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: A. Blob on a Bus by L.A. Kefalos

Title: A. Blob on a Bus

Author: L.A. Kefalos | Illustrator: Jeffrey Burns

Publisher: Laughing Leopard Press | Published: July 3, 2019

Theme: Bullying

Character Origin: Human and Blob 

Book Type: Picture Book  | Pages: 38

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

Book Synopsis…

A. Blob on a Bus continues the story of This is A. Blob, which first introduced us to the purple pest. The sticky, purple bully, A. Blob, is back in this second installment of The Blob Series, and it appears it still hasn’t learned that being mean won’t make friends stick. As A. Blob pokes, prods, and pesters, it seems like the children will never be able to ride the bus in peace; that is, until one brave girl decides to take a stand. Suitable for children ages 4-8, this picture book encourages readers to take action against bullying and shows how one act of bravery can change everything–maybe even a bully.

My overall thoughts…

Let me take a moment and applaud this book. It was quite refreshing to read a book that handles bullying so well and with great balance. This is the second book in a three-book series that approaches bullying from three perspectives. That is GENIUS! But I can say that this one is my favorite so far. I love how one firm act of bravery is the catalyst that the kids need to find their very own courage to stand together against their bully. Their comradery is a thing of beauty, and maybe what other kids need to see to overcome their current situations. The ambiguity of the bully is a powerful statement that allows the reader the ability to apply those traits to anyone.

The illustrations and text…

The illustrations are colorful yet reflect the mood of the text. The diversity of the characters further demonstrates that all children, despite your race or gender, can experience bullying. The rhyming verse is easy to read. There was an excellent synergy between the balance of words and imagery. The viridity of the text refines the topic in a way that is relatable to young readers. Kefalos does a fantastic job of showing the vulnerability of children while also capturing their strength. That can be tricky, but she nailed it. This book (and the series) checks so many boxes for me as a mom and as an educator. It opens the door to informative and instructive dialogues for parents and teachers to have with their children. I can’t wait to see how the final book unfolds.

I’ll give it…