“Smiley: A Journey of Love” by Joanne George

SmileySMILEY: A JOURNEY OF LOVE

Joanne George
Fitzhenry and Whiteside (2017)
ISBN 9781554554126
Reviewed by Scout Stone (age 11) for Readers Views (8/18)

“Smiley: A Journey of Love” by Joanne George is a great book for children ages six through ten. They can learn so much from this book. I have learned that even if you aren’t like everyone else, you can still do great things. My favorite part of the book was when Smiley had his surgery to help with his face and the difference that it made in his life.

This book has captured Smiley’s story in many pictures that describe exactly what he did in his life. The pictures are very clear and vivid. George has included many, many pictures in her book, with at least two pictures on each page. Many pictures help little children understand any story better. Some of these pictures go along with quotes, such as “Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you sit down quietly, may alight upon you.” -Nathaniel Hawthorne. Next to the quote will be a picture of Smiley with a butterfly on his forehead. George has gotten many different quotes from many different people. From a painter like Pablo Picasso, to someone blind like Hellen Keller.

Smiley has visited people who have a disability or people who just need a friend, inspiring many people to do the same. Smiley has even inspired celebrities such as Cesar Millan. Putting this in a book will continue to inspire people in the future.

“Smiley: A Journey of Love” by Joanne George is a great story that will inspire people everywhere. I recommend it to kids ages six through ten. With many great pictures that describe exactly what Smiley went through. There are quotes, and some of them along with the pictures. Quotes from many people like Aesop, Anita Roddick, Alexander the Great, and William Arthur Ward.

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Posted in Book Review, EARLY READER - AGES 6 TO 8, YOUNG READER - AGES 8 TO 12 | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

“Fatima and the Clementine Thieves” by Mireille Messier

FatimaAndTheClementineThievesFATIMA AND THE CLEMENTINE THIEVES

Mireille Messier
Red Deer Press (2017)
ISBN 9780889955295
Reviewed Annika Stone (Age 7) for Reader Views Kids

In “Fatima and the Clementine Thieves” by Mireille Messier, Fatima and her grandfather have to find out who is taking their clementines. The characters also have to figure out how to stop the thieves when they do figure out who they are. The author does a good job writing the story in a way I can understand, and it’s fun to solve the mystery. It’s easy to imagine how the characters felt when the author writes, “He stares out the window, his fists tightly clenched. Fatima follows his angry gaze. And what she sees turns her heart to marmalade.” It made me really sad that they lost their clementines and that the elephants broke their trees, but I was so happy that they were able to solve their problem. It made me happy that the grandfather listened to Fatima’s idea. I really didn’t want the elephants to get hurt.

I think this book is really good for kids my age to read. I also think someone like my younger sister would enjoy it, and maybe even my older sister would enjoy it also. I like how it reminds us that even small creatures can make a big difference, and that we have to keep trying. “Fatima and the Clementine Thieves” taught me that you don’t always have to kill animals to get them to go away. It was a cool idea that Fatima’s friends were the spiders, and that they helped her. That was very creative, and I didn’t mind that it’s probably not possible for spiders to stop elephants in real life. I like seeing that Fatima did what she promised and peeled a clementine for the spiders after they helped her.

“Fatima and the Clementine Thieves” by Mireille Messier is a fun mystery with a surprising ending. It is a great story for kids of all ages and teaches that even small creatures can make a big difference. Details, like Fatima making the clementine peels into flowers shapes, make this book really fun to read.

Posted in EARLY READER - AGES 6 TO 8 | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

“Tata’s Earrings” by Desiree Calderon de Fawaz

TatasEarringsTATA’S EARRINGS

Desiree Calderon de Fawaz
Yogi Impressions Books Pvt. Ltd. (2017)
ISBN 9789382742609
Reviewed by Paola Belloso (age 10) for Reader Views (7/18)

“Tata’s Earrings” by Desiree Calderon de Fawaz is a beautiful story of a girl named Maya and her grandmother, Tata. Like many grandmothers, Tata is very special. She can do many things such as knitting with her toes while she is upside down and dance while she waters the plants. If Maya gets hurt only Tata seems to heal her. One morning she noticed something shining under the frizz that Tata always wears and asked about it.  She showed Maya the most beautiful earrings that she had ever seen. Tata told her grandpa gave them to her as a wedding gift. Maya learns about the past of her grandparents, how he helped many people in different ways and countries providing food and clothes.

Meet Maya and discover with her granny all the wonderful stories behind those magical earrings. I loved how her grandpa saved all those jewels that were given to him as thanks through the years that he traveled for all his social work. Then after some time, he decided to make the earrings and kept them for a while until he met Maya’s grandmother.

My favorite part of the story was that at Tata’s house all the instruments would play lullabies at night. I also love the coloring and beautiful illustrations. It is a magical story and I love it very much and feel a connection with it because like Maya l also have a grandmother called Tata and love how she shares the stories of my grandfather.

I will recommend “Tata’s Earrings” by Desiree Calderon de Fawaz not only to kids, but for all ages. For kids to look up to and enjoy their grandmas, and to adults as well, because I am sure many will like it and feel related to their memories and will keep it as a jewel. The message for everyone is to be compassionate with others regardless of your culture, religion or country like Maya’s grandfather.

A Note from Paola’s Mom:

There is something special about this tale that every kid and even adults can feel when you read it – the special bond between Tata and Maya, the stories of a grandfather who embodied strength, compassion and love for others. Beautiful message.

Posted in YOUNG READER - AGES 8 TO 12 | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

“Idi & the Oracle’s Quest” by TN Traynor

IdiAndTheOraclesQuestIDI & THE ORACLE’S QUEST

T N Traynor
CreateSpace (2014)
ISBN 9781496043931
Reviewed by Autumn (age 14) for Reader Views Kids (7/18)

If you like mysterious rendezvous, witches, castles, demons, dragons and a quest to save the world then “Idi & The Oracle’s Quest,” book one in the Born to Be series, by T N Traynor, is a story you definitely should read.

A spell of forbidden love is cast, only to leave a princess grieving over her love after he is killed, and she is banished from her kingdom for the child she is carrying. Little does she know that the elements or earth witches have taken a solemn vow to protect her and her unborn child from an evil wizard by the name of Norvora. If he gets control of the child, he will unleash unimaginable horrors from the depths of Astaroth.

A plan is made by the fairies to intercept Princess Cassandra and her unborn child before Norvora can reach them. Their journey takes them through a forbidden forest to reach the mountains to a town called Tamarind.

A great and kind wizard named Marcus is called upon by the oracle Oleanna to find a boy named Idi who will become the greatest wizard of all time. Idi is an orphaned boy who has been pick on his entire life and felt like he would never amount to anything, until Marcus finds him and asks that he accompanies him on an important quest to save the kingdoms. Together they will set out on a journey to find the child who is meant to be king.

I really enjoyed reading “Idi & The Oracle’s Quest.” The story line was fast paced with hint of suspense. I liked how the author combined characters such as wizards, elemental witches, dwarfs and a dragon in a not-so-fairy-tale-like setting. The chase through the forest kept you on the edge of your seat, not knowing if Cassandra and the fairies would make it to safety before the evil wizard Norvora and his henchmen caught up with them. Every chapter had a twist in the story that was exciting and unexpected. My favorite character would be Idi. He felt like no one cared for him, but he would not give up on others and was always there for them.

“Idi & The Oracle’s Quest”, book one of the Born to Be series, by T N Traynor is a magical story that will leave you wanting more. I would recommend this story for 9th graders and up, and I look forward to the next book in the “Born to Be series.”

Posted in TEEN/YOUNG ADULT - AGES 12 AND UP | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

“War World” by Rod C. Spence

WarWorldWAR WORLD

Rod C. Spence
Gallant Press (2017)
ISBN 9780999087916
Reviewed by Mason (age 15) for Reader Views Kids (7/18)

Six teenagers sent 2.4 million light years from earth. An expedition of the world’s brightest biotech scientists missing on another planet. An alien army controlled by a powerful wizard called The Shadow Lord. Prehistoric creatures sent on assassin missions. “War World,” by Rod Spence is a fast-paced action thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Jeremy, Patrick, Alex, Marrisa, Selene and Leo’s parents all work for a company called TerraGen Universal, the world’s leading Biotech company, sought after by mafia companies for their technology. The teenagers learn that something went terribly wrong with their parent’s expedition.

After receiving a secret message from his brother, Jeremy and his classmates embark on a mission to save their parents and possibly the world. The team consisting of the CIA, scientists, mercenaries and 6 teenagers travel across the galaxy through a wormhole that was created by TerraGen’s quantum computers. When the team gets to the other side of the wormhole they arrive on planet Genesis, a planet light years away from earth and home to blood thirsty Gnomes, prehistoric creatures, and wizards both good and bad. When the teenagers get split up during an attack, they must find their way out of the city to stay alive. The kids must make it through hidden passageways and secret entrances to escape the Gnomes who are hunting them. Once free of the city both groups encounter enormous creatures, wizards and deadly terrain. They begin to doubt they will ever find their parents and their other classmates, let alone survive this hostile planet and get home in 30 days before the return portal closes.

I thought “War World” by Rod Spence was an action-packed adventure with twists and turns of unexpected horror. While some parts were on the gruesome side, the story line was intense. I enjoyed the thrill of the chase as the groups narrowly escaped the Gnomes who wanted nothing more than to eat them. I think my favorite character would have to be Patrick, he is extremely smart and has an attitude and doesn’t let people like Alex push him around. The creatures were realistic and terrifying as they hunted the groups through inner city passages and a forest consisting of deadly terrain. Once I started reading, I could not put this book down, and finished it in two days! I look forward to reading the next book in the series, “War World, Paladin”.

I would recommend “War World” by Rod Spence to 9th graders and older who enjoy an action packed, space travel thriller.

Posted in TEEN/YOUNG ADULT - AGES 12 AND UP | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

“The Toad Who Loved Tea” by Faiz Kermani

TheToadWhoLovedTeaTHE TOAD WHO LOVED TEA

Faiz Kermani
Troubador Publishing Ltd. (2017)
ISBN 9781788039970
Reviewed by Sarina (age 4), Eliana (age 6) and Mom for Reader Views Kids (6/18)

My kids and I enjoyed reading “The Toad Who Loved Tea” by Faiz Kermani, a cute adventure about a toad named Tungtang who was not at all like other toads.

Tungtang loved adventure while all the other toads enjoyed sitting in the pond. She would come back with fantastic stories of her adventures until one day a crow laughed at Tungtang and said her stories were boring. The crow said, “To have a real adventure you would need to travel to where no one has traveled before, the town.” Tungtang was not sure what she should do, until the eldest toad told her of a prophecy that was predicted by Dustysox the Great. A toad would travel far and achieve human fame and glory. So Tungtang set off on her journey. After several weeks of travel, she finally made it to the town. Tungtang ventures into a tea shop and that is where she discovers she loves tea. The owners are having a hard time running the shop until they find who has been drinking their tea and making messes in their tea shop. Who would have thought a toad was exactly what they needed to save their shop?

“The Toad Who Loved Tea” by Faiz Kermani is creative and well written and has many colorful illustrations and silly rhymes throughout the book. This is a great story for early readers as my daughter Eliana could read along with me. Both girls loved the book and thought all the trouble Tungtang got into around the tea shop was very funny. They especially like the part where she became a tea tester and got to sit on a throne with a crown, in front of all the people who would travel from all over the world to come see the tea tasting toad.

The illustrations in the story allowed for the reader to envision all Tungtang’s adventures she had going into town and her experiences in the tea shop.

We highly recommend “The Toad Who Loved Tea” by Faiz Kermani as a great early reader book, and a soon to be family favorite.

Posted in EARLY READER - AGES 6 TO 8 | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

“TwoSpells” by Mark Morrison

TwoSpellsTWOSPELLS

Mark Morrison
CreateSpace (2018)
ISBN 9781983962158
Reviewed by Autumn Stout (age 13) for Reader Views Kids (6/18)

“TwoSpells” by Mark Morrison introduces readers to Sarah and her twin brother Jon who are not your ordinary kids, but are heirs to a magical realm that is home to an enchanted library.

The story begins with a trip to their grandparent’s farmhouse where the twins will find out about their true birthright, but when they arrive all is not what it seems. There are gnomes in the garden that wink and wave when you walk by. A creepy and mysterious caretaker, who wants nothing to do with Sarah and Jon, has forbidden them from going into their grandparent’s cellar. It is only when Sarah and Jon begin investigating the farm that strange things start to happen.

They are visited by huge figures called the “Collectors,” who come looking for a missing text, a magical book that was taken by their grandparent’s years ago. The supernatural book comes from “TwoSpells,” an enchanted library where readers can travel to a second dimension and explore all the unusual creatures that live there. But there is an evil power that will stop at nothing to keep Sarah and her twin brother Jon from fulfilling their destiny.

I enjoyed reading “TwoSpells” by Mark Morrison. Right from the beginning I was wondering, “What will happen next?” The cover of “TwoSpells” gives a glimpse into a wondrous library where readers can experience the most amazing adventures in every book. The author has a great idea for a book but I wish that this story setting had been more about being in this amazing library like the picture on the cover promises readers. I liked the characters the author chooses for this story and the history behind who they are, but I would have liked to find out more about “TwoSpells”. I believe a book with that storyline would be a favorite to YA readers of books like “Fablehaven” and “The House of Secrets.”

I think “TwoSpells” by Mark Morrison has overwhelming potential to be a YA best seller, if it had more about this wondrous library, and all the amazing adventures that could be had there.

Posted in TEEN/YOUNG ADULT - AGES 12 AND UP | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment