Picture Books Everywhere!

Picture books are awesome. When I go to the library I usually have 4 or 5 picture books (and two novels) that I check out. A really good picture book will give you a lot of information and/or a great story in less than 36 pages! I like to read and review picture books and I have a couple I want to tell you about today!

First up is-

escuchaEscucha Means Listen

By Talia Aikens-Nuñez

Illustrated by Dina Ashraf Helmi

24 pages – ages 3+

Published by Musa Publishing on November 2012

A girl listens to the world around her. What she hears and sees is told in Spanish and English.

I have a special interest in bilingual books and I LOVED this one! I am trying to learn a different language (I am taking French and Latin classes) and my sister, Josie, is taking a Spanish class. Even though books like this one are meant for younger kids, they are great for older kids (like me) who want to learn words from other languages. The illustrations are great and I like the idea of the girl just listening to the world around her!

Robyn Campbell did a PPBF review of this book HERE. Check out the publisher’s website HERE.

Cinco de cinco ratones de biblioteca para “Escucha Means Listen”! fivebooks

Next I have a fun one for you!

caarinaCaarina the Cooking Fairy

By Julia Dweck

Illustrated by Gemini

Published by KiteReaders on December 1, 2012

26 pages – ages 3+

Caarina lives with master chefs who create new recipes. She is a cooking fairy. Caarina is excited because a great feast is to be made, and she was chosen by the Fairy Queen to make it! She starts making her fabulous foods, but a gremlin sneaks in and starts ruining everything when Caarina isn’t looking! At first, Caarina thinks she is the one messing her food up, but then she notices the uninvited guest in her kitchen!

This is a cute book! I like that it is about cooking. The illustrations are very sparkly and my little sister LOVED them. Josie liked the idea of a cooking fairy too. I like how the gremlin messes the food up and how… Well, I don’t want to give the ending away! I’ll just say, Caarina is one smart fairy!

Check out the publisher’s website HERE. Ms. Dweck’s website is HERE.

Five out of five bookworms for this treat! fivebooks

Now for a great picture book app!

andsoyouwereAnd So You Were Born

By Mona Parsa

Illustrated by Nidra N. Kilmer

Published by Twin Peacocks Publishing

This interactive book app talks about why you were born. It is a spiritual book about God’s love (not about any one religion). In fact, there are prayers and scriptures you can read from many different religions. I like that part of the book. It seems to include all religions. I think the book is best for very young kids and would make a nice read aloud for parents and kids to share together. The illustrations are beautiful and the app works well.  There are puzzles and painting games included. The app can also be personalized so your kid’s name and birthday will appear in the story.

Click HERE to get the app!

Five out of five book worms! fivebooks

Finally, A book that really helped me.

mynewgrannyMy New Granny

By Elisabeth Steinkellner

Illustrated by Michael Roher

32 pages – ages 4+

Published by Sky Pony Press on September 11, 2012

Fini loved being with her old Granny. They fed the ducks together and when Granny traveled, she’d send postcards. Granny made the BEST foods too. Granny went to the hospital and when she came back, she was “new Granny.” Now she does things like she wants to eat the bread that was for the ducks, she turns the stove on to warm her hands, not to cook, and she can’t travel. She has to move in with Fini and her parents because she needs to be watched now. Fini likes her new Granny, but she is kind of upset that she has to help take care of Granny instead of Granny taking care of her, and gets fed up with it.

This book has a great story. Granny has dementia and a lot of kids don’t understand this subject. I first read about this book on Patricia Tilton’s blog (see her review HERE) and when I commented on her blog, the publisher offered to send me an ebook copy to review. I got the book, just as my great-grandfather started to get sick. I didn’t understand why he was doing some of the things he was and my parents told me it was dementia. I showed my mom this book and she got the “real” book version for our family to read together. I like how the book tells kids that the person going through this is still the same person, only a bit different.  Besides the great, meaningful story, the illustrations are magnificent. I love how they are drawn. I especially like how Granny looks the same but just acts different.

