El rojo es mejor by Kathy Stinson and Robin Lewis (Spanish translation by Annick Press, February 2014) is a Spanish-translated version of the popular Red is Best, a story about a girl who definitely prefers everything red in her life: her stockings, mittens, and hair ties.
In this story, the girl also gives her reasons for liking her red version: the red stockings let her jump higher, for example. Reading the Spanish version to my kids gave them some new vocabulary. Because of their young ages, however, and the fact that they are not fluent in Spanish, I believe they still preferred the English. I’ll keep trying to get them more familiar with Spanish, as I expose them to more and more stories in Spanish.
My daughter loved the pictures and the story. She can definitely relate to having her favorite things to wear, and she enjoyed pointing to the things for which she too has favorites (her pajamas, her shoes).
I see this book as something that I could use in my teaching! For every claim we make (such as “My red mittens are better”), we must have a reason (such as “my red mittens make better snowballs”). The girl in the story does not really have proof of her reasons, but that adds to the child-ish fun behind it all!
Note: I received a digital review copy of El rojo es mejor.
When I was young, I loved Ann M. Martin’s books. Of course, I read The Baby-Sitter’s Club, but I also looked up everything else she wrote. The book I received for review consideration seemed eerily familiar as I read it, so I’m pretty sure I visited this once before.
Bummer Summer by Ann M. Martin (Open Road Media, April 2014) was originally published in 1983 and now it is being issued by Open Road Media as an ebook. This book is such a fun summer read. Kammy’s dad has just remarried a woman with a baby and a three-year-old girl, and her life is now turned upside down! She doesn’t want to lose her place in her house and her dad’s heart but they want her to spend the summer at Camp Arrowhead. Can she survive away from home? It is sure to be a bummer summer. (more…)
The Other Bears by Michael Thompson (Star Bright Books, October 2013) is a simple tale of prejudice being overcome by friendship, except this is a somewhat silly picture book about bears!
The koala bear family (who technically are not bears at all but marsupials) are busy enjoying their day at the beach when other families arrive.
First comes the panda bear family, with Chinese dress and food. Then there is the polar bear family (with snow shoes and coats) and the black bear family (with American parade regalia). Finally, the brown bear family (with German/European outfits) and the sun bear family (with Southeast Asian clothes) join the crowd on the beach. (more…)
What is your favorite fairy tale? Mine has always been Beauty and the Beast; I loved the Disney movie when it first came out. I’ve always wondered, though, how the Beast became so beast-like so fast and that no one remembered him in that castle!
The Beast Within by Serena Valentino (Disney Book Group, July 2014) finally answers the questions we’ve had. It tells the story from the Beast’s point of view, showing through flashbacks how a family of witches came to curse him because he had slighted their younger sister. Finally, we can see the magic behind his enchantment! (more…)
I love books about words and I love fun stories about sisters. Ava and Pip by Carol Weston (Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, March 2014) is both of those, told through a young girl’s diary. I have always (until kids, at least) been a regular journal writer as well, so I enjoy stories told from this perspective.
Ava is the out-going younger sister, and Pip is the shy and studious older sister. Although the two get along, when Ava writes something that embarrasses Pip, their relationship is strained. How can Ava help her sister overcome her shyness? The end result is inviting and encouraging to all kids who feel shy.
The story moves quickly. Other than the conflicts between Ava and her sister, it also gives us a delightful glimpse into the Wren family. As Ava writes in her diary, we follow their family’s interest (obsession?) with palindromes. Ava finds palindromes in everything around her, and the author includes a list of all the palindromes from the book at the end. What a great way to introduce a word-play concept: sneak it in to an interesting book!
In short, I really enjoyed Ava and Pip. I was the shy older sister; my sister was the outgoing younger sister. I think this is a book that girls with sisters would especially appreciate.
Note: I received a digital review copy.