Friday, April 12, 2019

Check Out These New Spring-Inspired Children's Books from Macmillan Kids -- They Would Make Great Additions to Your Child's Easter Basket, Too! (Review)

Disclosure:  I was sent review copies from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All views shared are mine and mine alone.

Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group

I can't believe how fast April is going by.  Next Sunday is Easter.  Are you ready with gifts for your kids baskets.  If you are still looking for a few non-candy and non-toy gifts, why not think about picking up a few good books to add to their baskets.  I make a point for holidays and birthdays to give my girls a handful of new books.  Yes, toys and candy are fun, but there is something magical when a child sits down to read a book.  They are swept away into the adventure or story being told, and find themselves using their imagination and thinking about things -- which never happens when they chew on a piece of candy or play with a toy for a few moments.  Even though my girls act like they are not thrilled to see books as gifts, once they sit down to read the books, then they realize that this was a great gift, and they really enjoy them.

I wanted to share a few new children's books from one of my favorite children's publishers, Macmillan Children's Publishing Group with you, as they would be perfect to add to your child's Easter basket, or even just picked up and shared at bedtime, as you welcome in spring and all the beauty this season brings, after a cold and snowy winter.

Written by Cynthia Lord; photographs by John Bald; illustrations by Hazel Mitchell (Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR), February 12, 2019, Ages 3-6)

About this book:

"Newbery Honor author Cynthia Lord likes fostering rabbits—or, as she fondly calls it, “borrowing bunnies.” This is the heartwarming true story of the author’s own journey with two very special rabbits.

In the spring of 2016, Peggotty and Benjamin were saved by Maine’s Cottontail Cottage Rabbit Rescue after their previous owners had neglected them. But before the two Netherland Dwarf rabbits could be adopted, Cynthia had to help them learn to trust people and feel safe inside a home. The bunnies slowly settled in, enjoying their clean pens, nibbling new foods, and playing with fun toys, while Cindy’s husband, John Bald, photographed Benjamin and Peggotty’s every step toward adoption. At that time, hundreds of viewers were drawn to Cindy’s Facebook page to watch their progress. Now, she has adapted the rabbits’ true story into a picture book that explores love, responsibility, empathy, and letting go—along with fostering’s many surprises, both big and small.

Young readers will delight in watching these bunnies thrive while also learning a few fun animal facts. With Cindy’s pitch-perfect blend of warmth and real-life experience, Borrowing Bunnies is a new classic in narrative nonfiction."
My Thoughts:
As Easter draws near, many families consider picking up baby chicks and bunnies to surprise their kids with.  While these are cute and fun to play with, you really have to be it for the long haul, knowing you and your kids will have to take care and tend these animals.  This book is a great book to share with kids who are interested in having a bunny as a pet, or even fostering a bunny.  With real photos by the author, they will learn about the author's own personal journey of fostering and caring for two very special bunnies.  

Young readers will see what bunnies look like at birth, and then follow along as they watch the bunnies grow and thrive, while also learning some interesting and fun animals facts along the way.  This really is a wonderful narrative non-fiction book for kids who want to learn more about bunnies, and what it takes to care for a bunny, if you choose to foster and/or buy a bunny as a pet. My girls always ask for a bunny after we attend summer agricultural fairs.  But, they really don't know what you have to do to care for them.  And, this book does a great job, thanks to all the photographs, to show what life with a bunny is like.  Even if you aren't looking to get a bunny as a pet, but just love bunnies, then you will enjoy this book.  The photos alone with have you smiling as you get your bunny cuteness fix. :-)

(Henry Holt BYR, March 5, 2019, ages 3-6)

About this book:

"Aki's The Nature Girls is a picture book starring an adorable troupe of girls exploring different biomes—the ocean, the desert, the tundra, the grasslands, the forest—and meeting all the cute animals that inhabit them.

Delightfully charming art showcases the girls in scenes outdoors with bright, vivid colors. Aki's simple lines bring this world of nature fully to life!"

