Posted in Book Review

REVIEW: I Got You A Present by Mike Erskine-Kellie & Susan McLennan

Title: I Got You A Present

Author: Mike Erskine-Kellie & Susan McLennan | Illustrator: Cale Atkinson

Publisher: Kids Can Press| Published: April 7, 2020

Theme: Friendship and Perseverance

Character Origin: Animal

Book Type: Picture Book  | Pages: 32

Ages: 3-7 | Book Level: — | Lexile Measure:

Book Synopsis…

A quest for the perfect birthday present leads to ever grander (and ever more imperfect) gift ideas in this clever metafiction story that’s hilarious any day of the year.

“I wanted to get you the greatest present ever, our narrator tells us. But somehow, none of the best ideas seemed to pan out. First, there was the pair of hand-knitted birthday socks (have you ever tried knitting birthday socks). Then, the ten-scoop ice cream cone (a disaster to carry), the magic kit (it disappeared, just like magic!), the apple juice-fueled jet pack (still a few kinks to work out) and the dinosaur (I couldn’t find one anywhere). And now, time has run out, and our narrator still has nothing to give. Or, maybe there is something after all. Something that contains all those awesome gifts in one. Something that can be enjoyed again and again, just by turning the pages…

In their debut picture book, Emmy Award-winning children’s television writers Mike Erskine-Kellie and Susan McLennan have created a laugh-out-loud story filled with heart. The metafiction approach (speaking directly to “you”) and fun story together with the antic exuberance of Cale Atkinson’s bold and colorful illustrations make this a lively read-aloud that will keep even the youngest children engaged. Though a book about finding the perfect birthday present is itself the perfect birthday present, it’s also simply a delightful read for any time of year. It also offers an excellent character education lesson on perseverance.

My overall thoughts…

If you are looking for an adorable book to share with your little ones, you’ve just found it. The reader goes on a humorous yet delightful adventure on every page. There is the sweetest message of perseverance and friendship that will melt your heart.  I felt all warm and fuzzy on the inside while reading this and even more so at the end. I imagine that you’ll have a similar visceral experience as well. The overall story is engaging and entertaining. I bet you’ll enjoy a snicker or two. You’ll close the book reminded of the true value of friendship.

The illustrations and text…

The illustrations were beautifully drawn in Photoshop. I loved how the pages had very little white space, and the background colors complimented the artwork nicely. The font size made the text easy to read. I enjoyed the flow of the book. The word choice was appropriate, and a new reader could handle it with ease. If you’re anything like me, you’ll be anticipating a sequel.  I Got You A Present will soon become a family favorite and have the biggest pessimist anticipating their birthday. 

I’ll give it…

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Posted in Book Review

REVIEW: Ten Rules of the Birthday Wish by Beth Ferry

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Barnes & Noble | Amazon

Title: Ten Rules of the Birthday Wish

Author: Beth Ferry

Illustrator: Tom Lichtenheld

Published: February 12, 2019

Theme: Celebrating and Birthday

Character Origin: Animals

Book Type: Picture Book | Pages: 48

Ages: 4-8 | Book Level: — | Lexile Measure: 660L

Synopsis: A joyful picture book that celebrates every kid’s favorite day of the year, full of adorable art from the illustrator of Goodnight Goodnight Construction Site and I Wish You More.

The most important rule is #1: It must be your birthday.

After that’s been established, a crew of hilarious animals help picture book pros Tom Lichtenheld and Beth Ferry take readers through a joyous romp that covers the most important elements of every year’s most essential holiday, including singing; closing your eyes and making a wish; blowing out candles on a cake, then settling into bed and dreaming of your wish coming true.

My thoughts…

This was a really cute book to read. It’s a countdown to the must-haves for the perfect birthday wish. I’m always a fan of a large font in a picture book. It makes it easy for a young reader to finger track to keep his/her place while reading.

Lichtenheld’s illustrations were very colorful and fun. Younger kids will really enjoy this book. It will get them even more excited about their birthday. The use of animals really adds to the relatability for smaller kids (older ones too!) as they tend to really connect well with them. If you’re looking for a fun book to read, check this one out. There will be smiles of the faces of your littles as you read them this book.

My rating…