Posted in Book Review

REVIEW: Sara Snapper & the Magic Camera by Mario Valbuena

Copy provided by author for my honest review.

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Title: Sara Snapper & the Magic Camera

Author: Mario Valbuena | Illustrator: Natalie Louis

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing | Published: June 11, 2014

Theme:  Classical Art

Character Origin: Animal 

Book Type: Picture Book  | Pages: 40

Ages: 6-8 | Book Level: — | Lexile Measure:

Book Synopsis…

Sara Snapper & the Magic Camera is an educational tale of a colorless fish that learns to appreciate the value of color with a magic camera she discovers. The story takes place in various museums across the world and introduces the artwork of famous artists to children of all ages.

My overall thoughts…

This was a lovely book introducing young readers to fine art. Kids will be drawn in immediately by the beautiful display of colors and characters. I can see this as a companion to an art class, particularly for homeschooling parents but traditional schools will enjoy it too. The way the story unfolds for Sara is quite memorable, and I enjoyed the journey. Valbuena does an excellent job of telling such a colorful story. It is whimsical and full of magic. I’m sure your kids will enjoy it.

The illustrations and text…

Louis’ illustrations were stunning and visually captivating. The color palette was vibrant and brought the characters to life. Louis’ outlining adds detail to the already beautiful imagery. This technique is reminiscent of how I used to outline in my coloring books. The reproductions of the original artist’s work deserve an honorable mention as they were drawn exquisitely. The size of the font is appropriate for a young reader, and the font type has an excellent childlike quality to it. The text has a nice flow, and the story is easy to follow. 

I’ll give it…

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Posted in Book Review

REVIEW: Along the Tapajós by Fernando Vilela

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Title: Along the Tapajós

Author: Fernando Vilela | Illustrator: Fernando Vilela

Publisher: Amazon Crossing Kids | Published: October 1, 2019

Theme:  South America

Character Origin: Human 

Book Type: Picture Book  | Pages: 40

Ages: 4-8 | Book Level: — | Lexile Measure:

Book Synopsis…

Cauã and Inaê are a brother and sister who live in a small community along the Tapajós River in Brazil. Here, the homes are on stilts and everyone travels around by boat—even to school! When the rainy season comes, they must leave their village and relocate to higher ground for a while. But after moving this year, Cauã and Inaê realize they’ve left behind something important: their pet tortoise, Titi! Unlike turtles, tortoises can’t swim, and Cauã and Inaê are really worried. So the pair sneaks back at night on a journey along the river to rescue him. Will they be able to save Titi?

This picture book, first published in Brazil, offers kids a unique look into the lives of children who live along Brazil’s beautiful Tapajós River.

My overall thoughts…

This was a unique book about the life experience of families living along the Tapajós River in Brazil. Having to take a boat to school will seem so far fetched to students in the States but is intriguing. It will likely be a conversation starter for your classroom. I felt enlightened after reading it and have a new appreciation for the lives of families who live in the Amazon. This book can easily blend into science and social studies too. I love the multi-point approach that a teacher or homeschooling parent has here.

The illustrations and text…

The illustration medium was mixed woodcut techniques (drawing & collage, and digital resources. The illustrations were stunning. It had a childlike quality that you don’t see that often. The vivid color palette added some dramatic character. While I enjoyed the images from my iPad, I imagine the illustrations will jump off the page when reading from the hardcover. I did wish that the font was more substantial and easier to read. The larger text would have made for a better reading experience. The writing itself was beautifully written and quite descriptive. Don’t skip over the last couple of pages, as they provide a closer look into the Tapajós River. I thoroughly enjoyed this story.

I’ll give it…