#BookReview Brandon Goes to Hong Kong by Eugenia Chu

Eugenia Chu is one of my new, favourite authors! Honestly, two books in and I’m digging everything she has to give us! Brandon Goes to Hong Kong is a delightful story that whisks the reader away to Brandon’s fun, inviting world.

This book is longer than the first book (which was a short, picture book). We have a short, middle grade read just under one hundred pages. This is an excellent story for five year olds and up, and I can easily see an older age group appreciating this book too! There’s more to unpack with this story, in all the best ways! There’s also lovely illustrations too.

These are the amazing points that I love about this book:

  1. There is an introduction to Mandarin Chinese and how the tones work. To me, this is super interesting! I love an educational book that is also fun. You don’t have to learn how Mandarin Chinese works, but if you want to Eugenia Chu has video offerings on her website on how to pronounce the words and how to use tones.
  2. This is a sweet book about family and fun! Brandon goes to Hong Kong (like the title suggests) and gets to experience exciting adventures with his family. You’ll learn about a lot of major hot spots in Hong Kong when you read this book too. I definitely liked Googling some of the places he went to take me away during all the craziness of our current times.
  3. There questions at the end of the chapters to prompt discussion. Whether you love story telling, or just want a more engaged audience – this book is selling it all and making it work!
  4. There’s a full glossary of words at the back! I love me some educational books. I also enjoyed learning how to pronounce these words (I’m not the best, but I’m learning and trying!).
  5. There’s also an introduction to Cantonese. It’s a little less than Mandarin, but it’s super cool! And an introduction to what buddhism actually is! That’s a topic I’ve always wanted to learn a little more about, so it was mighty cool learning it from a book. It makes it kid friendly and simple, and it also doesn’t go into anything too controversial. Just a basic understanding of what goes along with that word.
  6. Dragons, kites, Komodo dragons, pandas and fantastical delights! What more can a young reader ask for?

Overall, I highly recommend this book. It’s an excellent read for young and older audiences alike!

Five out of five stars!

Check out one of my most highly recommended books by clicking on the links below:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com

You can find out more about the author, Eugenia Chu, by clicking the links below:
Goodreads Author Page – Eugenia Chu
http://eugeniachu.com/
Twitter – @chuauthor

Looking for more books that are exciting, kid friendly and just all around amazing? Check out these other awesome books that have been featured on my blog:
#BookReview Togo Learns How To Play by Pat McCulloch
#BookReview Brandon Makes Jiao-Zi by Eugenia Chu
#BookReview I Miss You Most by Cassie Hoyt

Give me a shout out on Twitter if you read this review! #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

And like me on Facebook for more urgent updates! @BriarsReviews on Facebook

Or follow my on Goodreads: Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads

#BookReview Scruffy Muffin Loses His Money by A.J. Kormon

Scruffy Muffin Loses his Money is a great picture book by A.J. Kormon.

This book is deceptively awesome! When you look at the cover and title you think it’s just a typical picture book, but it’s not! This book can be used as a fun, light hearted read OR you can look at the back of the book that prompts you on how to talk about money, budgeting and saving with your little ones!

I absolutely adored this book! It had a great story with a fun rhyming scheme (I started singing in my head), on top of an optional educational bit. If you know me, I love my educational side pieces! The back does a great job of informing parents of the many ways they can help install good money management skills in kids. It’s not all accounting and boring, it’s all about starting conversations and being open with kids.

Throw in the colourful illustrations and the awesome array of friends Scruffy Muffin has, and you’ve got yourself a real winner! I highly recommend this book to young readers.

Five out of five stars!

I received this book for free from the author, A.J. Kormon, in exchange of an honest review.

