The Story of Babushka | Book Tour

The Story of Babushka Blog and Review Tour
Turn the Page Tours
August 14-24

Today is my tour stop for The Story of Babushka by Catherine Flores! This is a heartwarming children’s tale about friendship, love and the meaning of life.
Thank you to Turn The Page Tours for letting me take part! Click on the banner about for more information.

Story of Babushka Information

The Story of Babushka by
Catherine Flores
File name: Babuska_Cover.png

The Story of Babushka by Catherine Flores
Illustrator: Ana Beatriz Marques
Publisher: ACL Creative Studio
Genre: Children’s Fantasy
Length: 120 pages (with over 50 illustrations!)
Acquired through Turn The Page Tours
Release Date: July 29, 2020

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Synopsis

Babushka wants to find out the meaning of life so she sends her bodies out of the forest and into the world to search for answers.

WHAT IS A BABUSHKA?

The babushka doll, also known as a matryoshka or Russian nesting doll, is a traditional Russian toy first made over 100 years ago. The doll has come to symbolise Russian folk culture, as well as the complex and beautiful layers of women. There are some babushka dolls with as many as fifty dolls nested inside.

This is the story of one very special babushka doll and her five bodies. There was the outermost body, Antonia. She was pure beauty. Everyone who saw her admired her good looks. Beneath that body of beauty hid Loretta, who was richly adorned. She wore gold ornaments, and her green robe was decorated with many different gems that glittered like the ocean on a sunny day Hidden within the rich body was Paula, the body that held all Babushka’s talents. Whatever Paula did, she was sure to succeed. She knew how to work and always did so with joy and determination.

Within the talented body was Viola, the body of wisdom. Viola knew a lot about the world and learned very quickly. She was always full of brilliant ideas and had clever solutions for every problem. The last body, the smallest of all, was Mary, the embodiment of love. Mary had a warm and compassionate heart and was very helpful. She could dry tears and mend broken hearts. Together, these bodies formed the complete Babushka.

Author Information

The Story of Babushka

Catherine Flores with her child. File name: CatherineFlores.jpg

Since quitting her full-time job at a branding communication agency in Zurich, Catherine has gone on to become a successful freelance designer and a children’s author. She lives on the small island of Madeira with her family, spending her time growing vegetables in her garden and working for clients around the world.

For the interactive website for “The Story Of Babushka” visithttp://www.thestoryofbabushka.com
You can also visit her website at http://www.catherineflores.ch or her design agency at
http://www.aclcreativestudio.com

Website | ACL Creative | Twitter | Instagram

Purple Fern Leaf

My Review

*I received a copy of ‘The Story of Babushka’ through Turn the Page Tours and the publisher, for exchange of an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own*

When I began reading The Story of Babushka, I thought I was going to read a quick story with an equally quick ending. However, I had no idea that this children’s tale would pull on my emotions! Babushka is comprised of five components: beauty, wealth, talent, wisdom, and love. One by one, each layer seeks out their personal happiness. As the years go by, they learn that the road to contentment is filled with one valuable lesson: community.

Each body has a special gift, yet each piece encompasses the whole self. They shine when sharing their blessings to others, yet without the other layers, they cannot prosper. I enjoy this lesson of teamwork that Babushka shares with its readers. Each body needs their support system in order to shine.

The Story of Babushka‘s Lovely Illustrations!

The Story of Babushka Illustration

Mary, the body of Love, gazes at the water at night. File name: BabushkaIllustrations.jpg

I was completely enamored by the illustrations throughout the book! Ana Beatriz Marques created stunning images, pairing nicely with a wonderful story. Adults can apply a Picture Walk with young children while learning about Babushka’s journey!

In addition to beautiful illustrations, Catherine Flores also offers coloring pages to accompany the story, which I will feature below!

