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: Dear Dragon by Josh Funk

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Check out my interview with Josh Funk.

Title: Dear Dragon

Author: Josh Funk | Illustrator: Rodolfo Montalvo

Publisher: Viking | Published: September 6, 2016

Theme:  Pen Pal and Friendship

Character Origin: Human & Dragon

Book Type: Picture Book  | Pages: 40

Ages: 4-8 | Book Level: 2.8 | Lexile Measure: 560L

Book Synopsis…

A sweet and clever friendship story in rhyme, about looking past physical differences to appreciate the person (or dragon) underneath.

George and Blaise are pen pals, and they write letters to each other about everything: their pets, birthdays, favorite sports, and science fair projects. There’s just one thing that the two friends don’t know: George is a human, while Blaise is a dragon! What will happen when these pen pals finally meet face-to-face?

My overall thoughts…

If you are a fan of Josh Funk, this flaming good book won’t come as a surprise.  I hadn’t thought about having a pen pall since grade school. I thoroughly enjoyed Funk’s approach to this book. The students started as strangers, addressing each other by Dear First Name Last Name but as their relationship evolved; so did their salutation and the brevity of their conversation. Funk’s ability to bring people together is a thing of beauty. This is definitely a book that you should add to your collection.

The illustrations and text…

Per the copyright page, the artwork is created with watercolors, black acrylic ink, and graphite. Montalvo’s drawings are full of beautiful detail filled with variations of greens, yellows, and blues which pairs with the characters. It was a nice touch to have two distinct fonts for George and Blaise. It adds more authenticity to the story. I liked how the letters between the students were written on a piece of paper. Now that was a good pairing between illustration and text. The font size and style were appropriate for a young reader. The flow of the rhyming text was steady and wasn’t at all cheesy.

I’ll give it…