KID'S REVIEWS
By Lyda Whiting

 

 

DIN-O-MITE IN AARON'S CLOSET
Written by Richard
Wrate
Illustrated by Roberto Casale

Aaron has lost one of his toy dinosaurs. Where could that iguanodon be? Aaron's mom promised to find it, and Aaron falls asleep. Only to be awakened by a loud thumping in the closet. What could it be? Why, it's his iguanodon, of course - but grown to full dinosaur size!

A full-size iguanodon is only the beginning. Soon Aaron is meeting the rest of his toy dinosaurs - all grown huge but still friendly and fun. They take Aaron on a grand adventure, which only ends when Aaron wakes up in the morning. And the dinosaurs promise Aaron lots more excitement the next time they all meet in his dreams.

This lively book will set children's imaginations soaring as they imagine the next adventures of these happy dinosaurs. Children will sing the dinosaur version of "Row-Row-Row Your Boat" over and over. They may even decide that they want a tail, just like Aaron does.

The vibrantly-colored illustrations fill each page with fun and movement, and pull readers into the story. The pictures will encourage children to create their own playful and brightly-decorated dinosaurs.

With its engaging characters and fast-pace, this story is irresistible. Inspired by a real-life boy who loves dinosaurs, this is a great introduction to dinosaurs. This book would be a great gift for your own little dinosaur lovers. They will quickly set sail on their own adventures with Din-o-mite and his friends.

Recommended for ages 2-7.

Published by Show N' Tell Publishing, this book is available at your local bookstore or www.showntellpublishing.com

 

ONE
Written and Illustrated by Kathryn
Otoshi
Blue was a quiet color. He liked floating on the ocean, and playing in puddles. He liked being Blue, but sometimes wished he were like his friends. Yellow was happy, and Green was smart. Purple was noble, and Orange was friendly. But Red always picked on Blue, and made Blue feel bad. Blue's friends comforted him, but no one ever told Red not to be a bully. Soon all the colors were afraid of Red.

Then along came One. One stood up to Red, and told him to stop. Then Yellow stood up to Red too. And before long, the others stood up and were counted. Even Blue. At first Red was angry, but then he was embarrassed and started to leave. Blue said, "Can Red be hot . . .  AND Blue be cool?" The others invited Red to join in the counting, and all seven had fun together.

This book introduces the topic of tolerance in an original and creative way. By using colors to illustrate differences, the story is a simple, fun and safe way to learn about accepting others as their own unique selves. The bright colors and simple shapes of the illustrations are minimal and yet convey a great deal of emotion and action. The characters seem alive, and draw the reader into the story.

This would be a lovely gift for a child, and an outstanding addition to a toddler or preschool classroom. While learning about colors and numbers, children will also be learning acceptance.

Recommended for ages 2-6.

Published by KO Kids Books, this book is available at your local bookstore.

 

J. ROOKER, MANATEE
Written by Jan Haley, Illustrated by Paul Brent

A young manatee and his mother spend the winter feeding in Rookery Bay and resting in a warm lagoon. But as the manatee grows, he faces unexpected challenges - the loss of his mother, and the dangers of powerboats. One day, he is terribly injured by a propeller and he cannot survive alone.

Humans come to the rescue, and fight to save J. Rooker, as the manatee is now known. J. Rooker got help just in time. He spends seven months at the zoo while his wounds heal and his strength returns. The manatee comes to trust the humans who care for him, but he is happy when they take him back to the lagoon. J. Rooker is finally home.

This is a moving story, told from the manatee's point of view. J. Rooker embodies the grace and gentleness of these large sea mammals, and his true story is educational and ends happily.

Lovely watercolor illustrations fill the pages with the beautiful hues of these gentle giants and their colorful underwater world. In contrast, the human environments appear mostly gray and dull. The paintings are realistic yet full of emotion and drama.

The preface introduces the reader to the real J. Rooker, and there is information on manatees at the end of the book. Some of the proceeds from the sale of this book are being donated to the Save the Manatee Club.

This book would be a beautiful and thoughtful gift for a young animal lover.

Recommended for ages 8-12.

Published by Focus Publishing, Inc., this book is available at your local bookstore.

 

A VERY SPECIAL SNOWFLAKE
Written by Don Hoffman, Illustrated by Todd
Dakins
Veronica and Jeff took their white puppy Snowflake outside to play in the snow. Suddenly the puppy dove into a pile of snow, and was gone. Veronica and Jeff search all over for Snowflake. But when they ask their neighbors if they have seen Snowflake, they don't seem to know what they mean. Mrs. Bigsby stops shoveling for a moment to say that there are snowflakes everywhere.

The florist is worried that the snowflakes will freeze his roses. The baker says the snowflakes inspired him to put white icing on his cakes. Officer Huffy says she will keep the children safe crossing the street despite the snowflakes. No one understands! Finally, the kids see the puppy, which has been near them all the time. She's a very special Snowflake indeed.

This story has children going all over the neighborhood looking for their puppy, while the adults misunderstand the search and give silly answers about snowflakes. But Snowflake is in no danger. Readers will gleefully spot Snowflake the puppy in each picture, peeking from behind a shovel or investigating a bag of cookies.

Children will love this snowy book, with its funny story and fun pictures. The illustrations are colorful and cheerful, making the reader feel like they are romping in the snow with Snowflake. This is a fun read-aloud book, with enough repetition to help young readers too. A great funny gift.

Recommended for ages 2-6.

 Published by Scholastic, Inc., this book is available at your local bookstore.

 

PENGOLOO and GOBBLET!
Two Educational Games These two fun games would be a great addition to any family or classroom game collection. Beautifully crafted of wood, they are appealing to the touch and to the eye, to stimulate children's tactile and visual senses. Because they are well made as well as fun, they will provide years of fun.

In Pengoloo, two to four players set out on a South Pole "eggspedition." Twelve penguins each conceal a brightly-colored egg. The players try to find the penguin with an egg that matches the color on the dice. When they find a match, they collect that penguin. Once a player has six penguins lined up on their own ice flow, they win.

This game teaches memory, color recognition, and early counting. It is perfect for pre-readers. The pieces are a good size for small hands, developing fine motor control. But most importantly, the game is simple, silly fun that will appeal to young children, so they will play it over and over.

Gobblet! a two-player game, perfect for small families or one-on-one time. This game introduces basic strategy and develops memory and dimension skills. There are four sizes of playing pieces which nest together - and the bigger pieces can gobble up the opponent's smaller pieces. This is a carnivorous twist on backgammon that is challenging for children and enjoyable for adults.

Pengoloo recommended for ages 4 and up. Gobblet! recommended for ages 7 and up. Both games have small pieces and are inappropriate for children younger than 3.

Distributed by Blue Orange, these games are available at your local toy store. 


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