#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

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#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.

 

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#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

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#BookReview I Told You So! Strike Three, You’re Out by Mark Gunning

Anyone who knows me knows I love a good middle grade novel. What can I say? I love being transported back to the nostalgia and fun of my youth! Middle grade novels are always so fun and creative, so I was pumped that an author even asked me to read one of theirs! It’s always so rare and exciting!

So, onto the review:

This is book four of the series, so I jumped in at a random time. It wasn’t too hard to jump into, but here’s what I got from the story:

William is our lead, and his buddy is out of the game and is in hiding. But, don’t worry! He sends him a text to meet him at a local skate park. I can already tell, they’re gonna get into some mischief! He has a plan, and it’s shown through great, little pictures within the book. The kids an artist and a great thrill seeker!

This group of kids decide they are gonna play a little baseball! It all seems exciting, right? Right?! Well, not until a few mistakes happen and things go a little astray.

They also get into more fun hijinks throughout the story, but I’ll leave the rest for you to read.

I think young readers who love sports will totally dig this book. I was always craving more sports related books as a kid growing up (there was mostly books about animals or fantasy… go figure), so it’s nice to see more now. This book isn’t too long and it’s exciting and fun enough to keep you hooked and entertained.

Plus, William, Thomas and their buddies are all fun and relatable. They’re kids being kids, and it’s great to see a book where it doesn’t feel like adults in kids bodies.

Fun side notes:
These kids live in Itchygooney, which is just one incredible name (if I might say so).
Halloween! Ah, I love a good Halloween shout out. It’s my fave holiday!
Personality filled comics at the back!

Four out of five stars!

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

You can purchase this book on:
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Kobo
B&N

You can find out more about the author, Mark Gunning, on:
Goodreads Author Page
Twitter @MGunningAuthor
http://www.itchygooneybooks.com/

If you’re looking for more middle grade books, check out my recommendations by clicking the links below:
Another amazing Canadian author: #BookReview Unlimited by Kevin Miller
Canadian author round 2: #BookReview Loki’s Wolves by K.A. Armstrong and M.A. Marr
And a graphic novel to spice things up: #BookReview Smile by Raina Telgemeier

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#BookReview The Underground Toy Society Halloween Scare by Jessica D. Adams

If you know me at all, you know Halloween is my FAVOURITE holiday. I’m a spooky kind of person, so I was pumped for this book! Add in that it’s a continuation of The Underground Toy Society and I am in!

So this time around, there’s Sneaky Snake. He’s lonely and all the kids are scared of him. So, of course, The Underground Toy Society steps in and figures out a plan to get him a new home!

My positives:
1. The orange background sets the scene for a wonderful Halloween book!
2. The oak tree picture was super creative!
3. I like that another toy found a home in this book. I think it was very sweet and a worth while addition to this series.

My negatives:
1. Jessica gave in to the dreaded children’s rhyming scheme…Hear me out, it’s cute but it drives me crazy (personally). Kids love it though, so it shouldn’t affect your reading pleasure.
2. The pictures don’t appear to be drawn by her kids anymore! I loved the cute aesthetic of the children’s books, but I guess I can settle for some digitally drawn ones. The animals are super cute (especially the dog).
3. For humourous purposes: toy snakes scaring kids?! I must have been one weird kid because one of my favourite stuffies was a snake.

This book was another adorable addition to this wonderful, whimsical series! I especially love that there’s a Halloween edition because so few books get spooky for Halloween! I’d highly recommend this book for three to six year olds.

Four out of five stars!

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

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

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

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

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#BookReview Halloween with Snowman Paul by Yossi Lapid

It’s spooky time with Snowman Paul!

I absolutely adore Snowman Paul and his shenanigans! He’s such a sweet character with a fun array of stories. This time around he’s taking part in my favourite holidays: Halloween!

Our friend in this story comes across many warnings as he’s walking: aliens, witches and Snowman Paul in a dragon costume!

I absolutely love the soft and colourful pictures in this book! They are detailed enough to pull you in and colourful enough to grab your attention! Bight greens and oranges give it a more spooky feel to go along with the Halloween feel. And there’s also a super cute rhyming scheme that had me singing in my head as I read the book. It adds to the fun level.

Yet again, Yossi Lapid has a hit on his hands! If you have little ones and are looking for a fun picture book, pick up this series. It is totally worth it!

Five out of five stars.

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

You can find Halloween with Snowman Paul on:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
B&N

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

 

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#BookReview The Amazing Snowman Duel by Yossi Lapid

 

Snowman Paul is back, and this time he’s down for a duel!

