Month: August 2019

Picture Book Review: “Why We Love P.E.”

Picture Book Review: “Why We Love P.E.”

Author: Jerome Jones
Illustrator: Jose Daniel Oviedo Galeano
ISBN: 9781643072005
Publisher: Mascot Books (2019)
Age Range: 3-9
Grade Level: Preschool/Elementary

Publisher’s Synopsis:
Abby and Tommy are back for another adventure to promote healthy living and fun for kids of all ages. Today, they are having a debate about what the best part of P.E. class is. Will Abby and Tommy agree, or are there too many fun P.E. activities to decide?

My Review

“Why We Love P.E.” by Jerome Jones is the perfect story for back-to-school days featuring siblings Abby and Tommy, as they consider all the reasons why P.E. is their favorite school activity. Kids returning to school, entering school for the first time, and even big kids whose P.E. days have long passed, will enjoy learning and celebrating the significance of physical education.

Abby and Tommy make a great team, and their excitement around all the sports and activities they enjoy in P.E. is infectious! What I love most about the duo is their interactions with each other. They are courteous and respectful to each other – they complement and build each other up, while supporting each other’s ideas and values.

They cheerfully highlight various sports such as soccer, basketball, pickleball, lacrosse, golf, and field day, discussing some of the finer elements of each game and noting the benefits of each. Through their playful discussions kids will learn how P.E. helps build new friendships, improve current skills and learn new skills and helps you take care of your body. I love that the story emphasizes how P.E. provides physical exercise as well as teaches how to control emotions (i.e., through good sportsmanship), and make healthy choices (i.e., through healthy foods) – all things used in every aspect of everyday life.

There are a couple of concepts in the book where younger (preschool/kindergarten-aged) kids will benefit from adult interpretation, such as “compare and contrast” and learning “fundamentals.” The dialogue between Abby and Tommy including these terms may not be commonplace among younger kids, however the author skillfully defines these terms through the actions of Abby and Tommy.

The illustrations are bright, colorful and cheery, just like Abby and Tommy.  There are so many fun items to note in each picture and kids will delight in finding some of their favorite sporting equipment portrayed on the pages. They may even find some new things to explore in their own P.E. classes. Beautiful illustrations – perfectly suited to the story.

Overall, “Why We Love P.E.” is wonderful story that stresses the importance of physical fitness in an uplifting and fun tone.  The best thing about P.E., as Abby and Tommy will relate – it makes you HAPPY!

About the Author

Jerome Jones has a background in teaching elementary grade students and coaching high school sports. He has taught all ages of Elementary grades in many subjects including reading, math, science and PE. He loves to help kids learn and believes that all kids can learn in many different and creative ways. Mr. Jones wants kids to have fun each and every day inside and outside of the classroom.

Learn more about Jerome Jones at:

Connect with Jerome Jones!


Review Copy

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. I’m reading my way through 500 picture books. Need a picture book review? Contact me!

Picture Book Review: “Bubbles and Buddy”

Picture Book Review: “Bubbles and Buddy”

Bubbles and Buddy
Author and Illustrator: Denver Kidd
ISBN: 9780646800257
Publisher: Denver Kidd (2019)
Age Range: 2 and up
Grade Level: Preschool – 6

Amazon Synopsis

We may be different, but we will always be family…Bubbles and Buddy is a story that aims to teach young children that however different we can feel, that we will always be family and we will always love each other. Regardless of any reason; be that appearance, interests or personality for example. The story of Bubbles and Buddy will resonate with younger children. In particular: – Children who have siblings or cousins, – Children who are close in age with their siblings or cousins – Children that may be struggling in their relationships – The story would also be comforting for children in blended and alternative families, foster families and/or adopted children. A fun and loving book about two cheeky kittens.

My Review

Bubbles and Buddy are two adorable kittens.  They are brothers and best friends and playmates and pals. The story emphasizes right off the bat that everyone is different, and that it is okay to be different. Bubbles and Buddy look different, play differently, have individual personalities, they like different things, are afraid of different things and they don’t always get along – but that is okay!  They still love each other, they are still brothers, they still have fun, they still take care of each other and will always be best friends and brothers – no matter what.

