Aya and Papaya Keep Trying by MQ

Rating: 4 out of 5.

My Thoughts:

What A Child Will Love: The main character, Aya is very relate-able for a young child. She is excited about her beach trip, she has a special toy that she must find, and she gets sad when something is ruined. My daughter really enjoyed the fun sandcastle building in this story and the imagination that Aya used to make it a special castle.

What I Loved: Aya’s sadness over her sandcastle being ruined by a wave was expertly handled by her family. It gave a child a nice solution to a problem. At the end of the book, the author recapped what had happened at the beach and Aya recalled what she did to make it better. I thought it was a nice ending to remind a child of how they can turn a problem into something new.

To Read or Not To Read: This book is age appropriate for pre-k through maybe 2nd grade. The book features imagination, problem solving, and family.

What’s This Book About Anyway?

Aya wakes up so excited for Beach Day! She must first find her special doll Papaya, and then she’s ready to go! Aya and her family have a picnic breakfast at the beach and then spend time making sandcastles. An enormous wave comes and takes out her beautiful castle. Aya is heartbroken. Her family helps her to make it ok and they build an even bigger sandcastle in a better location. They decorate it and pretend to be royalty. It’s a fun story with a nice lesson.


This ARC was provided to me by NetGalley an the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

Aya and Papaya Keep Trying is scheduled for publication on February 28, 2020.

#ayaandpapaya #ayaandpapayakeeptrying #netgalley #troubadorpublishing #kidsbookreview #kidsbook #kidslit #childrenslit #childrensbook #bookreview #bookblog #shejustlovesbooks #shejustlovesbooksforkids

Ben’s Adventures: Under the Big Top! by Elizabeth Gerlach

Rating: 5 out of 5.

My Thoughts:

What I Loved: Ben’s imagination is huge and I loved it! Not only did he imagine away his classroom, he took me with him. I loved the way the story developed from clearly being in a classroom, to the beginnings of an imagined story, then onto full-blown Big Top Fun!

How I Felt: I grabbed this book, *again* because the title and cover drew me in. I, as per usual, did not read the synopsis. So, I was very excited and surprised when I realized that we weren’t going on a field trip, we were going to use our imagination, and it made the book so wonderful. I read this with my daughter, and she was loving every page. She had questions here and there about something; she was fully invested in this book.

To Read or Not To Read: This is a book that any toddler through 1st grade would enjoy. The imagination theme will offer some good question/answer time afterwards if you would like.

What’s This Book About Anyway?

Ben and his siblings are headed to school. As they start to sit for carpet time, Ben looks around and envisions things slightly different. His teacher is a teacher, but might just be . . . a ringmaster, the child throwing blocks is maybe . . . a juggler. We get to experience a day at the circus through the eyes of Ben. It is an adorable story that all children will love.

Ben Smiles Memorial Foundation:
Ben Smiles Memorial Foundation was founded in partner with the Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley spring 2017 by Rob & Elizabeth Gerlach close to a year after they lost Benjamin.  Ben Smiles is dedicated to enhancing the playing, learning and living of special needs kids and their families by gifting toys and other important devices to kids like their son Ben. 
A portion of the proceeds of Ben’s Adventures book sales will support Ben Smiles’ mission.

More Information:

Website to learn more about Ben’s Adventures



#bensadventures #elizabethgerlach #kidslit #childrenslit #kidsbooks #kidsbook #childrensbook #bookblog #bookreview #shejustlovesbooks #shejustlovesbooksforkids

There’s Room for Everyone by Anahita Teymorian

Rating: 3 out of 5.

What I Loved:

I loved the idea of finding room for everyone.

How I Felt:

This book just missed the mark on so many levels for me and my daughter really struggled with it as well.

The illustrations were so elongated and my daughter and I did not like it. It really bothered her that the arms were so long, and while I was able to look past that, I had trouble with other parts. There was a page saying the animals had enough space, but the baby elephant was squished, I mean literally drawn in the space under the legs of the mommy elephant. Another said all the whales had enough space, but the whales were all completely squeezed into the scene with no swimming space. They weren’t all even drawn flat out, they looked a bit like a Tetris game. My daughter even mentioned that the whales looked like they needed more room. So, overall, the illustrations were just not telling the story that the words were and it made the book disconnected.

