Posted in Book Review

Introducing Bruce the Grumpy Bear

1 Grumpy Bruce by Ryan T. Higgins is a fantastic counting board book. This twenty-four page book is filled with adorable animals, high quality illustrations, and vivid colors.

This book makes all three of my kids laugh and smile. They particularly love the fact that Bruce stays true to his grumpy ways throughout the entire book. The illustrations really bring the animals to life for kids.

The book only has thirty-eight words which makes it perfect for reading over and over again. (Trust me I know). I have re-read the book so many times that 1 Grumpy Bruce is now in our Amazon cart. The good news is right now the book is only $4 if you have Amazon Prime.

The only criticism I can find with this book is it might be hard for a child to count the animals in this book if they were just learning how to count. The animals are not laid out in neat orderly rows, and some of the animals do overlap each other in the illustrations. Personally I do not view this as a negative but I could see other parents taking issue with the layout.

I highly recommend this adorable counting book if you have kids between ages 0 to 5 years. This book is perfect for a child who is working on learning to read.

Posted in Book Review

Charlotte Brontë for Babies!

Thanks to Jennifer Adams, the author of Jane Eyre A Counting Primer, you can introduce your baby or toddler to a Charlotte Brontë inspired counting book! If you are a literature nerd like me, this discovery will clearly excite your soul.

This twenty page board book covers numbers one to ten. This book contains approximately seventy words. Despite being a short counting book, it incorporates three direct quotes from the book Jane Eyre. The book also includes words, such as Thornfield Hall and Mr. Rochester.

Overall the book features a much darker color palette than I normally look for in a board book; however, neon colors would have ruined the beauty of this book. The colors while dark are still intense. My son was intrigued by this book despite the dark colors. I thought the illustrations by Alison Oliver were beautifully executed.

Now, I do feel it is necessary to highlight that this book does NOT contain a simplified baby version of the Jane Eyre novel. It merely includes some random words and quotes from the Jane Eyre book. The book has a Jane Eyre vibe, but will give your child ZERO insight into the actual story contained in Jane Eyre.

It is challenging for me to identify the appropriate age range for this particular book. At first glance, it is a simplistic counting book that contains short lines such as “1 governess. ” This makes it an ideal book for a child who is 0 to 3 years old. Upon further reflection though, my 8 year old daughter had no idea what a governess was. Both my 6 and 8 year old also needed help understanding two of the three quotes that were included from the actual Jane Eyre novel. The inclusion of more advanced words, like peruse, means that this book can still challenge a child who is a newer reader.

Ultimately, I used this book as a stepping stone to get my two older children interested in learning about Charlotte Brontë and her novel, Jane Eyre. We are now heading back to the library to find an illustrated and abridged children’s version of Jane Eyre.

Overall, if you were a fan of Jane Eyre, I would recommend reading this book with your child if they are between ages 0 to 5. Just please remember I warned you this book will NOT teach your child the Jane Eyre story.

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.