AJ Reviews: Galazy Zack-Three is a Crowd

Summary:

Zack is thrilled when he finds out that his best friend on Earth, Bert Jones, is going to visit him on Nebulon. Zack can’t wait to show Bert around the new planet, as well as his new school. But when Bert meets Drake, Zack’s best friend on Nebulon, some jealousy starts to brew. Drake feels left out when Zack and Bert tell stories from Earth and share inside jokes. And he feels even more left out when the three boys go to an amusement park on the planet Cisnos and Zack and Bert go on all the rides…without Drake. When Zack finally realizes how out-of-place Drake feels, he, Drake, and Bert decide to all have fun together. Because, of course, two best friends are even better than one!

AJ bought one these books home from library time at school. We discovered how exciting and fun this book was to read. Needless to say we are both hooked. I love listening to AJ read this to me at night.

AJ’s Review:

This book is so cool. Zack’s friend from Earth visits Zack on Nebulon. He forgets about Drake, his friend on Nebulon. He keeps playing and going on rides with Bert and Drake feels sad and left out.

Zack learns he can be friends with both of them. You have to be be friends with everyone. It’s not nice to leave someone out. I know how that feels and it’s not nice.   

Mommy’s Review: 

What fun to read with AJ. I love that there are plenty of books in the series and the fact that’s hes reading a series on his own is wonderful.  Each book is filled with fun adventures and important lessons.  

The first four books AJ read are:

In book #1 We learn how and why Zack and his family go to Nebulon. At first Zack doesn’t want to go, but once there he begins to love his new home.

In book #2 Zack has to deal with a bully on Nebulon, but good guy Zack discovers something scientists need and he gets all the attention the bully wants.

In book #3 Zack’s dad works for an advanced company on Nebulon. He gets to go on a space trip with his dad and the dad’s company to bring back a prehistoric animal that came from another planet.

In book #4 Zack meets what he thinks is a monster, but the monster turns out to be a kid from another planet. Zack understands what it’s like to be new and they all become friends.

AJ Reviews: Vera’s Halloween

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AJ reads and reviews Vera’s Halloween. This was a perfect choice from his school library! 

Author: Vera Rosenberry

Illustrator: Vera Rosenberry

Amazon Summary:

Vera is finally big enough to go trick-or-treating after dark, and this year she is dressed as a mummy! When one of her tissue bandages unravels, she stops to fix it only to discover that her family accidentally left her behind. As Vera searches for them, it starts to rain. How will she keep her bandages from falling apart? How will she find her way home?

Getting separated from loved ones can be a scary experience for children. In her reassuring way, Vera Rosenberry evokes the atmosphere of a spooky yet magical Halloween, and the comfort that comes when reuniting with loved ones.

AJ’s Review:

That’s not a nice daddy to lose her. He needs to watch her like my daddy watches me. 

Her mommy will be mad at the daddy for losing her. Then it started to rain and snow. I would be very scared. That was a nice friend to give her food and clothes. 

Mommy’s Review:

See, always listen to your mother, even if she tells you to take a jacket at the worst times. AJ got really upset that the daddy lost Vera and she was all alone, scared, and cold. 

Reading this book was perfect for AJ. It reinforced why he needs to stay close to us and what could happen if he did get lost. I explained that Vera was very lucky she ended up at a friend’s house who she could trust. I always tell him there are bad people out there who might take him away, pinch him, hit him, and never feed him. Yes, it may be scary, but he needs to know WHY he has to stay close to us! He needs to know we’re not just saying this to be mean, but because we love him and want to keep him safe. 


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AJ Reviews: Anasi and the Magic Stick

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Anasi and the Magic Stick

Author: Eric A. Kimmel

Illustrator: Janet Stevens

Amazon Summary:

One fine day finds all of the animals working, working, working, except for Anansi, who would much rather lounge and think than work, even though his house and garden are going to ruin. When he notices that Hyena has a magic stick to do all of his chores, he steals it. “Hocus-pocus, Magic Stick./Plant and water./Quick, quick, quick!” That part works well enough, but when the trickster falls asleep, the stick just keeps watering, watering, watering, until his garden turns into a mighty river and then a lake. When he wakes up, he can’t remember the magic words that will stop the stick. Fortunately, Hyena floats and saves the day, but does that teach the spider a lesson? Of course not, and the story ends as he is “planning new tricks, which is just what Anansi does best.” This tale has a more traditional ring to it than Kimmel and Stevens’s Anansi and the Talking Melon (Holiday, 1994), but whimsical illustrations add a modern-day appearance. The stick waters with an assortment of up-to-date hoses, watering cans, and a circular sprinkler, and the characters include a warthog in a bathing cap, a hare wearing water wings, and caricatures of the author in a dinosaur tube and the illustrator clutching a brush in her teeth. The art has a softer focus than in Talking Melon but the same bright colors fill the pages, and the whole adds up to an enjoyable offering that is clever, funny, surprising, and traditional all at once.