The story felt rushed and not thought out. The main character was a baby on page 1 and a grown man by page 3. My daughter was confused about why he had grown up so fast, and it’s ok to rush through the younger years if the story focuses on him as an adult, however that’s not what happened. The main character could honestly have been any age through the whole book and it would not have affected the story. The book doesn’t give time to enjoy the character and connect with him and that is why the story was affected. Unfortunately, by the end she didn’t care about anything he was saying. We closed the book and she said, that’s a 3 star.

To Read or Not To Read:

I hate telling anyone not to read a book. Every reader is different and every reading experience is different. For my daughter and I, this was not a well-thought out book, however, if it piques your interest, grab it and check it out. You may find a completely different experience.

A baby is in his mommy’s tummy and there’s room, then he’s a boy and there’s room, then a man and there’s room. Then we move from location to location as he travels and there’s room. All of a sudden, we turn the page, and now there isn’t enough room for humans. The story has a nice message at the end, it’s a secret, so I won’t share it, but the book ended so abruptly we didn’t even get time to enjoy the happy secret.

This ARC was provided to me by NetGalley and Myrick Marketing & Media, Tiny Owl Publishing for free. I am leaving my honest, unbiased opinion voluntarily.

Greta and the Giants: inspired by Greta Thunberg’s stand to save the world by Zoe Tucker

Rating: 5 out of 5.

My Thoughts:

What I Loved: The illustrations were perfect. The giants looked so large while everything else was so small. The way the animals were drawn, was just beautiful. The wolf on one page, just looked amazing. I was very pleased with the art throughout the book, and my daughter appreciated it too. She had a lot of questions on each page because there was so much to look at.

How I Felt: So, I have talked about this before, but I don’t read the synopsis on books…a LOT. I grabbed this one because the cover stood out to me and the title seemed really interesting. So, as we start reading this book, I know it’s about a girl named Greta and some giants because the title told me so. Then, as the story unfolds, the Giants are building industrial buildings and driving cars and it smacked me in the face.

Image result for facepalm

This book is about humans and their destruction of Earth! The book took on a whole new meaning for me. My daughter seemed to have the same realization as me, and then she was asking more questions, which was wonderful.

To Read or Not To Read: This is a wonderful book for ANY child. This book should be read in schools everywhere. It’s a great Earth Day book and even has information in the back on Earth Day and on Greta Thunberg.

What’s This Book About Anyway?

Greta lives in a forest with many animal friends. One day they come to her very upset. The giants are ruining their forest. They are worse than they have been in the past. Greta sees their destruction and knows she must do something to make a change. She stands at the edge of the forest with a sign that has “STOP” written on it. Soon a child joins her, and then another, and another, until the whole forest is there with her.

Can they get the giant’s attention and stop them from ruining their forest? You’ll have to pick this book up to find out!


This ARC was provided to me by NetGalley and Quarto Publishing Group in exchange for my honest review.

#netgalley #quartopublishing #gretaandthegiants #zoetucker #shejustlovesbooks #shejustlovesbooksforkids #bookblog #bookreview #kidsbooksreview #kidsbooks

My Monster Friends and Me by Annie Sarac

Rating: 4 out of 5.

A copy of My Monster Friends and Me was provided to me by NetGalley in exchange for my honest review and opinion. This book will publish on Jan 1, 2020.

What My Kids Thought:

The illustrations in this book were so fun and the kids just loved it! I wasn’t able to turn the page until they had fully absorbed every detail! They were very interested in the idea of naming our monsters so they are not scary anymore. We talked about this quite a bit after we finished the book, so the idea did stick with them for a while!

What I Thought:

This book does a great job of giving children a tool to overcome their fears. It is discussed multiple times to help them remember what they can do. The illustrations were really great. I was even looking at them extra long just to take in all the details! The rhymes are times, a bit disjointed, but we forgave that because the book was so fun!

What’s This Book About Anyway?

A young boy goes through some of the monsters in his life, which are just what every little kid is scared of, a shadow, a monster under the bed, etc. He shows us that if we confront them and give them a name, they won’t be scary anymore.


Thank you to NetGalley and the Sourcebooks Kids for providing this ARC to me in exchange for my honest review.

#netgalley #mymonsterfriendsandme #anniesarac #shejustlovesbooks #shejustlovesbooksforkids #sourcebooks