The Butterfly Tree by Kelly Harrison Spining

Rating: 5 out of 5.

What a lovely story! This is very reminiscent of The Giving Tree, but what I loved about this story is that there is a give and take by both characters in the story. It’s a beautiful, heartwarming story that I highly recommend!

There are three trees. One a beautiful apple tree, one a strong grand oak, and one, a dilapidated scrawny tree. When a butterfly visits the apple tree asking for a place to rest, the snobby apple tree sends the butterfly away. It doesn’t want the butterfly damaging the apples that bring people to the tree. The butterfly stops at the oak next, but it too sends the butterfly away. When the butterfly comes close to the third tree, it invites the butterfly to stop and rest. The two become friends and the butterfly stays with the tree for a while. One morning the tree wakes to find the butterfly gone. He is sad and alone once again, until he feels the soft landing of one, then two, then hundreds of butterflies on his branches. His friend has invited other butterflies to come and rest with the nice, friendly tree.

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In the Nick of Time by Deedee Cummings

Welcome to the blog tour for In the Nick of Time hosted by iRead Book Tours!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

There is a note at the end of this book where the author talks about how as a child, there were not holiday stories that showed children of the same color as her. So as an adult, she wrote one. I cried reading this. What a beautiful offering to the children of our world!

In the Nick of Time is a Christmas story about a boy that doesn’t quite understand how good of a life he has. He’s not aware of the hardships some others in his school are living through. And then, Nick Saint accidentally gets mail for Saint Nick. This letter opens his eyes and his heart, taking him on a last minute rush to save Christmas for another student in his school.

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Animals at the Office by Sarah Sommer

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This book was adorable. As someone who has worked in an office her entire adult life, I found the characters hilarious, and so like what you find in an office environment. The kids loved the animals and found the story to be a lot of fun!

This story is about an alligator that is starting his first day at the office and tries to take the advice of his co-workers on how to fit in. He finds that each co-worker’s advice is just not a good fit for him, and to truly find his rhythm at the office, he needs to just be himself.

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The Goose on the Roof by Sarah Sommer

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I thought this was such a cute children’s book! The illustrations were bright and colorful, and the story was so much fun.

The Goose on the Roof is about a little girl with a problem to solve. The problem is the goose that won’t stop honking on her roof! She is offered help by quite a few friends such as a dog, a flea, and so many other things, but it’s not until her father steps in that she is able to truly fix the problem.

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The Alphabet’s Alphabet by Chris Harris

Rating: 5 out of 5.

What an absolutely imaginative story for kids! This book not only helps children learn letters, but it gives them a chance to use their imagination as they see letters in a different way! I loved this book!

The book starts in a classroom for letters. The teacher wants to let the letters know that even though they look different, they really are all connected. We go through the alphabet from A to Z, and the story shows us how an A is really an H that is slouching or an F is an E on a ski. Each letter’s link to another letter is extremely imaginative!

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The Ugly Doodles by Valeria Wicker

Rating: 5 out of 5.

What I Loved:

Well this book checked all the boxes for me!
✔️ Great Illustration
✔️ Adorable Main Character
✔️ An “It’s okay to not be perfect” Story

My Synopsis:

Raven loves to doodle. She visits a museum and has her heart set to draw beautiful doodles to cover the walls in her own home. Except that she just can’t get one right. She continues to throw her discarded doodles on the floor until her mother says, enough is enough.

So Raven stuffs them under her bed. But that night, they start popping up everywhere. She continues to hide them in different places only to have them show up again and again.

It’s up to Raven to embrace her own imperfections and accept her ugly doodles so that she can see them for the masterpieces that they are.

How I Felt:

I thought this book was more than a 5-star children’s book. We’ve now read it like 5 nights in a row for bedtime because my daughter can’t get enough of it!

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The Little Green Jacket by Jodi Dee

Rating: 5 out of 5.

What I Loved:

We are huge donators and shoppers of second-hand stores. I LOVED that this book followed the life cycle of one coat as it is passed down, donated, and sold for reuse after reuse! What a lovely way to feature such a charitable act.

My Synopsis:

A green jacket is given as a Christmas gift to a child. The jacket is happy. It likes the feeling of supporting its child and keeping him warm. When the child outgrows the jacket, it is given to a church donation and finds a new owner to hold tight and keep warm.

