Posted in Book Review

REVIEW: Along the Tapajós by Fernando Vilela

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Title: Along the Tapajós

Author: Fernando Vilela | Illustrator: Fernando Vilela

Publisher: Amazon Crossing Kids | Published: October 1, 2019

Theme:  South America

Character Origin: Human 

Book Type: Picture Book  | Pages: 40

Ages: 4-8 | Book Level: — | Lexile Measure:

Book Synopsis…

Cauã and Inaê are a brother and sister who live in a small community along the Tapajós River in Brazil. Here, the homes are on stilts and everyone travels around by boat—even to school! When the rainy season comes, they must leave their village and relocate to higher ground for a while. But after moving this year, Cauã and Inaê realize they’ve left behind something important: their pet tortoise, Titi! Unlike turtles, tortoises can’t swim, and Cauã and Inaê are really worried. So the pair sneaks back at night on a journey along the river to rescue him. Will they be able to save Titi?

This picture book, first published in Brazil, offers kids a unique look into the lives of children who live along Brazil’s beautiful Tapajós River.

My overall thoughts…

This was a unique book about the life experience of families living along the Tapajós River in Brazil. Having to take a boat to school will seem so far fetched to students in the States but is intriguing. It will likely be a conversation starter for your classroom. I felt enlightened after reading it and have a new appreciation for the lives of families who live in the Amazon. This book can easily blend into science and social studies too. I love the multi-point approach that a teacher or homeschooling parent has here.

The illustrations and text…

The illustration medium was mixed woodcut techniques (drawing & collage, and digital resources. The illustrations were stunning. It had a childlike quality that you don’t see that often. The vivid color palette added some dramatic character. While I enjoyed the images from my iPad, I imagine the illustrations will jump off the page when reading from the hardcover. I did wish that the font was more substantial and easier to read. The larger text would have made for a better reading experience. The writing itself was beautifully written and quite descriptive. Don’t skip over the last couple of pages, as they provide a closer look into the Tapajós River. I thoroughly enjoyed this story.

I’ll give it…

Posted in Book Review

REVIEW: Family Time: I’m a Star by Brandon Foster

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ARC provided by the author for my honest review.

Title: Family Time: I’m a Star

Author: Brandon Foster | Illustrator: Pia Bley

Publisher: Allegory Publishing | Published: TBD

Theme:  Pride and Leading by Example

Character Origin: Human 

Book Type: Comic  | Pages: ≈ 40

Ages: 6-12 | Book Level: — | Lexile Measure:

Book Synopsis…

Friends, how many of us have them?

Simone has it all! Popularity, good friends, and a loving family. But it appears that that may not be enough. What happens when the need for more drives you in the wrong direction? Join Simone as she discovers not just the price of chasing fame, but also the consequences.

My overall thoughts…

I was eager to take a sneak peek at Foster’s follow-up comic to Family Time: Who Do You Love and needless to say it was FANTASTIC! This is definitely a comic that will appeal more to girls than boys but the message is appropriate for both. It deals with one of the seven deadly sins–pride; as well as leading by example. Foster was up to the challenge of tackling this complicated subject, in a relatable and comprehensive manner for both child and parent, as they both have lessons to learn here. What I’ve found quite dynamic about comics is that the illustrations play a more significant role than those in picture books. The reader can connect viscerally with the imagery before ever reading a word. I find that very intriguing. Overall, the execution of the content and character development was presented in a fluid and easily intelligible manner.

The illustrations and text…

Bley’s illustrations were beautifully drawn and matched meticulously to the characters in the previous comic. The cool color palette adds softness to the page. The font size and text is easy to read. The dialogue bubbles were distributed well throughout the panels. Foster’s use of the various bubble types was nicely interwoven throughout the comic, which demonstrates the diversity of the text and provides more insight into the thoughts and feelings of the characters themselves. Adding a reference page at the beginning may be helpful for those that are new to reading a comic. This reference could include what the different types of bubbles mean, how to read a comic, and what the different parts of a comic are. Doing this could be especially helpful to younger readers or parents.

I’ll give it…