Tag: picture books

I am Darn Tough – An Empowering Story of Determination and Perseverance

I am Darn Tough – An Empowering Story of Determination and Perseverance

Incredible book alert! I Am Darn Tough is a beautiful new picture book that I am so excited to share with you. Picture Books have such a magical way of tackling important subjects…and I am Darn Tough does it in such a powerful way. It 

H is for Honey Bee- Another Home-Run from Sleeping Bear Press

H is for Honey Bee- Another Home-Run from Sleeping Bear Press

My love for the Alphabet book series from Sleeping Bear Press is no secret. I have been using them since the beginning of our homeschool journey and tie them into just about every subject. Today I want to share with you a brand new title 

The Shadow Elephant- A Tender Story of Sadness and Friendship

The Shadow Elephant- A Tender Story of Sadness and Friendship

For anyone who has ever dealt with an overwhelming feeling of sadness or depression, The Shadow Elephant will really strike a chord with you. We will all be touched by depression at some point in our lives…whether it is our own or that of a friend or loved one. Shadow elephant is a gorgeous new picture book publishing in September that tackles this topic so tenderly and beautifully. It is both a story of sadness, but also of friendship. I can’t wait to share this one with you.

Shadow Elephant

Picture books have an ability that very few books have. They have the ability to take a difficult topic and present it in such a beautiful and relatable manner. The topic of sadness and depression is such a relevant one in our lives today, yet it is still a topic that people steer clear of. It is still taboo. People are afraid to speak about it for fear of what others will think.

Shadow Elephant is the story of an elephant who is so overwhelmed with sadness that his entire world is blue and covered in shadows. In contrast, all of his animal friends on the Savannah are so full of light and color. I was so immediately struck by the images. The shades of blue and the posture of the elephant just convey so much pain and emotion.

Elephant’s friends hate to see their friend so sad. So, they decide they want to do all sorts of things to cheer him up. They try to make him laugh and do things that he has always loved in the past. Nothing seems to work. The animals leave their friend, defeated by their inability to help him. Elephant has reached his lowest point. He is alone with his sadness. Then a mouse appears and asks to sit next to Elephant to rest. Mouse doesn’t try to make Elephant laugh or smile. She just sits there and shares the same space with Elephant. Mouse begins to share her story and before long elephant is crying. Then Mouse begins crying. It isn’t long before the new friends have cried their last tear and both feel so much lighter. Elephant emerges from the shadows, and together with Mouse, they begin to walk away.

My Thoughts

Wow, you guys. This book really hit me. The combination of the beautiful writing by author Nadine Robert and the emotive illustrations by Valerio Vidali were simply amazing. This book is going to stick with me for a long time. There are very few picture books that so delicately and tenderly tackle the topic of sadness and depression. I was truly blown away by just how well they conveyed these deep feelings of sadness. The shadows and the blues, the different postures of the elephants…just WOW. Perfect.

One of the things that I loved the most about this book was the emphasis that it is OK to feel your feelings. Even though Elephants friends had wonderful intentions when they were trying to cheer him up and make him laugh, Elephant really just needed to feel his feelings. He needed someone like Mouse to just sit with him and BE. Not be happy, not pretend everything is OK. Just BE. It is OK to cry, and sometimes it is just the release that we need.

What a wonderful book this would be to help kids understand feelings that they may be having, or to help them better understand what friends or family may be going through. We need to have more books that address the topic of depression or any type of deep feelings. We often think that picture books have to be cheerful and happy, but I honestly think that books like The Shadow Elephant are SO necessary and important.

For More Info

I would like to say a huge thank you to my friends at Enchanted Lion Books for sending this my way for review…and for publishing such incredible books.

The Shadow Elephant will release on September 22nd, 2020.


The Shadow Elephant is a beautiful and tender story dealing with sadness and friendship
A Ben Of All Trades- A Stunning Look into the Life of Young Benjamin Franklin

A Ben Of All Trades- A Stunning Look into the Life of Young Benjamin Franklin

We all know about the many accomplishments and contributions of Benjamin Franklin. He was such an important person in the history of the United States. But, what was Ben Franklin like as a child? A Ben Of All Trades- The Most Inventive Boyhood of Benjamin 

The Next President- Presidents Like You Have Never Seen Them!

The Next President- Presidents Like You Have Never Seen Them!