My Thoughts:

As part of our homeschooling outside the house, the girls are enrolled in a bi-weekly nature school. Along with other homeschoolers, they go on hikes and learn about animals found in nature. They draw and journal about their findings, make nature art pieces to display, and find out all about animals and their habitats. This is one of the classes both of my girls really enjoy, and have been attending for the past few years.

In addition to learning about animals that live in the woods and fields and grassy areas of CT, their teachers also shared about different biomes and the animals that inhabit them. So, when I heard about a new picture book, "The Nature Girls" by Aki, I knew I had to get my hands on a copy to share with my girls, as it was right up their alley. The book is about a troupe of girls who love exploring. With rhyming text and fun facts throughout, young readers will learn all about the different biomes -- the ocean, the desert, the tundra, the forest and even the grasslands, and the different animals that live in each.

The illustrations in this book are bright and playful, and really draw the reader in. You find yourself wishing you were part of the nature girls troupe, exploring and meeting all the cute animals. My girls really enjoyed this book, and were able to pick up the different biomes and share about the animals they have learned about thanks to their homeschooling nature classes.

This is definitely one book young nature and animal lovers will love having read to them, as they linger on each page, admiring the cute illustrations, while also learning about biomes and animals, and a bunch of fun facts, all at the same time. :-)

SPRING AFTER SPRING by Stephanie Roth Sisson
(Roaring Brook Press, August 14, 2018, Ages 4-8)

About this Book:

"From Stephanie Roth Sisson, the creator of Star Stuff, comes a picture book biography of Rachel Carson, the iconic environmentalist who fought to keep the sounds of nature from going silent.

As a child, Rachel Carson lived by the rhythms of the natural world. Spring after spring, year after year, she observed how all living things are connected. 

And as an adult, Rachel watched and listened as the natural world she loved so much began to fall silent. Spring After Spring traces Rachel’s journey as scientist and writer, courageously speaking truth to an often hostile world through her book, and ultimately paving the way for the modern environmental movement."

My Thoughts:

When I was a freshman in high school, my science teacher in my AP science class made us read Rachel Carson's Silent Springs book. My teacher was big into the environment and wanted us to know who Rachel Carson was. She told us that we were going to be the driving force at helping to protect our planet, but that we needed to know the basics first...and Rachel's book was a great platform to start from. The book was thick and had hundreds of pages. Many of the kids in my class were not thrilled to have to read a book in science class, as we had enough other books in English class to read for the school year. But, as we started to reach the first few chapters, we found ourselves loving the book, and not wanting to put it down. It was a book all about pesticides and how they were harming the environment. While this is controversial subject, it is one that has to be looked at and discussed when it comes to putting our planet first and taking steps to protect the environment for future generations.

With Earth Day coming soon, I was looking for a book to share with my girls that went beyond just the important of recycling and planting a tree. So, when I heard about Spring after Spring, which is a picture book biography about Rachel Carson, the iconic environmentalist and author of Silent Springs, I thought it was only fitting to share this book with my girls.

Not only was this book well written, but it also covered a lot of STEM and common core lesson plan requirements, making it a great book for homeschooling and public school teachers to share with their students. I also loved how this was a book about a female scientist who fought to protect nature and bringing to light the harmful pesticides being used and how it not only affects the environment, but also the animals and creatures that live in nature. I could go on and on about how much I loved this children's picture book, and how this is a perfect addition to Earth Day celebrating with your kids. But, instead why don't you pick up this book and read it for yourself. You will be amazed at what an amazing woman Rachel Carson was and how she was the driving force behind Earth Day.


Don't these look and sound like great children's picture books? They really a great selection perfect for springtime reading with your kids. I thoroughly enjoyed reading each of the books with my girls, and they continue to ask for me to read them with them, or will pull them down from the bookcase to read on their own. You can learn more about these and other wonderful new and recent children's releases by visiting today.

Disclosure:  I was sent review copies from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All views shared are mine and mine alone.

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