Book Recommendations

While I feel that the length of the book would be suitable for older children, The Story of Babushka is valuable for all ages! As mentioned before, younger children would benefit from the visual aids given, such as the coloring pages and character cut-outs. While browsing through photos, you can ask children what each body of Babushka should do next!

Final Thoughts

The Story of Babushka is so valuable! It teaches the lesson that one needs a support system to manage life’s challenges. It’s a wonderful story for everyone!

Purple Fern Leaf

Book Trailer

The Story of Babushka Coloring Pages

The Story of Babushka Coloring Page: Group
The Story of Babushka Coloring Page: Viola with a young woman

Characters (Print to use as Cut-Outs)

Book Blog & Review Tour:
August 14-24
Turn the Page Tours
The Story of Babushka

Thank you for visiting! Come check out the other fabulous contributors on this tour!

Feel Free to contact me!

July Reading Wrap Up

Hi everyone!

July is always a busy one for me, and the last couple weeks had me busy with preparing for (virtual) poetry therapy programs!

This activity meant that I hadn’t done a lot of reading for July. I read only 7 books. I had an enjoyable time reading them though!

July Reading Stats

Pages Read: 1,518
Genres: 4
1 Historical Fiction
3 Children’s Fiction
1 Contemporary Romance
1 Fiction
1 Non Fiction
Book Formats
5 paperbacks
2 ebooks


July Wrap Up
The Dutch House by Ann Patchett. Link: https://i0.wp.com/i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1552334367l/44318414.jpg?w=620&ssl=1

The Dutch House by Ann Patchett (Historical Fiction)

A revealing novel about siblings holding on to the past. Click here to read my full review!


July Wrap Up
When Life Gives You Mangos by Kereen Getten
Link: https://i1.wp.com/i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1581973469l/51342422.jpg?w=620&ssl=1

When Life Gives You Mangos by Kereen Getten (Middle Grade)
Review coming in mid August


The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
Link: https://i1.wp.com/i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1562890148l/464260._SY475_.jpg?w=620&ssl=1

The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin (Non Fiction)
Re-read for research


Owl Diaries: Eva Treetop Festival by Rebecca Elliott
Link:

Owl Diaries 1 & 2 by Rebecca Elliott (Children’s Fiction)
An adorable book series…my niece will love them!


The Existence of Amy by Lana Grace Riva
Link: https://i1.wp.com/i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1578508930l/50068110._SY475_.jpg?w=620&ssl=1

The Existence of Amy by Lana Grace Riva (Fiction)
Absolutely intense and emotional. Click here for my full review!


July Wrap Up
Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert
Link: https://i2.wp.com/i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1572990974l/49976087.jpg?w=620&ssl=1

Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert
I just finished reading this book, and will have my review up soon. I’ll just say that I enjoyed it!


What books did you read this month? Feel free to share down in the comments!



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Maddy McGuire CEO: Bring Back the Bees by Emma Bland Smith/A Review

Maddy McGuire, CEO: Bring Back the Bees
Author: Emma Bland Smith
Length: 112 pages
Genre: Children’s Fiction
Publisher: Calico/Magic Wagon
Release Date: August 1, 2018

As part of a summer assignment, I began reading children’s books to remotely distribute to families in my school district. Being a lover of books, I found this to be an ideal opportunity to expose myself to more children’s fiction, and share my thoughts on them!

Maddy McGuire is a young girl who has natural business skills. While visiting a museum with her family, Maddy becomes aware of the decline in bee colonies. Right away, Maddy and her friends take on the task in bringing a bee hive to her school. During their journey, Maddy discovers that fostering a neighborhood bee colony takes a lot of footwork. Through some tricky situations and teamwork, Maddy learns that bringing an huge idea into fruition requires a community effort!

Bring Back the Bees has diverse representation. Maddy’s close friend Amina is from Syria, and the book provides a brief back story from a previous installment about Maddy’s efforts in making Amina’s family welcome in the neighborhood. Although the story is fiction, it provides some factual information in becoming a young entrepreneur to benefit your community.

