Posted in Book Review

REVIEW: The Heath Cousins and the Moonstone Cave by Eileen Hobbs

Publisher: XLIBRIS | Published: October 31, 2017

Title: The Heath Cousins and the Moonstone Cave

Author: Eileen Hobbs | Illustrator: N/A

Theme: Adventure and Teamwork

Character Origin: Human and Animal

Book Type: Chapter Book  | Pages: 74

Ages: 8-12 | Book Level: — | Lexile Measure:

Book Synopsis…

Addie B. and her cousins Jack, Beanie, and Bodie are mourning the loss of their grandmother Winnie. While visiting their grandfather’s beach house in Maine, Addie receives a mysterious treasure box once owned by her grandmother. In it is a moonstone ring and a mysterious poem from her grandmother. The poem leads Addie and her cousins to nearby Moonstone Cave where, together, they enter a secret and magical garden and embark on an adventure of a lifetime. Along the way, they meet wonderful friends like Gemma, who reminds them all of a younger version of their grandmother; Jumani, a large white wolf; and Jadira, a strange and smelly creature whom they grow to love. During the adventure, they learn the most important lesson of all: they must work together if they want to escape the dangers ahead of them and find their way back home.

My overall thoughts…

This book really brought to mind that love can heal the deepest pain and bond together those that, at first sight, are so different. Like many of us, summer is a time that we look forward to doing things we enjoy doing, not forced to do the things we dread. However, sometimes, it’s in the uncomfortable and unexpected moments that we learn the most about ourselves. Hobbs does a great job of merging this concept into a relatable experience that kids can appreciate. She also lovingly addresses loss in a very touching yet meaningful way. 

I was drawn into the story right away. Each of Hobbs’ main characters has a layer of complexity that adds to their genuineness and authenticity. It felt as though the reader was alongside the cousins on their adventure. That in itself is no small feat. I enjoyed how fantasy and reality were interwoven together, each telling its own unique story. Additionally, I enjoyed how the story started with the cousins being really separate and sort of incongruent to one another. However, through their shared experiences and individual gifts are they able to overcome the challenges ahead of them. 

The font size aligns with the recommended age group for this book. There are only a couple of pictures, but they match well with the text. The chapters are short but are filled with great content and quite descriptive. There was no lag in the story; it flowed well throughout the chapters. The Heath Cousins and the Moonstone Cave is well-written for the audience, and I look forward to reading the other books in the series.

I’ll give it…

Posted in Book Review

REVIEW: This Book Is Gray by Lindsay Ward

Title: This Book Is Gray

Author: Lindsay Ward | Illustrator: Lindsay Ward

Publisher: Two Lions | Published: December 1, 2019

Theme: Inclusivity

Character Origin: Crayons and Animals

Book Type: Picture Book  | Pages: 40

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

Book Synopsis…

Gray just wants to be included. But the other colors are always leaving him out. So he decides to create his own project: an all-gray book. Once upon a time, there lived a wolf, a kitten, and a hippo…

Gray just knows it’s going to be perfect. But as he adds page after page, the Primary and Secondary colors show up…and they aren’t quite so complimentary.

A book within a book, this colorful tale explores the ideas of fitting in, appreciating others, and looking at things from another perspective and also uses personality and wit to introduce basic color concepts.

My overall thoughts…

It’s been a while, but I’m finally back doing what I love to do–reviewing books. This gem popped up on my Kindle Unlimited page, and I added it to my library. What a great decision that was! Ward exceeded my expectations. I loved her use of crayons to express being different visually. Ingraining this message into a child’s early development can create a monumental shift in how they view and interact with the world. It can also synthesize empathy within them that deters them from behaving in that way.

The illustrations and text…

The font size and type throughout were easy to read. The thought bubbles offered a clean aesthetic and added a nice touch to the overall book. They also added a conversational quality that I enjoyed, and I’m sure other readers will too. The illustrations were created digitally. The color palette contained both colorful and muted expressions, which you’ll appreciate when you read it. The color glossary at the beginning will prove useful to the reader as different terms are introduced. I’ve never seen color explained this way and it’s pretty cool. It is also a great book to practice color recognition with younger readers too. This Book is Gray is a book that I’ll be recommending to my family and friends.

I’ll give it…