KID'S REVIEWS
By Lyda Whiting

 

 

SMUDGE BUNNY
Written by Dr. Bernie Siegel
Illustrated by Laura J. Bryant
Smudge and her sister Snowflake are happy living in the barn with their mother and brothers and sisters. But one day, the farmer puts them in a box and takes them to a noisy pet store. Someone puts the bunnies in a too-small cage and takes them home as Easter presents, but Smudge accidentally scratches their granddaughter, and the bunnies are dumped outside. They spend a few scary nights outside.

A nice couple finds Smudge and treats her well. They even build her a comfortable rabbit house, and take her for walks on a leash. Smudge makes friends with the four cats in the family, but misses Snowflake and worries about her. Then one day, there is a “found rabbit” sign on a tree, which leads them to Snowflake. The bunnies are reunited, and Smudge’s happiness is complete.

A pediatric surgeon and the author of several adult books wrote this true story about his pet rabbit’s journey to a new home. The illustrations are engaging and colorful, and the bunnies are expressive and endearing. There is information about caring for rabbits as well.

Children will enjoy the playful illustrations and will learn along with Smudge that sometimes troubles turn out to be blessings. Children will also learn the importance of kindness, and how important it is to be gentle with pets.

Highly recommended for children ages 3 and up.

Published by Starseed Press, this book is available at your local bookstore.
 



ADVENTURES OF RILEY
SOUTH POLE PENGUINS

By Amanda Lumry & Laura Hurwitz
Riley is off to Argentina to join his Uncle Max and Aunt Martha, scientists who are heading south to study penguins. They make the scary boat journey through the dangerous Drake Passage to the ocean at the bottom of the world. Just as Riley and his cousin Alice spot the frozen land of Antarctica, they notice that the water is pink. It’s a swarm of Antarctic krill, the tiny crustacean that is the main food for Antarctic wildlife.

Riley and Alice see Adelie penguins and elephant seals while Uncle Max collects penguins’ guano (droppings) to study their diet. The next day, they travel by helicopter to Snow Hill Island, a large emperor penguin colony. But a storm comes up suddenly, and they have to leave without any guano samples — except what’s stuck to Alice’s boots.

This is the newest book in the continuing adventures of Riley, sure to be enjoyed by children and adults alike. The story is exciting and appealing, and the penguins, whales, and other Antarctic wildlife are presented with respect and affection.

Children and adults will enjoy the science facts on each page, told by real scientists who are studying the Antarctic animals and global warming. The illustrations are a unique mix of photographs and paintings, showing the beauty of this frozen wilderness and its inhabitants.

Highly recommended for children ages 4 to 8.

Published by Eaglemont Press, this book is available at your local bookstore.
 



THE SLEEPY SHEEP COLLECTION
Written by Rory Zuckerman
Illustrated by Maryn Roos
What child has not said, “I’m not really tired, I can’t fall asleep”? They need help from the Sleepy Sheep! The Sleepy Sheep come to help a child who cannot fall asleep, while having fun with counting, ABCs, colors, or shapes. The colorful sheep and their playful antics bring silly fun to learning and to bedtime.

This series of board books is a fun way to relax and get ready for bed or naptime. Not too energetic and not too slow, these books ease the transition from wide-awake to sleeping for children, while giving them something fun to share with an adult. Adults will appreciate that the learning is presented in an engaging and simple way for children.

These books are written in rhyme, and accompanied by a CD of the author reading the stories — with fanciful sound effects added. Each CD also includes the Sleepy Sheep Song, a catchy melody that will have children singing along. Children will enjoy the rhythms of the stories, and the colorful and silly illustrations will have children and adults alike giggling along. Even very young children can turn the pages easily and hold the books in their hands.

Rory Zuckerman was host of “Rory’s Place,” her popular national television series on The Learning Channel, and has appeared on the Disney Channel and Nickelodeon. She has recorded five children’s albums and given almost 100 concerts, including performing at the White House. Her debut album, “I’m Just a Kid,” won a Parent’s Choice award for best children’s recording. She served as official spokesperson for the National Head Start Association. These are her first children’s books.

Illustrator Maryn Roos is a prolific illustrator with many children’s books to her credit. She has extensive experience as a production artist in educational software and instructional materials. She received a Bachelor’s of Fine Art Degree in Illustration, magna cum laude, from Brigham Young University.

The story, illustrations, and music combine to make these four books a fun and educational choice for bedtime reading.

COUNTING SLEEPY SHEEP
Starts the series off with counting sheep to get to sleep. But Hollywood Fred, Cowgirl Kate, and Splash the scuba diver are not your everyday sheep! The whole flock gathers at the end to count to ten again, and then curling up to fall asleep.

COLORFUL SLEEPY SHEEP
Continues the fun with the sheep celebrating colors by dressing up for a Halloween party as a big orange pumpkin, painting a chair purple, and chugging along in a green tractor on the farm. The colors are reviewed at the end, including the brown of a cuddly teddy bear to sleep with.

SHAPELY SLEEPY SHEEP
Has the sheep exploring shapes by driving a semi-truck with big round wheels, playing a triangle in a marching band, and going down in a submarine to see starfish. The book ends with a parade of balloons in all the shapes lead by a drum major sheep, and of course the rectangle of a comfortable pillow to sleep on.

ALPHABETICAL SLEEPY SHEEP
Has the sheep having fun with the ABCs, each sheep wearing a large capital letter as they ride bikes, buy kumquats, and eat radishes to illustrate the alphabet. The last sheep helps with sleeping with Zs for snoring.

All recommended for children through age 5.

Published by Little Lion Press, these books are available at your local bookstore.


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