Posted in Book Review

REVIEW: We Can Be Heroes by Lorrie Holmes

Title: We Can Be Heroes

Author: Lorrie Holmes

Illustrator: Adriana Kohlman

Published: April 12, 2018

Theme:  Community

Character Origin: Human | Pages: 51

Book Type: Picture Book | Format: Digital

Synopsis: This colorful and fun picture book introduces young children to community helpers by portraying them as the everyday heroes they are. Download our We Can Be Heroes song which you can play as you scroll through the pages of this story. For our digital version, we have even embedded our animated music video at the end of this book for extra enjoyment!

My thoughts…

What a cute picture book for early (impressionable) readers. I love how Holmes transforms those who may seem ordinary into the EXTRAordinary. Our communities flourish because of the people that support and strive to make it better. They are all superheroes in my book and I am truly thankful for them. We all have a part to play. Introducing students to community helpers early enables them to see how they impact their daily lives more clearly.

Kohlman’s illustrations were fun and colorful. The text is direct and to the point which is best for younger kids. The addition of the definitions at the end is a great touch and helps teachers/parents address any questions that kids may have about community helpers quickly. As an added bonus, there are printables, a sing along, and other resources that accompany the digital book. We Can Be Heroes is a curriculum that students and teachers will enjoy.

Check out my interview with Lorrie Holmes here. Learn more about We Can Be Heroes here.

My rating…

Posted in Book Review

REVIEW: The Very Last Castle by Travis Jonker

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Barnes & Noble | Amazon

Title: The Very Last Castle

Author: Travis Jonker

Illustrator: Mark Pett

Published: October 9, 2018

Theme:  Bravery and Community

Character Origin: Human

Book Type: Picture Book | Pages: 40

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

Synopsis:  A curious little girl watches the man who guards the last castle in town. Every time she passes by him, she tries to catch his eye. While the other townspeople fear what may be locked up inside the mysterious castle, the girl finally gets up the courage to knock on the door and find out what’s really behind the gate. A story about overcoming fear of the unknown, trying new things, and reaching out to make new friends, The Very Last Castle shows that bravery comes in packages both big and small.

My thoughts…

This is a charming story of a town that had the last remaining castle. No one had ever been inside or even knew who or what lived inside. The townspeople had their own ideas and speculated about who resided inside but no one “knew” anything for sure. It took one brave little girl’s lingering curiosity to finally find out.

Pett’s illustrations were muted and restrained. His use of various hues of browns, greens, and blues made the illustrations go flat for me. I was in LOVE with Ibb’s boots though. They were simply adorable. I really love seeing more diverse characters in the newer picture books. That is more representative of the classroom that our kids are in each day. This can be a tool to encourage kids to be brave and meet new people. One act of bravery can be all it takes to bring people together.

My rating…