This book is definitely beneficial for grade school children who are interested in learning about helping community members through teamwork. It’s great reading material for educators to offer students!

**This book is part of a series, but you don’t need to read them back to back to learn about Maddy and her friends!**

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Synopsis

On a trip to the science museum, Maddy learns that bees are fast becoming endangered. As someone with a strong concern for the environment (and a keen love of honey!), she wants to bring a hive to her school. Unfortunately, the beekeeper at the community garden is struggling with her business. Maddy comes up with her sweetest plan yet: a honey-focused booth at the farmers market. The profits will save the beekeeper’s business and the beekeeper will give Maddy’s school its own hive. Maddy’s learned a lot about business, but things get sticky when she translates her skills to the conservation world. Aligned to Common Core standards and correlated to state standards.

Do you enjoy reading Children’s stories? Feel free to share!

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NetGalley Mini Reviews: May 9

I’m excited to share my thoughts on these digital reads!

I have two digital review copies to share with you. I received these books from NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own!

Thank You, Miyuki by Roxane Marie Galliez
Illustrated by Seng Soun Ratanavanh
Length: 32 pages
Genre: Children’s Fiction
Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press
Release Date: September 1, 2020

My Thoughts

I adored this story about a child and her grandfather bonding through mindfulness and meditation. Miyuki is fascinated with her grandfather’s morning meditation ritual, so he guides her through the process. Using real life experiences, Miyuki’s grandfather teaches her how to stay mindful while staying aware of her surroundings.
The bond between Miyuki and her grandfather is simply precious! I also enjoyed the eye-catching illustrations on every page. This would be a very useful book for children to marvel at the beauty of a spring and summer day during moments of calm!



Until I Find You by Rea Frey
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Length: 320 pages
Genre: Thriller
Release Date: August 11, 2020

My Thoughts

Rebecca’s journey in proving her son’s absence was truly intense! As a young mother handling a degenerative eye condition, Rebecca already has the odds stacked against her. The journey in finding her son adds another arduous task to an already stacked list of challenges!

Rebecca’s life turns like a tide as her condition slowly threatens to take over her life, which adds to the tension in this tale. Until I Find You had me constantly wondering what would happen next in Rebecca’s plight. It will definitely leave readers on edge!

What are your thoughts about these books? Feel free to share below!

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NetGalley ARCs/Mini Reviews: April 23

I received four ARCs from NetGalley this week!



Mara the Space Traveler by An Leysen (Clavis Publishing)
Release Date: June 20, 2020
4/5 Stars
This is a lovely story about a young girl helping out some creatures in another realm. The illustrations in this book are beautiful, and the creatures in Mara’s tale are so adorable!



A Journey Toward Hope by Victor Hinojosa Coort Voorhees
Six Foot Press
Release Date: July 7, 2020

5/5 Stars

A Journey Toward Hope tells the story of four children migrating to America, leaving their homes and surroundings in order to live a more peaceful life. The children’s stories are fictional, yet the authors provide an accurate account of the harrowing conditions migrant children experience while making the journey to North America.



The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen (North South Books)
Release Date: September 1, 2020

4/5 Stars

An emotional account of The Little Mermaid, filled with raw emotion and harsh conditons. Hans Christian Andersen is never known for lighthearted accounts of fairy tales, and this story is no exception!



Chinatown Pretty: Fashion and Wisdom from Chinatown’s Most Stylish Seniors by Andria Lo & Valerie Luu (Chronicle Books)
Release Date: September 22, 2020

5/5 Stars

I loved looking through the images of Chinatown’s older generation! Andria Lo & Valerie Luu set out to reconnect with their heritage through this project by making contact with their older peers. I feel like we can all learn something from this experience!





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Books (and a Craft) to Share for Earth Day

Happy Earth Day everyone!



In case you’re looking for a fun craft to do with your child, here is one particular activity I did with my classroom during previous years!

