Monday, February 8, 2021

Mexique by Maria Jose Ferrada & Songs for our Sons by Ruth Doyle [Review & Giveaway]

Songs for Our Sons by Ruth Doyle & illustrated by Ashling Lindsay

My thoughts: An unusually thoughtful book that speaks to the potential of a young son with encouragement to embrace the lively spirit and inner sense of being within himself. Encouragement to never fib, follow, fit in. To be proud, free, happy as himself.

How to control anger, to not be afraid to cry, to explore, to discover. To keep an inner compass - home. To be a tender-defender.

Now, while the majority of the book is absolutely wonderful, I do find exception to a couple of things. One being "don't change." I firmly believe that if this idea is planted in the young mind, the possibility of personal behavior/opinion absolutism is being endorsed. We all need to change from behavior contrary to that which civil and moral acceptable. 

So for that reason, I give it a 4-star rating. 

About the book: What hopes do you have for the future? Who do you long to become? This warm, inspiring book encourages boys to shape a world so much gentler and brighter than before.  Playful rhymes and tender illustrations invite them to notice nature, embrace their emotions, and use wise words as their weapons. Whether they’re dynamic dazzlers or marvelous mud sculptors, this book is an opportunity to imagine all the incredible adventures up ahead. 

A perfect gift for baby showers, graduations, and other celebrations, Songs for Our Sons is a book boys will treasure throughout their lives.

Mexique: A Refugee Story from the Spanish Civil War by María José Ferrada & illustrated by Ana Penyas 

My thoughts: Based on a true story, this is a unique book. Artistically stark and dreary, the illustrations are truly appropriate for the brutal reality and darkly scary experience of the child-refugee story portrayed.

I was not aware of the boatload of children sent to Mexico during the Spanish Civil War. I was barely aware that Spain had a civil war. So this was an eye-opener for me.

War is terrible. Children who have to be around war have terrible life. Even trying to escape a war as a refugee is a terrible time and experience. This book aptly tells the children's story in sparse text and dark illustrations.

I recommend.

About the book: On May 27, 1937, over four hundred children sailed for Morelia, Mexico, fleeing the violence of the Spanish Civil War. Home was no longer safe, and Mexico was welcoming refugees by the thousands. Each child packed a suitcase and boarded the Mexique, expecting to return home in a few months. This was just a short trip, an extra-long summer vacation, they thought. But the war did not end in a few months, and the children stayed, waiting and wondering, in Mexico. When the war finally ended, a dictator—the Fascist Francisco Franco—ruled Spain. Home was even more dangerous than before. 

This moving book invites readers onto the Mexique with the “children of Morelia,” many of whom never returned to Spain during Franco’s almost forty-year regime. Poignant and poetically told, Mexique opens important conversations about hope, resilience, and the lives of displaced people in the past and today.

1 copy Mexique: A Story from the Spanish Civil War
Begins February 8
Ends March 3 @ 12:01 a.m. EST
Open to USA addresses only 
DISCLOSURE: I received complimentary copies to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. Winner's copy is provided and shipped directly to the winner by Eerdmans Young Readers Publishing.


  1. Thanks for sharing this article. Truly amazing.

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  2. Like you, I know little about this part of history.

  3. (1) What young readers book would you like to have? I would love to share The Blue Hour by Isabelle Simler with my grandchildren.

    (2) What Young Readers book would you like to see reviewed here on Chat With Vera?

    I think Leather Shoe Charlieby Anna & Elena Balbusso
    Gyeong-hwa Kim sounds interesting.


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