Posted in Book Review

REVIEW: Honeysmoke by Monique Fields

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Title: Honeysmoke

Author: Monique Fields | Illustrator: Yesenia Moises

Publisher: Imprint | Published: January 8, 2019

Theme:  Identity

Character Origin: Human

Book Type: Picture Book | Pages: 32

Ages: 3-6 | Book Level: — | Lexile Measure:

Synopsis: A young biracial girl looks around her world for her color. She finally chooses her own, and creates a new word for herself―honeysmoke.

For multiracial children, and all children everywhere, this picture book offers a universal message that empowers young people to create their own self-identity.

Simone knows her color―she is honeysmoke.

My thoughts…

This book is E V E R Y T H I NG! I can’t express how thoroughly AMAZING it is. There are so many biracial boys and girls who can relate to Simone in the story. That is key in telling this story. The cover was stunning. I had to stop and just marvel at it. The text was well written and easy to read. The font size and typeset are easy for an early reader to follow. Fields made a thing that can be complicated and hard to explain into something that even a child can follow. Great storytelling by Fields!

Moises’ illustrations took my breath away. They were so warm and welcoming. The imagery was just spot on and the warmth and texture couldn’t be more accurate. There was something truly endearing in each page of this book. Fields has set the bar high for other picture books with deal with identity and being biracial. It is the gold standard in my book. This book should be on the shelves of school and community libraries everywhere.

My rating…

Posted in Book Review

REVIEW: A Place for Pluto by Stef Wade

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Title: A Place for Pluto

Author: Stef Wade

Illustrator: Melanie Demmer

Published: July 2018

Theme: Identity and Friendship

Character Origin: Planets

Book Type: Picture Book | Pages: 32

Ages: 5-8 | Book Level: 3.1 | Lexile Measure: AD560L

Synopsis: Pluto got the shock of his life when he was kicked out of the famous nine. His planet status was stripped away, leaving him lost and confused. Poor Pluto! On his quest to find a place where he belongs, he talks to comets, asteroids, and meteoroids. He doesn’t fit it anywhere! But when Pluto is about to give up, he runs into a dwarf planet and finally finds his place in the solar system. This feel-good picture book combines a popular science topic with character education themes of self discovery, acceptance, and friendship. It has bonus material in the back matter to support curriculum.

My summary…

This book is about Pluto finding his place in the solar system.

My thoughts…

I really enjoyed this book as it is a reflection of actual astrological events. Wade tells a heartfelt story of ostracization and self-discovery that many kids can relate to during various times through their lives. I loved how Wade introduced the reader to other astrological elements through Pluto’s journey. The callouts were a great touch and added to the individuality of the dialogue.

Demmer’s artwork was delightful. Kids will be drawn in even if they don’t understand the words. They will be able to understand the context by the faces and expressions of the planets. The saturation of the blue in the sky added a brilliant quality to the characters and made them stand out. This book will be a great resource for teachers and homeschooling parent to educate their students on the solar system. It can even go as far as to start the conversation on identity and friendship.

My rating…