Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Give Your Child the Gift of Reading This Holiday Season -- Check Out These New Books from Chronicle Books (Review)

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

Christmas is almost here.   If you are looking for some great non-toy gifts to leave under the tree for your kids to find come Christmas morning, here are some great new releases from Chronicle Books for you to check out... 

About this book:

"Christmas Mouse is a sweet, rhyming holiday board book with a finger puppet built right in. 

Newborns will love celebrating with Christmas Mouse! In this very merry finger puppet book, a festive little mouse enjoys a day of presents, sledding, caroling, and snuggling up in bed on Christmas Eve. 

Featuring an adorable plush finger puppet that peeks into each lovingly illustrated page, this entry in the bestselling finger puppet series offers parents and children a fun, interactive way to celebrate the Christmas season as they build a love of books that will last all through the year."

Format: Novelty Book
Pages: 12
Size: 110mm x 110mm
Age Range: 0 - 3 Years
Publication Date: 11/16/2021
ISBN: 9781797205694

My Thoughts:

This is such a cute little finger puppet board book for little ones, and is the perfect size to pick up and stash in their stockings for them to find on Christmas morning. Or, if you can't resist sharing this cute puppet and holiday story with your baby before the holidays, it is the perfect size to throw in your diaper bag and pull out when you need to entertain your little one on the go, or for them to play with in the car on a long car ride.  Even though my girls are too old for these cute little finger puppet books, they sure did come in handy when they were younger, and kept them entertained at doctor's offices, on the go, or at home when they started to get fussy.  We still have a few of these puppet books around and on occasion I will see the girls pull them off the bookshelf and play with them, as they read the cute stories.  

This book in particular has such a cute story about a Christmas mouse, and the mouse puppet with the little Christmas hat is just too cute not to want to play with.


Buy now for only $17.99

About this book:


Interrupting Chicken meets Click, Clack, Moo in this zany classic-in-the-making! 

With rollicking rhythms, nonsensical refrains, and too many chickens to count, this modern classic will inspire unstoppable giggles and endless rereads. Bawka-bawka!

Mr. Watson has 456 chickens in the sink, on the bed, in the bread box. When his partner, Mr. Nelson, threatens to leave, Mr. Watson takes his chickens to town to sell only for them to escape! Young readers will follow Mr. Watson all around town as he gathers up his chickens. But, when they're all rounded up, does he have the heart to sell them? Does a different fate await these chickens?

This quirky, irresistible book is full of read-aloud fun with its onomatopoeia, rollicking rhythm, and familiar refrains and ends with a touch of sweetness. It has all the makings of a classic, with a farm theme, hilarious refrains, and a familiar narrative structure that unfolds in threes. Librarians, teachers, and parents looking for a new book that feels traditional will love sharing this book with children."

Format: Hardcover
Pages: 48
Size: 9 x 11 V
Age Range: 3 - 5 Years
Publication Date: 10/05/2021
ISBN: 9781452177144

My Thoughts:

I read this silly and cute picture book with my girls and we couldn't stop giggling as we read the silly words and rhyming text that fill the pages of this chicken/farm themed book.  This lively farm filled with chicken will have even the most reluctant of readers wanting to grab this book to read on their own time and time again. 

My girls have been reading this book on their own, and love making funny sounds as they read the wacky rhyming words.  I highly recommend this book for kids of all ages, especially young ones who love to act out stories or repeat silly words in the story.


About this book:

Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey meets Dog Heaven in this profoundly beautiful book about the special relationship between kids and dogs, the importance of language, and finding the meaning of life even in its final days. 

Poignant, hopeful, and lovingly told, this dog's journey—told by the dog himself in his own unique words—proves that love abides beyond a lifetime, out of sight but never far away. 

As a dog and his little girl go on their final walk together, he experiences the sights, smells, and wonders of this world one last time before peacefully passing on. But for such a good boy (oh yes, he is!) and his foreverfriend, that doesn't mean it's the end.

Offering a unique and noteworthy take on death, this book balances the somber topic with a dog's ever-optimistic viewpoint, all woven together with its unconventional yet fitting approach to language.

Family members, librarians, art-lovers, and educators alike will use this book as an accessible and comforting introduction to the ever-difficult topic of death, discussed and related in a new way with hopeful, uplifting, innovative language."

Format: Hardcover
Pages: 48
Size: 11 x 9 h
Age Range: 5 - 8 Years
Publication Date: 10/26/2021
ISBN: 9781452177168

My Thoughts:

Last Christmas was rough for us...not only was my father in the hospital battling Covid, but my mother was home with a visiting nurse as she, too, battled Covid.  And, if worrying about them wasn't enough, we had to suddenly and unexpectedly say goodbye to one of our dogs, who passed due to health complications and old age.  It was a really trying time, and made the holiday season less celebratory for us.  And, as we go into this year's holiday season, my family and I can't help but think back to last year, and how so much has happened since then, while also taking time to remember our beloved, Lily, who we loved dearly and still miss to this day. We truly hope she is happy over the rainbow bridge and spending time running healthy and free with our other two rescue dogs who passed before her, Abby and Manny.  

