A Minute With Mandy: March Children's Book Reviews

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Book reviewer, Mandy Fisher, has a bunch of fresh reviews to share. Find out if these books are worthy of a spot in your child's library.
Willow'??s Whispers
By Lana Button and Tania Howells
This sweet story about finding your own voice and gaining confidence is great for any child, shy or'?¦not-so-shy. Willow misses out on what she truly wants because no one can ever hear her little replies.


When she comes up with a way for everyone to hear her, a '??magic microphone'?, she learns she is much happier expressing herself- loudly and clearly! The simple illustrations are easy to love and give the reader opportunity to appreciate the important message of the book. (Fun project idea: After reading this book, your creative crafter might want to make his or her own magic microphone! Next time your paper towels run out, save them the cardboard roll. They will have a blast decorating it!)

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Mandy Gives it: Four Fish!

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How Do Dinosaurs Love Their Cats/Dogs?
By Jane Yolen and Mark Teague
You might recognize the beginning of this title from the first dino book, '??How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night?'?. The lessons in pet responsibility in these two tales are valid and sweet, but the overall look and sound of them are somewhat dull. Your older set might enjoy hearing the full names of the dinosaurs (as each one is labeled with their correct scientific name, ie: Parasaurolophus) but I don'??t suggest rushing out and getting these just for that. There are several titles in the series and I like the first, '??'?¦Say Goodnight?'? and '??'?¦Count to Ten?'?. Maybe save these two dino books for when you'??re in the waiting room at the doctor'??s office'?¦but let'??s hope that isn'??t any time soon!

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Mandy Gives it: One Fish!

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A Paddling of Ducks- Animals in Groups from A-Z
By Marjorie Blain Parker and Joseph Kelly
We'??ve all read them. ABC books are everywhere. Always predictable (you can'??t rearrange the alphabet) and always the same, stale animal and object associations. Well, you'??re in luck! This is NOT your typical A-Z book. Ever heard of a '??bloat of hippos'?? Or an '??ostentation of peacocks'?? The adjectives in this book are great for expanding everyone'??s vocabulary! There are also surprising animals- I'??ll save the best ones for you, but despite the graphic pictures, I needed to look up what a '??Uakari'? was. While I was hoping the X and Z animals would not include X-ray and zebra (they do), I still liked seeing rhinoceri in bumper cars and crocodiles enjoying tropical drinks on the beach.

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Mandy Gives it: Four Fish!

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Chester'??s Masterpiece
by Chester (or, Melanie Watt)

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The concept of '??Chester'??s Masterpiece'? is quite plain- Chester, the cat, hides the author Melanie Watt'??s supplies and creates his own version of a '??perfect story'??. Communicating through post-it-notes and a pencil, Melanie, Chester, and a cute little mouse go through each page arguing and debating about what makes a good story. It'??s an original way of storytelling, but the younger ones won'??t have patience for the way it is outlined. An older child (4+) will have a better understanding of what'??s going on and will appreciate Chester'??s sarcasm and playful antics.

Mandy Gives it: Three Fish!

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Andy and Sam- Hide and Seek
By Liesbet Slegers
The lovable pictures in this engaging and provocative picture book takes you back to the days of '??Where'??s Waldo?'?. Each page engages children by asking playful questions that encourage careful
observational skills and patience while having fun. You can challenge any child- your older one will like to see how fast they can find certain objects and your little one will delight in recognizing images
while also hearing some new vocabulary.

Mandy Gives it: Three Fish!

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RATING SYSTEM
1 fish=not worth your time

2 fish=reading it once is enough

3 fish=borrow it don't buy it

4 fish=worthy to add it to your collection

5 fish=classic! buy it for every child you know

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