Story of the One-Sock Monkey by Jessica Fuller

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Stay at home parents have so much work to do. As a family that had two working parents for the longest time, I didn’t really understand that. Then, just over a year ago, we decided to have my husband stay at home, something he had always wanted to do. It has completely changed my understanding of the work that goes into staying home! I’ve had a front row view of this for the last 11 months as I have worked from home due to COVID. Watching him manage e-learning, cooking, cleaning, laundry, emotional breakdowns, and me…well, it’s quite the undertaking.

The Story of the One-Sock Monkey wonderfully celebrates stay-at-home dads, and I was so excited to get the chance to read it! This is a beautiful tribute to an author’s husband, but also to all fathers, especially ones that stay-at-home!

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Twincesses by Tara Lala

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This is an absolutely lovely story! Sisters separated and coming back together after years apart is a story that I always love. I enjoy the secrets and the discoveries made by the characters!

The characters in this book are not only separated sisters but also magical! I loved this element of the story! I think that young readers that enjoy fantasy will really get into this book. There is an evil sorcerer that makes a great villain, and someone that readers will enjoy rooting against.

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Garbo and the Case of the Wet Footprints by Gretchen Cleveland

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This was such a fun story! Garbo the investigator is a turkey with a wonderful knack for solving crimes. He’s funny but also serious about thinking through problems.

I loved the way Garbo encourages Jonah, his new friend to help him solve this mystery. He patiently waits while Jonah thinks through problems, and Garbo provides him with new ways to look at things. Best of all, when Jonah needs encouragement or to be rewarded for a good idea, Garbo is there with delicious rainbow marshmallows!

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Lunk by Connor Anvar

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I love seeing children’s books that inspire children to love who they are. There are so many influences in the world pushing people to be the way others are, and it is important to remember that being you is special too.

Lunk is a chicken who wants to be special. He is given a magical object that allows him to be the version of himself that he thinks will be better. When he visits his friends though, they don’t even recognize him, and they don’t believe that Lunk is standing in front of him. Lunk learns that being something he is not, isn’t as great as he thought it would be.

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So You Want a Pet Dragon? by Tania Pourat

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This was just adorable! If you have a child that has always wanted a dragon as a pet, this is a good way to show them all the struggles of having such a feisty beast!

For me, this book was all about the illustrations! They fit the story just wonderfully, and they were so much fun to look at and enjoy.

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The Search for the Scepter by Julie Dinges

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This was such a fun mixture of fantasy and adventure in a children’s book! I loved the wonderful characters, and the mission the girls are on to rescue the scepter!

The two main characters in this story are two sisters and princesses. They awake to find a thief has stolen their father’s scepter and decide to take matters into their own hands and get it back! I loved that this adventure was just the two of them, striking out on their own to save something that is special to their father.

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The Adventures of Chips & Salsa by Cynthia Petillo

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This is a great book for kids to learn a variety of lessons!
✔️ Friendship
✔️ Making new friends
✔️ Being in a new place
✔️ Bullying
✔️ Doing the right thing

Salsa is new to the neighborhood and meets Chips. They spend time playing in the dog park near their homes. They come across dogs that can be new friends, and other dogs that are not so nice. One day Salsa comes across a dog in trouble, but it’s one that was not nice in the past. What does Salso do?

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Christmas Lights! Christmas Lights! by “Aunt Sandy” (Sandra Hanson)

Rating: 4 out of 5.

My family and I schedule an evening in December every year where we drive around and enjoy everyone’s Christmas lights and outdoor decorations. It has been a tradition for years and it is one I hope to continue for a long time. Reading this book got me excited to head out this December and enjoy the lights! I thought this was a wonderful celebration of the joy we all find in looking at holiday lights.

Christmas Lights! Christmas Lights! is an easy-to-read story with children taking them on a Christmas lights adventure. Each page introduces a new spectacular lights display to enjoy looking!

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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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Cluck and Fluffy by Ceasar Castro

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I love when children’s books address real-life situations that kids have to deal with. I think that it is so important to address these issues and provide the opportunity to learn and be better!

Cluck and Fluffy are an unlikely pair in this farm-yard story. Cluck is a new rabbit that has been placed in the chicken coop for a short time. The chickens are mean and shun him, making him feel like an outcast. When one chicken finally decides to befriend Cluck, they show that being mean and hurtful is not the right way to act.

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Elephant Ears by Fanya Randall

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Bullying is such a sad, real thing for children. This book tackles this mean, hurtful thing with a wonderful story that helps children understand what bullying is, and what they should do when it happens.

Max is so excited to start school, but when a bully starts calling him “elephant ears”, he doesn’t know what to do. His friends don’t know what to do either, and Max feels very alone. When one friend stands up to the bully, it helps Max stand up to him too.

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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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