Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Having fun with Candlewick children's books [Review & Giveaway]

The Princess and the (Greedy) Pea by Leigh Hodgkinson (ages 3-7)

My thoughts:
  The cover of this book is delightfully cute and the colors a palette of happiness. Throughout the book the illustrations are cute, colorful, and funny.

The storyline is that of a fractured nursery rhyme or fairy tale and it is told along the lines of a cumulative tale/rhyme. The "voice" changes a bit when the princess enters the story. The rhyme bounces along nicely.

The text itself..... The font is cute, kind of swirly but just absolutely too small. It is presented as black ink on a white background which is appropriate. However, some pages have the colored text on dark backgrounds which are hard to read. All in all, the text loses on this one.

The "pea" is a gluttonous character that gets fatter and fatter. He ends up being devoured by the princess in the end. These two elements are key to the story but I didn't care for them.

About the book: A gluttonous pea runs afoul of a very hungry princess in this playful cautionary tale inspired by a favorite cumulative rhyme and a classic fairy tale.

There was a green pea who swallowed a sprout. Without a doubt, a brussels sprout. What’s that about?

I am concerned about the small type font and also about the small
type on dark background. Difficult to read but cute illustrations.

This little pea is hungry! So hungry it swallows a sprout, slurps up some soup, munches the bread, gobbles the cake, noshes the pickle, guzzles the cheese, drinks all the tea, and even chomps down the table it’s all served on. After all that, it needs to sleep. But whose dinner did it steal? And whose mattress is the now-humungous pea resting under? With bold, delightfully detailed illustrations and a bouncy verse perfect for reading aloud, this wickedly funny mash-up of “The Princess and the Pea” and “There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly” will have little listeners clamoring for multiple helpings.

Taxi, Go! Hardcover by Patricia Toht & illustrated by Maria Karipidou (Ages 3-5)


My thoughts:
  Such a cute book and the Taxi takes on a personality of its own. Reminds me of books when my children were small about personable cars and trucks. Also, the cute story takes the reader all around town and the countryside as Taxi goes about taking riders ("fares") from place to place.

Young children who have never experienced a taxi ride learn about this special mode of getting about town.

I think this one is a winner!

About the book: With energy and exuberance, the author of Pick a Pine Tree and the illustrator of Angry Cookie pair up for a bustling day in the life of a big-city taxicab.

Today will be a busy day for Taxi! There are plenty of passengers to pick up, and they all need a ride—to a football game, a play, a business meeting, the airport, and more. Whizzing left, right, and through traffic, Taxi has to STOP for red lights and emergency vehicles. But after every stop, stop, stop, it’s Taxi . . . go, go, GO! Humming with musical rhyme and clever sound play, this vibrant take on a classic read-aloud theme radiates adventure and good fun. Brightly illustrated spreads of a happy urban world teem with details that vehicle-loving tots will pore over as they follow winsome Taxi through the work day and throughout the town until it’s time for bed.

Today Is for You! by Sally Lloyd-Jones & illustrated by Kevin Waldron (ages 3-7)

My thoughts:
  The rhyming text is chock full of cheerful, positivity, and enthusiasm as it encourages young children - especially "you" - to live life to the fullest, engage in the things you see and hear, be active, be engaging, be positive.

I really enjoyed reading the rhyme through from beginning to end as it started with the start of the day and ended at bedtime. Just full of enthusiastic encouragement.

The illustrations didn't focus on just one individual child, but had a variety of children busy filling the pages. There is a happy "circus" style and sense to the illustrations though no circus is actually pictured. I did not care for some of the text such as dark purple background and font in another lighter shade of purple. This seems to be a trend in children's books and I find it unwelcome. Overall, though, the book is quite readable and quite enjoyable.

I also found this to be different from previous books by this author as she typically writes for the Christian publishing houses. I have never seen a book by Sally Lloyd-Jones I did not like and this one is no exception.

About the book: Sheer exuberance fills the pages of this picture book celebration of the promise every day brings.

Where will you go on those traveling feet?
Who will you love? Who will you meet?
Be a little seed. Get carried away!
Go WILD into the brand-new day.

From the bustle of the morning to the quiet of bedtime, every new day is filled with possibility. Follow a group of children as they find fun at every turn—dancing, playing games, picnicking, reading a book, climbing a mountain, or just shouting out their enthusiasm to the world. Sally Lloyd-Jones’s upbeat text integrates with Kevin Waldron’s high-energy mixed-media illustrations for a story that exudes unabashed joy.

Little Green Donkey by Anuska Allepuz  (Ages 3-7)

My thoughts:
This is a simply told story of a picky eater. He fixates on a food (green grass) and eats it to excess. The result is he turns green. His mother despairs of convincing him to eat a variety of colorful foods, so he picks through a few. He settles on crunchy carrots. And then, alas, he turns orange as a carrot.

The purpose of the story is to show that our bodies need a variety of food and that we should not just pick one that we prefer. 

The illustrations are cute and capture the mood of the story quite well. 

About the book: Little Donkey loves eating grass. Grass is so juicy, zingy, sweet, and tangy! Mom asks him to please have a tiny taste of something else — oranges, watermelon, broccoli? — but a life of eating grass is just fine with Little Donkey. Until one day he spies his reflection in the watering hole and sees that he has turned green. Mom resumes her persuasion with new urgency. Apples and grapes? Yuck! No thank you! But carrots — carrots are crunchy, crispy, and delicious! Little Donkey is delighted with his new carrot-only diet and happy to transform from his all-green self to — oops! Pictures full of color and movement bring to life a charming story that will resonate with choosy eaters. Secret word: Tree

Winner's Choice of 1 Book
Begins March 27
Ends April 25 @ 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addresses only.
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. Winner's prize is provided and mailed directly to the winner by publisher or publicist. Chat With Vera is not responsible for lost or misdirected prizes.

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