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August 10, 2016


Every month, TAB editor Kristin will be sharing her thoughts on five titles from our… Read More

June 1, 2016

Mom & Dad Squad Featured
Mom & Dad Squad June Reviews


I Love Sharks: First Facts and Pictures

Reviewed by JJ, Virginia Mom

The summer is upon us and so is the next Scholastic book review. I Love Sharks is an interesting selection for my household, which consists of a two-year-old and a five-year-old. While I was unsure of their response, both of my kids were excited to explore a new book from Scholastic.

Both of my children LOVED the realistic illustrations of each shark. My two-year-old son enjoyed pointing out all the arrows pointing to facts on each page. He wasn’t as interested in listening to all the facts, so I just read the main paragraph on each shark.

My five-year-old daughter listened raptly, but was upset when she found out the tiger shark eats dolphins. Her response: “But I like dolphins!” Her dismay at the food chain hierarchy in the ocean ebbed and she was able to move forward to learn about more sharks.

She was very excited to see the saw shark. We saw some real saw sharks at the Baltimore National Aquarium. Her eyes lit up…it was like the illustration had come to life as she remembered our visit.

I Love Sharks is a great pint-size informative book, but we may not take it out for a couple more years. If your child is into sharks though…this is an excellent book for your collection.

As a parent I liked that the flaps were thicker. The thicker flaps should hold up against ripping and tearing. This is important with a treasured book[CG1] .


Tea Time with Sophia Grace and Rosie by Sophia Grace Brownlee and Rosie McClelland, Illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas

Reviewed by Cathy, Georgia Mom

I just adore Sophia Grace and Rosie on The Ellen Show and was so excited to see that they’ve written a book! This book is all about the most perfect tea party ever, and how they dream up all the ways to make their party perfect. They each pick one special person to come to their party and they decide to not tell each other who they’ll be inviting.

They transform their bedroom into a castle and enjoy creating invitations together. They plan their menu, the theme of their party, and what they’ll wear. In the end, all that they need is their special guest to attend. I won’t ruin the ending, but I’ll say it was very cute!!

This book would be a perfect gift for any child who loves tea parties. I think my niece Lily would REALLY love this. She is four and absolutely loves to have tea parties with her younger sister Charlie.

Definitely a must-read and the perfect addition to any little girl’s growing library of wonderful books!!

The Night Before Father’s Day by Natasha Wing, Illustrated by Amy Wummer

Reviewed by Lysa, New Hampshire Mom

What a fun read! While Dad goes out on a bike ride, the kids and Mom decide to whip up a Father’s Day surprise! What an entertaining and very engaging story that kids of any age would enjoy. Both of my sons read this together and giggled at the adorable illustrations and the antics of the kids as they “cleaned up” for Dad. The story itself is set to the style of “’Twas the Night Before Christmas” so the rhyming verses automatically kept my three-year-old attentive, just like a Dr. Seuss book. My seven-year-old said it was a lot of fun to read and he couldn’t wait to read it to his own daddy later this month. I definitely recommend this book to anyone who has children who love their father and want to say Happy Father’s Day in a very inventive way!

Jolly Olly Octopus by Tony Mitton, Illustrated by Guy Parker-Rees

 Reviewed by Karey, Texas Mom

Jolly Olly Octopus is certainly a happy creature. The bright pictures give lots for little eyes to look at as they practice counting the brightly colored sea creatures introduced by Jolly Olly. The pictures are fun and full of surprises for your children to find. My daughter especially liked the dolphins and my son loved that a pirate shark was there to scare the others away….What will happen to Jolly Olly and his friends? Read Jolly Olly Octopus and discover a bright, giggling world under the sea.


Pete the Cat: Play Ball! created by James Dean

Reviewed by Kimberley, New Jersey Mom

Pete the Cat: Play Ball! is a wonderfully written short story about a cat who is truly a team player when he plays baseball with his team, the Rocks. My children loved reading this out loud and were able to relate to the entire story, especially since they are budding baseball players! The book also has a wonderful message that all parents can relate to: everybody is a winner as long as you try your best.

The book is a simple, fun, and easy read for emergent readers. Moms and dads will love that Pete shows how to lose and win with grace all in the same game! Children will love another Pete the Cat story. I really enjoyed reading this with my children and believe you will too. This book is one of my favorite books to hear my children read aloud.

