1.30.2016

NetGalley For Kids?

Why haven't I ever thought about requesting children's books from NetGalley before?! While loading up our Kindle, Nook, and iPods for vacation last week, I downloaded a bunch of books from the library then checked in on my NetGalley shelf to grab something for myself. Right on the front page of the site I noticed a children's book category and started requesting like crazy. After I explained what an ARC is to my kids, Nolan (age 7) said it was so cool to test out books before the rest of the world gets to read them. I agree, kid. I agree. Milo (age 4) was just happy to listen to tons of new stories. We ended up reading all of them before we even left! None of us can resist new books. Here are our reviews. My kids love a star rating system (seriously, they rate everything from my meals to my driving), so I included theirs too.



Bears Make the Best Reading Buddies by Carmen Oliver, Jean Claude Super cute, calm story about how bears make good reading partners all while expressing how fun and important it is to read. I loved the illustrations, but wish the ending was a little longer. 

Nolan: I loved everything about it! 
Milo: Good pictures! I liked when the teacher screamed when she saw the bear at school. 


Too Many Carrots by Katy Hudson Rabbit is a carrot hoarder. When he doesn't have any more room in his burrow, his friends offer him a place to stay. The watercolor pictures were adorable and I like that it taught about different animal habitats, but the text was a little boring. 

Nolan: I didn't like that he kept bringing his carrots and destroying his friends' homes. 
Milo: I loved it. It was funny. 


Harry and Walter by Kathy Stinson, Qin Leng This is a super sweet story about Harry (age 4) and his neighbor/best friend Walter, who is 92. I love that my kids didn't notice anything odd about this pairing! My sensitive seven-year-old got a little sad in the middle, when Harry has to move, so it was nice to talk with him about how things are constantly changing. 

Nolan: I liked the happy ending. They were still friends! 
Milo: I liked that they got to stay friends. 


How to Draw Sharks by Arkady Roytman This step-by-step guide of over thirty different species of sharks was perfect for my first grader. We spent an hour drawing, then coloring all sorts of marine predators (some we had never heard of). My four-year-old had trouble following the instructions and got frustrated. 

Nolan: There were so many sharks to draw! 
Milo: It's too hard. 


The Midnight Visitors by Juliet David, Jo Parry This is the story of a cow in a barn who gets some unexpected animal and human (Mary and Joseph) visitors in the middle of a cold winter's night.  The illustrations were soft and sweet and I loved the different POV. 

Nolan: It was a Christmas story! 
Milo: The animals were so, so, so cute. 


My Stinky New School by Rebecca Elliott Toby's siblings love their schools, but he is nervous to go, thinks it smells bad, and is worried about making friends. My boys loved the silly words used to describe the school and the many adventures Toby went on with new friends. Very cute. 

Nolan: I loved the dinosaur part. 
Milo: I liked how stinky his school was. 


You Look Yummy! by Tatsuya Miyanishi An ankylosaurus hatches and thinks a nearby tyrannosaurus is his daddy. The little bugger (who thinks his name is Yummy) is so sweet, the T.rex doesn't eat him and they have a sort of father-son relationship. It had an abrupt and kind of sad ending though. 

Nolan: It was kind of odd. 
Milo: Too sad. 




Little Red by Bethan Woollvin I really loved the illustrations! They are simple, but fun in black, white and red. The story is a simple retelling of the classic Little Red Riding Hood story, but with a a focus on bravery and a twist ending that my kids didn't understand. (Little red goes into grandma's with an ax and comes out wearing a fur coat. Whoa.) 

Nolan: That was weird. 
Milo: I don't like that the grandma got eaten. 


Joseph's Big Ride by Terry Farish, Illustrated by Ken Daley Joseph came to America from a refugee camp and all he wants to do is ride a bike. He sees one in his new neighborhood that belongs to a girl at school. He gives her gifts so that he may have a chance to ride it, but she tells him that it broke. Joseph helps rebuild it and finally gets a ride. It's a sweet story that reminded my kids about how good they have it. I absolutely loved the illustrations. 

Nolan: I would give him my old bike. 
Milo: He was so nice. 


