The Good Dog and the Bad Cat

Author: Todd Kessler, Jennifer Gray Olson               good dog - bad cat
Publisher: Coralstone
Genre: Children’s Book
Source:  BEA 2016




Goodreads:  A mysterious thief is stealing from the Lee family household and bakery and it’s up to little puppy Tako to catch the culprit. Tako succeeds in exposing Allie, a feisty cat, but when she gets thrown out of the house Tako begins to have second thoughts about the consequences of his actions. Tako may be the only one who can uncover the truth, but to do so he will have to fight the vicious river rats and learn there may be more to the mischievous cat than what meets the eye.

me with emma and bad cat

Ope’s Opinion:  It was fun to read this to Emma.  At first she did not realize the cat was the one taking things, then she did not realize what the cat was doing with the things.  It was fun to watch her realize what was going on.

Emma’s Opinion:  Emma worried about where the cat was when it wasn’t staying at the house with Tako.  Emma has a big heart and doesn’t want anyone hurt.  She did give this one her five finger seal of approval!   hand






good dog with emma





Cupcake Cousins – Summer Showers

cupcake cousins summer

Author: Kate Hannigan
Publisher: Disney – Hyperion
Genre: Children’s Book
Source:  BEA 2016

Goodreads:  It’s summertime, and the Bumpus family is growing! Aunt Rosie and Uncle Jonathan are expecting twins, and the entire family gathers together at Whispering Pines for a baby shower. Willow and Delia’s grandmother gives each of her grandchildren a family heirloom, but Willow’s has disappeared. Could it be lost in the cupcake batter-or will she have to tell her grandmother it’s gone for good? Follow cousins Willow and Delia’s tasty recipes once again as they solve the mystery of the missing keepsake and celebrate the excitement of new cousins in the second book in this charming series.

cupcake cousins

Ope’s Opinion:  I started reading this to Emma, who is 7 years old.  I think it was a little too long for her attention span.  I read it myself – it kept my attention, so I will try to read it to her again in about a year.  I liked the story and the characters.  It is appropriate and parents will actually like to read it themselves. 

The Good Dog

the good dog

Author: Todd Kessler and Jennifer Gray Olson
Publisher: IPG
Source: BEA 2016

Goodreads:  Discovering that sometimes you have to be a little bad to be very good, Tako the puppy makes a brave choice in this adventure tale and proves that heroes come in all shapes and sizes. When 8-year-old Ricky Lee finds a puppy on the side of the road, he takes him home and names him Tako. Ricky’s mom and dad agree to let Tako stay under one condition: he must be a good dog who always follows the rules—or it’s off to the pound he goes. Tako wants more than anything to be a good dog and stay with Ricky, but when the Lees open Happy Family Bakery and a competing store owner sets out to sabotage the shop, Tako has to break the rules to protect Ricky and his family.

Ope’s Opinion:  This was such a pleasure to read to my granddaughter.  It kept me interested and the  illustrations were very original.  I would be willing to read this over and over again to her.                  good dogEmma’s Opinion:  She was very happy that Tako found a home.  She wants me to come read to her again real soon.  hand

This is Emma’s five finger seal of approval for The Good Dog.

reading with emma

Stella Batts: None of Your Beeswax

Author: Courtney Sheinmel
Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press               stella
Genre: Children’s books
Source: BEA




Goodreads:  Can you keep a secret? Stella Batts has a lot of secrets to keep these days–there’s the secret of what really happened to her little sister’s pet fish, and there’s the secret school project she’s working on with her friend Lucy, and there’s the secret on the second floor of her family’s candy store. Actually, Stella doesn’t know the candy store secret yet, because her dad won’t tell her. Even though she’s eight years old, and that’s old enough to be trusted! Stella hasn’t told any of her other secrets all week, and some of her other friends are feeling left out. But that’s the problem with being told a secret: You have to keep it!

Em and Pey









Ope’s Opinion:  These are my girls I will be reading this book to.  This book is so good adults will enjoy reading to children.  Later those children will enjoy reading it themselves.  

Stella learns about keeping secrets – when to keep them, when to share them, and who to share them with.  It is a hard concept for children to learn.  I thought there were several good real life examples in this book.

I am interested in reading more of Stella Batts books.

Rating:  5 – This book is so good it will be passed on and on and on….

Relax-a-bye Baby

Author: Mimi Sommers
Illustrator: Dana Theveneau                  relax
Genre:  Children’s Book
Publisher: Angus MacGregor Book
Source: New Shelves




Goodreads:  Ever have trouble getting your little one to settle down for bed? Relax-a-bye Baby is a painless bedtime guide as well as a fun and interactive approach to body relaxation and mindfulness. Think of this book as a useful bonding tool for parents and other caregivers. Let’s put an end to the bedtime frustration and embrace the wonders of bedtime – one child at a time.

Ope’s Opinioin: This is the perfect bed time book.  It relaxed my granddaughters and me too!!!  It has a nice rhythm to it.  I enjoyed reading it as much as the girls enjoy hearing it.  This is one of those books that I think I will passed down to the next generation.

emma and payton

These are the girls I get the privilege to read to.  Emma my five year old granddaughter asked her dad to read it at bed time.

Rating:  We all gave it a high five!



The Day the Crayons Quit

Author:  Drew Daywalt, Oliver Jeffers           
Publisher: Philomel Books                        crayons
Genre: Children’s 
Source: The Brightly Team



Goodreads:  Poor Duncan just wants to color. But when he opens his box of crayons, he finds only letters, all saying the same thing: We quit!

Beige is tired of playing second fiddle to Brown. Blue needs a break from coloring all that water, while Pink just wants to be used. Green has no complaints, but Orange and Yellow are no longer speaking to each other.

What is Duncan to do? Debut author Drew Daywalt and New York Timesbestseller Oliver Jeffers create a colorful solution in this playful, imaginative story that will have children laughing and playing with their crayons in a whole new way.

front of book

Emma’s Opinion:  This was fun to read!  I like all the crayons!!  The last page was my favorite page.

Emma’s Rating:  Five fingers – I want to read it again and again.  I want to take the book home with me.   hand

Ope’s Opinion:  From a grandparent perspective, I like the book.  It is very colorful.  I thought it was a little too much to read on each page to keep a young childs attention.  The crayons were a little whiny to me – I don’t think a child would notice that.

Ope’s Rating:  Four fingers for me. 

end of book

Nancy Clancy – Secret of the Silver Key

Author:  Jane O’ Connor        nancy
Publisher:  HarperCollins
Genre:  Children
Source:  BEA


Goodreads:  Join Nancy Clancy in New York Times bestselling team Jane O’Connor and Robin Preiss Glasser’s fourth Nancy Clancy chapter book about the past, present, and future! Nancy and her best friend, Bree, must go back in time to solve their latest mystery. While Nancy’s class learns about time capsules in school, another relic from the past pops up in the present. Nancy buys an old desk at a tag sale and soon finds out that someone left behind a key. In the perfect follow-up to Nancy Clancy, Super Sleuth;Nancy Clancy, Secret Admirer; and Nancy Clancy Sees the Future, Nancy and Bree set out to unlock the secret of the silver key in the hopes of finding some treasure along the way. But unlocking the mystery soon proves to be more difficult than they had thought, and when the answer isn’t what they had expected, Nancy and Bree learn there are some things that remain timeless forever.

Fans of Fancy Nancy will love joining Nancy Clancy in the latest edition to the chapter book series. The central theme of all the Nancy Clancy books shines through, showing the power of positive thinking and the will to never give up.

Ope’s Opinion:  This is book four in the series, but the first one that I have read.  It can stand alone, but it is so good I recommend starting from the beginning of the series.  As an adult I enjoyed the story.  I would enjoy reading it to a younger reader or having a middle grade student read it to me.

I was impressed with Jane O’Connor’s introduction of new vocabulary words.  She used the word in a sentence, then explained it’s meaning.  I thought it was a clever way to expand a new readers vocabulary.

The pictures in the book are a nice complement to the story.  They will keep a  young readers attention if someone is reading it to them.

I would recommend this for anyone who is looking for short chapter books for gifts.  I will definitely buy the firsts ones for my granddaughters shelf.


Rating:  Four Chairs – I like this book so much I know several friends to share it with.