*I received free digital copies of these books from NetGalley in exchange for honest reviews. These bitesize reviews are unbiased and of my own opinions.
This spring and summer new book round-up for kids is on a wide spectrum with a wide variety of themes!
Here’s the Review round-up on some great kid stories!
Super Narwhal and Jelly Jolt by Ben Clanton
The second in a series, this fun, quick and light read is endearing! Several stories are contained in this book as Narwhal decides he wants to be a superhero! The drawings are simple yet endearing and there isn’t a lot of extra detail, allowing kids to focus in on the characters and the storyline. It’s set up to a simple, “first exposure” comic book. Most of the stories tie into the pursuit of superhero status with exception of helping another accomplish a wish and a bully behavior being dealt with constructively. This book is a cute, quick read of friendship, imagination, and reaching for your dreams! Recommended age level: 6-9 Release date: May 2, 2017.
Gnome-A-Geddon by KA Holt
Buck is a huge fan of a book series called “The Triumphant Gnome Syndicate”. Through the disappearance of the author and his sister, Buck and his friend, Lizzie, enter the real world of Gnomes! Buck discovers some left out information from the books that he now learns by being in the actual land of Gnomes and has to learn first hand that heroes and villains aren’t always so easily identifiable. This is a creative story that should spark a middle grader’s thoughts on what it means to be a hero. Recommended age level: 8-12. Release date: May 2, 2017
Lintboy by Aileen Leijten
This is a strange, creative, a bit creepy, modern-ish fairytale that drives home the themes of sharing, friendship, and forgiveness. Part graphic novel for young readers, part fairytale, this is a unique little story at a whopping 121 page that develops the characters well. Lintboy and his Lintbear are hanging out at the back of the dryer until they are snatched away by an evil woman named, Tortura. Her name is foretelling as she tortures dolls in order for them to reveal their true nature… real, living beings. She had a doll talk to her once as a child and has been determined to have every doll thereafter speak to her as well. Her plan is to torture them to get them to do so. The drawings are creative and cute and the story is clever, to some degree, but at times, I wondered if it would be too intense for its intended audience. I suppose most fairytales contain this element of creep and macabre. Tortura’s character, as well developed as she is, may be a bit intense for certain kids, so be forewarned. Overall, a unique story to consider. Recommended age level: 7-10. Release date: June 24, 2017.
A Different Pond by Bao Phi
I really appreciated this story and its purpose. The author retells a memory from his own childhood as he spends time with his father in the early morning hours, fishing. Allowing children to peek into other cultures is so needed right now and to see how an immigrant family lived in the early-mid 80s (possibly now) is important for building understanding and empathy. As I read this quick yet serious story, I made some assumptions in the beginning that I would later learn were completely wrong and from my own point of view as a white, American woman. This endearing story follows the story of Bao and his father one typical morning in their household. Instead of going fishing at the local pond in Minneapolis for fun, he and his father fished for food. What they caught became their dinner for that evening. Here is where I wrongly assumed that this time spent as father and son was recreational. Certainly a bonding experience as Bao’s father shares memories of a pond he fished at in Vietnam, this was hardly a fun Saturday morning outing. This story bridges old and new, American and Vietnamese culture, and a father and young son together. I found it fascinating to peek into what a typical day was for Bao and his family as he grew up. With his parents working several jobs between them to make ends meet, his siblings would watch over him while they were gone. Despite not having much and struggling to make ends meet, this family is happy and loves each other. The illustrations were slightly melancholy yet perfect and beautiful. I highly recommend this story! Recommended age level: 6-8. Release date: August 1, 2017.
Do Not Take Your Dragon to Dinner by Julie Gassman
This brightly illustrated children’s book is one you’ll want to add to your collection! Through fun depictions, kids are taught proper manners (and lack thereof) while eating at a restaurant. I loved how the last half of the book recommended first practicing with “your dragon” at home by setting a proper table, using manners there, not answering the phone, etc. Told in a cute rhyme, children are bound to catch the message while enjoying the silly manner mistakes these dragons make in colorful, cute illustrations! Recommended age level: 2-5. Release date: September 1, 2017.
Here’s to happy reading with your kiddos this summer!