Sunday, February 21, 2021

Settle in with some Candlewick Press picture books that entertain and educate [Review & Giveaway - USA/CANADA]

Over the Shop by Jonarno Lawson & illustrated by Qin Leng (Hardcover ISBN: 9781536201475, Ages 3-7)

My thoughts: 
A wordless book that tells a wonderful story. A story of a joyful little girl. A tired, grumpy older lady (aunt, grandmother, old-before-her-time mother), a struggling general store, and an empty apartment.

Daily the tired, grumpy lady gets up, cooks breakfast for herself and the little girl. Then the routine of the day begins with opening the shop, setting out on the sidewalk various displays.

The imagery is touching, telling, compelling. The lady and child are struggling. The empty apartment is in ruinous state. But they put a sign out "Apartment for Rent." And then the parade of "no's" begins. So disheartening.

But then a bi-racial couple arrives and says a positive "yes" to the apartment. The old lady is not so sure. But time passes......

And the ending is glorious in showing what a bit of love, joy, paint, kindness can do to change so much.

I highly approve this book. 

About the book: A lonely little girl and her grandparent need to fill the run-down apartment in their building. But taking over the quarters above their store will mean major renovations for the new occupants, and none of the potential renters can envision the possibilities of the space—until one special couple shows up. With their ingenuity, the little girl’s big heart, and heaps of hard work, the desperate fixer-upper begins to change in lovely and surprising ways. In this bustling wordless picture book, JonArno Lawson’s touching story and Qin Leng’s gentle illustrations capture all angles of the building’s transformation, as well as the evolving perspectives of the girl and her grandparent. A warm and subtly nuanced tale, Over the Shop throws open the doors to what it means to accept people for who they are and to fill your home with love and joy.

The Boy Who Loved Everyone by Jane Porter & illustrated by Maisie Paradise Shearring (Hardcover ISBN: 9781536211238, Ages 3-7)

My thoughts: 
This is a lovely book about love shinning through. About blindness to differences in people of color, ethnic difference, nice-to-you, not-so-nice, old, young alike. 

It is also a story of hurt and disappointment when genuine, freely shared love is looked down on, ignored, brushed-off.

It also a story of giving love a bit of time to grow.

A very nice story.

About the book: Dimitri may be small, but his heart is as big and as open as a cloudless blue sky. “I love you,” Dimitri tells his new classmates at preschool. “I love you,” Dimitri tells the class guinea pig and the ants on the ground. “I love you,” Dimitri tells the paintbrushes and the tree with heart-shaped leaves. So why doesn’t anyone say “I love you” back? Could love also be expressed in unspoken ways? In a familiar story of navigating the social cues of new friendship, author Jane Porter and illustrator Maisie Paradise Shearring offer a thoughtful tribute to the tender ones—those who spread kindness simply by being, and who love without bounds.

So You Want to Be an Owl by Jane Porter & illustrated by Maddie Frost (Hardcover ISBN: 9781536215212, Ages 5-9)

My thoughts: 
Oh my! I so very much enjoyed this book. I know my great-grand-child who is now reading will totally enjoy it. 

It is funny. It is cute. It is simply packed with owl facts. And it also has comparisons between owls in general and people. What they eat. How their eyes and ours are made different. 

Delightfully entertaining and educational.

About the book: Welcome to Owl School! Professor Olaf Owl is here to tell you everything you need to know about being an owl, from hunting to camouflage to seeing in the dark. Study hard, and soon you’ll be a first-rate member of Team Owl! This engaging nonfiction picture book is full of vibrant, humorous illustrations and owl lessons that will have readers eagerly practicing their hoots, toe swivels, and alertness (even if they can’t grow feathers).

Winning entries will be verified
Begins February 21
Ends March 16 @ 12:01 a.m. EST
Open to USA & CANADA addresses only.
No P.O. Boxes & Canadians must provide phone number
DISCLOSURE: I received complimentary copies to facilitate reviews of these books. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. Winners' copies are provided and shipped directly to the winners by Candlewick Press or its publicist. Chat With Vera is not responsible for lost or misdirected prizes.


  1. The fact that the sun is shining today has brought me joy!

  2. This looks like a nice collection of books

  3. The rain has washed some of the piles of snow that makes me happy.


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