If there’s anything young readers will find relatable, it’s sibling jealousy and rivalry— especially in blended families. The author has done a great job of creating a realistic and complex family situation in which two girls must each learn to share their father and fully accept one another.
Readers will find Portia both likeable and understandable, and while not all of her responses are ideal, they will se her as a young person who is doing her best to adjust to new challenges and trials. Her challenges in getting to know the real Jasmine are clearly and empathetically portrayed through her thoughts and actions, just as Jasmine’s feeelings are communicated through her behaviours.
Although both girls find the changes they have to make confronting and awkward, this is a positive and encouraging story that is sure to help young readers understand these kinds of situations from someone else’s point of view.
This book is probably best suited for preteen and early teen readers, but it is enjoyable enough for older audiences too. It would certainly be a good choice for families to read together, and a highly appropriate addition to local and school libraries.
A delightful story for children about acceptance and friendship.
What a delight to discover this original and imaginative children’s fantasy story that is entertaining while embracing important ideas about difference, resilience and acceptance. Just like every child and many adults, Sparky must learn to accept and work with his limitations and his abilities alike.
The characters in this story are delightful, with Nicky and her grandmother leading the way in showing others that prejudgment and first impressions are unreliable, and in demonstrating openness and acceptance of Sparky while others show fear and distrust.
The illustrations are charming and highly engaging, and thus add another level of interest and involvement in the story for the children who comprise its target audience.
This is a great book for both independent young readers and for families to read together. As such, it would make a delightful addition to school, town and home libraries.
A bea-utiful book for young children and family reading.
In an era where bees are endangered and many children seem not to take time away from screens of one type or another to enjoy the pleasures of a garden, this book is a breath of fresh air.
The concept of the story seems simple – a little girl longs for a puppy and finds an unusual alternative – but there is an underlying message of hope and acceptance in this story that is very positive and encouraging for children. It is a very good thing to open our children’s minds to things that are out of the ordinary, and to teach them that even among friends who are very different, we can have surprising similarities.
The illustrations are cheerful, colourful and varied so that the book remains engaging for younger readers throughout the story.
This story also comes with helpful information about how to provide for bees in the garden and avoiding some of the things that might be harmful to them.
This would be a delightful book for families to read together, or for more independent reading as children get a little older. It would also be a valuable addition to school and town libraries.
‘Tea and Dark Chocolate’ is a delightful collection of short stories and poetry for older children and younger YA readers. Some pieces are magical, others whimsical, but all are entertaining and interesting.
This book would suit any kids who are interested in stories about magic, fantasy creatures and amusing situations. It’s lighthearted and fun, and should engage even readers with a short attention span.
This book works perfectly well as a standalone, but also serves as a nice introduction to the author’s P.A.W.S series of #paranormal books for the same audience.
An enjoyable read, ‘Tea and Dark Chocolate’ has been awarded a Silver Acorn.
‘Dreamland’ is a delightful children’s chapter book.
Filled with magic, unicorns, fairies and other fantastic stories, ‘Dreamland’ is a delightful children’s chapter book. Each chapter is a new adventure in which Danny learns to work with his strengths and face his fears.
The author has very effectively portrayed Danny as a regular kid, with a great imagination and sense of humour as well as his fears and flaws, so kids will easily relate to him and his responses to the things that happen in his stories.
This would be a great book for families to read together, or for individual reading for kids in MY and older. As an adult reader, I still found it engaging and entertaining.
‘Dreamland’ has been awarded a Gold Acorn for excellence.
This is a storybook every family needs to own and read.
This is an adorable children’s storybook about Bill and his friend Pablo, a toy polar bear who tells delightful bedtime stories. Rich in imagination and wonder, this book and the stories within it are engaging and heartwarming, delivering very positive messages about friendship, family and behaviour.
Bill is a nice kid who belongs to an average family. Rather than portraying him as an ideal child, the author has made him relatable to other kids: he has disappointments, fights with his sister, and has moments of selfishness. Overall, though, Bill is a good model for kids in the way these situations are resolved.
Pablo’s stories also present opportunities to discuss highly relevant global issues such as conservation, environment, climate change and animal welfare with children in sensitive and proactive ways.
As someone who loves books, polar bears and Canada, I appreciate the beautiful storytelling and the messages of the stories in this book.
This book has been awarded a Gold Acorn for excellence.
A beautiful story of a little cat and how she saved a soldier.
This beautiful story of a calico kitten and her role in the Gulf War is beautifully written in a straightforward yet heartwarming style that will be enjoyed by older children, but also by adults. The writing is expressive but still easily understood, and the uglier elements of the war are treated gently, although not ignored, so that younger or sensitive readers are not frightened or put off from reading the story.
The cover and illustrations by Milena Radeva are absolutely stunning, capturing both the story and the personality of the kitten as she grew and won her place in the heart of a soldier.
‘The Scheherazade Cat’ has been awarded a Gold Acorn for excellence in both storytelling and illustration.