Introduce baby to reading and colors with Sassy book

April 15, 2014 No comments

Baby Loves ColorsBABY LOVES COLORS (SASSY),” by Dave Aikins, Grosset & Dunlap, Aug. 29, 2013, $6.99 (ages 6 months and up)

My baby may only be 2 months old, but I still try to read to her every day. Some days she looks at pictures and others she just listens to my voice as I read from something a little more complex.

Either way, it’s become part of our routine. What I love about “Baby Loves Colors” is its simplicity. Each page focuses on a color and items that fall into it. For example, Yellow features lemons, a duck, the sun, cheese and a banana. The bold colors catch my baby’s attention and the illustrations are basic enough for her to focus on. Though it can be hard to tell, the way she stares and tracks the pages with her eyes, leads me to believe she really likes it — or is at least interested. It will be fun to watch her interactions as she grows.

Baby Loves Colors is a simple board book designed for babies 6 months or older about all the colors they can see: red, yellow, orange, green and blue! This $6.99 board book comes with layers of raised UV that will stimulate a baby’s sense of touch.*

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*Synopsis provided by Grosset & Dunlap

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© 2014, Cracking the Cover. All rights reserved.

Categories: ages 0-3, picture books

Quirky ‘Easter Cat’ takes a fun look at holiday’s secular side

April 15, 2014 No comments

Here comes the Easter catHERE COMES THE EASTER CAT,” by Deborah Underwood and Claudia Rueda, Dial, Jan. 28, 2014, $16.99 (ages 3-5)

The Easter holiday has become much like Christmas — a grand mix of religious and secular. “Here Comes the Easter Cat” falls into the secular part of the Easter basket, although there are elements that parents could tie into the religious side of things.

Beyond the religious/secular elements, this quirky book features a sense of humor children will understand and parents will appreciate. Author Deborah Underwood has taken on the text with a conversational tone that gives the tale perfect pacing. And artist Claudia Rueda’s illustrations are sweet, simple and fun.

Easter CatWhy should the Easter Bunny get all the love? That’s what Cat would like to know. So he decides to take over: He dons his sparkly suit, jumps on his Harley, and roars off into the night. But it turns out delivering Easter eggs is hard work. And it doesn’t leave much time for naps (of which Cat has taken five–no, seven). So when a pooped-out Easter Bunny shows up, and with a treat for Cat, what will Cat do? His surprise solution will be stylish, smart, and even — yes —kind.*

*Synopsis provided by Dial

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© 2014, Cracking the Cover. All rights reserved.

Categories: ages 3-5, picture books

Jennifer A. Nielsen’s ‘Shadow Throne’ wraps up exciting trilogy

April 14, 2014 No comments

Shadow ThroneTHE SHADOW THRONE: Book 3 of The Ascendance Trilogy,” by Jennifer A. Nielsen, Scholastic Press, Feb. 25, 2014, $17.99 (ages 10-14)

“The Shadow Throne” is the final novel in Jennifer A. Nielsen’s fantastic Ascendance Trilogy.

The series centers on Prince Jaraon aka Sage, a teenager who is forced out of hiding (“The False Prince”) to take over as king following the death of his family. Jaron was a wild, mischievous child who never took royal duties seriously. Now king, he has a hard time convincing the people who watched his antics that he is the right person for the job (“The Runaway King” and “The Shadow Throne”).

As “The Shadow Throne” opens, we find Jaron’s kingdom on the brink of war. Jaron has his own ideas on how to bring peace back to the land, but not everyone trusts his instincts. It’s at this point that Jaron must prove he’s not a figurehead but the true king of Carthya.

I’ve loved this series from the first chapter of “The False Prince.” Author Jennifer A. Nielsen set the bar high for her ensuing novels. “The Runaway King” faltered a tiny bit. Jaron remained the star of the show, but supporting characters weren’t as fleshed out as I would have liked.

Read more…

© 2014, Cracking the Cover. All rights reserved.

Introduce shapes, colors with ‘Robots, Robots Everywhere!’

April 11, 2014 No comments

Robots“ROBOTS, ROBOTS EVERYWHERE!” by Sue Fliess and Bob Staake, Little Golden Book, Aug. 6, 2013, $3.99 (ages 2-5)

I love Golden Books. I’ve loved them since I was a child. We had a massive collection at our house that spanned five children with 15 years between the oldest and the youngest.

That said, it should come as no surprise that I thoroughly enjoyed, “Robots, Robots Everywhere!” The story is simple enough for a young child to understand while the illustrations add a little something special for the parents. Kids, too will love the basic shapes and primary colors that help compose these quirky robots.

It’s hard to complain about a book that is fun and only costs $3.99. (Although I do own some older Golden Books with the list price of 39 cents!) This is a great addition to your little one’s growing library.

“On the ground and in the air,/Robots, robots everywhere!
“Up in space, beneath the seas,/Robots make discoveries . . .”

So begins this rollicking Little Golden Book featuring robots of all kinds, from ones up in space to the ones we use at home.*

*Synopsis provided by Little Golden Book

Editor’s note: The above post differs from Cracking the Cover’s regular review format. Learn more.

© 2014, Cracking the Cover. All rights reserved.

Categories: ages 2-5, picture books

Tackle eyesight nerves with ‘I Can See Just Fine’

April 10, 2014 No comments

ICanSeeJustFine eyesightI CAN SEE JUST FINE,” by Eric Barclay, Abrams Appleseed, Aug. 6, 2013, hardcover, $14.95 (ages 4-6)

As someone who started wearing glasses in the first grade, I can understand the struggles of poor eyesight and the reluctance to become another “four-eyes.” “I Can See Just Fine” tackles the nerves associated with getting a first pair of glasses and take the fear out of going to the optometrist.

And while this book is educational, it’s a lot of fun, too. Eric Barclay has infused a bit of humor throughout as Paige, the reluctant star of this book, declares she doesn’t need spectacles. Eric’s illustrations are bright and slightly stylized, giving the overall look unique but recognizable feel.

Paige is just like every other kid. She goes to school. She practices her violin. She plays outside. The only problem is, she cannot quite see the chalkboard, her sheet music, or anything else! Despite Paige’s repeated refrain of “I can see just fine,” the illustrations portray a different story. Paige’s parents decide it’s time for her to visit the eye doctor, despite her protests. But Paige’s stubbornness quickly dissolves as she braves an eye checkup, enjoys a playful frame selection, and, most importantly, ends up with perfect eyesight!*

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*Synopsis provided by Abrams Appleseed

Editor’s note: The above post differs from Cracking the Cover’s regular review format. Learn more.

© 2014, Cracking the Cover. All rights reserved.