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review 2020-03-18 08:13
Bedtime for Sweet Creatures - Nikki Grimes,Elizabeth Zunon


Nikki Grimes, author

Elizabeth Zunon, illustrator

Hardcover, 32 pages

Published January 14th, 2020 by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky  

ISBN: 1492638323 (ISBN13: 9781492638322)


Such a treat! A beautifully illustrated hardcover book by Nikki Grimes and illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon. Zunon's illustrations use brilliant colors that lift right off the page. Her sweet creature's expressions are beautifully done. Grime's mommy is admirably calm and patient, and her sweet creature is full of spirit. The language used is alive, active and strong. The story and the illustrations perform well together, making Grimes and Zunon a talented team.

***Thanks to Nikki Grimes, Author, Elizabeth Zunon, illustrator, Sourcebooks Jabberwocky and Multicultural Children's Book Day for the opportunity to read and review this book. I won this through an MCBD giveaway.***

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review 2020-01-31 02:36
The Amazing Life of Azaleah Lane - Nikki Shannon Smith


Nikki Shannon Smith, author

Mari Lobo, illustrator

Picture Windows Books, a capstone imprint (January 1, 2020)

Age Range: 6 - 8 years

Grade Level: Kindergarten – 2

Lexile Measure: 0610

Series: Azaleah Lane (Book 1)

Hardcover: 112 pages

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1515844641

ISBN: 9781515844648 (hardcover)

ISBN: 9781515844686 (eBook PDF)


 +++I was gifted this book by Capstone Publishers for my review for a Multicultural Children’s Book Day event.+++


Azaleah Lane is the middle child of 3 African-American girls. She goes to the zoo on a field trip at school and is given an extra credit assignment which she is excited about doing, but her younger sister lost her bear and needs Azaleah’s help. Her older sister is too busy practicing for a play at school, and mom and dad are working over the weekend. When will Azaleah get her extra credit done?


Azaleah’s story begins at school on a Friday, and ends Monday morning when she arrives at school. Author Nikki Shannon Smith kept Azaleah moving from excitement to worry when her parents ask her to be responsible for helping her sister. Azaleah is written as having some spunk, all while trying to be responsible and successful all while trying to be herself. The storyline moves quickly, so I can see a young reader staying interested throughout the book. Mari Lobo’s illustrations are colorful and bright. The expressions on the characters’ faces are wonderfully accurate for each part of the story.


Nikki Shannon Smith included a glossary of “new” words for the reader, instructions to make a diorama, and questions to answer verbally or written.

Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2020 (1/31/20) is in its 7th year! This non-profit children’s literacy initiative was founded by Valarie Budayr and Mia Wenjen; two diverse book-loving moms who saw a need to shine the spotlight on all of the multicultural books and authors on the market while also working to get those book into the hands of young readers and educators.  

Seven years in, MCBD’s mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in homes and school bookshelves continues.

MCBD 2020  is honored to have the following Medallion Sponsors on board


Super Platinum

Make A Way Media/ Deirdre “DeeDee” Cummings,


Language Lizard, Pack-N-Go Girls,


Audrey Press, Lerner Publishing Group, KidLit TV, ABDO BOOKS : A Family of Educational Publishers, PragmaticMom & Sumo Jo, Candlewick Press,


 Author Charlotte Riggle, Capstone Publishing, Guba Publishing, Melissa Munro Boyd & B is for Breathe,


Author Carole P. Roman, Snowflake Stories/Jill Barletti, Vivian Kirkfield & Making Their Voices Heard. Barnes Brothers Books,  TimTimTom, Wisdom Tales Press, Lee & Low Books,  Charlesbridge Publishing, Barefoot Books Talegari Tales


