Children’s Book Reviews

Good morning! Today I wanted to share with you a selection of children’s books we have recently read. I absolutely love reading with my children and encouraging them to enjoy books. Both my boys have inherited my passion for reading which I am so happy to see!

The Cow Said Neigh! by Rory Feek

The Blurb

From New York Times bestseller Rory Feek, one half of the singing duo Joey+Rory, comes The Cow Said Neigh!, a fun and humorous tale of farm animals who wish they were like the other animals . . . which leads to a farm-full of confusion! This delightful book will be a family favorite for years to come.

The Cow Said Neigh! is the story of some peculiar farm animals who wish they were like other animals on the farm. The cow wants to run free like a horse, the sheep wants a snout like a pig, the dog wants to be inside like the cat. Soon the entire farm is in chaos!

With silly farm animal sounds, clever rhymes, and adorable art, The Cow Said Neigh! will have kids of all ages laughing out loud as they celebrate the unique strengths in each of us.

This delightful picture book is sure to be read time and time again.

What I Thought

A great book that young children will love. I really enjoy books for this age that rhyme and this one has some really lovely illustrations to go with it. Perfect for little ones who are learning farm animals names and sounds. Perfect bedtime reading!

Where To Buy

Faithgateway Store

Clean Up, Up, Up! by Ellen Mayer

The Blurb

It is cleanup time, and Daddy and his little one are putting away books, blocks, teddy bears, and train cars, washing hands, and preparing for dinner—all while having fun with math! As Daddy talks with his toddler, he uses spatial-relationship math words and phrases like up, down, inside, outside, next to, and under to reinforce his young learner’s understanding. When it is dinnertime, the little one proudly demonstrates an understanding of down when helping to set the table and up while enjoying the first delicious bite!

A playful story that models engaging conversations between parent and child, Clean Up, Up, Up! includes a note by early childhood education expert Susan C. Levine that shows parents and caregivers how everyday activities offer rich opportunities to teach early spatial math concepts.

What I Thought

This is great for learning about positional language (up, down, under etc) and will help encourage and give ideas for tidy up time. The interaction between the parent and child in the story is lovely. The text is in both Spanish and English which I love to see. It also has notes for parents about reading the book and how to extend your child’s learning from it.

Where To Buy

Ellen Mayer website with links to buy

Spacekid iLK by Andrew Hammond

The Blurb

iLK is a Glubwark from the planet Glub and his dad has just invaded Earth.

iLK isn’t keen on being involved in the invasion, but his dad, BiLK, quickly decides that Earth is useless and hands the mantle of ‘Emperor of the World’, down to his son.

iLK becomes responsible for ruling Earth and soon grows to love it. So when he discovers his father isn’t interested in caring for the planet he is confronted with a difficult choice. How will iLK save Earth whilst also trying to fulfil the responsibilities assigned by his father?

Spacekid iLK: Invasion 101 is an illustrated novel for ages 8–12. At an age where children are learning about different points of views and about taking responsibility, this book aims to not just extol the virtues of doing the right thing, but also asks why one would and what that choice involves.

Using entries from iLK’s journal and comic pages throughout, Spacekid iLK: Invasion 101 is likely to engage even reluctant readers.

What I Thought

I loved this and I am sure the boys will too. Although it is aimed at 8-12 year old I think good readers aged 6 -8 years would get on well with this too. It could also be read to this age group by the parents and enjoyed. I liked the diary style layout of the story and the illustrations were good. The book is funny but also teaches children about choices and different points of view. Highly recommended!

Where To Buy

Amazon UK – paperback

Amazon US – paperback

Change The World Before Bedtime by Mark Kimball Moulton, Josh Chalmers, and Karen Good

The Blurb

Written in simple, engaging rhyme, this story takes an inspirational look at how the little things in life—a smile, a kind word, a simple deed—can help change the world in a big way. Through 21 stunning illustrations featuring a diverse group of young dreamers, children will read about eating right, cleaning up the Earth by recycling and conserving, helping the sick and those less fortunate, and working in a group to make bigger miracles. Even an ordinary kid can be a superhero before bedtime!

What I Thought

I really loved the gorgeous illustrations in this book. Full of ideas to make the world a better place that can be done in our every day lives. Perfect bedtime reading for 5-8 year olds it provides a lot of further discussion prompts for parent when reading. The rhyming text doesn’t flow as well as in most books but I think with the lively conversation starting points this does not really matter.

Where To Buy

Amazon – hardback

Buzzing Bees by Melissa Higgins

The Blurb

For ages 4-8 years

What makes a bee a bee? What are the buzziest bees from around the world? Carefully leveled, engaging text supports life science curriculum related to classification, behavior, life cycles, and more. Smithsonian Little Entomologist feeds kids’ natural curiousity about the little critters in their world to meet Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Fans of augmented reality will love to buzz beyond the printed page with up-close bee videos, accessible via the Capstone 4D app or on your web browser. 