AJ’s Review:

That’s not a nice spider. He didn’t clean or do any work. Then he stole Hyena’s magic stick. He made a big mess and never said I’m sorry. Now he’s floating away. The crocodile will eat him, I think. 

Mommy’s Review:

Where’s the lesson?????? Anasi tries to get out of doing any work by stealing Hyena’s stick. At first it works, then he falls asleep and the magic stick makes a huge flood and now they have a lake. Hyena saves the day, the animals don’t seem to care, and Anasi gets away with what he did. I wished there was a lesson, but this just goes to show you how evil spiders can be! 


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This Week I Read…

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I’m the Biggest Thing in the Ocean


Amazon Summary:

When a giant squid takes inventory of all of the creatures in the ocean, he realizes that he’s way bigger than most of them! Of course, there are bigger things lurking around . . . but maybe this giant squid with a giant touch of hubris doesn’t really care? First-time author-illustrator Kevin Sherry is sure to garner fans of all sizes for his perfect-for-preschool read-aloud with simple text, bold and delightful collage art, and a lovable squid whose spirit just cannot be crushed.

AJ’s Review:

He thinks he’s the biggest thing in the ocean. He’s making the other fishes feel bad. Then he gets eaten. He’s not the biggest. Then he thinks he’s the biggest thing in the whales mouth, he’s too funny. 

Mommy’s Review:

A cute book with easy to read lines for kids. The squid keeps bragging that he’s the biggest thing, until he gets eaten by a whale. I was hoping he would get the other animals to work together to get out of the whale. Nope, he brags that he’s the biggest thing in the whale’s mouth. 

 

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This Week I Read…

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Pete the Cat Too Cool for School

 


Amazon Summary:

Pete the Cat is back in New York Times bestselling author James Dean’s beginning reader Pete the Cat: Too Cool for School. In this funny My First I Can Read Book, Pete just can’t decide which outfit to wear to school! He has so many options to choose from. Fans of Pete the Cat will enjoy Pete’s creativity in choosing the coolest outfit.

Pete the Cat: Too Cool for School is a My First I Can Read book, which means it’s perfect for shared reading with a child.

AJ’s Review:

After reading it the first time, he laughed as Pete the Cat kept putting clothes on without taking the other ones off first….

“He is asking everyone what he should wear. He should wear what he wants. I like my clothes, it’s boring to dress how they tell him.”

In the video, AJ was busy trying to plan out activities and quickly rushed through this video…


Mommy’s Review:

LOVE the plot of the book, you shouldn’t try to be like others. The best thing you can be is your self. You are so cool when you are you. 

I love when I can order books for AJ from Scholastic Reading Club. He gets to pick one book or set and I pick two books or sets. As he gets older and his decoding is getting better, he needs books he can both read and enjoy.

He was so happy to have all these books

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This Week I Read…

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Ten Apples Up On Top!

 

Amazon Summary:

Three friends balance counting and fun in this silly Beginner Book by Dr. Seuss and illustrated by Roy McKie. When a lion, a dog, and a tiger meet up, they soon discover that they can each do different things while balancing apples on their heads. Whether drinking milk, jumping rope, or roller-skating, they can do a lot with ten apples up on top! But watch out, she has a mop! She’ll knock those apples from up on top. Seuss’s apple-balancing characters will have youngsters reading, counting, and giggling!

Originally created by Dr. Seuss, Beginner Books encourage children to read all by themselves, with simple words and illustrations that give clues to their meaning.

AJ’s Review:

I like the ending, everyone has apples on their heads. They add more apples to their heads. It’s a good book for counting, kids will like it. My favorite part is when they all go kaboom. Go to your library and get it.   

