Posted in Book Review

REVIEW: The Magician’s Hat by Malcolm Mitchell

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BOOK TRAILER

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Title: The Magician’s Hat

Author: Malcolm Mitchell

Illustrator: Joanne Lew-Vriethoff

Published: February 27, 2018

Theme: Magic, Books, and Imagination

Character Origin: Human

Book Type: Picture Book | Pages: 32

Ages: 4-8 | Book Level: 3.1 | Lexile Measure: AD550L

Synopsis: Super Bowl champion and literacy crusader Malcolm Mitchell presents the story of a magician who reveals an awe-inspiring treasure from his bag of tricks — books that make every kid’s dream come true!

This is not your typical afternoon at the library — a magician invites kids to reach into his hat to pull out whatever they find when they dig down deep. Soon — poof! — each child comes away with something better than they could’ve imagined — a book that helps them become whatever they want to be, and makes their dreams come true through pages and words, and the adventures that follow. But each child can’t help but wonder, What’s really making the magic happen?

“Books are a uniquely portable magic.” – Stephen King

My thoughts…

What a joy this book was to read! It took me back to why I love reading so much myself. Mitchell relates books as tantamount to magic (brilliant!). Books can take you anywhere. They can help you discover your dreams, provide the playbook for achieving them, and encourage you to pursue them. This is messaging that kids need to hear.

Lew-Vriethoff’s illustrations were vivid and captivating. A masterful display of artistry. The text was easy to read. I loved the font size and font choice, it aligns nicely with the magical theme of the book. This is another book that you should definitely add to your bookshelf at home. It reminds kids to expect the unexpected between the covers of a book. There really isn’t anything to not LOVE about this book. It is as Stephen King says, “…portable magic.”

My rating…

Posted in Book Review

REVIEW: Isle of You by David LaRochelle

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Title: Isle of You

Author: David LaRochelle

Illustrator: Jaime Kim

Published: December 2018

Theme: Imagination

Character Origin: Animals and Human

Book Type: Picture Book | Pages: 32

Ages: 3-7

Synopsis: Some days are harder to get through than others, but when you’re sad, or lonely, or angry, it helps to remember these words: the Isle of You. Take a moment to shake off your worries, then set sail to a land where your dreams can come true. Soar on the back of an eagle, hunt for treasure, watch dancing polar bears on roller skates — anything you can imagine is yours. Hopeful and dreamlike, Jaime Kim’s paintings illuminate a way for young readers to visualize a brighter, happier mood in this compassionate story by David LaRochelle.

My summary…

This is a story about using your imagination to create a place that you can leave all your anger, worry, and sadness in a bucket before you sail away to a magic land of your own making.

My thoughts…

I enjoyed reading this story as it encourages kids to use their imaginations. Our brains are a great problem-solving tool which we don’t use often enough. People tend to react first and think later. Generally, that outcome is never a favorable one. When we apply critical thinking (imagination) we can run through scenarios and decide the best course of action before we respond irresponsibly or use our imagination as a calming apparatus. Isle of You does a great job demonstrating this point and reminds the reader that they are loved.

Kim’s illustrations were quite beautiful. The way that the opening pages are dark to reflect the emotions of the child really set the tone. However, when the child releases the distractors, the pages filled with such breathtaking colors and characters. As a mom, I really liked that LaRochelle’s story occurred right before bed when tensions and emotions can be most high. It gives kids a way to process their feels and enables them to fall asleep with a clear mind, free from emotional baggage.

My rating…