Now out: A Warm Friendship by Ellen DeLange

This is a short, beautifully illustrated picture book that tells the story of a squirrel and a snowman who become friends during the coldest part of the year. Snowman is cold and squirrel realizes that he wants to help. Soon our snowman is covered in scarves and blankets. Snowman and a variety of animal friends enjoy spending time together. You can probably guess what happens…Spring comes and snowman is no longer there. Squirrel and his friends miss the snowman. The wise owl tells them “Look around and you will see that Snowman is always with you.” This seems to me to make this book one that can be read by children to help them to cope with a death.

I understand the concept of this book and can see where it could be a non-threatening way to talk with children. I do think that some of them may wonder why a snowman would not want to be cold in winter but perhaps that is a small quibble.

Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for this read in exchange for an honest review.

Becoming Friends: Bear in Love by Sam Loman

This is a short picture book story that has sweet illustrations. It tells the story of Bear who loves Squirrel but is too shy to let Squirrel know directly. Instead, Bear leaves small gifts for Squirrel. Squirrel does not know who her secret admirer is. By the end of the book, the two make a connection. Children will be glad to see that they have gotten together.

This book is for young children who will relate to the the wish to be friends. It may read differently to older children who might not want to have someone whom they do not know reaching out to them anonymously. Still, for the age group of the book, I think that it may be well received.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this book in exchange for an honest review.

#BearInLove #NetGalley

I Really Needed This Today Words to Live By by Hoda Kotb

Hoda Kotb is well known as a host of the Today show.  She is also an adoptive parent.  In this book, M. Kotb has collected a variety of inspirational quotes with one for every day of the year.  They are uplifting and positive morsels for reflection.  In some instances, Ms. Kotb has added her own thoughts or  following the quote.  This is a nice book for a day when you are looking for a small uplift and perhaps something to think about.

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this book in exchange for an honest review.

#IReallyNeededThisToday #NetGalley

From the Publisher

Let’s go! Tiny Travelers Mexico Treasure Quest Treasure Quest by Steven Wolfe Pereira; Susie Jaramillo

This book is part of the Tiny Travelers series. In this entry, young armchair travelers will visit Mexico. The book consists of a series of two page spreads each one featuring a place or tradition. For each spot, there are facts and a hidden object to find. Readers will visit places including Mexico City, Guadalajara, a Day of the Dead celebration and will learn about food and culture. Helpfully many of the Spanish words are given phonetic spellings as well so as to help non-Spanish speakers pronounce the words. Readers will enjoy the vivid and colorful illustrations as they go through the book. This is a good entry in a good series.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this book in exchange for an honest review. I enjoyed my trip!

#GoTinyTravelers #NetGalley

Dream, work and accomplish: Black Women in Science A Black History Book for Kids by Kimberly Brown Pellum, PhD

The author of forward to this book is a black woman in science as a veterinarian and is the daughter of a black woman in science as her mother was a nurse and nursing instructor. In this book, the author speaks directly to her readers trying to encourage and empower them and to believe in all that they can accomplish.

Doctor Brown Pellum tells the stories of many African American pioneers including for example the first female physician, Rebecca Lee Crumpler; Mamie Phipps Clark, the first African American woman to receive a Ph.D. from Columbia; astronaut Mae Jemison; and Annie Turbo Malone who created hair products specifically for African American women. Each entry includes an illustration, a quote, a biography and sections called Explore Ore and Tips for You! For example, the tip on Rebeeca Lee Crumpler states “Rebecca Crumpler’s aunt inspired her to pursue a career in medicine. Who in your family inspires you? Write them a thank you and note and explain why you appreciate what they do.”

This book is a fantastic compendium that should be made easily available to students. It will encourage them to achieve their professional dreams while connecting them to a long history of African American women in STEM.

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this book in exchange for an honest review.

#BlackWomenInScience #NetGalley

From the publisher:

Just published: My First Atlas of the 50 States by Georgia Beth

When I was about ten years old, my mom bought be an atlas of the U.S. that was published by Golden Books. I had been wanting the book for some time. I thought about how much I enjoyed that book when I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley and the publisher.

This book is an excellent and interesting introduction to the United States. Following a welcome page, there is a section on the biomes of North America and then the states…each one has beautifully, lively illustrated pages. Readers will learn “Fast Facts.” These include the size and population of the state, along with when it joined the Union, the State nickname and the State bird. Each map has pictures imposed on it that show sites, crops, animals and more. There are also additional illustrations that highlight places to visit. For example, there is the Grand Ole Opry in Tennessee, the Crystal Bridges Museum in Arkansas, the mansions in Newport, Rhode Island and so much more.

Help a child you know to learn geography. This book can be read in the order given or randomly. It is a good resource and will be enjoyed by both adults and kids.

From the Publisher

Now out: Americana Farmhouses and Manors of Long Island by Kyle Marshall

Are you a person who likes to visit historic homes? Do you go inside and imagine what it might have been like to live there? Do you ever see a house and daydream about it being yours? If, like me, you answer yes to these questions, you may well enjoy Americana. This book showcases the farmhouses and manors of Long Island, New York. Homes have been on Long Island since the 1600s when early emigrants settled there. This book shows the evolution of a number of these homes both their outsides and interiors; in addition, one sees the landscapes that these homes enjoyed. There are essays to accompany the photos.

Some reviewers have noted faults and inconsistencies in this book. That is true but, nonetheless, it is a wonderful volume to look at and imagine where a person might live.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this book in exchange for an honest review.

What price scholarship? The Scholar by Dervla McTiernan

The Scholar: From the bestselling author of THE RUIN (The Cormac Reilly Series Book 2)This is Dervla McTiernan’s second novel; it follows The Ruin and features many of the same characters.  The Scholar takes place in Ireland at a university and science lab.  A young former chemistry student is murdered.  As you read the novel, you may, like me, think that you know exactly how it will end.  I was  partially wrong as it was more complex than I had anticipated.

In addition to Della, the (first) victim, the novel tells the story of Carline.  She is heir to a great pharmaceutical company but does not feel fully accepted by the grandfather who owns it.  What will she do to try to ensure her place?  What will happen to her?

The first book’s primary detective was Cormac.  He is in a relationship with Emma who works for Darcy Pharmaceuticals, the lab at the heart of this story.  What will happen when Emma is both a witness and a potential suspect?

This sophomore effort by Ms. McTiernan is definitely worth reading.  I raced through it.  Fans of authors including Tana French should love this one!