Author Sponsor Link Cloud

Jerry Craft, A.R. Bey and Adventures in Boogieland, Eugina Chu & Brandon goes to Beijing, Kenneth Braswell & Fathers Incorporated, Maritza M. Mejia & Luz del mes_Mejia, Kathleen Burkinshaw & The Last Cherry Blossom, SISSY GOES TINY by Rebecca Flansburg and B.A. Norrgard, Josh Funk and HOW TO CODE A ROLLERCOASTER, Maya/Neel Adventures with Culture GrooveLauren Ranalli, The Little Green Monster: Cancer Magic! By Dr. Sharon Chappell, Phe Lang and Me On The Page, Afsaneh Moradian and Jamie is Jamie, Valerie Williams-Sanchez and Valorena Publishing, TUMBLE CREEK PRESS, Nancy Tupper Ling, Author Gwen Jackson, Angeliki Pedersen & The Secrets Hidden Beneath the Palm Tree, Author Kimberly Gordon Biddle, BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 by Mia Wenjen, Susan Schaefer Bernardo & Illustrator Courtenay Fletcher (Founders of Inner Flower Child Books), Ann Morris & Do It Again!/¡Otra Vez!, Janet Balletta and Mermaids on a Mission to Save the Ocean, Evelyn Sanchez-Toledo & Bruna Bailando por el Mundo Dancing Around the World, Shoumi Sen & From The Toddler Diaries, Sarah Jamila Stevenson, Tonya Duncan and the Sophie Washington Book Series, Teresa Robeson  & The Queen of Physics, Nadishka Aloysius and Roo The Little Red TukTuk, Girlfriends Book Club Baltimore & Stories by the Girlfriends Book Club, Finding My Way Books, Diana Huang & Intrepids, Five Enchanted Mermaids, Elizabeth Godley and Ribbon’s Traveling Castle, Anna Olswanger and Greenhorn, Danielle Wallace & My Big Brother Troy, Jocelyn Francisco and Little Yellow Jeepney, Mariana Llanos & Kutu, the Tiny Inca Princess/La Ñusta Diminuta, Sara Arnold & The Big Buna Bash, Roddie Simmons & Race 2 Rio, DuEwa Frazier & Alice’s Musical Debut, Veronica Appleton & the Journey to Appleville book series  Green Kids Club, Inc.

We’d like to also give a shout-out to MCBD’s impressive CoHost Team who not only hosts the book review link-up on celebration day, but who also works tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View our CoHosts HERE.

Co-Hosts and Global Co-Hosts

A Crafty Arab, Afsaneh Moradian, Agatha Rodi Books, All Done Monkey, Barefoot Mommy, Bethany Edward & Biracial Bookworms, Michelle Goetzl & Books My Kids Read, Crafty Moms Share, Colours of Us, Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes, Educators Spin on it, Shauna Hibbitts-creator of eNannylink, Growing Book by Book, Here Wee Read, Joel Leonidas & Descendant of Poseidon Reads {Philippines}, Imagination Soup, Kid World Citizen, Kristi’s Book Nook, The Logonauts, Mama Smiles, Miss Panda Chinese, Multicultural Kid Blogs, Serge Smagarinsky {Australia}, Shoumi Sen, Jennifer Brunk & Spanish Playground, Katie Meadows and Youth Lit Reviews

FREE RESOURCES from Multicultural Children’s Book Day

TWITTER PARTY! Register here!


Hashtag: Don’t forget to connect with us on social media and be sure and look for/use our official hashtag #ReadYourWorld.



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text 2019-11-16 03:24
New Release Charlie...The Merry Christmoose (Children's Christmas Book) Now available at Amazon
Charlie...The Merry Christmoose (Children's Christmas Book) - John Sherwood

This is the story of a little Moose named Charlie who lives at the North Pole and dreams of flying with Santa's sleigh team. Convinced his brown fur and antlers make him just like a flying Reindeer...and with a determination to help Santa deliver presents to good girls and boys around the World to spread Christmas joy, Charlie sets out to make his dream of helping to pull Santa's sleigh on Christmas Eve come true. It's a story of determination and perseverence in pursuit of a dream, despite some disappointments...and sometimes finding out that, what you thought would be the ultimate dream come true...actually leads you to something even better!


