Thursday, January 6, 2022

Adorable children's books for winter snuggle reading time [Review & Giveaway - USA/CANADA]

Wild by Sam Usher

My thoughts: 
You know how you feel when you consciously think, "Now this is 'done right'!"? That's how I feel and think when I read books "done right" by Sam Usher. They are sweet. They are insightful. They are adorably illustrated. They quietly infuse relationships and personalities in a skillful and nudging manner. In short, "These are 'done right'!

So I'm happy to recommend the second in a quartet of the natural world wonders. This time Wild lets us get a glimpse into the quirky nature of cats. 

Not only do we see how the little boy tries to engage the cat in various manners, we get to see how he and his grandfather interact so flawlessly. A terrific look at a successful multi-generational relationship.

The illustrations are in true "Sam Usher" style using pen and ink and watercolor to flesh out this sweetly told story. Just a few words are needed, but that's fine because it is a picturebook. It is delightful for reading to young children, and perfect for those early readers who need just a few words at a time and lots of pictures. In short, it's a good book and one I can highly recommend.

About the book: The second title in a quartet of imaginative picture books in which a boy and his beloved granddad discover the wonder of the natural world

A boy and his granddad are taking care of someone’s cat for the day. The boy does lots of reading up about what cats like, but this cat doesn’t seem to like anything! And then it runs off into the wild, leading them to a jungle adventure of their own.

Dogs Love Cars by Leda Schubert & illustrated by Paul Meisel

My thoughts:  This delightful book completely captures the essence of joyful, exuberant dogs. As I read the book I could vividly visualize the bouncing, crouching, wiggling, jumping, leaping, tail wagging bundles of energy that is "dog." It doesn't seem to matter what type or breed, dogs just express themselves vibrantly.

The author captures the range of things that dogs love; and yes, we'll all agree. The illustrator enriches the pages with joyful critters that loveable, excitable, caress-able dogs are.

I highly recommend this book especially for the home where dogs abide. 

About the book: For dog people of all ages, a jubilant ode to our canines and the many things they love with wild abandon—especially you-know-who.

From the yard to the park, from school to the market, from one end of the day to the next, dogs are full of joy. Ears flapping out the car window! Tug-of-war rope toy! Sprawling out on the couch! Getting those “good dog” treats! Wherever they go, whatever they see, dogs love it all. But what do they love most? Guess! This delightfully chaotic book from Leda Schubert and Paul Meisel portrays dogs of all shapes and colors in a laugh-out-loud celebration of our very best friends.

Castle Gesundheit by Mark Fearing 

My thoughts:  We've all known someone who sneezes and coughs a lot, but this story takes the case of sneezing to the next level. The poor village (this is during Medieval times) next to Castle Gesundheit can't sleep because the Baron has such a robust sneeze that it keeps the villagers awake.

Then little Fiona decides she's going to do something about it. So into the castle she marches and finds the place over run with cats. After she chats a bit with the Baron, she declares his problem is an allergy to cats. Then she solves the problem.

A real cute book that addresses the need to avoid being around the source of one's allergy. A story about a little girl with a big idea and how she bravely goes about doing something big. A story about how one person's issue can be bothersome to those around him or her.

So other than a real cute book, there are some deeper plusses here - whether intentional by the author or not. 

About the book: The Baron Von Sneeze's coughing and sniffling is keeping the village of Handkerchief awake! Will Fiona be able to help him . . . and his many cats?

The poor villagers of Handkerchief! For as long as they can remember, the Baron Von Sneeze, who lives in Castle Gesundheit, has been sniffling, wheezing, and coughing day and night, and no one can get any rest. Hoping for some sleep, a girl named Fiona finally drums up the courage to visit the castle and find out what’s ailing its noble resident. When she arrives, she discovers that the Baron Von Sneeze is the only human around, and that he’s convinced his itchy eyes and runny nose are incurable. But as Fiona walks through the many rooms amid the baron’s hundreds of cats, she has a suspicion just what (or who) might have him feeling so unwell, and she has the perfect solution! Mark Fearing’s satisfying tale about lending a helping hand will have little listeners joining in a chorus of “ahhhh-chooo!”

The Barn by Leah H. Rogers & illustrated by Barry Root

My thoughts: 
I am so in love with this sweet book. Told in the first person, The Barn tells his story of beginning 100 years ago with many hands building him. How he cares for the cows, horses, chickens, and other animals. How he shelters them, and provides a safe, comfortable place for them.

How the animals are secure inside the barn and how this goes on day in and day out. Shelter. Care. Home. Security. Protection.

The repetitive type storytelling will engage and charm young listeners and young readers alike. Parents and grandparents will enjoy reading this book to boys and girls helping them discover a bit of agricultural life.

About the book: A sweet, spare debut offers a barn’s-eye view of life on a farm, illustrated with grace and gentleness by picture-book veteran Barry Root.
I am a barn. All are safe within my walls.
One hundred years ago, many hands raised a red-cedar barn. Now the barn stands tall, smelling of freshly cut hay and dusty horses. As the animals wake and wander through its weathered doors, the barn watches the day unfold. Chickens peck, cows shoo flies with swishing tails, swallows fly in and out, and a cat crouches in the grass to hunt for dinner. When peepers start their evening song and the animals settle in their bedding again—the horses in their stalls, the cows in their pen, the swallows in their nests—the barn settles, too, until morning, when it gets to live the day all over again. Written by a debut author and narrated by the barnyard’s serene sentinel, this lyrical and beautifully illustrated introduction to farm life is also a gentle way to wind down to bedtime.

2 Winners: 4 Books Each
January 6 to February 3 @ 12:01 a.m. ET
Open to USA & CANADA addresses
NO P.O. Boxes
Canadian winners must provide a phone number
DISCLOSURE: I received complimentary copies to facilitate reviews. Opinions expressed are mine, alone and are freely given. Winners' prize is provided and shipped directly to the winner by publisher or publicist. Chat With Vera is not responsible for lost or misdirected prizes. 


  1. I went to the grocery store for my neighbor today so she didn't have to get out because of the Covid.

  2. I purchased some food for my older sister to help her out, so she didn't have to go to the store herself. She was so appreciative
    twinkle at optonline dot net

  3. I went shopping for my neighbor

  4. I am baking bread today and sharing with my neighbor

  5. I will pay it forward this weekend!


  6. I am doing an errand for my neighbor today


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