You can find this book on:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com

Find out more about A.J. Kormon by clicking on the links below:
https://www.ajkormon.com/
Goodreads Author Page

Loving middle grade reads? Here are some other epic books featured on my blog that you will tots love:
#BookReview Togo Learns How to Play by Pat McCulloch
#BookReview The Underground Toy Society: You’re the Illustrator by Jessica D. Adams
#BookReview Yara’s Tawari Tree by Yossi Lapid

Give me a shout out on Twitter if you read this review! #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

And like me on Facebook for more urgent updates! @BriarsReviews on Facebook

Or follow my on Goodreads: Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads

#BookReview Easter with Snowman Paul by Yossi Lapid

Another Snowman Paul adventure is on it’s way! This time, Snowman Paul is celebrating Easter.

Snowman Paul REALLY wants an Easter egg but the chickens aren’t exactly too happy with that. Why does he want it? Well, there’s an Easter egg painting contest! Dan and Snowman Paul’s friendship is shown even mores in this book, which makes my heart sing. The little message about friendship that is in this book will be a great conversation starter for parents who want to make this book a little more educational too! What a great conversation starter, mixed in with a lovely story.

I love the facial expressions in this book. It made me smile and giggle as I read it. This book will definitely be loved by kids and adults alike. The fun, happiness and cheer these books bring are wonderful. Yossi Lapid deserves all the love! Grab this book for your children’s book shelf, it’s well worth it! And this series is always a staple on my must read, book recommendations!

The first page had me grinning already with balloons, chickens, chicks and bunnies all over. It’s a colourful array of fun with incredible illustrations. I love this series for the illustrations alone, and then you add in the valuable messages and friendship.

Five out of five stars.

I was sent a free copy of this book by Yossi Lapid AND I picked this for myself too. This series is just too good to be true!

Click the links provided to grab this book while it’s hot (or cold… because he’s a snowman…):
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com

Check out the other books by Yossi Lapid recently featured on my blog:
#BookReview Sasha and his Red Leash by Yossi Lapid
#BookReview Yara’s Tawari Tree by Yossi Lapid
Quick #BookReview Snowman Paul and Kate’s Olympic Dream by Yossi Lapid
#BookReview Snowman Paul Returns to the Winter Olympics by Yossi Lapid
#BookReview Snowman Paul at the Winter Olympics by Yossi Lapid
#BookReview My Snowman, Paul by Yossi Lapid
#BookReview Halloween with Snowman Paul by Yossi Lapid
#BookReview Christmas with Snowman Paul by Yossi Lapid
#BookReview Valentine’s Day with Snowman Paul by Yossi Lapid

You can find out more about Yossi Lapid on:
https://lapidchildrensbooks.com

Give me a shout out on Twitter if you read this review! #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

And like me on Facebook for more urgent updates! @BriarsReviews on Facebook

Or follow my on Goodreads: Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads

#BookReview Dear Me, Letters to Myself for All of my Emotions by Donna Tetreault

Dear Me, Letters to Myself for All of my Emotions by Donna Tetreault is an excellent book to teach children about their emotions.

To begin with, the inside cover along with the little sticky notes with words on it was a wonderful image/graphic. That drew me in and pulled my interest forward. Then we get into the story itself – it has colourful illustrations, simple and easy to follow sentences, as well as some colourful font to grab your attention. I really liked that the emotions all had their own font and colour – that made the book feel more fun and engaging.

The illustrations are absolute gorgeous. Honestly, that’s what stands out to me. The fun, cartoon-y style with bright colours makes this book really interesting to look at. Add in the fantastic story, message and theme and you’ve got yourself one fantastic book.

Emotions are big and scary when you don’t know what you’re feeling or why. This book tells the reader that emotions are okay and tries to give some explanation as to why they are. Understanding is a key part of this book and I really appreciate that. This book also gives some coping mechanisms such as writing out your feelings. There are many examples for how this can be done but in a narrative context.

I can respect this book and I really think it’s a beneficial tool as well as just a great picture book. I can see educational institutions, social workers and parents alike finding this book useful.

Five out of five stars.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange of an honest review.

