HUMAN BODY
A Lens Book
By: Valentina Bonaguro
Translated by: Denise Muir
Illustrated by: Matteo Gaule
Published: May 1, 2018
Publisher: Running Press Kids
Format: Hardcover

How do bones and muscles work? What part of our brain helps us to see and hear? How does blood get from our heart to our other organs? Answers to these fascinating questions and more lay inside The Human Body: A Lens Book, an inspiring and creative illustrated book that promises to provide hours of fun and learning for kids. Use the three different color lenses in the book's cover to make discoveries about all the systems of the body, including organs, the skeleton, the muscles, and more. You'll never look at your body the same way again after learning all these curious facts about what makes us human.



I'm linking up with THE DELIBERATE READER for her monthly feature NEW ON THE STACK. To see other bloggers' new books from April, click HERE.

As always, be sure to let me know if you read any of these.