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…

Posted in Book Review

REVIEW: My Incredible Talking Body by Rebecca Bowen

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Title: My Incredible Talking Body

Author: Rebecca Bowen | Illustrator: Lauren Bowen

Publisher: Mascot Books | Published: April 4, 2017

Theme: Emotional Wellness

Character Origin: Human 

Book Type: Picture Book  | Pages: 46

Ages: 4-6 | Book Level: — | Lexile Measure:

Book Synopsis…

My Incredible Talking Body: Learning to Be Calm is a beautifully illustrated picture book created to help children understand emotions and how to manage them. This book focuses on cultivating mindfulness of the body’s signals about feelings, encouraging acceptance of all types of emotions, and developing strategies for calming strong or uncomfortable feelings. Included in the book is a learning guide designed especially for parents, educators, counselors, and other adults that are supporting children as they build skills to manage their emotions.

My overall thoughts…

A friend of mine’s little girl gave me this book to review, and I’m so glad she did. I wish books like this had been around when I was raising my kids. This is an excellent book for new parents as it can be challenging for them to explain feelings in a way their children can truly understand. Bowen lays it all out in a clear and intelligible manner. I especially liked the suggestions and strategies at the end for parents and educators.  Additionally, this book could find a permanent home in the Pediatrician’s offices while parents are waiting for their practitioner. That’s just my two cents.

The illustrations and text…

Bowen’s illustrations are bright and expressive. The imagery and color choices had a calming and welcoming quality to them. I like that for added emphasis, key terms are highlighted throughout the book. The font was easy to read and is excellent for finger tracking. While this isn’t the traditional story, it informs kids about their feelings and how to manage them. This book is a catalyst for conversations about emotional wellness. Emotional wellness starts at home but reverberates into the classroom. Therefore, a holistic approach is beneficial for both child and educator. Rebecca Bowen has done a great job of gathering resources for parents and educators to empower children with the tools to understand themselves better.

I’ll give it…