Earth Day Craft

All you need for this craft is three things:
paper plates
blue paint (for the ocean)
green paint (for the land)

Make sure to coat your child’s hand with the respected paint color before placing it either side of the plate.

Allow some time to dry, and you’ll have a child-sized representation of Earth!

Earth Day Books

I read these stories for my children during ‘Earth Day’ week. You can choose to read these stories for your children before or after doing the craft:

Curious George Plants a Tree by Margaret & H.A. Rey
This wonderful story features our lovable monkey with his companion sharing the love of the Earth, while unknowingly getting involved into some mischief!



The Earth Book by Todd Parr
This story holds beautiful images that show the beauty of the world we live in, as well as how important it is to protect it!





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Springtime Books for Children

Here in New Jersey, it’s been feeling like Spring has arrived early! In the past, the onset of warmer weather brought out many Read Aloud sessions for my toddler class, centered around Spring!

Here are some books I’ve used in my Seasons curriculum when sharing with young learners about Spring:

Little Yellow Bee by Ginger Swift
This adorable book is perfect for toddlers to enjoy! This book is extra chunky and durable for young readers, and the images are lovely!

And Then It’s Spring by Julie Fogliano
This story shows the beauty of life blooming at the onset of spring! The rich images display life above and below the soil!

Spring Is Here by Taro Gomi
The first time I read Spring Is Here to my classroom, the children were immediately drawn to the rich images of the outside world as the seasons change. This book is a big favorite of mine!

One Bean by Anne Rockwell
This story focuses more on the gardening aspect of spring, yet it provides rich images for children in learning how to care for plants in the warmer weather.

When Spring Comes by Kevin Henkes
This beautiful story holds rich images of the process our surroundings goes through when the barren fields of winter explode in color!

Bear Wants More by Karma Wilson
Bear Wants More is such an endearing story about a bear coming out of winter’s hibernation phase with a huge appetite!
(I also recommend Bear Snores On, which features Bear in his long hibernation period during the winter, while his friends try to socialize with him!)

Of course, there are sooo many more books I love to read to children, but these titles are some of my faves!

Blogmas Day 22: Hanukkah Books for Children

Today marks the first night of Hanukkah! This special holiday is known as the festival of lights, in which families of Jewish faith celebrate this occasion for eight nights. A menorah is used to symbolize Hanukkah, and families light a candle for each night of this special holiday.

Here are some special stories centered around Hanukkah to read for children. I discovered all of these selections through Goodreads:

Latke, the Lucky Dog by Ellen Fischer

Meet the Latkes by Alan Silberberg

Sammy Spider’s First Hanukkah by Sylvia A. Rouss

Shmelf the Hanukkah Elf by Greg Wolfe

The Trees of the Dancing Goats by Patricia Polacco

Blogmas Day 14: Winter Books for Children

Winter begins in a matter of days, yet snow has already fallen in my area in central New Jersey. Students at my job have already begun asking about Winter, since naturally, snow is tied to the Winter season…followed by the excitement of the holidays!

Here are some picture books/stories that have the Winter season as a focal point!

The Mitten by Jan Brett

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

Owl Moon by Jane Yolen

Dinos in the Snow by Karma Wilson

Snowballs by Lois Ehlert

Snow by Uri Shulevitz

This is just a small list of Winter stories! Feel free to share your favorite Winter themed picture books and/or stories in the comments!

Blogmas Day 13: Christmas Books for Children

I love reading Christmas-themed books of any kind, especially ones for children. Since I work in the early childhood education profession, I’m always on the lookout for holiday stories geared towards kids. Here are some Christmas stories I discovered:

The Gingerbread Man Loose in the School by Laura Murray

Santa Duck by David Milgrim

The Gingerbread Boy by Richard Egielski

Snowmen at Christmas by Caralyn Buehner

Bear Stays Up for Christmas by Karma Wilson

Llama Llama Holiday Drama by Anna Dewdney