Have you ever stopped to think that right now there could be 10 future Presidents of the United States out there? Are they in school, or playing basketball, or planting a garden? The Next President by Kate Messner takes a peek at a side of 

4 Beautiful Books to Celebrate Earth Day from Sourcebooks Kids!

4 Beautiful Books to Celebrate Earth Day from Sourcebooks Kids!

2020 marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day!! Did you know? I was surprised that it has been around for 50 years! What a wonderful milestone! I want to celebrate this momentous occasion by sharing 4 beautiful books with you from my friends at Sourcebooks!

The Girl Who Spoke to the Moon

The Girl Who Spoke to the Moon is a stunning new book that would be perfect for your Earth Day reading list

First up is an absolutely gorgeous book that we fell in love with! The Girl Who Spoke to the Moon is a stunningly illustrated book that discusses the importance of taking care of our Earth! The story is about a little girl named Sofia who makes friends with the Moon. One night he asks her to come and visit. When she arrives she notices how very sad the Moon is. The Moon asks her to look down at Earth with him and see what makes him so sad. The Earth is in trouble and it is up to people like Sofia to help make Earth a better place!

Such a beautiful and powerful story that is not only about taking care of our Earth but also shares a powerful message of friendship! You and your children will absolutely fall in love with the sweet rhyme and gorgeous illustrations. The Girl Who Spoke to the Moon is written by Land Wilson with illustrations by Sue Cornelison. You can purchase a copy of The Girl Who Spoke to the Moon by clicking here.

A Dolphin’s Wish

A Dolphin's Wish is a beautiful book to add to your Earth Day reading list!

A Dolphin’s Wish is the perfect example of why I love kids’ books so much! Author Trevor McCurdie tackles such an important subject…protecting our oceans…but he does it in such an easily accessible way. A Dolphin’s Wish is a beautiful book about what plastic is doing to our oceans. It is written in wonderful and fun rhyme but really hits home. As a family of ocean-loving beach bums, this is a really important topic for us.

We loved the addition of all of the tips and ways that kids can help that were included at the end! From a homeschool mama perspective, there are so many awesome teaching points too! Really great! I absolutely loved this one. Beautiful illustrations were provided by Cinzia Battistel. A Dolphin’s Wish is available now!

What Does it Mean to be Green?

What Does it Mean to Be Green is an amazing book to read on Earth Day!

What Does it Mean to be Green is a wonderful and simple introduction all about what we can do to help take care of the environment. Written in a funny and kid-friendly manner, this book shows how easy it is for each of us to make a difference! Author Rana DiOrio gives kids many easy and do-able things that they can do to help our planet. Simple things like shutting off the water when brushing your teeth, using both sides of your paper, and shutting off lights when they are not needed. These are all such easy things, yet if everyone were to do them…think of what a difference it would make!

We loved the fun illustrations by Chris Blair and the powerful message that each of us can make a difference! What Does it Mean to be Green is available now as well!

Trees Make Perfect Pets

Trees Make Perfect Pets is the perfect book to add to your Earth Day reading list!

Last, but certainly not least is Trees Make Perfect Pets by Paul Czajak. What a beautiful story this is. Abigail wants the perfect pet! She is determined that the perfect pet is a TREE. Everyone she meets seems to disagree with her and tells her that a tree most certainly can not be the perfect pet. My kiddos and I love Abigail’s determination…and we agree with her that a tree does make the most perfect pet!

This was such a sweet and beautiful story. We adored the lovely illustrations by Cathy Gendron. Trees Make Perfect Pets will absolutely make you want to hug a tree…and definitely want to plant one! Trees Make Perfect Pets is available now!

For More Info

Thank you so much to our friends at Sourcebooks Kids for sending these beauties our way for review! What a wonderful addition to our Earth Day shelf! For more information on Sourcebooks Kids, you can check out their website here!

To read about some of our other favorite books to read on Earth Day you can check out this blog post.

Alba and The Ocean Cleanup- A Beautiful Picture Book for Earth Day and Every Day!

Alba and The Ocean Cleanup- A Beautiful Picture Book for Earth Day and Every Day!

As you have probably guessed by now, my family and I have a *slight* obsession with the ocean and the beach. We spend as much time as possible there. We swim, play, build sandcastles, kayak, and sadly, we clean up a lot of trash. Alba 

You’ve Got Dragons- The Perfect Book for Dealing with Big Feelings

You’ve Got Dragons- The Perfect Book for Dealing with Big Feelings

Fear, worry, and anxiety are things that many of us deal with on a daily basis! These feelings can creep up when you least expect them to and can really knock you for a loop! Now, imagine you are a child and these feelings start 

4 Beautiful New Picture Books for Spring!

4 Beautiful New Picture Books for Spring!

Springtime is here in Florida! Hopefully, it is on its way where you live as well!! I have 4 absolutely beautiful books to share with you that will make perfect additions to your springtime reading! My friends at Sleeping Bear Press sent these my way to share with you and I know you will love them as much as I did!! All of these beautiful books release on March 15th, 2020!