Mrs. Spitzer’s Garden by Edith Pattou, Illustrated by Tricia Tusa

Reviewed by Paul, New York Dad

Mrs. Spitzer’s Garden was a quiet, sweet story that was perfect for bedtime, and for this time of year. With all of the flowers blooming around our yard, Cate could relate to what was going on in the book, and she asked a lot of questions about planting seeds and taking care of flowers. The art was fun and light, and the faces on the plants, vegetables, and trees made Cate laugh.

Ladybug Girl at the Beach by David Soman and Jacky Davis

Reviewed by Christina, Mississippi Mom

Ladybug Girl at the Beach is a gentle, soothing read that is just right for summer. Lulu, or Ladybug Girl, and her family are enjoying a day at the beach. But the big waves and sneaky tide are a little threatening to Lulu and her dog, Bingo. The two spend the day doing everything BUT getting in the water. Finally, Lulu experiences a crisis and must wade into the water to save her pail from floating away.

The colors and language in this book are lulling and calming. Everything about this story is gentle. Mom is patient with Lulu, no one teases her about not getting in the water, and Bingo is a constant and true companion. This is the perfect bedtime story for one of those nights when it is hard to sleep because the sun is still up!

No More Pencils, No More Books, No More Teacher’s Dirty Looks by Diane deGroat

Reviewed by Kelli, Pennsylvania Mom

My kids and I have been counting down to the last day of school so this cute picture book was a perfect bedtime read for us. My first grade son connected right away to the story being that it is about a first grade class saying good bye to their teacher and getting ready for second grade. Both of my kiddos got a kick out of the last-day poems that the students made up to recite during the awards ceremony: “I love numbers, I love math. I think of counting, even in the bath.” That one had them both giggling. Reading this story is also a great prompt to talk about the past school year—favorite things that they learned, what they liked about their teacher, and what they are looking forward to next year. It’s hard to believe that the school year is coming to an end, but just like in this story, we can’t wait for that first day of summer vacation!


Disney Learning: Wonderful World of Sharks

Reviewed by Phyllis, Arizona Mom

This great book combines thousands of facts about sharks along with clever remarks and observations by the Disney characters from Finding Nemo. The blend keeps even very young children interested and able to think of sharks as something other than fearsome predators. For example, the scientific fact of the matter is that great white shark avoids human contact whenever possible. But many of us can’t quite accept that until Nemo or Dory tells us so. Younger listeners can also use the photos and drawings to distinguish between real and pretend characters.

Some of the most unusual sharks are highlighted in this visual feast of a book. The cookie cutter, saw, and bramble sharks are rarely seen in any children’s (or adults’) nonfiction text. Yet they are here in full color and fascinating written detail. My grandson is quite a shark aficionado at six years old, but he was amazed to learn that while most sharks must continuously keep moving to avoid sinking and dying, cookie cutter sharks intentionally search the sea floor for squid and other bottom fish. An added benefit is the glossary of terms at the back of the book.

All in all, this is a great introduction to the world of sharks. It is also a valuable expansion of any books you may already own on the topic, both in photographic and literary terms. Enjoy sharing this book with your family soon!

National Geographic Kids: Everything Dogs by Becky Baines

Reviewed by Rachel, Utah Mom

This was a very interesting read for our family. We are not animal people, so we learned a lot about dogs that we probably never would have if not for this book.

Everything Dogs had a lot of intriguing information for my children. They enjoyed all the information the book had to offer. It was perfect in that all the topics were covered in little bites of information. It gave them just enough to teach them specifics about dogs, without losing their interest with too many words.

There were several things that they found more interesting than others. My little girl feels bad for dogs because they can’t have chocolate. For her chocolate is life’s greatest happiness. She loves the fact that dogs have the ability to dream. She found it very gross that they smell other dogs’ “bottoms.”

My little boy, on the other hand, thought that was pretty cool. He was very intrigued by the fact that dogs only have four toes, and that they have a fifth that is sometimes removed when they are young. He loved the fact that they are so loyal, and that they remember you by the way you smell.

Overall, we came to the conclusion that dogs are an animal that we just might like to get to know better.


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June 10, 2013