book review, children's, fiction, nonfiction, picture book

Celebrate Dads and Grads with Penguin Random House Canada Young Readers (Multiple Children’s/ Picture Book Reviews)

Physical copies of these books were kindly provided by the publisher,
in exchange for honest reviews.

Title: Miss Moon
Author: Janet Hill
Type: Fiction
Genre: Children’s, Picture Book, Animals
Publisher: Tundra Books (Penguin Random House Canada)
Date published: January 12, 2016

Miss Wilhelmina Moon is a dog governess. At her first placement, on a small island off the coast of France, her new charges – sixty-seven dogs of all shapes, sizes and colors – run wild. But armed with patience and a passion for teaching, as well as her companions, Mitford the monkey and Petunia the French bulldog, Miss Moon soon imparts twenty important lessons to her furry brood. Some are practical, some are playful, one or two are a little unusual, but all are necessary for the raising of happy, healthy and well-mannered dogs (and humans).

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A lot of this book’s focus was on the art (which makes sense, since the creator is an artist)! I was happy to find out that she’s not only an amazing artist, but also a Canadian artist at that (and she lives in the same province as me! Ah!) While the art definitely takes a good amount of the spotlight in Miss Moon: Wise Words from a Dog Governess, and there are few words (as is normal with most children’s books though), I found the lessons to be playful, but also quite deep and meaningful. I think that they can be important to keep in mind for children as well as adults.

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Title: She Persisted
Author: Chelsea Clinton and Alexandra Boiger
Type: Nonfiction
Genre: Children’s, Biography, History
Publisher: Philomel Books (Penguin Random House Canada)
Date published: May 30, 2017

Chelsea Clinton introduces tiny feminists, mini activists and little kids who are ready to take on the world to thirteen inspirational women who never took no for an answer, and who always, inevitably and without fail, persisted.

Throughout American history, there have always been women who have spoken out for what’s right, even when they have to fight to be heard. In early 2017, Senator Elizabeth Warren’s refusal to be silenced in the Senate inspired a spontaneous celebration of women who persevered in the face of adversity. In this book, Chelsea Clinton celebrates thirteen American women who helped shape our country through their tenacity, sometimes through speaking out, sometimes by staying seated, sometimes by captivating an audience. They all certainly persisted.

She Persisted is for everyone who has ever wanted to speak up but has been told to quiet down, for everyone who has ever tried to reach for the stars but was told to sit down, and for everyone who has ever been made to feel unworthy or unimportant or small. With vivid, compelling art by Alexandra Boiger, this book shows readers that no matter what obstacles may be in their paths, they shouldn’t give up on their dreams. Persistence is power. This book features: Harriet Tubman, Helen Keller, Clara Lemlich, Nellie Bly, Maria Tallchief, Claudette Colvin, Ruby Bridges, Margaret Chase Smith, Sally Ride, Florence Griffith Joyner, Oprah Winfrey, Sonia Sotomayor—and one special cameo.

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Whether I will have daughters or sons, you can be sure that I will be reading them this book. I will also encourage them to read it themselves! I found this book to be inspiring as an adult female, so I cannot begin to imagine how important this might be a to a little girl who is going to have to find her place in the world (and also the little boys who will help shape this world alongside all of the little girls when they grow up). Young children do not discriminate, but are taught to do so while growing up in our society and world, so I think that it’s very important to teach them about equality as early as possible! This book is an important read for children and adults alike!

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Title: Great Dog
Author: Davide Cali and Miguel Tanco
Type: Fiction
Genre: Children’s, Picture Book, Animals
Publisher: Tundra Books (Penguin Random House Canada)
Date published: May 29, 2018

The age-old question of “what will I be when I grow up” gets a hilarious twist in this stylish and clever story.

A pup and his father contemplate his grand future while looking at other Great Dogs in their family. Will he be a marathon runner like Uncle Tibor, the fastest dog in the family? Will he be an astronaut like Aunt Yuki, who reached for the stars? Or maybe a teacher like Uncle Scooter, respected by all?

No matter what, says his father, he will be a GREAT dog!

Davide Cali’s tongue-in-check writing and Miguel Tanco’s unique and funny illustrations bring these great dogs to life and will have readers giggling from start to finish. With gatefolds that show the real story behind the characters and a surprise twist at the end, Great Dog is a winner for kids and parents alike!

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Great Dog definitely made me giggle, and I also really enjoyed the folding pages on every second page! (I’ve enjoyed interactive books like that since I was a child!) Humour definitely played a bit role in this book, and it’s a type of humour that I think can be enjoyed by readers of all ages. I also really liked the soft colours and tones in this book. The colour palette was soothing, and I found myself smiling because of this (and also because of the funny parts) throughout my reading of this book. The ending also brought happy tears to my eyes! But, I won’t say why. You’ll just have to read it for yourself to find out! (This book would make a fantastic Father’s Day or grad day gift!)

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Title: Guess How Much I Love You
Authors: Sam McBratney and Anita Jeram
Type: Fiction
Genre: Children’s, Picture Book, Animals
Publisher: Candlewick Press (Penguin Random House Canada)
Date published: October 14, 2014

This inviting, beautifully designed introduction to early concepts from the creators of “Guess How Much I Love You” makes a perfect gift. Would you rather be a yellow thing or a green thing? A caterpillar or a frog? A circle or a square? Play with Little Nutbrown Hare as he learns about nature and explores all the sounds, shapes, and weather in the wonderful world around him. Lift the flaps to help him discover colors, numbers, and all the actions he can do in this delightful first look at concepts starring the characters from “Guess How Much I Love You.”

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I really enjoyed the art in Guess How Much I Love You, but feel as if the message escaped me a little. Since my sister and I don’t have any children, I read it out loud to her new puppy, and we definitely had a few laughs. So, I definitely think that this would definitely be an entertaining read for children and adults because of the wording, the actions, and the colours. The young boy rabbit in this book tries to show his father how much he loves him through actions, and I found this to be very cute. The father rabbit repeats the actions, and due to his size and strength, is evidently a lot better at said actions. Yes, I found it sweet that the father rabbit is trying to tell his son that he loves him more, and that he could have been showing his son what he could grow up to one day accomplish, but, at the same time, the father rabbit also felt a little show-offy to me. That is probably just me overthinking things, though. You should find out for yourself how you feel about this father-son relationship (and let me know what you think)!

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THANK YOU FOR READING MY MULTI REVIEW POST IN COOPERATION WITH PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE CANADA IN HONOUR OF OUR DADS (FATHER’S DAY) AND GRADS! HAVE YOU HEARD OF OR READ ANY OF THESE BOOKS? WHAT DID YOU THINK? AND IF YOU HAVEN’T READ THEM YET, DO YOU PLAN TO, OR NOT? HOW COME? LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS BELOW!

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