Books for Younger Readers

Disclosure: I was sent these books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Today I am giving you a round-up of books for your younger readers. These books range in ages from 4 to 12 although one is suggested for 0 months and above. One book is about fears and seems perfect for this week with Halloween. Hazel has had high fears in the month of October especially when she was younger. She still does not like to see the Halloween decorations in the stores or on people's yards. Do you know any child like this? If you do this first book is perfect for him or her. It is Frankie's Scared of EVERYTHING by tattoo artist, Mathew Franklin. It is recommended for ages 4 to 8.

Did you ever hear a noise in the night and wonder what it was? Then your imagination takes over and that little noise (probably the house settling or wind) becomes a snatching robot. This is how this book goes. Frankie escapes his room to escape the robot to hear a dinosaur, and it goes on. Where will Frankie escape from all the horrors his mind comes up with when he hears a noise? Well of course to Mom's room. Mom helps to calm Frankie and explain the noises and teaches Frankie and the reader that he has a choice to let his imagination give him fears or give him friends. What will you choose?

This book is colorful and vivid. It reminds me a bit of a graphic novel in its pictures but it is not. Frankie's fears make the book a bit spooky and perfect for Halloween week, however the ending gives the reader a way to look at the fears in a non-scary way. It is a fun book with a wonderful message.

Our next book is by Paul McCartney and illustrated by Kathryn Durst. It is Hey Grandude! This book is about a magical grandfather. This book is inspired by Paul's own experience as a grandfather. In this tale Grandude has a magic compass. When the compass spins near a picture they travel to the place in the picture. Let the fun begin and get the kids enjoying some time with Grandude. 

I love how this book focuses on time with a grandfather. The magic is fun and gets one's imagination truly whirling but there is a sweetness to the tail. The illustrations are fun and the story is creative. This will be a family favorite with its fun and witty tale. 

Our next book is The Cutest Thing Ever by Amy Ignatow and illustrated by Hsinping Pan. It is recommended for ages 3 to 5. This book is for the younger child. It is cute. It answers the question of what is the cutest thing ever. It is very imaginative with a cute monster, kitten, and more. The story is cute and the illustrations are fun. 

Our next book is for the slightly older reader. It is recommended for ages 9 to 12. The book is Under Threat by Martin Jenkins and illustrated by Tom Frost. This book shares thirty animals that are under threat of going extinct. Each animal is given a two page spread with information about the animal including where it lives and how many are left. Then there is a page of an illustrated picture that looks like a stamp from one of the countries in which the animal lives. 

I love books that share about animals and especially ones that are threatened. It is important for our kids to learn about these animals and how we can try to save them. Our lives depend on these animals and we need to make changes in our society and world to keep them around. This book shares the key facts about the animals and gives just the basic information about the animal with enough details for the reader to fall in love with each one.

Our next book is the one suggested for ages 0 months up, however I think it is in many ways an adult book. It is Helen Oxenbury: A Live in Illustration words by Leonard S. Marcus. Have you ever read We Are Going on a Bear Hunt or Farmer Duck? These two children's books and many more are illustrated by Helen Oxenbury. She has won awards like the Kate Greenaway Medal and a Carle Artist Honor. Her career began in 1964 and she has been illustrating children's stories since. The book goes through her life including her childhood, studies and then the decades of her life as well as authors' impressions from working with her. 

The book is full of photographs as well as Helen's illustrations. It shares her life story as well as her work. It is a true biography and sample of her amazing work. I feel like I have a glimpse at her life by reading this book.

Our next book takes the reader on a journey getting connected by our senses. With our senses this book teaches empathy and compassion. It is a simple book but sweet story that really gets the mind exploring. The book is Listen by Holly M. McGhee and illustrated by Pascal Lemaitre. 

The story is simple but the message is very powerful. It teaches empathy with one another as well as nature. The illustrations although simple are powerful. 

The empathy is taught through using the heart. It goes into how our heart sees, hears, feels, smells and tastes. Think about that. Our hearts are that powerful. I love the  message of this book. This book is recommended for ages 4 to 7.

Our next book is Captain Rosalie by Timothee De Fombelle, translated by Sam Gordon and illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault. It is war time and Rosalie's father is off fighting. Rosalie creates her own secret mission and keeps track of it in a notebook. Her mother reads letters from her father some nights so that Rosalie knows he is thinking of her and missing her. The illustrations are interesting. They are mostly black and white with a few details in color like her hair, scarf, and her father's letters. It is powerful with the story about the war. It shares the true loss of war. It does have a very sad ending. 

Captain Rosalie is recommended for ages 8 to 12 and is not a book for any younger. It shares the stresses of war and the true cost by sharing this fictional story of a young girl trying to figure it all out.

Our final book for tonight is The Dog Who Lost His Bark by Eoin Colfer and illustrated by P.J. Lynch. This is an illustrated chapter book. It is recommended for ages 7 to 10. It is also a sweet, sweet story. A little puppy is a bit afraid. He wants to stay with his mom and hides when families come. He is sad as he watches his siblings go away. His mother however convinces him that getting a family is a good thing. However the little puppy who is a Christmas gift does not get a good experience. In fact he is neglected and then left in the country. But his story doesn't end there. A shelter finds him and a boy who is spending the summer at his grandfather's without his dad gets to adopt him. The shelter warns the boy that it is going to be hard to get this puppy to trust anyone. The boy is up for the challenge and with the help of his family he brings the bark back to the dog and they become best friends. The dog is there to help the boy as he struggles to find out that his father has left his mother and him and they will be staying at his grandfather's. Life is hard but a good friend is important even if the friend isn't human. 

I love this story. I read the book in under an hour. It is an easy read chapter book. The story is sweet and shows the importance of patience, friendship, family and music. Even with the sad things that happen to the dog and boy the story is a happy one. I enjoyed it.

So if you are looking for some new books for your kids to read, I hope you will check out some of these!