The Voice that Won the Vote- How One Woman’s Words Made History

First up we have The Voice that Won the Vote- How One Woman’s Words Made History by Elisa Boxer. I absolutely adore biographical picture books! If I had to choose one type of book to read for the rest of forever, I would choose biographical picture books! I especially love ones that introduce me to amazing people that I had never heard of before! The Voice that Won the Vote did just that!

The Voice that Won the Vote is the story of how women won the right to vote. Febb Burn was a woman from Tennessee who was determined to help women get the right to vote! She decided she would write a letter to the youngest lawmaker in Tennessee to urge him to “Vote for suffrage and don’t forget to be a good boy”. That lawmaker happened to be her son Harry! Well, like any wise young man, Harry Burn listened to his mother and changed his vote from NO to YES!

This is such a powerful story that really shows how 1 vote can make such a huge difference! It is also such an amazing way to show kiddos how much has changed in only 100 years! To think, that 100 years ago, women didn’t have this right that many take for granted!

We thought the book was beautifully written by Elisa Boxer and had absolutely lovely illustrations by Vivien Mildenberger! What a perfect read for election season as well!

Mae the Mayfly

The next book is absolutely charming. Mae the Mayfly is the story of little Mae. Mae has just hatched and like all other mayflies, she has a lot of life to live in just one day! Mae’s mother tells her how important it is to make the most of the time she has. With this, May sets out to do and see as much as she absolutely can.

This is such a special book that really highlights the importance of enjoying each moment, not taking life for granted, overcoming fears, and also helping those in need! Author Denise Brennan-Nelson not only created a beautiful story, but she wrote it in such wonderful rhyme. The book has a lyrical quality and was so fun to read aloud to my kids! The artwork was stunning! Artist Florence Weiser provided the illustrations and they were wonderful. They were so bright and warm and really fit perfectly with the story.

I love that the author included some information at the end about mayflies! This makes it such a wonderful addition to a homeschool lesson on life-cycles and insects!

Boats will Float

Do you have a boat lover at home? This is such a fun and lyrical book all about different types of boats. Boats will Float follows a day in the life of boats. We start in the morning with the early rising fishing boats and then wind down at the end of the day with a houseboat.

I really loved the rhyming in Boats will Float! It reminded me of the way the Llama Llama books read…and those were some of my favorites when my kids were little! Author Andria Warmflash Rosenbaum includes such a fun variety of boats and vessels throughout the pages that I know any kiddo who adores boats will fall in love with this! I love the inclusion of the back matter that explains the different types of watercraft.

Artist Brett Curzon illustrated Boats will Float so beautifully. The illustrations were so bright and whimsical. I especially loved all of the different colors used for the ocean water. The kiddos loved the undersea scenes as well because they were so bright and colorful!

Winged Wonders- Solving the Monarch Migration Mystery

Last up is Winged Wonders- Solving the Monarch Migration Mystery. Oh, this book is gorgeous. I love picture books that teach me something along the way and Winged Wonders certainly did that! For hundreds of years, people observed an amazing thing…swarms of monarchs would appear and depart like clockwork…but where did they go? Winged Wonders teaches us WHO made this amazing discovery and teaches us a lesson in working together in the process.

Winged Wonders is so beautifully and thoughtfully written by author Meeg Pincus. Gorgeous illustrations are by artist Yas Imamura and they just blew me away. I fell in love with everything about this book. I also loved the inclusion of more information about the migration discovery as well as info on HOW we can help! Such an important book!

Winged Wonders is going to be such a wonderful addition to any homeschool unit on butterflies or migration! I know some mamas who adore monarchs and this is going to be a homerun!

Sending a huge thank you to the team at Sleeping Bear Press for sharing these beauties with me!! All 4 books are available now!!

Ring in the New Year with Freedom Soup!

Ring in the New Year with Freedom Soup!

Can you believe we are just days away from ringing in the New Year? I say it every year, but I honestly can’t believe another year has gone by! I have a gorgeous new book to share with you that would make a perfect read