Check out this book on:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Kobo
Indigo

Here are some other children’s books you will love if you enjoyed books like Dear Me:
#BookReview Togo Learns How to Play by Pat McCulloch
#BookReview I Miss You Most by Cassie Hoyt
#BookReview Valentine’s Day with Snowman Paul by Yossi Lapid

Give me a shout out on Twitter if you read this review! #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

And like me on Facebook for more urgent updates! @BriarsReviews on Facebook

Or follow my on Goodreads: Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads

#BookReview Togo Learns How to Play by Pat McCulloch

Togo Learns How to Play is a sweet, little picture book!

Welcome to a farm, where Togo the dog runs around and has many animal friends. As we join Togo on his adventures, we’re going to learn some really important morals that will help your little readers grow. This book is perfect for 0 to 7, an d it an excellence addition to your library or bookshelf. Adults and children can bond over how cute and fun Togo is and how smart the animals are when they come together to learn.

Why this book is incredible:

  1. Canadian author! Yay! Pat McCulloch is from Alberta, so I’m super pleased to be able to review a book by a fellow Canadian!
  2. This story teaches an important lesson of learning how to be nice to one another. Sometimes we don’t realize that what we are doing is mean by others’ standards! Togo learning how to play nicely and learning a lesson about not being a bully is an important moral to share!
  3. The illustrations appears home made and fun. I really liked disappearing into this colourful story. It has a great series of illustrations to share.

Overall, this book is a gem! I highly recommend you pick up Togo’s books and join him on his adventures. He shares some great morals, is drawn with beautiful illustrations and colours and it helps promote an indie author from Canada!

Five out of five stars!

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

You can find this book on:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Indigo

If you love picture books, here are some others featured on my blog that you might enjoy:
#BookReview Mollie’s Magical Tooth by Jana Buchmann
#BookReview Brandon Makes Jiao-Zi by Eugenia Chu
#BookReview Christmas with Snowman Paul by Yossi Lapid

Give me a shout out on Twitter if you read this review! #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

And like me on Facebook for more urgent updates! @BriarsReviews on Facebook

Or follow my on Goodreads: Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads

#BookReview I Miss You Most by Cassie Hoyt

I Miss You Most by Cassie Hoyt is an adorable picture book all about missing someone. 

This is a great picture book filled with colourful illustrations that showcase the feeling of missing someone. It can be read as a story of grief or simply missing someone who is far away. I think this can be an excellent resource for your little ones if they are learning about this sometimes awful feeling of loss. Thinking about the time spent together and the wonderful things you can do together is a great way to manage this feeling.

This book does a great job of explaining very difficult feelings to children. How can you explain that the world is in a bit of insanity at the moment so we can’t see our loved ones? This book makes the tender and hard emotions easier to understand. I think it’s a great addition to your shelves.

To add to this review since I have since received a physical copy of this book in the mail – OMG it’s beautiful. The electronic copy is awesome (don’t get me wrong – I loved it) but the physical copy is so beautiful. The colours are bright, vibrant and luscious. The vibrancy of the beautiful illustrations and how much they stand out really does it for this book. I highly recommend grabbing the physical copy if you get the chance. Seriously, it’s one of my new favourite childrens books because of how beautiful it is. Not only do you get a beautiful and important story, but you get a beautiful book as well.

Five out of five stars.

Thank you to NetGalley and Tellwell Talent for providing me a free copy of this book in exchange of an honest review.

I also got sent a free physical copy in the mail for review purposes – Thank you a million times over!

Check out this book on:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Indigo
B&N

You can find out more about Cassie Hoyt on:
https://www.cassiehoyt.com/
Twitter: @CassieHoyt1
Facebook: @CassieHoytAuthor

If you enjoyed this book and are seeking more books to read, check out some others that have been recently featured on my blog:
#BookReview The Underground Toy Society: You’re the Illustrator by Jessica D Adams
#BookReview Snowman Paul at the Concert Hall by Yossi Lapid
#BookReview Brandon Makes Jiao by Eugenia Chu

Give me a shout out on Twitter if you read this review! #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

And like me on Facebook for more urgent updates! @BriarsReviews on Facebook

Or follow me on Goodreads: Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads

#BookReview Randolph the Yellow Snowman by Kevin Miller

Randolph the Yellow Snowman by Kevin Miller is a delightfully funny tale in the town of Milligan Creek.