Check out the publisher’s website HERE.

I would give this book more than five bookworms if my scale went higher! fivebooks

Categories: Age 1-5, Age 6-9

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39 replies

  1. Wow, this post is chock full of good stuff. Of course I LOVE the cooking fairy, and like you, I enjoy bilingual books (I took French in school too). The book about dementia sounds good too — it’s a difficult subject to write about and it’s so important to help us understand not only what the patient is going through, but how it affects the entire family.

  2. So many great recommendations, Erik. I especially enjoyed your personal reasons (and as a family) for enjoying my New Granny. Having worked in international schools, where we get kids arriving at different ages not speaking the language of the school, we often used picture books, even for older children, to help with language acquisition. I would enjoy Escucha means listen for this reason. I didn’t enjoy Latin so much at school, but loved French.

  3. What a great selection, Erik. I agree with Joanna also that the story about the ‘new granny’ is especially appealing! That could be me soon! Who knows? Dementia is such a terrible disease, and it is so important that older people are taken good care of as their precious memory fails.

  4. A great selection of books and some thoughtful reviews! Thanks Erik!

  5. I found out about My New Granny on Patricia Tilton’s blog too – and fell in love with it! The story and the drawings are perfectly matched. This has become a favorite, which I find astonishing because of it’s theme – real magic!

  6. Wonderful reviews. Your review of My New Granny made me tear up, and Escucha Means Listen sounds like something I want to read with my boys.

  7. Mom’s favorite of your choices is the New Granny book. How lucky that you had it when you needed it. My favorite is Caarina, because it has cooking in it. I love when Mom cooks because sometimes she drops things. That means they’re for me! Yay!

    Love and licks,

  8. You’ve had a book overdose! Great choices Erik. I especially liked your review of “And So You Were Born.” Will have to check that out. “Escucha Means Listen” is such a great book to help kids learn a language in a different way. Am so happy you liked “My New Granny.” Thanks for the mention, but it wasn’t necessary. I only saw a PDF file of the book, so I’d love to see it in print! The Europeans are a little more liberal with their illustrations. I love the passion you have towards reading and reviewng.

  9. I’m impressed with your work! You seem to go for a variety of titles. I found you via the Hop, and I hope you’ll stop by and check out my site as well (http://teachwithpicturebooks.blogspot.com).

  10. Wonderful suggestions Erik we have Carina The Cooking Fairy and we enjoy her very much. I love that you review picture books as well as novel’s suitable for your age, so keep them coming and thank you for linking in to the kidlit blog hop. Cheers Julie Grasso

  11. Thank you, Erik, for the lovely review. I’m very impressed with all of your reviews. You’re a very positive role model for other young readers out there. 🙂

  12. Wonderful reviews! I am adding some of these to my list to look for!

  13. You are so right, picture books aren’t just for little kids. I think I will get Escucha Means Listen as I want to learn Spanish. My New Granny is one everyone should read as it will touch most families at one point. Thanks again for reviewing such great books!

  14. Hi, I’m stopping by as part of the Kid Lit Blog Hop. Thanks so much for sharing this fab list 🙂

  15. What a gem in that last book (My New Granny)! I can see how this would be such a relevant book for so many children. We’ve reviewed some of the books above too! Great to hear what you have to say about them! 🙂

  16. I know what you mean about borrowing lots of books from the library. We have three library cards in our family, and I usually max out mine (and my daughter’s and husband’s too), particularly if we’re preparing for a new bimonthly theme, and simply because I’m greedy for books that way. Haven’t come across these lovely picture books yet, thanks for sharing, dearest Erik!

  17. Erik, I just read this post (yes, very late) and I’m especially interested in “My New Granny”. Since I am one of my dad’s caregivers – he has dementia (Alzheimer’s) – I’m going to look for this book. I want my young grandson to understand better, if possible, about his great- granddad, and this book will probably be added to my personal library.
    Thank you!


  1. And So You Were Born

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