Posted in Book Review

REVIEW: The Twelve Laws of Santa Claus by Christopher Hogan Lay

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Title: The Twelve Laws of Santa Claus

Author: Christopher Hogan Lay | Illustrator: Christopher Hogan Lay

Publisher: Claus Laws, LLC | Published: December 12, 2012

Theme: Christmas and Life Principles 

Character Origin: Santa

Book Type: Picture Book  | Pages: 68

Ages: 3-9 | Book Level: — | Lexile Measure:

Book Synopsis…

No more naughty list! The Twelve Laws of Santa Claus™ is an illustrated book for everyone of any age by Christopher Hogan Lay. Peace, Love, and Joy are just the beginning as the book reveals guidelines to help bring Christmas Spirit to the world all year long from the iconic and benevolent sage. Do you know The Twelve Laws Of Santa Claus?

My overall thoughts…

I can’t believe that Christmas is right around the corner. I’ve waited all year to dive into this book. To spend time with my family this holiday season, this was one of the few books that I read this month. The heartfelt message is one that will stay with you and your little one. I love that this book includes conversation starters. It is easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle that we lose sight of the reason for the season. Hogan Lay brings the focus back to Christmas. 

The illustrations and text…

The font type and size make the text easy to read. My primary critique would be the illustrations. While they are vibrant and colorful, they had a psychedelic aspect that distracts from the quality of the text. A possible remedy could be dialing back on the color intensity/abstraction and adding more white space. There was no synergy with the wording and imagery. While I was able to appreciate the diversity of the Santas, I can see that being confusing to the reader. 

The text was the real highlight for me. The poetic prose was thoughtfully written and had a nice rhythmic flow. The message is veracious yet subtle enough that a child can understand–ingenious. The principles that Hogan Lay delineates set the groundwork for some intriguing conversations. This is a book that you and your kids are sure to enjoy.  

I’ll give it…

Posted in Book Review

REVIEW: The Nighttime Adventures of Calvin and Ollie by Krista Brock

Title: The Nighttime Adventures of Calvin and Ollie

Author: Krista Brock | Illustrator: YOU!

Publisher: Independently Published | Published: November 5, 2019

Theme: Imagination and Do-It-Yourself

Character Origin: Human and Animal

Book Type: Picture Book  | Pages: 34

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

Book Synopsis…

Children are invited to enjoy the journey of reading with the joy of creating. The Nighttime Adventures of Calvin and Ollie is a bedtime story that follows the main character, Calvin, on an adventure into the night with his favorite stuffed animal, Ollie, the owl. They play hide and seek, climb trees, count stars, and have a couple encounters with other animals in the night forest. This picture book comes with a bit of a twist though. The story has been written, but the illustrations are incomplete. Young readers are presented with a backdrop for their own visual imagination. They get to draw Calvin and Ollie (and other nocturnal critters) themselves.

My overall thoughts…

This is a one-of-a-kind book that piqued my interest. When I received it in the mail from the author, color me curious. I hadn’t encountered anything like it before. And I LIKED it! I would never have thought of the reader being the illustrator. It allows for a truly immersive experience for the reader. The illustrations are open to the interpretation of the reader. They get to make the book their own–literally. Imagine the possibilities.

The illustrations and text…

The font type and size work well here. My only critique would be that on several pages, the text gets lost by the image or color beneath it; this makes the words hard to read. The story is easy to follow and, once illustrated, will be a complete masterpiece of the reader’s own making. The uniqueness here is that it’s all open to interpretation. The reader is not tied down by the constraints of someone else’s vision artistically. I can see this book being used as a resource in an art class over a few weeks with the finished product being gifted to parents. As a homeschooling mom, I’m learning that there is synergy between art, reading, and writing. Brock has done a great job thinking outside of the box, and I am confident that kids will connect with Calvin and Ollie.

I’ll give it…