I love a good picture book, but this one is even better! It’s great! It’s fantastic! It’s marvellous! What other synonyms do you want to hear? It’s got a really funny story about a yellow snowman that may not be what you think it is. His name is Randolph and he is confusing the town of Milligan Creek.

If you haven’t read other books by Kevin Miller, now might be the time to check them out! His middle grade series revolves around the kids from Milligan Creek, so this book is a little throwback to those excellent reads. Back to the review:

We get welcomed back to Milligan Creek (a little town in Canadian’s grand olde prairies) to a little bit of chaos. A yellow snowman shows up that is making the town very concerned. Who in the world would make a snowman out of yellow snow? That’s disgusting! Or is it? Once Terry, the mayor, and every other person gets involved, the story is gonna reveal itself to be quite humorous.

This book is comedy at its finest. Children and adults alike will get a kick out of this super goofy picture book. To boot, it’s a great read for the holidays and winter time. The illustrations also make this book so much better! They are colourful, wacky, zany and fit the community of Milligan Creek just well. Who doesn’t love some great pictures to look at?

Overall, the ending is funnier than I could have ever imagined! I highly recommend this to children aged six and up. It’s comically perfect and a must read in my books. The ending has a parody of the song Frosty the Snowman that will leave you singing and giggling your whole night away.

Five out of five stars.

I received a free copy from the author, Kevin Miller, in exchange of an honest review.

Side note: If you have the opportunity to get the physical copy, do it! It’s totally worth it.

Check out this hilarious must read on:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com

Check out Kevin on his website: http://www.kevinmillerxi.com/
Or on twitter: @kevinmillerxi

Interested in reading the Milligan Creek series? This middle grade series can be found here:

Up The Creek (Book #1) on Indigo

Up The Creek (Book #1) on Amazon.ca

Up The Creek (Book #1) Amazon.com

Unlimited (Book #2) on Indigo

Unlimited (Book #2) on Amazon.ca

Unlimited (Book #2) on Amazon.com

The Water War #3 on Amazon.ca

The Water War #3 on Amazon.com

The Great Grain Elevator Incident #4 Amazon.ca

The Great Grain Elevator Incident #4 Amazon.com

Snowbound #5 Amazon.ca

Snowbound #5 Amazon.com

Give me a shout out on Twitter if you read this review! #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

And like me on Facebook for more urgent updates! @BriarsReviews on Facebook

Or follow my on Goodreads: Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads

#BookReview The Underground Toy Society: You’re the Illustrator by Jessica D. Adams

The Underground Toy Society: You’re The Illustrator by Jessica D. Adams is a delightful book to pick up if you are seeking some activities for your children.

This series is one of my guilty pleasures. It’s simplistic yet genius, cute yet versatile and just all around awesome. Instead of just a story, this time we have a full out book where you can colour and illustrate the story! I think this is wicked smart and such a fun idea. I would have loved activity books themed to books I love when I was a kid. But, alas, I am an adult now so I must indulge in my childhood fantasies through book reviewing.

This book has some excellent colouring opportunities with the awesome characters being made black and white for your colouring pleasure! There’s also cool pages where you get to add features and details to some of the pictures to spice it up.

The plot is also awesome – it’s introducing The Underground Toy Society but in a more interactive way.

Fans of this series, and fans of activity books, will love this incredible addition to The Underground Toy Society series by Jessica D. Adams. I highly recommend it to bring some fun to you and your children’s lives.

Five out of five stars.

I received a free copy of this book from the author, Jessica D. Adams, in exchange of an honest review.