Because so much was going on last year and we were worried about my parents, it was hard to really grieve the loss of our pet.  And, with the holidays upon us this year, I am finding the girls are talking about how Lily is no longer here, as they stumbled upon her stocking and ornaments and still wanted to put up to honor her.  It seems we are finally taking the much necessary time to grieve her loss, and that has brought on happy and sad memories. I was looking for just the right book to share with the girls about pet loss, that would help ease this grieving experience, and was happy to find "The Longest Letsgoboy" which released last month from Chronicle Books. 

This book is beautifully written and illustrated and is perfect for kids and families to read together, after losing a beloved pet recently or at any time in their life.  I sat down and read this book with my girls the other day, and we all started crying, as it was such a moving story. The illustrations really got to us, and stirred up our emotions, about how we really miss Lily, but are happy she is no longer in pain and back playing together with our other two dogs we lost.  

The girls were really young when we lost our other dogs, so it didn't hit them hard like it did with this recent loss.  But, thanks to this book, we have been able to talk about our feelings, grieve together, and slowly move forward as we celebrate another Christmas without Lily by our sides.  The girls found strength in putting up her stocking and ornaments, as it is a way to remember her and show everyone just how much Lily is and was loved and will always hold a special place in their hearts.

If you have recently experienced the loss of a beloved pet, or know someone who has, I highly recommend you pick up this picture book.  It is a great way to grieve this pet loss, while also remembering the good times spent with your beloved fur baby.


About this book:

"The newest story from the New York Times bestselling author/illustrator Brendan Wenzel is a funny and wise celebration of observation, curiosity, and indoor life. 

From the endlessly inventive Caldecott Honor author/illustrator of They All Saw a Cat comes a picture book that is playful, perceptive, and full of delights. 

Inside Cat is just that: an inside cat. But while the cat's life is bound by the walls of an unusual house, it's far from dull. As the cat wanders, wonders, stares, and snacks, roaming from room to room and place to place, both cat and reader discover worlds and sensations beyond what's right in front of them. 

And just when Inside Cat is sure it knows everything, another surprise awaits! Fresh, funny, and wise, Inside Cat is a feast for the eyes and the imagination."

Format: Hardcover
Pages: 40
Size: 11 X 9 H
Age Range: 3 - 5 Years
Publication Date: 10/12/2021
ISBN: 9781452173191

My Thoughts:

This is a really cute picture book that let's us in on life as an inside cat.  As kids flip through the pages they see this cute black indoor cat wandering, wondering and stopping to nibble, as he looks out the window at the big, wide open world outside.  The inside cat finds all that he sees so interesting, and the illustrations really bring the story life.  You feel as if you are inside with the cat and looking out the windows along with him.  

Fans of cats especially will love this book.  My daughter can't stop reading it, and lingering on each page to admire the beautiful and colorful illustrations. She has even extended the story and drawn windows with outside views of additional things this indoor cat would see if it came to visit and stay indoors with us.


About this book:

"Adventure Time meets The Good Place in this zany-yet-philosophical graphic novel buddy comedy about the unlikely friendship between Death, a grim reaper who's never had a friend, and Sparkles, The Last Unicorn, a celebrity influencer who is somehow immune to Death's touch. 

Being Death is no way to live.

Sure, you're all-powerful, but collecting souls involves a ton of paperwork, and it's impossible to have friends when everything you touch instantly dies.

Being Sparkles the Last Unicorn isn't as fun as you'd imagine, either. Maybe it seems like the whole world wants to be your bestie, but really people just want you to pose with them for selfies, or use you to help them sell stuff.

Everything changes when Death and Sparkles meet and realize they might just be one another's first chance at a real friend. But before they can even enjoy the bromance, the whole world starts freaking out about this unlikely pair. Will fame or BFFdom prevail?

Laugh-out-loud hilarious, gently philosophical, and full of delightfully zany exuberance, this buddy comedy turns friendship on its head—literally—and will have readers believing in the power of cupcakes for breakfast and cosmic camaraderie."

Format: Hardcover
Pages: 368
Size: 6 x 7 1/2 V
Age Range: 10 - 14 Years
Publication Date: 10/05/2021
ISBN: 9781797206356

My Thoughts:

I love sharing new book series with my girls, as it gets them excited about forthcoming books.  So, when I heard about this new book being released, I had to get my hands on a copy to share with my girls. I ended up picking up a second book and turning this into a fun book club with my girls as part of our homeschooling.  We ended up breaking up the chapters into a few at a time, as there are 14 chapters in total.  It was an easy read for them as this book is filled with lots of illustrations, with some pages that were set up with a comic book or graphic novel book feel.


My girls really enjoyed this story and were able to pick up on the themes in the book including celebrity influences, bravery, empathy and commercialism, and courage to stand up for what you believe in.  We had some great conversations as we read through this book. And, their final product was to come up with the first chapter in book 2, which they had so much fun thinking about and then writing up the chapter and adding in lots of full color illustrations, like they found in this book.

If you are looking for a fun beginner chapter book for your child, maybe one is a reluctant reader, then I highly recommend you check this one out. It is book 1, so they will be in for a treat, and will get excited for additional books in the series to follow.


You can learn more about these and other recent releases from Chronicle Books by visiting:  Books always make for a great non-toy gift idea for kids of all ages at the holidays, as they will be enjoyed year round, and give you a reason to read to your kids and snuggle up close. :-)

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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