It’s so important that we impress upon children the absolute acceptance of being okay with being different.  In a world where we learn to compare ourselves to others very early on, this is a message that is never too early to instill. That “Bubbles and Buddy” does so in a kind and gentle manner is a bonus and a win for the author. It doesn’t rhyme but reads poetically, meaning the author’s words feel like they float across the pages – warm, inviting, unintimidating, accepting. It is a delightful, serene reading experience.

The first word that came to mind when I saw the cover of Bubbles and Buddy was, “SWEET!” The illustrations are simple in nature and so very charming. These two little guys cut straight to my heart with their endearing and magnetic-like sweet faces. I turned through the pages several times just to look at these boys. I couldn’t get enough, and little ones will be easily lured into the story by the soft, subtle hues enhancing each page.

Preschoolers and early readers will especially love the lighthearted and playful personalities of Bubbles and Buddy and will be able to identify with one or both of the kittens in their various likes and dislikes, habits and behaviors. That said, this book is not just for kids! The author pulls the reader into the story – even as an adult my preferences swayed towards one of the kittens in particular because I could easily relate to his tendencies.

I highly recommend “Bubbles and Buddy” to readers of all ages but it is an especially important message for our tiniest tots! It’s an impressive debut by Denver Kidd.

About the Author

Learn more about the author, Denver Kidd, at

Review Copy

I obtained a PDF copy of this book to review from the author in exchange for an honest review. I’m reading my way through 500 picture books to promote authors from all over the world. Need a picture book review? Contact me!

Picture Book Review: “Noah’s Shark”

Picture Book Review: “Noah’s Shark”

Noah’s Shark
Author: Clare Thompson
Illustrator: Richie T. Evans
Publisher: Bear With Us Productions (2019)
Age Range: 2-6
Grade Level: Preschool – 2

Amazon Synopsis
Join Noah as he learns the hard way that pets are not always easy to look after… especially if your pet is a shark! An amusing rhyming picture book that will make both children and adults smile as they see Noah navigate the difficulties of having a very unsuitable pet. With fun characters and great pictures this book is aimed at 2-6-year-olds but is one the whole family will enjoy.

My Review

Debut picture book author, Clare Thompson delivers an exciting look at the responsibilities that come with pet ownership. In the story, Noah has a shark named Mark, and he is so excited to take him to school for show-and-tell. But that’s where his troubles begin as his teacher tells him adamantly that sharks are not allowed in school. So sets the stage for adventure as Noah and Mark get push-back from nearly everyone they meet, including Noah’s mom and dad. In the end, everything works out as it should with a comfortable permanent home for Mark and a more suitable pet for Noah.

Told to a delightful rhythmic beat, the story is fun to read aloud, the witty, catchy narrative painting vivid images of Noah’s quandary. My favorite part was Dad’s reaction when Noah let Mark loose in his dad’s fishpond –

“But Noah’s Daddy shouted ‘Oi’
As Mark’s tail gave a swish,
‘Please get that shark out of my pond,
He’s eating all my fish!’”

Oi. That made me laugh out loud – good stuff! I also like that the story teaches a couple of valuable lessons without preaching. Not all animals make good pets – and the ones that do, come with responsibilities.

The illustrations are bold and colorful and spot on. Noah looks like a kid who takes his responsibilities seriously. I love his Harry-Potter-esque type glasses, and his overall determination. I didn’t catch at first glance that his backpack is not a backpack at all, but a tank of water for Mark – clever! Smart designs, sharp colors and animated expressions make the illustrations jump off the pages and kids will get a kick out of every single page.

“Noah’s Shark” is a wonderful, charming debut the entire family will enjoy!

About the Author and Illustrator

Learn more about the author, Clare Thompson at:

Learn more about the illustrator, Richie T. Evans at:

Review Copy

I downloaded the Kindle edition of this book to review. I’m reading my way through 500 picture books. Need a picture book review? Contact me!