Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Candlewick back to school picture books deal with emotions of little kids (ages 4-7) [Review & Giveaway USA/CANADA 2 winners]

Ups and Downs: A Book of Emotions by Mike Wohnoutka

My thoughts:
Very simply phrased in one-word at a time presentation with accompanying illustrations that are sweet and delightful, this broad ranged expression of a wide range of emotions that children encounter during their daily activities. One word, one emotion. Sometimes, one word and emotion that results in another word and emotion. Then the resolution of that emotion with a third word and emotion. But mostly a simple one word - one emotion presentation.

I love it!

About the book: In a feel-good concept book, the Geisel Award–winning illustrator of See the Cat gives young children a vocabulary for naming—and managing—their emotions.

From delight to disgust, excitement to fear, worry to confidence, boredom to curiosity, feelings can shift in a heartbeat. Mike Wohnoutka’s simple words and tender, nuanced illustrations follow three young children as they traverse emotional highs and lows over the course of a school day. The wide spectrum of emotions covered—far beyond happy and sad—invites readers to share their own contradictory, unpredictable, ever-present feelings. Vetted by an expert in the science of children’s emotions, this day in the inner life of three kids encourages first steps toward emotional literacy and is a satisfying narrative that ends with the adorable trio converging after school in the park—ready for play! Secret word: happy.

Lupe Lopez: Reading Rock Star! (Lupe Lopez #2) by E.E. Charlton-Trujillo, Pat Zietlow Miller, & illustrated by Joe Cepeda

My thoughts: 
Cute book but not a favorite. It's great that in the end Lupe got her confidence back and continued to pursue her reading despite her difficulties. I just think there is too much razza-ma-daz to the story. A bit too much rock-star emphasis for kindergartners turned first graders. 

About the book: Learning to read is kind of a big deal, and Lupe Lopez has a lot to learn—in her own feisty way—to reach her goal of becoming a Reading Rock Star.

Famous at Hector P. Garcia Elementary for being the first kid in kindergarten to ever start a band, Lupe Lopez enters first grade seeking a new sort of fame. She’s ready to rock and roll straight into the role of Reading Rock Star! But despite her best efforts, the words she thought she knew—now grouped in sentences—only glare back at her. Stuck in Group A with the kids who can’t read, she becomes the object of a rival’s mockery. Will her beloved band, and her confidence, survive the sting of defeat? Leave it to Lupe to prove that the beat she feels when she taps her pencil isn’t so very different from words and sentences—and that a real rock star is someone who doesn’t give up. Featuring simple text laced with Spanish words, dynamic illustrations, and a reassuring theme, this sequel to Lupe Lopez: Rock Star Rules! will encourage fledgling readers to keep trying, even if they miss a beat or two.

  • You, Me, We: A Celebration of Peace and Community by Arun Gandhi, Bethany Hegedus & illustrated by Andrés Landazába

      My thoughts:  The theme is to be a peaceful individual simply exuding peace in everything we do. Not just overcoming our unpeaceful thoughts and actions. Finding peace in everything. 

      A bit over the top … “Alone or together. And sometimes alone together.”

      The concept and illustrations are bent toward Eastern religious practices - meditation. “Listening to the silence.” This neither a negative nor positive observation on my part. The illustrations picture a multicultural group of young children in a school setting.

      A sweet book that reminds me of the lovely song, “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin in me,”

      About the book: Coauthored by one of the grandsons of Mahatma Gandhi, this gentle guide to cultivating peace will find a welcome place at home and in classrooms.

      Peace is you. Peace is me.

      Peace is the great big WE of community.

      Where can we find peace? It shows in the way we walk, stand, or form a circle. It can be found when we play or dig in the garden, speak up or ask for help, or sit still and listen to the silence. Whether we’re learning, taking turns, or getting past hurt feelings and misunderstandings, peace is always there, as long as we look at one another, ready to discover. Drawing on the philosophies of Mahatma Gandhi and educator Maria Montessori, coauthors Arun Gandhi and Bethany Hegedus offer an inviting primer brought to life through the warm, wondrous illustrations of Colombian artist Andrés Landazábal. As Mahatma Gandhi once said, “If we are to teach real peace in this world . . . we shall have to begin with children.” You, Me, We does just that, as it celebrates the peace that can be found in us all.

      You Can!: Kids Empowering Kids by Alexandra Strick & illustrated by Steve Antony

      My thoughts:  The author and illustrator follow a group of racially and physically enabled or disabled children from very young to their teens.

      They are encouraged to try and try and try again and told that they can do many things. A grand book of encouragement and of personal achievement as well as the concept of helping others to overcome their difficulties.

      I can’t agree with everything in the book but there is much good in the story.

      About the book: Young people share valuable advice—words they wish they had heard growing up—to inspire, reassure, encourage, and say You’re enough, just as you are.

      You can . . . be brave, challenge yourself, overcome your fears, be kind, be YOU! Come on an amazing journey with fourteen young people as they grow from birth to eighteen, learning new skills, exploring new worlds, standing up for their own and others’ rights, and following their dreams. Created in consultation with real young adults, Alexandra Strick’s groundbreaking narrative will inspire and empower young people of all ages and abilities to believe in themselves and follow their own path, especially during tough times. Complemented by Steve Antony’s exuberant and inclusive artwork, which introduces fourteen comparable fictional characters and tracks their growth page by page, You Can! is a timely and meaningful gift for graduates or any reader marking significant milestones.

      4 books for 2 winners
      Begins October 3
      Ends October 25 @ 12:01 a.m. EDT
      Open to USA & CANADA - 2 Winners
      Canadian winners must provide phone number
      NO P.O. BOXES
      NOTE: Secret Word entry is FIXED NOW! 
      DISCLOSURE: I was provided complimentary copies to facilitate a review. Opinions expressed are solely my own and are freely given. Winners' prize is provided and shipped/mailed directly to the winner by Candlewick Press or publicist. Chat With Vera is not responsible for lost or misdirected prizes.


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