What I Thought

A great little non-fiction offering for kids and perfectly set for the recommended age group. This book is informative and full of great, bright and clear photos to illustrate the information. I love that they offer extra content online and check out the website for other great non-fiction books about other insects

Where To Buy

Capstone website

The Not-So-Brave Penguin by Steve Smallman

The Blurb

Posy the penguin is scared of many things – snowstorms, loud noises, the dark – but when her adventurous friend Percy is missing, Posy plucks up the courage to overcome her fears and goes on an excursion to find him. After an intrepid journey, Posy finds an injured Percy in a dark cave. She rescues him and brings him home, realising in the end just how brave she can really be. A heartwarming story about friendship, being brave, and overcoming fears when it really matters, this picture book is sure to delight and entertain.

What I Thought

A really charming story, perfect for bedtime reading. Perfect for toddlers and preschoolers, the story shows you can overcome your fears and be a great friend. Leo (aged 10) is a huge penguin fan and even at his age enjoyed this little story! Gorgeous illustrations compliment the story well and there are ideas for further discussion for parents/teachers at the end of the book.

Where To Buy

Amazon – kindle, paperback and hardback versions available

I hope you enjoyed this selection of kids books I would recommend this month. A huge thankyou to NetGalley for my ARC of these books in return for an honest review. I hope you and your little ones enjoy them as much as me and mine did. Happy reading!

An Interview With… Jamie Pearson

Through blogging I have met some incredible and brave people.  During the course of me appearing on The IBD & Ostomy Support Show, I met Jamie.  He lives not far from me which was an obvious starting point for a conversation.  He has become a good friend and is always there for a chat and check in.  I asked Jamie if he would answer some questions about himself and his diagnosis/surgery from a male perspective.  He kindly agreed and so here we go!

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Can you introduce yourself and tell us about your diagnosis?

My name is Jamie & I am living in Derby. I am a massive football fan & love teaching it and playing. I an a laid back person who is ambitious. I was told I have Ulcerative Colitis over 8 years ago.  All the symptoms started with me injuring my toe nail & being on a long course of antibiotics. The bleeding & constant toilet trips all happened a few weeks after my toe nail surgery.

What surgery have you had as a result of your IBD?

I had my surgery October 5th 2016 for my stoma & left my rectal stump in, in case I wanted a j-pouch created. My surgery was planned after all medications were tried & failed. I was at the stage where I couldn’t go on with the pain and was bed bound.

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How did you feel when you were told you would need a stoma formed?

That first moment I was told I would be having a stoma, I just didn’t take it all in & I felt so scared.  I was thinking does it stink and how will I live a normal life? Then the stoma nurse explained everything and I felt so much better.  Of course I was still scared but at the same time I was now prepared for a new life with my stoma.

Do you suffer with nay other health problems connected to your IBD?

I suffer with depression from IBD & surgery for my stoma. A month in hospital with 2 operations & not getting answers just really knocked me down.  I am now on anti-depressants which are helping.

What do you think are some of the issues men face when dealing with this illness/surgery?

The issues I feel for myself & other men with a stoma or illness is confidence in going out places.  For example  – can anyone see my bag & what do I wear? Also dating is scary. Explaining you have an illness or a stoma & getting into a sexual relationship is difficult to navigate.  The first time you have sex after surgery is a big step.

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What advice would you give to others facing ostomy surgery?

Advice I would give for anyone having surgery is it isn’t the end of the world having a bag. You still can be normal & achieve anything in life. It won’t be easy, but in my case I have become a much stronger person & my confidence is so much better. Also, good support groups are around online. The IBD & Ostomy Support Show I think is amazing on YouTube, as well as the group on Facebook.

You have more surgery planned.  What is next for you?

I have surgery planned for June which is the rectal stump removal to make my bag permanent.  I have been told if I have a J-pouch made it would just collapse.

Have you continued doing the things you did before surgery since having your stoma?

Since my first surgery it took some time but I’m basically doing most of the stuff I did before.  Playing football was a big one but I did that & was so happy.  I would advise whatever you do just rest after you have done it. But yeah, I can do anything I used to do since surgery. I started my blog from seeing yourself & others share their stories. I just wanted to share my experiences and what I went through & if it helps just one person then I am happy.

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Thank you for answering these questions Jamie, I am so grateful!  Jamie can be found on Instagram and he has started documenting his journey through his blog – The Stoma Guy Blog

Please get in touch if you have a story to tell.  I would love to share other Spoonies and parents stories over the coming months, just fill out the form and I will email you back as soon as I can

NatalieThe Spoonie Mummy