Wanna check this book out? Click one of the links below for more details:
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Goodreads

Check out more books on my blog that you will totally love if you loved this one:
#Book Review The Underground Toy Society Helps Ellie the Elephant
#BookReview The Underground Toy Society by Jessica D. Adams
#BookReview The Underground Toy Society Halloween Scare by Jessica D. Adams

Check out Jessica on:
http://onesweetday48.wix.com/undergroundtoysociet
Twitter – @onesweetday48
Facebook
YouTube

Give me a shout out on Twitter if you read this review! #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

And like me on Facebook for more urgent updates! @BriarsReviews on Facebook

Or follow me on Goodreads: Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads

#BookRecommendations Children’s Picture Book Christmas Collection

I LOVE getting in the Christmas spirit, and reading cute and sweet Christmas books is the way to go! I have been able to pick up so many adorable Christmas books along the way this year, I felt it was necessary to include them on my blog. But there were just so many, so I felt like curating a little book review list of sweet children’s tales full of Christmas spirit was the way to go. Hopefully you find a book you’ll love below!

  1. The Elf Who Couldn’t Read by Sonica Ellis

This book is an adorable little tale about Jingles the elf, a young guy who can’t read!

I found this tale to be so wonderfully cute. It emphasized that struggles can be hard, but we can learn to overcome them. Not knowing how to read is tough, but it is a skill the little ones can master! Sounding out the words and taking your time can be a big help when learning how to read. This book brings positivity to this topic, and it was also just so cute and sweet as a Christmas tale. I would highly recommend picking this book up for your little ones.

I absolutely adore the illustrations. They are fun, colourful and totally fit the whimsical nature of this Christmas story.

Four out of five stars!

 

2. Where Does Santa Go on Vacation? By Kim Ann

This story asks where Santa and Mrs. Clause go on vacation when they get away after Christmas. It’s quite the little gem of a story. It asks lots of questions and show amusing little pictures of what this duo might be up to after the hubbabloo of Christmas time. It’s short, sweet and a quick read! Little ones will love this book! I can especially see ages 2 to 5 having a hoot with this story.

The illustrations are super cartoony and make for a fun visual aid to the story!

Three out of five stars!

 

3. It’s Not Easy Being Santa! by Pragya Tomar

It’s Not Easy Being Santa! by Pragya Tomar is an adorable little story that will fill you with Christmas cheer!

Bug wants to help out some children whose letters didn’t make it to Santa. He loves Christmas, so it’s only natural he wants to help! Once he’s made his wish that he could be Santa, the real fun begins!

This is such a unique tale and it filled me with so much glee and joy! Books like this is why I loved reading as a kid. I sure hope more books like this find their way onto mine and many other readers shelves. What a whimsical and lovely tale that I HAVE to share with everyone! How can I not share such a heart warming tale like this one?

The illustrations are a little kooky, but they are delightfully fun at the same time!

Five out of five stars.

 

4. When the Clock Strikes on Christmas Eve by Lisa Ferland

When the Clock Strikes on Christmas Eve is a fun rhyming book full of Christmas joy!

The book has every hour striking and something fun happening. Christmas cheer and joy is spread throughout the book, making it a fun and different way to get jolly if you are tired of the 12 days of Christmas.

The illustrations are colourful and fun, and they work really well with the story.

Three out of five stars.

 

5. Arial, the Secret Santa by Mary Nhin

Arial, The Secret Santa by Mary Nhin is a delightful book about kindness at Christmas time!

Arial’s family teaches her about kindness, and they put it into action by deciding to be Secret Santas everyday by sharing kind words and happiness to everyone. This book did feel less of a Christmas story, but it was a sweet premise. It felt more like a book about kindness with a couple Christmas pictures scattered throughout.

Fortunately, the messaging of being kind to each other was great! Educators and parents should grab more books like this to help teach kids how being kind and nice to each other is a good thing.

I absolutely LOVE these colourful illustrations that bring so much life to this book!

Three out of five stars.

 

6. The Worst Christmas Book in the Whole Entire World by Joey Acker

Ah, this is not your stereotypical children’s Christmas book. My goodness, it is comedy gold!

This Little Rock points out why this is the worst Christmas book in the whole entire world, and man it is! It’s absolutely horrendous, horrible and wickedly terrible. You’ll be so disappointed that you’ll be so impressed! Now hopefully you can read my sarcasm and comedy in that, because that is what this book brings: comedy and sarcasm.