SO ANGRY….HIS WONDERFUL VIDEO DID NOT PROCESS CORRECTLY ON YOUTUBE. I DELETED IT FROM MY PHONE THINKING IT WAS ALL GOOD…SIGHS….AJ WAS CRYING. 

Mommy’s Review:

Another cute book that uses receptive words and phrases to help kids decode and read. While most of it is too hard for AJ, he has an excellent memory and comprehension skills so he enjoyed reading, making predictions, and talking about the characters. 

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This Week I Read…

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Ready? Set. Raymond

 

Amazon Summary:

Raymond likes to do everything fast–from brushing his teeth to going to school to making new friends. In three easy-to-read stories, readers follow Raymond on a typical super-fast day, see him make a new friend, and run a race!

AJ’s Review:

Raymond likes to go fast, talk fast, eat fast like me. He does everything fast, but he needs to slow down. Then he meets a new girl and wants to make friends, he brings her cookies. It’s nice to share. She yells his name in the race and he wins, because he’s fast. He gets his new sneakers dirty, but he’s happy he ran. 

My Pop Pop’s name is Raymond, but he’s not fast. 


Mommy’s Review:

A cute Step up to Reading book. Even though it;s a level 2 and a bit harder, AJ enjoys listening to it and trying to read the phrases and words he knows. It has three stories that are all related and cute to read. I love that, like AJ, Raymond does everything too fast. He loves that part. 

 

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This Week I Read…

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Howdy-Doodle Doo!

 

Amazon Summary:

Julius Jr. and his playful friends use equal doses of imagination and inventive spirit to help each other overcome challenges big and small, teaching boys and girls ages 2-5 that the best inventions are the ones that help your friends. This Step 1 Step into Reading leveled reader based on the creative spirit and lovable characters of Paul Frank comes with a shiny foil cover and two sheets of sparkly hologramatic stickers!

Step 1 Readers feature big type and easy words. Rhymes and rhythmic text paired with picture clues help children decode the story. For children who know the alphabet and are eager to begin reading.

AJ’s Review:

They go on the farm, the chickens get out. So Julius creates a machine to make the farmer’s voice louder. He calls his chickens back. 

Mommy’s Review:

While AJ can read some of the words and sound out others he still relies on memorization and using pictorial cues to help him read what’s on the page.   

He is trying, but being stubborn he refuses help. I try to remind him to sound out the words. He knows it’s easier to rely on learned self-help skills than sound out words. We will keep trying, because when he does it he feels so darn good. 

For a Step 1 book, it’s really cute. The book focuses on team work and helping others. He needs to bring a few books into first grade; books he can read on his own. I am hoping continued practice with a few Step 1 and 2 books will make him feel confident when reading books that first day. 

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This Week I Read…

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Outside

 

Amazon Summary:

In this gentle picture book fantasy, a child’s world transforms through his hard work, imagination, and persistence when he opens the door and steps outside, into to the brave new world of his imagination

AJ’s Review:

His brother doesn’t want to play with him, so he uses his imagination. Then his brother comes out and plays with him. I really like the illustrations, they are cool. 

Mommy’s Review:

I know a book about snow???? But that is one of the books AJ wanted to borrow from the library. He loves getting to pick three picture and/or non fiction books as long as he picks three books on his reading level.

What a great book to encourage being patient and using your imagination.  

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This Week I Read…

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There’s a Cow in the Cabbage Patch

 

Amazon Summary:

All the animals in this mixed-up farmyard are out of place. Young readers are asked, “What shall we do?” and encouraged to sort out this puzzle. Collage art in felt, stitched with antique fabrics, buttons, and other bric-a-brac, perfectly illustrates the playful text.

AJ’s Review:

I love the pictures, they looked like they are sewed on. They have button eyes and clothes that I think I can touch, but it’s not real. He was in love with the illustrations, even though he was giggling as we read the book. He loved to take guesses on what animal would be in wrong place next.

We got the idea of making a video review from Blooming Brilliant from http://www.bloomingbrilliant.net/ Hope you enjoy AJ’s first video book review. 


Mommy’s Review:

AJ borrowed this from the library, I think he liked the cover. Sometimes he is so captivated by the illustrations, as he was with this book. It looks like a collage with sewed on buttons, felt, and quilts. All AJ wanted to do was run his fingers over each page to make sure he really couldn’t feel it through the paper.

The premise of the book is great, repetition of text to get kids engaged and easy for them to make predictions about what animal would be in the wrong place.

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