Posted in Book Review

REVIEW: Rosie the Dragon and Charlie Make Waves by Lauren H. Kerstein

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Title: Rosie the Dragon and Charlie Make Waves

Author: Lauren H. Kerstein | Illustrator: Nate Wragg

Publisher: Two Lions | Published: June 1, 2019

Theme:  Friendship and Patience

Character Origin: Animal & Human 

Book Type: Picture Book  | Pages: 40

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

Book Synopsis…

It’s summertime, and you’re invited for a rollicking day at the pool with Charlie and his pet dragon (and best friend!), Rosie. But be careful—swimming with a dragon can be, um, challenging. As Rosie and Charlie blow bubbles (don’t forget your umbrella!), practice flutter kicks (watch out for tidal waves!), and offer shoulder rides (hang on tight!), Rosie proves that dragons make the most fun pets ever. Now if only Charlie can keep Rosie’s attention focused on the rules at the pool and NOT on her gummy snacks (you know, the ones that cause stinky dragon breath!)…Grab your towels and sunscreen and join Rosie and Charlie for a fun-filled summer adventure!

My overall thoughts…

As we bid summer adieu, there’s still time for one more splash with this heartwarming book of friendship and patience. Rosie’s exuberance can be overwhelming at times, but Charlie is there to calm her and the situation down at every turn. Charlie’s love for Rosie is evident in his handling of her and his encouragement throughout the story. It is in his thoughtful planning that they were able to have a fun, yet eventful day at the pool. If your family has pets, this book reinforces the responsibility that comes along with them.

The illustrations and text…

Wragg’s illustrations were executed digitally. His eye for detail caught my attention with his execution of Charlie’s faded edges hairstyle, commonly referred to as a temp fade. Nice touch! The color palette throughout this work is warm and playful. The illustrations themselves seem simple, but the thoughtfulness of the colors and execution brings them to life. I love the character diversity in this story. I’m not a fan of the font size as it’s smaller than I like for new readers. The font type is appropriate for a children’s book. The text had a nice flow to it; the overall message was clear. The copyright page, on the kindle version, was jumbled and the print overlapped. Hopefully, that is corrected in the printed version of the book.

I’ll give it…

Posted in Book Review

REVIEW: Along the Tapajós by Fernando Vilela

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Title: Along the Tapajós

Author: Fernando Vilela | Illustrator: Fernando Vilela

Publisher: Amazon Crossing Kids | Published: October 1, 2019

Theme:  South America

Character Origin: Human 

Book Type: Picture Book  | Pages: 40

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

Book Synopsis…

Cauã and Inaê are a brother and sister who live in a small community along the Tapajós River in Brazil. Here, the homes are on stilts and everyone travels around by boat—even to school! When the rainy season comes, they must leave their village and relocate to higher ground for a while. But after moving this year, Cauã and Inaê realize they’ve left behind something important: their pet tortoise, Titi! Unlike turtles, tortoises can’t swim, and Cauã and Inaê are really worried. So the pair sneaks back at night on a journey along the river to rescue him. Will they be able to save Titi?

This picture book, first published in Brazil, offers kids a unique look into the lives of children who live along Brazil’s beautiful Tapajós River.

My overall thoughts…

This was a unique book about the life experience of families living along the Tapajós River in Brazil. Having to take a boat to school will seem so far fetched to students in the States but is intriguing. It will likely be a conversation starter for your classroom. I felt enlightened after reading it and have a new appreciation for the lives of families who live in the Amazon. This book can easily blend into science and social studies too. I love the multi-point approach that a teacher or homeschooling parent has here.

The illustrations and text…

The illustration medium was mixed woodcut techniques (drawing & collage, and digital resources. The illustrations were stunning. It had a childlike quality that you don’t see that often. The vivid color palette added some dramatic character. While I enjoyed the images from my iPad, I imagine the illustrations will jump off the page when reading from the hardcover. I did wish that the font was more substantial and easier to read. The larger text would have made for a better reading experience. The writing itself was beautifully written and quite descriptive. Don’t skip over the last couple of pages, as they provide a closer look into the Tapajós River. I thoroughly enjoyed this story.

I’ll give it…