Posted in Book Review

Finding Beauty in Mistakes

Beautiful Oops! by Barney Saltzberg is a truly unique and creative children’s book. The twenty-eight pages in this book have a special layout. The book features exquisite colors, interactive pages, and tactile experiences galore.

This book uses flaps, bent corners, torn pages, and crumpled paper to showcase the beauty of artistic creativity. The book’s message is minimalistic yet powerful. Through its design, this book tries to inspire readers to seek out creative ways to turn their mistakes into something beautiful.

For example, a tear in a piece of paper is transformed into an alligator’s smile. Later, a bent corner of paper becomes the beak of a penguin. As the book unfolds, several other transformations emerge on the pages.

Beautiful Oops! is only eighty-nine words long; however, its simplicity is powerful. The words are there to transition the reader through the interactive illustrations.

My kiddos who are 10 months, 6 years, and 8 years old are obsessed with this book. This book is unlike any other book in our personal collection. My oldest is particularly enamored with this book because of her love of the arts. My youngest son adores how interactive this book is.

I highly recommend that you check this book out if you have a child between 0 to 8 years of age. There are some potentially negative aspects of this book that are worth noting.

First, this book is short which might disappoint some parents. The main focus of this book is the artwork and the interactive layout. Second, this book does not tell a story. This book contains a life lesson rather than telling a story. Third, if you are looking for a crafting book this is NOT the book for you. Fourth, if your little one is not the artistic type, they may find this book boring. Lastly, the flaps and other interactive elements of this book are not durable enough to withstand the rough handling of a toddler.

Despite the possible drawbacks of this book, I still give this book the highest praise.

Posted in Book Review

Monday Morning Books

Today story time started bright and early at 7 a.m. because my child refuses to sleep like a normal baby.

For our morning story time, we read eleven books. My son’s absolute favorite book of the morning was Dog and Friends Sounds, which was illustrated by Emma Dodd. The book is a brightly colored board book containing ten pages. There were only thirty-six words, which made it a perfect book for a baby with a short attention span. In addition to the really bold color choices, this book was an excellent book for a young baby because it has so many fun animal sounds like “oink” and “baa.” As of right now, we have already read this book three times and yet my son keeps bringing it back to me. In the world of a nine month old baby, this book gets 5 stars!

The other titles we read this morning were:

  1. Snow Babies by Laura Ellen Anderson. This book for whatever reason did not grab my son’s attention; however, I would still recommend it. The book was short, had adorable illustrations, and introduced several different animals.
  2. This Little Hamster by Kass Reich. After several different attempts at reading this book, I can safely conclude it did not speak to my son. The book is probably better suited to a toddler who is working on learning the colors. The illustrations were in more muted tones which did not catch the eye of a baby as well as some of the other books we read today.
  3. Eek! by Fermin Solis. This was a perfect mini board book just in time for the Halloween season. All three kids enjoyed this board book, including my eight year old. The book was mini size so it was perfect for a baby to hold and crawl around with. Each page was very concise and vividly colored. We also read Boo! and Yikes! which are two other very similar books written by Fermin Solis. If you are looking for a quick Halloween read for you and your baby, I definitely recommend these three books.
  4. That’s not my Puppy by Fiona Watt. This book is perfect for a baby because it is concise, colorful, and exciting to touch. This book featured several different textures, such as fluffy tails and bumpy paws. We read the book several times today, because it makes my son giggle. He loves flipping through the pages and touching the different textures.
  5. Ghost Cat by Eve Bunting. I initially checked this book out from our local library to read to my six and eight year old kids; HOWEVER, they declared the book too creepy. After they decided to not listen to the story, I read it to the baby even though he was not the intended audience. I personally enjoyed the story and I intend to read this book to my son when he is old enough to understand the story. The book has lovely illustrations and a quirky story. In this book, there is a ghost kitty who lives in the lighthouse with his owner. Eventually the ghost kitty has the opportunity to play the hero and save the day. This would be a great story for someone who has kids between ages 5 and 10, who are not scared of ghost stories (unlike my two girls lol).
  6. One, Two, Three by Sandra Boynton. This book is one of my son’s favorite board books. It is an adorable counting book that features several cartoon animals doing different activities, such as going for a walk. The book is not as brightly colored as several other books my son prefers; however, this book still keeps his attention. It would be a perfect book to read with your child as they learn to count.
  7. Anansi’s Party Time by Eric A. Kimmel. This book was perfect for my six and eight year old daughters to enjoy. It is a classic trickster tale. This is my girls’ favorite Anansi book we have read so far. They loved that the story included a turtle, balloons, and dress up. While the baby did somehow listen to this entire story, I fully intend to get this book when he is old enough to understand the story. I would recommend this book for kids between ages 5 and 10, especially if they enjoy books that feature animals.
  8. Beautiful Oops! By Barney Saltzberg was the one book that was loved by all three of my kids. This book is impeccably well designed. It features a positive message, a creative layout, and beautiful illustrations. This is the one book that we immediately ordered on Amazon after reading it. While my baby loves this book, it would be very easily destroyed by him. I would caution parents to supervise young destructive kids with this book.