Book review: Sticks and Stones, by Nicole C. Kear, illustrated by Tracy Dockray

Kear, Nicole C. Sticks and Stones. Illustrated by Tracy Dockray. (The Fix-It Friends series) Imprint, 2017. $5.99. ISBN 9781250085863. 144 pages. Ages 6-9. Book 2 in the Fix-It Friends series. P7 Q7

Veronica helps her friend, Noah, who is being bothered by another student. This book focuses on how to deal with being teased. It includes a tool box with detailed steps on how to handle being teased. Like the first book in the series, The fix-it friends have no fear, this book also includes resources for parents and children. The Fix-It Friends have not fear is a chapter book in the series Fix-it Friends. The author is planning to have six books total in the series. The third book is estimated to be released in September 2017, and books four to six will be released until 2018. The books can be pre-ordered. Each book in the series focuses on an issue children may be dealing with and each book can stand alone.

Verdict: I recommend this book for libraries, classrooms and personal libraries. This book is especially helpful for children who are being teased. As a family advocate, this is a book I will keep in my personal library. I look forward to the other books in the series.

June 2017 review by Tami Harris.


Book review: Have No Fear!, by Nicole C. Kear, illustrated by Tracy Dockray

Kear, Nicole C. Have No Fear. Illustrated by Tracy Dockray.(The Fix-It Friends series)  Imprint, 2017. $5.99. ISBN 9781250085849. 144 pages. Ages 6-9. Book 1 in the Fix-It Friends series. P7 Q7

Veronica wants to help her friend Maya with her fear of bugs. As Veronica is helping Maya, she realizes that she needs to allow others to help her as well. The book includes a worry tool box that gives children step by step instructions on how to deal with worry. It also shares what worry feels like. At the end of the book, there are resources which include book lists for children, parents and websites for parents who have children who are struggling with anxiety. It also includes a website address for Fix-It Friend’s games and activities. The website has different topics children can click on to find ways to cope with varies issues. The Fix-It Friends have no fear is a chapter book in the series Fix-it Friends. Even though it is in a series, it can also stand alone.

Verdict: I recommend this book for all libraries and for parents whose children deal with anxiety. As a family advocate, I will be adding this book to my personal library and recommending it to several families.

June 2017 review by Tami Harris.



Book review: A Mysterious Egg, by Stacy McAnulty, illustrated by Mike Boldt

McAnulty, Stacy. A Mysterious Egg. (The Dino Files series, #1) Illustrated by Mike Boldt. Random House, 2017. $4.99. ISBN 9781524701505. 128 pages. Ages 7-10. In the Dino Files series. P7 Q7

The Dino Files follows Frank as his paleontologist grandmother finds a fossil dinosaur egg. The fossil is found on a neighbor’s property and there is a dispute to who owns the fossil. When Frank and his cat, Saurus, hatch the egg, the fun starts.  The facts surrounding fossils are accurate. The story shows how friendships can develop and the importance of compromise. This book includes a glossary and a sneak preview for the next book in the Dino Files series. The illustrations are pencil drawings and add to the text.

Verdict: I recommend this book for libraries. Children who are interested in fossils will enjoy this book.

June 2017 review by Tami Harris.

Book review: Lemons, by Melissa Savage

Savage, Melissa. Lemons. Crown Books for Young Readers, 2017. $16.99. ISBN 9781524700126. 3 pages. Ages 8-12. P7 Q8

Lemons follows a girl named Lemonade from her home in San Francisco to Willow Creek, California. As she settles into her new home with her grandfather, whom she doesn’t know, she finds new adventures. There are fifty-three chapters in the book and each chapter is three to five pages long. With short chapters, children won’t feel overwhelmed by the length of the book. The author uses advanced vocabulary and describes things in detail, which adds depth to the story. The author is a child and family therapist who writes issue-driven books for young people, coupled with cryptozoology and the mystery of Big Foot. Lemons reflects the author’s knowledge of social work and how the system works. This book is realistic for children who have lost their parents and are moved by a social worker to another place to live.

Verdict: I highly recommend this book for children who love adventure and Big Foot. My daughter is a social work major and loves Big Foot. This book combines the two in an intriguing story that will keep the interest of readers.

June 2017 review by Tami Harris.

Book review: Amanda Panda Quits Kindergarten, by Candice Ransom, illustrated by Christine Grove

Ransom, Candice. Amanda Panda Quits Kindergarten. Illustrated by Christine Grove. Doubleday, 2017. $17.99. ISBN 9780399554551. Unpaged. Ages 3-7. P7 Q7

Amanda starts kindergarten and imagines how things will go. A girl named Bitsy gets more attention than she does. Amanda decides to go to the second grade where her brother is. Bitsy goes to the second grade to find Amanda and their friendship starts. The inside and end cover pages have colorful polka dots. The illustrations show Amanda as her day progresses. It is realistic for a day at school. The facial expressions on Amanda and her friends add an extra element to the book. The message that sometimes we judge others by how we see them instead of getting to know them and giving them a chance comes through in this book.

Verdict: I highly recommend this book for elementary school libraries, personal libraries and classroom libraries. This book will help children navigate friendships.

June 2017 review by Tami Harris.

Book reviews: Ben Says Goodbye, by Sarah Ellis, illustrated by Kim LaFave

Ellis, Sarah. Ben Says Goodbye. Illustrated by Kim LaFave. Pajama Press, 2016. $18.95. ISBN 9781927485798. Unpaged. Ages 3-6. P6 Q6

The inside cover has cave drawings depicting adventures. Ben’s friend Peter is moving. To deal with his feelings of loss, Ben hides under the table and draws cave drawings of adventures he imagines himself and Peter having. At the end of the book, someone moves in next door. The author shows a scooter being unloaded from the moving truck along with the words, “Just the right size for a new friend.” This allows the reader to use his/her imagination as to who has moved in next door. The story was a bit choppy and disjointed. While it explored the feelings one has when one’s friend moves, it also shows that new friends appear.

Verdict: I recommend this book for parents who want to help their children deal with their friend moving away. It shows the child taking some time to deal with his feelings and then the parents spending time with him. It ends with hope that a new friend will appear. Teachers may want this book in their library to help students realize that new friends can appear at any time.

June 2017 review by Tami Harris.

Book review: Cy Makes a Friend, by Ann Marie Stephens, illustrated by Tracy Subisak

Stephens, Ann Marie. Cy Makes a Friend. Illustrated by Tracy Subisak. Boyds Mills Press, 2017. $16.95. ISBN 9781629795782. 32 pages. Ages 4-8. P7 Q7

Cy, a cyclops, can make anything, except for a friend. He realizes that there are things he has to do, like venturing out, to make a friend. The story follows his journey on how to make a friend. The illustrations are done in pencil and painted digitally. Most of the creatures in the story are from Greek mythology. The book contains a note about the mythological creatures in the book. The text is simple and easy to read.

Verdict: While following Cy, children will learn skills on how to make friends. This book will also appeal to children who like monsters and mythology. I recommend this book for children’s libraries.

June 2017 review by Tami Harris.