Rosie the Raven by Helga Bansch Rosie the human is hatched from an egg in a raven's nest and notices she is much different than her four bird siblings. After tackling a few obstacles, she realizes she is fine just the way she is. It was a nice story about acceptance and teaches about how families can be made up of different types. The artwork was a little gloomy, but I liked it. 

Nolan: She was different but also helpful to her family! 
Milo: That was weird. 


Animachines by Debora Pearson This books shows pictures of animals and vehicles that do the same thing: squirt, dive, roar, carry, etc. It's definitely a book for preschoolers, as there is only one word per page, but the illustrations are so cute, my four-year-old spent a lot of time with it. 

Nolan: Kinda boring. 
Milo: I love trucks and animals!  


Don't Touch This Book! by Bill Cotter My kids love any book that they can interact with and we all thought this one was colorful and fun! It is a sequel to Don't Push the Button (which we've never read), and also reminded us of Press Here. It was a hit in our house! 

Nolan: That was a magical book. 
Milo: So silly! 

Snap! by Hazel Hutchins, Dusan Petricic Such a cute, colorful book about a boy whose brand new crayon breaks, but instead of getting frustrated or angry, he gets creative. The illustrations were delightful and the story was ideal for my boys, who can be perfectionists sometimes. 

Nolan: I liked everything, especially the ending. 
Milo: The end was the best part! 


Calling All Cars by Sue Fliess This is another book perfect for young preschoolers. My car-loving four-year-old was really into it. We especially loved the pictures of animals driving different types of cars and I thought the text was fun. 

Nolan: Kinda funny. 
Milo: Five stars cause I love cars! 


Two Long Ears by Jacob A. Boehne I really loved this simple counting book that showed different types of body art on different types of people. We all know how blunt kids can be when they see someone who looks different so this is an awesome tool to use when talking about tattoos, piercings and other forms of self-expression. 

Nolan: I didn't know people could stretch their ears! 
Milo: I liked the tattoos. 


Noni Speaks Up by Heather Hartt-Sussman Noni is a sweet girl who always tries to do the right thing, but when she sees a boy being bullied at school she's afraid to speak out against her friends. I loved this! My first graders is already noticing kids being picked on at school. He's very sensitive, so Noni's dilemma really resonated with him. 

Nolan: I'm so glad Noni spoke up. It was a good ending. 
Milo: I liked the whole book. 


If I Had a Gryphon by Vikki VanSickle When her new hamster is too boring, Sam dreams about all kinds of mythical creatures (unicorn, dragon, chimera, chupacabra, etc) she could try to keep as a pet. This was perfect for Nolan, who is really interested in mythology right now. 

Nolan: I loved learning about all the mythological creatures. 
Milo: I liked the end when she liked her hamster best. 


Over-Scheduled Andrew by Ashley Spires Andrew loves drama club so he starts joining other activities (debate, dance, sports) to help him with his craft. He soon finds it's all too much to keep up with. My kids are only in one to two activities at a time for fear of over-scheduling and over-working them. This book is perfect for families trying to do it all. The art is so cute too. 

Nolan: I liked learning about all his activities, but I want to make my own club. 
Milo: It's not good to be over-scheduled. I like drama club though. 


An Armadillo in New York by Julie Kraulis I love NYC and so do my kids, because of my influence, so it was fun to take a trip to the Big Apple through this book that highlights tourist attractions. The artwork is amazing, but I thought the text was sometimes redundant. 

Nolan: I like learning about different places to visit. 
Milo: I love that city! 


Stay tuned for some chapter book reviews from me and Nolan.

4 comments:

Karen Peterson said...

I didn't realize they had children's books. That is so great!

Misty, Handbags + Handguns said...

Their reviews are adorable.

Jana @ Jana Says said...

This is such a cute post and I love their comments and ratings!

lil desiqua said...

I think it's so important to get kids into reading at a young age. I remember going to reading hour as a little kid at my local library, and my mom reading to me before I could do it myself. I think that's part of why I enjoy reading now. Though it's mostly a solitary activity, it's fun to discuss when you've read the same things and see different perspectives. Their reviews are so cute- lots of 5 stars!