I quite enjoyed this book. It’s not the typical Christmas picture book and I loved it because of that. It made reading my little Christmas binge so much more exciting! It’ll make you laugh and chortle and chuckle and giggle at all the fun nonsense that this book brings. Honestly, it’s refreshing. Comedic books like this deserve their time to shine.

Four out of five stars.

 

7. The Adventures of Pookie: Mission Fat Hearts by Rebecca Yee

The Adventures of Pookie: Mission Fat Hearts is a fun, thrilling little tale about dogs being enlisted by Santa to help with some missions!

Adults will get a chuckle out of some of the references to Mission Impossible and kids will love the adorable nature of this full of heart story. These dogs spread Christmas cheer throughout 25 days to help Santa get Christmas full of joy and love again. It’s a great little read with cartoon-y pictures. I think parents could easily use the listed missions as fun activities and ideas for their little ones. Or even educators!

Three out of five stars.

 

8. A Christmas Cookie Exchange by Sheri Wall

A Christmas Cookie Exchange is a sweet picture book with lots of rhymes and Christmas cheer!

We follow a little cookie named Phil as he sits on the dessert table. He’s sad because he’s not as fabulous as the rest of the cookies who have sugar and icing and sprinkles all over them. Our little cookie friend learns that everyone is special in their own way and can talk about how they feel. Looking important isn’t as important as how you feel inside!

What a wonderful theme and what a wonderful little book! It’s a great story for parents and educators to pick up.

Four out of five stars.

 

9. The Magic of Friendship Snow by Andi Cann

The Magic of Friendship Snow is a heart warming tale about a little girl name Jojo trying to make some friends.

When the magic of snow gets used, friendship is formed! Tie this in with the gorgeous pictures, and you’ve got yourself a lovely little tale for picture book loving readers to devour.

Three out of five stars.

 

And with that, you have 9 lovely, little Christmas tales full of joy and cheer! These stories are great additions to your picture book shelves for Christmas time! Comment below if you have more Christmas stories to share.

 

Give me a shout out on Twitter if you read this review! #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

And like me on Facebook for more urgent updates! @BriarsReviews on Facebook

Or follow my on Goodreads: Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads

 

#BookReview Snowman Paul at the Concert Hall by Yossi Lapid

Snowman Paul is back again and going to a concert hall!

This is the sweetest, little series – as I keep saying over and over. I adore it and could scream it from the hills! Soft illustrations, great messages, and fun stories are all packed into these adorable, little picture books!

Our lead sees Snowman Paul practicing some music – singing, fiddling, trumpets, drumming and more – and watches him have a swell time! Soon enough, music is playing day and night. Unfortunately, nobody was sleeping because Snowman Paul was so committed! After all of this practicing, Snowman Paul gets to perform!

I thought this was a super charming story! I’d highly recommend adding it to your children’s or your picture book TBR. This series is utterly adorable and is totally worth picking up!

Four out of five stars.

I received this book for free from the author, Yossi Lapid, in exchange of an honest review.

 

You can find this book on:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com

Check out the other books by Yossi Lapid recently featured on my blog:
#BookReview Sasha and his Red Leash by Yossi Lapid
#BookReview Yara’s Tawari Tree by Yossi Lapid
Quick #BookReview Snowman Paul and Kate’s Olympic Dream by Yossi Lapid
#BookReview Snowman Paul Returns to the Winter Olympics by Yossi Lapid
#BookReview Snowman Paul at the Winter Olympics by Yossi Lapid
#BookReview My Snowman, Paul by Yossi Lapid
#BookReview Halloween with Snowman Paul by Yossi Lapid
#BookReview The Amazing Snowman Duel by Yossi Lapid
#BookReview Christmas with Snowman Paul by Yossi Lapid

Give me a shout out on Twitter if you read this review! #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

And like me on Facebook for more urgent updates! @BriarsReviews on Facebook

Or follow my on Goodreads: Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads