Books of the Week

Through lively, lyrical verse and digestible vocabulary, The Unique Beak tells the story of a young peacock whose passions and dreams disturb the status quo that his family and friends have established. Ostracized by his community for the unique talents that make Sai himself, the peacock is surprised to find a warm, supportive friend in the most unlikely of places. Here, through the eyes and ears of a friend who celebrates his difference, Sai finds the faith he needs to pursue what’s in his heart. Sai’s confidence and self-reliance flourish as his special talents propel him towards heights that shock not only those who had dismissed him, but even Sai himself. 

A globally recognized musician and recent LA Independent Film award recipient, Estani Frizzell is an Irish and Mexican American artist whose Latin music has achieved international acclaim. Though she now lives in Austin with her daughter Sophia, Frizzell was born in San Antonio and lived more than two decades in Los Angeles, where she spent 11 years as a teacher. Over the course of her musical career, Frizzell has participated in world tours, performed on programs like the Tonight Show, and continues to maintain her status as a voting member of the Grammys. Frizzell says that her upcoming children’s book, The Unique Beak, is a “metaphor related to [her] background and life,and the story is an expression of the author’s own efforts embrace her unique talents and pursue her passions. Frizzell has wanted to write children’s books since the birth of her daughter, and she used her decades of experience as a singer/songwriter to cultivate a story that not only inspires and motivates through its colorful characters, but engages the reader through its rhythmic, musical verse. With its lyrical feel and triumphant narrative, The Unique Beak is an encapsulation of Frizzell’s inspiring trajectory as an artist and mother made all the more special by the fact that Sophia did the illustrations for the book.

I really enjoyed this book and recommend it! It truly is a great way to teach young children about self-confidence!

For every family with kiddos obsessed with fearsome dinosaurs, fascinating ocean creatures, and creepy crawly bugs, Fandex Kids: Dinosaurs, Ocean, and Bugs ( Ages 8-12; $12.95 US each) are the perfect prescription. These informative card decks are written just for kids, with bright, bold illustrations, lively and age-appropriate text, and simple die-cuts that make them easy to leaf through again and again.

Every fascinating creature is illustrated in colorful, lifelike detail and includes information about its size, habits, and habitat. Each deck features unique sidebars to help kids dive even further into their favorite topics:

·         Packed with fin factsOcean introduces kids to 49 fascinating aquatic creatures, including giant kelp, which can grow up to 2 feet every day— that’s right, 2 feet!

·         In Bugs, young entomologists will encounter 49 creepy crawlers from the bombardier beetle, which can spray its enemies with a boiling hot chemical fluid, to the tiny, pesky flea. Plus, “Learning from Nature” sidebars investigate how bugs inspire inventions in the fields of medicine, engineering, and even programming.

·         48 Fearsome and fascinating dinosaurs await inside Dinosaurs, from the airborne giant Quetzalcoatlus with a wingspan the size of a small airplane, to Tyrannousaurus rex; Giganotosaurus, and more. This deck is positively stuffed with dino bite-sized fun facts, plus a “how big” sidebar that shows kids just how huge these prehistoric creatures were.

Perfect for car rides, after school activities, and family fun, Fandex Kids decks provide fascinating answers plus all the astounding facts they’ve never thought to wonder about. Vibrant illustrations and simple die cuts make these perfectly portable decks the perfect companion for every kid.

I received samples and just love these! They would also make great stocking stuffers this upcoming holiday season! Find out more at

Picture Book from Chad Otis! A LITTLE FERRY TALE

In the spirit of The Little Engine That Could, this tender picture book introduces Little Ferry, who yearns to be more like the faster or stronger boats in the harbor only to find out her uniqueness can be her strength.

Little Ferry feels like no one notices her. She isn’t strong like Tugboat or fast like Speedboat or graceful like Sailboat, the boats everyone loves to watch. But Little Ferry is special, too! She’s patient and careful and always on time. And when disaster flares on Wildlife Island, Little Ferry finds that her quiet traits are the very ones that will help her finally stand out and save the day. I really enjoyed this adorable story and loved the main character and the illustrations!

Author Bio

Chad Otis has a BFA in design from the University of Washington School of Art. He’s been working with the likes of Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, and Disney Online for over twenty-five years as an animator, illustrator, and creative director. Chad lives in Boise, Idaho, and is also the illustrator of Cuddle Monkey and author-illustrator of A Little Ferry Tale.

Find out where to buy this book here.

Early graphic novel series perfect for fans of Narwhal & Jelly (Doggo and Pupper Save the World, Cleo and Fitz Get Creative)

Looking for a new series to recommend to fans of Elephant & Piggie and Narwhal & Jelly? I’m thrilled to tell you about two hilarious and heartwarming early reader graphic novel series publishing this winter with Macmillan Children’s:
The second book in #1 New York Times-bestselling–author Katherine Applegate’s fun new early reader’s series, Doggo and Pupper Save the World) is full of adventure, wonderful humor, and charming art by Charlie Alder. These short stories, six in all, are great read-alouds and read-alongs for beginning readers – I mean, who can resist a winning menagerie of a grumpy old dog, a feisty puppy, and a sarcastic, entitled cat? The dynamo team behind Llama Destroys the World, Jonathan Stutzman and Heather Fox, continue their delightful and hilarious ghostly hijinks in Cleo and Fitz Get Creative. This endearing addition explores our titular heroes’ creative sides: the duo will start a band, make a movie, and do some writing and reading, among other artistic endeavors.

These series are perfect for emerging readers, pairing adventurous friendship stories with laugh-out-loud illustrations. Not only entertaining, this format strengthens both print and visual literacy skills in young readers as well as overall reading comprehension as they tackle future texts.

I highly recommend both for children ages 6+.

Find out more here.

A great read for Middle school-age kids!

Great Battles for Boys The American Revolution  is a book that is sure to have Middle School age kids excited about learning U.S. History! It was a need to help his young son enjoy reading and help him learn U.S. History that sparked educator, Joe Giorello, passion to write the series, Great Battles for Boys.  Now, he is introducing Great Battles for Boys: The American Revolution (Wheelhouse Publishing, May 2022) for Middle Grade readers.

“We were deeply troubled when our son showed no interest in reading. We wanted to change that — we knew we had to change that or his schooling would really suffer going forward. We started this series to help him and, once it had, other families with boys who hated to read asked for our guidance as well. My classes changed their lives. Now, we publish the books to help even more boys and their families.”

– Joe Giorello, author of the Great Battles for Boys series

I had the opportunity to read this book and I believe it will make learning and reading more fun!

Self Disclosure: I received free copies of the above books to facilitate this post. Information and Cover images were also received.

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