Parrots and Popcorn – A book Review

Parrots and Popcorn

By: Brenda Kearns

Illustrated By: Christine Tripp

Publish Date: April 1, 2013

 

Full Disclosure: I received this text in exchange for an honest review.

 

Brenda Kearns has delivered another cute children’s book, focusing on a little girl who wishes for big birthday magic.

Summary:

The night before her birthday Kara, worried about her brother’s fake magic show the next day, sets out to steal his hat and prove that Trevor is performing the tricks WRONG. What happens next is the answer to all of her birthday wishes; but sometimes you learn that maybe you don’t really want exactly what you wished for.

Review:

The illustrations are fun, quirky, and cute…just the right touch to keep children interested at any age.

While the story is very cute and well suited to the young audience that it is meant for, there are a few things that I feel could boost the experience for readers, and especially readers on an electronic application.

First of all, I believe that the transition from believing her brother is doing the act incorrectly to her actually having the hat could have been helped by a little bit of an addition…perhaps a sentence or two that explains to the reader what Kara is doing (in this case, nabbing the ‘magic’ hat from her brother while everyone is asleep). 

Secondly, I would have liked to know what happens in the morning. I know that this is a children’s book and meant for very young readers, but at least a picture at the end with Kara’s Mom surprised to find her with the puppy.

Finally, the e-reader version has a bit of a formatting issue wherein the pages aren’t quite set together as I would like to see. Although this is a children’s picture book type of set up, it is my opinion the electronic version should be able to be seen almost as well as the actual hardback.

On the whole, I give this book 3.5 out of 5 dragons!

 

 

Sleepover Zoo: A Review

This week I actually have a book review for Book Review Tuesday! I was given this book in exchange for an honest review and was pleasantly surprised at the outcome. Without further ado, here is:

Sleepover Zoo

By: Brenda Kearns

Publication Date: April 1, 2013

 

Written primarily with upper elementary students in mind, this children’s book follows Antonina Maria (Toni) as she tries to adjust to a new school. The story centers on a few days in her life as the ‘popular’ girl in the sixth grade, Leona, pressures the ‘weird’ new girl, Toni, to have a sleepover.

That would be fine, except Toni’s home is a little…different than normal homes. Her family works with birds and her basement is a testament to that fact, shelves lined with cages and sick or injured birds rehabilitating in them don’t make for a normal home. When a prissy, never dirty, girl who isn’t allowed pets comes into their home a great dane, a koi aquarium, a small kitten, and a Macaw who drinks coffee make for a sleepover she’ll never forget.

Throughout this book the reader learns right along with the characters. Toni’s brother, Bruno, and best friend, Meghan, help her as they learn about friendship, family, and being proud of who you are. Along with those important life lessons, Brenda Kearns also sprinkles in some interesting facts about the different animals who live with Toni and Bruno.

This book is the type that would be good for classrooms from younger ages, like Mother’s Second Grade ‘TweetHearts’ (yes I’m serious, she did name her class that…) all the way through even the Eighth grade for students who don’t generally enjoy reading, for whatever reason. The simple and easy flow of the book leads readers along while feeding them information that helps them identify with characters and learn as they go. Sleepover Zoo is also a book that could inspire children to go outside and learn about the world around them, and that is a special quality to find in print.

Over all I give this book 5 out of 5 dragons for great writing, an interesting story, and making me want to learn more about nighthawks. If you are looking for a book for your child, your classroom, or even a quick read for yourself, I encourage you to give Brenda Kearn’s books a try.