The jacket’s story takes the reader on its journey from owner to owner. We see the different children it keeps warm and the love the children have for the jacket.

How I Felt:

I thought this was such a unique story. I don’t think I have ever read a children’s book focusing on the donation life cycle of something. It was really nice to see the variety of ways the jacket finds its way to the new owners, and I liked that it helps so many different types of people!

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Yummy Me Feels So Good by Lion I Am

Rating: 3 out of 5.

What I Loved:

The illustrations throughout Yummy Me Feels So Good are children’s artwork. My daughter really enjoyed looking at each page and discussing the drawing. It was a lot of fun and a great addition to the book!

How I Felt:

Yummy Me Feels So Good has a great message for children, and adults really, about the different “Me’s” that we experience. They are all a part of who we are, and we can embrace them.

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The Adventures of Gunner the Poodle Pony: Gunner Meets Stella by Lynne McGlothlen

Rating: 4 out of 5.

What I Loved:

I really enjoy seeing children’s books that help them to understand and manage their emotions. Adults struggle to handle their emotions sometimes, so helping a child to understand something can be extremely difficult. The Adventures of Gunner the Poodle Pony is a wonderful book that introduces grief for a child in a way that is uplifting, and I loved that.

My Synopsis:

Gunner, a very special dog, is heading to work at the Hospice center. He enjoys helping people feel better when they are sick or sad. He meets Stella at the center, a young girl who is visiting her sick grandmother.

Stella and Gunner become fast friends, and Gunner helps Stella to understand her emotions and help her to feel a bit better. He promises to tell her more stories when they see each other again, which makes me think there might be more Poodle Pony books coming!

How I Felt:

I thought this story was written so that it is easy for a child to understand. It is told through Gunner’s perspective, which makes it fun for a child, but Stella’s emotions are easy to relate to.

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Bandit the Cow Dog by Phil Mills Jr.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

What I Loved:

This story reinforces the importance of responsibility and consequences for a child in a way that made it easy to understand and an enjoyable story. I loved the way it was written and my daughter did too!

My Synopsis:

Mary Andrews is spending the summer on her grandparent’s ranch. Her grandmother discusses with her the chores she will be responsible for while at the ranch. There are eggs to collect and in an exciting turn of events, a horse that she can care for!

Bandit, the retired cow dog on the ranch, still keeps on eye on everything happening. One night, he sees Mary sneak out to give her new horse some carrots. The next day, when the horses are missing because the gate was left open, grandpa is very upset. Thinking it was a forgetful cowhand, grandpa is close to firing him, but Bandit knows the truth and so does Mary.

How I Felt:

I found this book to be a delightful story that captured a child’s actions perfectly. Children are often forgetful and accidents happen. I liked that Bandit was there with Mary, acting as a conscience for her as she considered her options. The story shows Mary’s guilt over what happened and her struggle with deciding to make the right choice or not.

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Wobbly Willie Bakes a Cake by Richard Quisenberry – Kids Book Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

What I Loved:

Wobbly Willie Bakes a Cake shows children how important friends are. I loved that Willie wanted to make his friend’s birthday so special. It created a nice story for a child.

How I Felt:

The main character, Willie, has such a big heart. I like how he can be a role model for a child. He is caring, kind, and determined. When he realizes he can’t do something all by himself, he isn’t afraid to ask for help. I think children will connect with him and enjoy his personality.

The diversity throughout the other characters is wonderful to see in a children’s book. I find this happening more and more with new releases of children’s books, and I love that kids are finally getting a real view of what their social circles, and families, look like in books.

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Love, Sophia on the Moon by Anica Mrose Rissi – Kid’s Book Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

What I Loved:

Love, Sophia on the Moon tells the entire story through letters between a mother and daughter. I loved this concept! It was so cute to read their banter back and forth, and felt just like the kind of conversations I have had with my own children as they decide they would prefer to live somewhere else, then decide, maybe not!

How I Felt:

The writing was perfect for the story. All of the words in the book are on letters going back and forth between Sophia and her mom. The emotions that are felt with each letter are so evident through the words, and I really appreciated how the author was able to capture and convey them. I giggled at how the mother would write about how she was making a favorite dish of Sophia’s for dinner. Sophia would respond with a funny comment about how her mom shouldn’t make that because of this or that. It was so well-written and my daughter and I really enjoyed it!

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