Children's Christmas Book


Source: www.amazon.com/Charlie-Merry-Christmoose-Childrens-Christmas/dp/0578427311
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review 2019-10-28 03:29
Penny Dreadful is a Magnet for Disaster by Joanna Nadin
Penny Dreadful Is A Magnet For Disaster - Joanna Nadin

Penny Dreadful's actual name is Penelope Jones. It's the nickname her dad gave her because she is so often a magnet for disaster.

In the book's first story, Penny decides to become a hairstylist because she learns that hairstylists can charge $15 for a haircut. She would only need to do one and a half haircuts in order to pay her mom back for her last disaster and go to Monkey Madness safari park with her sister. (Penny's math was a little off since she needed almost $26, but whatever.) In the book's second story, Penny finds a dog, decides he's been abandoned, and tries to find a home for him after her mom refuses to let him stay with them. In the book's third story, a School Inspector is scheduled to visit Penny's school, and everyone is supposed to be on their best behavior.

This was one of my book purchases for my youngest niece. I found it entertaining in a "please don't let the kids get any ideas" kind of way.

In the first story in particular, Penny wasn't so much a magnet for disaster as she was an architect of disasters. Part of her seemed to realize that her hairstylist idea would be frowned upon. But since it wasn't specifically forbidden, she decide it would be fine, even though she'd previously been forbidden from using her parents' scissors due to past incidents.

Penny meant well in the second story, but she couldn't rein herself in, much less a dog, and so of course it all blew up. The second story was probably my least favorite out of the bunch, because one of the things that happened to the dog would have required surgery in real life.

It ate the receiver of a baby monitor. Penny and Cosmo found the whole thing amusing because they could use the baby monitor to make the dog seem like it was talking, and the adults' greatest concern was how much the baby monitor set cost, because in the world of this book apparently a dog can just poop something like that out and be perfectly fine.

(spoiler show)

I will grant that, in the third story, things were already going pretty wrong when Penny got involved - all she did was make things a bit worse, and even then it was an accident that could have happened to several other students in the class. Here's hoping Penny's poor teacher doesn't regularly have days as bad as that one.

Penny's narration had a breathless quality to it, and she tended to include lots of numbered lists and words in all caps. I found it a little exhausting, but I'm hoping her energy will appeal to my equally energetic niece.


(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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review 2019-10-07 05:34
Olivia's Secret Scribbles: My New Best Friend by Meredith Costain, illustrated by Danielle McDonald
Olivia's Secret Scribbles: My New Best Friend - Meredith Costain,Danielle McDonald

Olivia has started a diary in honor of moving into her new bedroom, which is in the attic of her family's house. She's now in the perfect spot to keep an eye on her neighborhood's goings on, which is fun but also sad, because she can see the empty house where her best friend Lucy used to live.

But then Olivia notices that someone new has moved into Lucy's old house. There's also a new girl, Matilda, in her class. Is it possible that she and Matilda could become friends?

A coworker of mine recently had an "Usborne Facebook party," which I decided to treat as an opportunity to get my Christmas shopping for all my sister's kids done early. I like to read all the books I give the kids, in case they say anything about them (which hasn't happened yet, but an aunt can dream), so that's the stage I'm at now. This particular book was purchased for my youngest niece.

The story is set up as though it were Olivia's diary, complete with her various drawings. Many of the entries read as though Olivia wrote them only a few minutes after the events happened.

I really liked this! I wasn't expecting a chapter book to be so interesting, but I found myself intrigued by the mystery of Matilda's strange behavior, and I enjoyed Olivia's efforts to prove that someone was entering her room when she was gone. Olivia's various intruder detection plans were fun, and her curiosity about and frustration with Matilda were believable. The book's ending was sweet, but not, I think, excessively so.

The one thing that bugged me was that it seemed simultaneously like Olivia and her family had maybe just moved into their house (based off of Olivia getting a new bedroom) but also like they'd lived there for at least a year (based off of Olivia's accounts of slipping through the fence to play with her friend Lucy). It's possible that Olivia once shared a room with one of her siblings, but if that was the case, it wasn't mentioned. It looks like this series is a spin-off of one focused on Olivia's older sister, Ella, so maybe the situation is explained more in those books.

I hope that my niece will end up liking this as much as I did.


(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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