Yossi Lapid’s sweet series about the friendly Snowman Paul is one of my fave kids series at the moment. It’s short, fun and teaches some valuable lessons! It’s only natural for me to continue to snowball my way through the series (haha, puns! I’m hilarious…).

Bill, a buddy of our lead character, builds Snowman Nick. This snowman looks like he’s not the most friendly guy, especially since he has a giant stick. And just like that, Snowman Paul and Snowman Nick are set for a duel! Everyone is excited with banners waving and animals gathering around. But there’s quite the trick about this duel… You’ll have to read to find out the surprise twist!

These books are colourful and have a soft illustration style. I really enjoy it, especially since it doesn’t take your attention away from the narrative. It’s not a style I see many books have either, so the uniqueness level is great! Add in the super cute stories that Snowman Paul has to offer, and you’ve got yourself a real winner!

I think this is an excellent addition to any children’s picture book shelf. These stories are absolutely lovely!

Four out of five stars!

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

Check out 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 Christmas with Snowman Paul by Yossi Lapid

 

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

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#BookReview Snowman Paul Saves Kate’s Birthday by Yossi Lapid

Snowman Paul is back and this time it’s his friend Kate’s birthday!

Our lead character made a mistake and almost ruined Kate’s birthday, but Snowman Paul came to the rescue! Together, the two of them come up with an epic idea and initiate the plan to make Kate’s birthday super, duper awesome!

This book was sweet and is yet again full of pretty illustrations. There are bright colours with the soft illustrations, which makes for a cohesive story. I honestly love these water colour pictures and I’m glad that they kept it consistent throughout the series.

Overall, this book is a great addition to your picture book and children’s book shelf!

Four out of five stars.

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

 

This book is available 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

 

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#BookReview Sasha and his Red Leash by Yossi Lapid

Yossi Lapid is back at it again with this super sweet book!

Sasha is the cutest little pup, and it’s time for him to have an adventure! He’s very lucky, gets to have fun walks, and gets treats! Buuuut, he hates his red leash. The red leash is absolutely awful! He must fight the urge to be free but unsafe.

This story is sweet! I think it’s a great picture book with a lovely little story. It’s also packed with the most adorable pictures. Sasha is a little troublemaker, but he’s super cute. Kids will love him! There’s also a spot in the book where you can talk with your kiddos about whether Sasha and his owners are being safe or not, so it has a bit of an educational kick to it! I love books that educate!

I absolutely love the illustrations. They are soft, colourful and very sweet. I think they fit the story just perfectly!

Overall, this book is such a cute, little gem! I adore it! I’d highly recommend this book for your children’s picture book shelf!

Five out of five stars.

Thank you to Yossi Lapid for sending me a free copy of this book in exchange of an honest review.

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

You can find out more about Yossi Lapid on:
https://lapidchildrensbooks.com/meet-yossi-lapid/

Check out more fun children’s books by Yossi Lapid:
Quick #BookReview Snowman Paul and Kate’s Olympic Dream by Yossi Lapid
#BookReview My Snowman, Paul by Yossi Lapid
#BookReview Yara’s Tawari Tree by Yossi Lapid
#BookReview Snowman Paul Returns to the Winter Olympics by Yossi Lapid

 

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#BookReview Brandon Makes Jiǎo Zi by Eugenia Chu

Brandon Makes Jiǎo Zi (餃子) is a beautiful little story that should be read across the nation!

Jiǎo zi is a dumpling, in case you didn’t know (because I didn’t until the book told me!). Brandon loves dumplings – make them and eat them (mostly eat, obviously). One day, Brandon’s Grandma from China comes to visit and everything becomes super, duper exciting! Mistakes occur along the way, but everything is made to be fun!

Epic positives:
1. The description and quick lesson about Pinyin was super cool! I don’t know much about Chinese characters and Asian languages, so the little lesson was very much appreciated! I’ve always been curious how translations can work, so this totally spiked my interest. I can totally see families bonding over the language barriers, especially if they are learning a new language!

2. This book is really positive. It not only is educational but shows that Brandon could make mistakes and it was able to be fun and not a negative experience. I can totally appreciate that! Kids make mistakes in the kitchen all the time and they should be embraced, not ridiculed!

3. The glossary! I normally am not a super big fan of them, but I liked seeing all of the words used so I could do a little learning myself.

The pictures are also hand drawn and it’s obvious. I think it’s sweet and gives a very homey feel, but this may be a negative for some readers. So – readers beware!

Overall, this is definitely one of my top children’s reads this year! It’s short and sweet, but packed full of adorableness!

Five out of five stars!

 

Check out this book on:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Indigo
Barnes & Noble

Check out the read-through for this book:
YouTube

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

 

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