“The Bird That Didn’t Want To Be A Bird” by Anne Toole


Anne Toole
Outskirts Press (2015)
ISBN 9781478756378
Reviewed by Rose Whitacre (age 6) for Reader Views (04/17)

“The Bird That Didn’t Want To Be A Bird” by Anne Toole is a book about a little bird who didn’t want to fall out of a tree and wasn’t happy being a bird. He tried being something else. First, he tried being a cow, but he didn’t want to stand around in the grass and moo. Next, he tried to be a turtle, but he didn’t want to be a turtle because turtles go very slow and the little bird didn’t want to be slow. Then, he tried to be a bee, but he didn’t really want to sting anyone. Next, he tried being a cat, but he decided he didn’t want to be chased by dogs. Then, he tried to be a frog, but he didn’t want spots. So, next, he tried being a horse, but he didn’t want someone to be on his back and ride him. Last, he tried being a worm. The little bird didn’t want to be a worm because worms don’t have any feet. Finally, the little bird decided he wanted to stay a bird. He liked that he could fly in the air and go almost anywhere. He liked to eat seeds and sing.

I didn’t really understand why the bird didn’t want to be a bird. I like being who I am. I was glad that by the end he decided he was happy being himself. I also don’t understand how a bird could be a different animal. He didn’t really do anything to try to be those other animals – he just watched them and thought about how they were different than he was.

I liked how the book was written with rhyming, it was fun to read. But sometimes, the rhymes are a little awkward. They don’t always sound like the way people usually talk. When the bird is talking about being a horse, he says, “No, that’s not for me. A horse I don’t want to be.” It made it a little bit hard to read.

Kids who like birds, nature, and animals or poetry and rhyming would like “The Bird That Didn’t Want To Be A Bird” by Anne Toole. I loved the pictures because they are beautiful with lots of bright colors and flowers and pretty scenes. The little bird is cute. I thought it was a fun book and really enjoyed reading it!

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

“The Pact” by Amanda West Lewis


Amanda West Lewis
Red Deer Press (2016)
ISBN 9780889955448
Reviewed by Chris Kyle (Age 16) for Reader Views (04/17)

“The Pact” by Amanda West Lewis is about a German boy growing up in the time era of World War II and having to live through that rough time. His parents send him off to the gymnasium where he learns that the Aryans are above all others and he is to worship Hitler, but is too young for Hitler’s youth.

Amanda West Lewis was very successful in carrying out the purpose of this publication as it gave a very intriguing viewpoint about the World War II time period, the time when Hitler was the superior to all and many people died because of him. Peter, the boy, grows up thinking Hitler is basically a God of all things but then later finds out that his ruler was the murderer of many. The author writes very well. I always stayed focused on her words and the plot of the story and it made me feel like I could know everything about Peter.

The book could generally be for ages 14 and up, as it goes into what World War II is all about and that is primarily the age one typically learns about the subject. If the reader is interested in historical fiction, they should definitely read it as it was a great eye-opening read to a critical period in world history. My favorite part is when Peter finally escaped what he was a part of and got out of that as soon as possible when Hitler reigned.

I highly recommend “The Pact” by Amanda West Lewis. I hope to see more work from this author, especially more about Peter, maybe even a sequel with a look into Peter’s future self and what he is doing when he is older after finding out such drastic things in his early life. I really enjoyed the book and love Lewis’ writing style.

Posted in TEEN/YOUNG ADULT - AGES 12 AND UP | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

“Creepy, Funny & Just Plain Weird,” by Maranda Russell


Maranda Russell
CreateSpace (2016)
ISBN 9781533327437
Reviewed by Willow Cramer (age 7) for Reader Views Kids (3/17)

“Creepy, Funny & Just Plain Weird,” by Maranda Russell is about stories and poems that are kind of creepy, weird, and funny. They have monsters, parents, and killer meatballs in them!

I like that the book is cool. My favorite story was Mean Green Gus. This story is about a bus driver that is really mean to children. One day, he tried to kidnap the kids by saying, “You aren’t going home today! There would be no more cookies, no more pies, no more laughing, no more songs, no more anything, no more anyone.” Gus has green hair that boils like boiling water. He was so gross! He wanted one of the children to shave his back hair. What they had to do to beat him is why this is my favorite story—the children sing “Happy and You Know It” to beat him! It’s funny, and creepy, and just plain weird!

Another story that sticks out to me is Last Halloween. This is a CREEPY story, though not funny or weird. He was in the old graveyard and saw something glowing. There was a ghost he couldn’t see through, who asked him to come with her. What he sees scares him, but not me.

There are also a bunch of weird poems, like a poem called A Dog Named Cat! It’s hilarious!

I didn’t like the first story, Killer Meatball, though I’m not sure why.

I would recommend “Creepy, Funny & Just Plain Weird,” to other girls my age because they would enjoy it and not be creeped out by it. Boys, though, would be too creeped out to like it! If Maranda Russell wrote other books like this, I would read them.

My daddy and I couldn’t agree on what the cover page was supposed to be. I think it’s a face (but I’m not sure why the title had to cover it). My daddy wasn’t so sure.

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

“Baby Lady’s Scary Night” by Oksana and Marina Davydov


Oksana & Marina Davydov
Outskirts Press (2014)
ISBN 9781432799656
Reviewed by Russ Cramer (age 5) for Reader Views Kids (3/17)

“Baby Lady’s Scary Night” by Oksana and Marina Davydov is about how Baby Lady’s (a ladybug) mommy tucks her in and then there is a spider, ghost, and a snake that scare her. She screams and calls for her mommy. Her mommy says a word and actually tells Baby Lady that the ghost was the wind blowing Baby Lady’s curtains, the snake was her black tights, and the spider was just a hairball. And her mommy says this. Her mommy tucks her back in and that’s the end of the story.

I liked that the story was awesome and her mommy told her the truth. I loved the whole book! My favorite part was that her mommy tucked her in (like my mommy and daddy do).

I didn’t like that Baby Lady was scared. I get scared sometimes because my coat rack looks like a witch in the dark, but since I’m a big boy, I’m not scared.

The artwork was nice. It was awesome. My favorite page is when her mommy shows her the stars because when the stars are there, Baby Lady isn’t scared. I’m not scared either.

I would recommend “Baby Lady’s Scary Night” by Oksana and Marina Davydov to my friends because it is amazing. My friend loves bugs and collecting bugs, so I think he would love this book too.

Posted in PRESCHOOL - UP TO AGE 5 | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

“There’s a Zombie in the Basement” by Stan Yan


Stan Yan
Mascot Books (2016)
ISBN 9780975504130
Reviewed by Willow Cramer (age 7) for Reader Views Kids (2/17)

“There’s a Zombie in the Basement” by Stan Yan is about a little boy who is afraid that something is trying to come get him. At the end of the book, he realizes that the monsters are all friends and family, and there’s nothing really to be scared of because it’s all in his mind.

My favorite part of the book is that Milo learns that there is nothing to be afraid of. I also liked the art. It was very talented and thought-worthy: there was good imagination.

Now that I think of it, I really liked how the book let me draw my own fear at the end. I drew a vampire who just drank someone’s blood. That is really scary. I am so scared that a vampire will come in and drink my blood because I know they will hypnotize you and you will lie down and feel like you already dead. But I know they aren’t real. They are just old myths.

I did not like the part where Milo was so scared that he kept calling on his mommy and daddy. I also did not like that he was so scared and sleepy that he got sent to the principal’s office.

The funniest part of the book is when the pink-colored pony was sitting on the mime’s shoulders. I kept thinking that the mime must be thinking, “This is pony is heavy! I am so crushed!”

I really liked “There’s a Zombie in the Basement” by Stan Yan for the message and the crushed mime. Nothing else really stuck out to me. Although I understand the message (that there is nothing to be scared of and it’s all in my mind), I still need my monkey and night-lights to sleep with.

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

“Bees in Loretta’s Bonnet” by Lois Wickstrom


Lois Wickstrom
CreateSpace (2016)
ISBN 9781530562053
Reviewed by Rose Whitacre (age 6) for Reader Views (03/17)

“Bees in Loretta’s Bonnet” by Lois Wickstrom is a really fun book. It is about a girl named Loretta who found a leafcutter bee’s nest, as she was getting wood from the woodpile. She talked to her parents about the nest she found and she said she would take it outside so the bees would find flowers when they hatched in the spring. Her parents taught her about how bees are good for the garden.

While she was finding the nest, Loretta lost her bonnet and the leafcutter bees found it and made lots of nests in it. In the spring, she followed a bee to finally find her lost bonnet. She was excited to find her bonnet, but she didn’t want to touch it because she didn’t want to get stung by the bees. “‘You found my bonnet,’ Loretta said to the bee. She started to reach for it. Then she remembered that bee’s sting, and pulled her hand back. ‘You can have my bonnet,’ she said.”

Before I read this book, I didn’t know anything about leafcutter bees. I learned what kind of home leafcutter bees live in. I learned why they are called leafcutter bees – because they cut circles out of leaves to use to build their nests. I was scared of bees, but after reading this book and learning more about leafcutter bees, I wasn’t as scared. I like learning about nature through storybooks.

I loved “Bees in Loretta’s Bonnet” by Lois Wickstrom because it is fun and very good. The pictures are beautiful and colorful. I think this book is well written. I like how it had instructions at the end for making your own bee nests out of parchment paper and things from around the house. You can use the bee’s nests you make to try to get leafcutter bees to come to your yard. I think any kid my age who loves nature and animals would really enjoy this book.

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

“The Super Amazing Princess Heroes: The Gift of Gift” by Sanjay Nambiar


Sanjay Nambiar
SPH Media, Inc. (2016)
ISBN 9780988905023
Reviewed by Willow Cramer (age 7) for Reader Views Kids (2/17)

“The Super Amazing Princess Heroes: The Gift of Gift” by Sanjay Nambiar is about a group of girls who have super powers and travel around and help other kids. At the beginning of the story, while helping build a school in Uganda, one of the girls had a hole in her heart that no one knew about. They returned to America to fix her up. While there, one of their friends from Uganda also had a hole in her heart. Her name was Gift. This gave the girls the idea to build a hospital in Uganda to help kids like Gift so they wouldn’t have to travel to other places. In the end, Gift is all better and becomes a Super Amazing Princess Hero!

My favorite part of the book is that Gift becomes a Super Amazing Princess Hero like the other girls. I also liked that they built schools and hospitals for other kids. When my daddy asked if I liked the art, I said, “100% yes!” The artist is very talented.

I did not like the part where kids were getting sick. It is how life goes, though. People you love will die and you will cry a lot. I knew one person who had a hole in his heart. My neighbor’s baby was born with a hole in his heart. This was really scary for them. He’s home now.

The funniest part of the book is when they found the bag in the woods. Normally, you don’t find magic bags in the woods—it’s usually trash and stuff.

I think this book was teaching me that I should help others and not just myself. Other things I’ve read (like the Bible), watched (like VeggieTales and What’s in the Bible), my small group at church, and my parents have taught me the same thing. I think it’s good to hear this message in a lot of different places.

I highly recommend “The Super Amazing Princess Heroes: The Gift of Gift” by Sanjay Nambiar to other girls my age, but not boys. Boys wouldn’t like it.

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