By: Livingstone Crouse

Illustrated by: Macky Pamintuan

Published: June 13, 2017

Publisher: Silver Dolphin Books

Fiction/Picture Book

Stella Isabella Harden has decided she doesn’t need to go to school. She can get everything that she would learn at Kindergarten by staying home and playing school with her dog Buster. Stella and Buster are the best of friends and do everything together. Until the end of the day when Stella wants to read a story to Buster but doesn’t know how. Maybe going to Kindergarten wouldn’t be so bad.

Stella and her dog, Buster, are adorable and their joy seeps off the pages. The words are written in a rhyming scheme and the kids will be able to notice them which is good for early literacy. In fact, some of them are quite clever.

“When snack time came, a little later
Stella thought her educator
would fancy sipping cups of tea.
Yet that was simply not to be.”
The artist’s illustrations are precise, vibrant, and show all the emotions whether it is coming from Stella or Buster. A non-reader would be able to understand the story just by looking at the pictures that fill the whole page. There is no doubt Stella is a happy child and has a lovable dog as a pet.
The theme of the book is also perfect for calming a child’s fear about the first day of Kindergarten. The best part of Stella’s day are the kisses she gets from Buster when she gets home!
Silver Dolphin Books is offering a KISSES FOR KINDERGARTEN prize pack complete with a signed copy of the book, a plush golden retriever, and a playtime wand.
To enter, you’ll need to (1) like our Instagram account and (2) tag a friend. All entries must be submitted by August 16th, midnight PST. The prize pack winner will be announced on August 17th. AND as an added bonus, we’ll select 5 additional winners to receive a signed copy of the book! One entry per person. US residents only.
Livingstone Crouse has spent the last 20 years either selling, editing, or writing books for children. He’s even done all three at once! So recently he decided he’d focus entirely on writing the kinds of books he likes to read, books in verse that are filled with heart, word-play, and lots of laughs. Books like this one. Livingstone lives in a large, 200-year old farmhouse in New York’s Hudson Valley with his husband and a dog named Kat. (And you can be fairly certain that Livingstone Crouse is not his real name. But don’t tell anyone!)
Macky Pamintuan was born and raised in Davao, a city in the southern Philippines. As a young child, drawing was his favorite pastime and an activity that brought him delight and satisfaction. Early on, his parents discovered that giving him paper and pencil was a sure way to keep him busy, quiet, and out of trouble. He still remembers the day when he successfully drew Mickey Mouse and Superman, a huge breakthrough and a sweet triumph. He moved to San Francisco at age 21 and in 1998 enrolled at the Academy of Art College to pursue illustration. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in December 2003. When not illustrating, Macky enjoys playing basketball, his other true passion.
To purchase a copy of KISSES FOR KINDERGARTEN, click the photo below:
365 Days to Fill with School, Sports, Friends, and Fun
Published: June 13, 2017
Publisher: National Geographic Kids
I am a planner geek! I love planners, making lists, and keeping track of my schedule. If I was 10 again, I would be ALL OVER THIS BOOK!
First of all, this planner is covered in a heavy cardboard, but the inside is spiral bound so it will lay flat and hold up to your child taking it in and out of his locker or school bag. Your child can fill in their class schedule in the beginning pages. Then at the start of each month, there is a space for planning out goals. In our school, students have to set goals with their teacher, whether it involves reading or math or behavior. This is a great spot to work on goals for home or school. Each page holds two days with plenty of space for your child to write down their assignments, practices, and reminders.

The planner pages also have fun facts throughout the whole planner with many coinciding with the particular holiday or weird “national day”. Many of these “weird but true” facts will give your child something to talk to his friends about at school. Did you know it’s considered good luck to wear yellow underwear on New Year’s Day? In England, black cats are considered good luck. Not bad luck like they are here in the US.

The planner runs August-July but can be adapted for any year since your child just circles the days of the week on the pages. So, this book can work through the summer to keep track of practices and camps and family vacation schedules too. At the end of the book, there are numerous pages considered “homework help”. You’ll find maps, tips on writing a report, and reminders on how to remember animal classifications. There are also charts for the metric system and multiplication.


Most upper elementary and middle school kids will benefit from the use of a daily planner. Our school requires each student to have one as it is a great way to communicate with parents about what your child has for homework or what papers need to be signed. The only flaw is that this planner doesn’t have any pockets for bringing home those papers. But, it’s a very minor detail and the rest of the planner is so great I can ignore that.
This would make a great gift for a child starting school. I’ll be gifting my copy to a child that will love it!
To purchase a copy of WEIRD BUT TRUE DAILY PLANNER, 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.Thanks to the publishers for sending these books for the purpose of these reviews. These reviews are my honest opinion. If you choose to purchase the books through the above link, I may receive a small commission without you having to pay a cent more for your purchase. Thanks for supporting

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1 Comment

  1. Literary Feline on August 12, 2017 at 11:14 pm

    I nearly got my daughter a copy of the National Geographic Daily Planner, but decided she isn't quite ready for something like that.

    I really like the sound of Kisses for Kindergarten and the art is gorgeous.

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