book reviews

Have children? Here are two great books

I’m always looking for children’s books for my students and friends. I’m excited to say I’ve found two I think you’ll like:

  • Amazing Matilda — A coming of age of a monarch butterfly; delightful
  • Sir Chocolate and the Fondant Five story and cookbook


amazing matildaAmazing Matilda

by Bette Stevens

5/5

Bette Stevens Amazing Matilda: The Tale of a Monarch Butterfly (CreateSpace 2012) is the story of tiny Matilda, a round white creature born from an egg in Nature’s garden with a burning desire to fly.  Without wings, though, she knows that can’t happen. Matilda has no idea that in her life, she will morph from the crawly leaf-bound creature to a gorgeous monarch butterfly. She tells her animal friends about her passion to fly and they offer their stories of growing up as well as sage advice any parent would be envious of. For example, her friend Sparrow suggests:

“Just have patience and follow your instincts, my dear…” 

Another friend suggests:

“I could do anything that I wanted to if I only tried long enough and hard enough.”

She is frustrated by this good-natured advice because she has no idea how to do what they suggest:

“Sparrow said that I must have patience and that I must follow my instincts. Now, you say I must have wings. Where can I find all of those things?”

As Matilda grows, she changes from a larva to pupa to a gorgeous winged adult. Each stage in Matilda’s amazing journey is accompanied with wonderful drawings that show her progress, who she meets, and how she changes.

As a result, readers are not just entertained by the story but happily learn about the development of a butterfly. There are lots of cute lines, such as:

“Matilda crunched and munched and lunched, leaf after leaf, day after day.”

If you loved P.D. Eastman’s incomparable book, Are You My Mother, about a baby bird’s search for its mother, you must read this book. If Charlotte’s Web is one of your childhood favorites, I say, Move over Charlotte. Matilda is now here!

This is a short book. In fact. This review is almost longer than the story!


Sir Chocolate and the Fondant Five story and cookbook

by Robbie Cheadle

5/5

Robbie Cheadle’s Sir Chocolate and the Fondant Five story and cookbook (2019) is the next in the author’s delightful series of books that blend children’s stories with themed original recipes. This one is a clever story poem about the disappearance of zoo animals and how Sir Chocolate must figure out what happened.

“One day Sir Chocolate arrived, and not a sound could hear, he called long and loud, but no animals did appear. The animals had vanished, the zoo was empty and still,”

“The monkey is naughty, he likes to have fun, he plays tricks on the others, then away he does run.”

The story is written in the format of a poem and includes great photographs that help readers visualize the action. At the completion of the story, there is a cute poem to introduce an original collection of animal-themed recipes children can complete with their parents. Some of the recipes are:

  • Sir Chocolate peppermint caramel pudding
  • Cheetah Cheese scones
  • Rino Soetkoekies

I have bought several of these books because I love the idea of blending a story with cooking and inspiring kids and parents to spend time together. I also love that Robbie writes these books with her son, Michael, each doing their part in writing, cooking, and photographing. Overall, this is another excellent book in a clever collection that not only entertains but brings parents and kids together.


More children’s book

Presenting the Newest Gregory Green Adventure, Halloween Ride

Book Blast for Stephanie Faris’ Newest Piper Morgan Story

19 Tips for Children’s Writers


Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and the Man vs. Nature saga. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, blog webmaster, an Amazon Vine Voice,  a columnist for TeachHUB and NEA Today, and a freelance journalist. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Quest for Home, Fall 2019. You can find her tech ed books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning

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101 thoughts on “Have children? Here are two great books

  1. Jacqui, a delight to read these reviews of children’s books. I read Bette’s s book a couple of years ago and it was a joy to behold, the words touching, the images wonderful … one that has stayed with me since! Robbie never fails to impress me with her range of genres and her children’s books stand out for sheer inventiveness and creativity! They sound like a great story and lots of fun! It is wonderful how she is writing this series in collaboration with her son and the recipes sounds divine! Thank you so much for sharing here!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. These sound absolutely wonderful for the children, and I have always thought combining a story with a cookbook was a very good way to create further involvement for the children that they will long remember. I love reading childrens’ books for myself too! Very good way to break the boredom from dry university books (sorry to say, but a lot of them are just that). If I were writing a university book, I would at least put some interesting things into it, and there are with every single subject.

    Anne

    Liked by 3 people

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