Wednesday, March 21, 2018

ReFoReMo Day 15 Book Reviews


Mei Mei spends the morning with Grandpa (Gong Gong). Grandpa is practicing his Tai Chi. Mei Mei wants to learn. Grandpa shows her some basic moves. She struggles some with the moves, but she doesn't give up. She manages to make them work her way.

When they're done with Tai Chi, Mei Mei suggests they do Yoga together. Mei Mei show Grandpa some basic moves. Grandpa struggles some with the moves, but he doesn't give up. He manages to make them work for him.

Together, they have a wonderful morning, spending time together and sharing their interests. This is a touching story of how the young can teach the old and the old can teach the young.

At the end of the boo, author Sylvia Liu includes instructions for the for Tai Chi and the four Yoga positions mentioned in the text. She also adds a list of Author's Sources for additional reading.

BAGEL IN LOVE by Natasha Wing

Fancy-stepping Bagel loves to dance. It makes him "happier than a birthday cake." He wants to enter the Cherry Jubilee, a couples only dance contest, but he can't find a dance partner. Pretzel won't dance with him because she says his moves "don't cut the mustard." Croissant says his steps "are stale." Doughnut's eyes just glazed over when he asked her to dance. Will Bagel be able to find a dance partner in time.

This is such a clever book, filled with sweet puns and sugary-sweet illustrations. They make the perfect recipe for a book that totally takes the cake.

BE KIND by Pat Zietlow Miller

A little girl is at school when her classmate, Tanisha, spills grape juice on her dress. Everyone else in the class laughs, but not this little girl. Her mother has taught her to be kind. So she tells Tanisha that purple is her favorite color. She thought that would make Tanisha feel better, but it didn't.

During art class, while the little girl is painting a bunch of violets, she's thinking about what it really means to be kind. Is it giving cooking to your neighbor who lives alone? Is it giving your brother the shoes you've outgrown? It is helping with the laundry?

The little girl realizes these are all ways to be kind. She also realizes she can't undo Tanisha's paint mess on her dress, but she can paint a pretty picture for her because they both like purple. And, maybe it will make Tanisha feel a little better. She also realizes that what she can do to be kind are just small things. But, if everyone does something small to be kind, then "together, they could grow into something big."

GASTON by Kelly DiPucchio

Gaston has three sisters, but he doesn't look anything like them. They and his mother all look like poodles, but Gaston looks like a bull dog. Despite the way he looks, Gaston has been taught to mind his manners like any well-bred poodle would.

One day when Gaston's mother takes her brood to the park, they meet a mother with four children, all of which look like bull dogs, except for one, Antoinette. Antoinette looks like a poodle. But, she has been raised with her bull dog brothers so she has the manners of a bull dog, which are a far cry from those of the dainty poodles.

When the two mother dogs meet in the park, and they notice that each of them has a child that looks more like the other mother, they realize that some how the babies were switched: the poodle mom raised one of the bull dog pups and the bull dog mom raised one of the poodle pups. The moms decide to switch the pups so they can be with their real mothers. The decision looks like the right one, but is it?


A young girl takes a walk through the woods and to town during a late summer morning, noticing things along the way. She says "Hello" to the trees and the foxes and the blue jays and other things in the woods. Each return her greeting and tell how they are preparing for the upcoming winter. In town she says hello to the breezy wind. It answers by telling her it's time to bring out "thick sweaters and scarves."

When she returns to her house, she says, "Goodbye, summer." The next day she says, "Hello, autumn."


What should you do if your monster refuses to go to bed? "Don't ask your parents for help. They know a lot about putting kids to bed, but nothing about putting monsters to bed. It's not their fault; they're just not good at it." In order to know what to do, you are advised to read this book.

Here are some things you should NOT do:

* Do not bring in your dog to cuddle. That will cause a problem between your dog and your monster.
* Don't do the Monster Stomp. The Monster Stomp should be reserved for daytime fun.
* Don't let you monster count sheep...because he will want to eat them.

In order to get your monster to go to bed, you should follow the six steps outlined in this book. I'm not going to tell you what they are; you will have to read the book and find out for yourself.

MAYBE SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL: How Art Transformed a Neighborhood by F. Isabel Campoy and Theresa Howell

Mira loved to draw, paint and color. She turned blank pieces of paper into colorful art. Then she gave away her artwork to people she met around her neighborhood. She even posted some of her art on the walls around her.

One day, she met an artist who said he painted on walls. He invited her to join him to paint a mural. As they painted, more people joined in. Soon, the whole neighborhood was involved and the gray walls around Mira's neighborhood were filled with color and life.

Mira is a fictional character but the story is based on the real-life events of Rafael and Candice Lopez who transformed the East Village in Sand Diego, California from a drab landscape into a vibrant, colorful one.

The book is illustrated by Rafael Lopez, the artist mentioned in the end of the book.


Yoomi and her two siblings are at Grandma's house for lunch. Yoomi loves the seaweed, anchovies, egg omelet, and bean sprouts Grandma gives her to eat. But she refuses to eat her kimchi. She says it is stinky and spicy. Her siblings eat theirs and then taunt her by calling her a baby because she would eat hers.

After lunch, her siblings won't let her play with them because the game they are playing is "not for babies." Yoomi doesn't want to be treated like a baby, but she really, really doesn't link kimchi. What can she do?

The end papers of the book are filled with pictures of Korean foods. There is a page in the back of the book that explains what kimchi. There is also a recipe for Kimchi Pancakes readers might like to try.

ROSCO VS. THE BABY by Lindsay Ward

Rosco was "the heavyweight champ of 17 Parkwood Avenue...." until the baby came to live. Now, Rosco has to compete with a cute, cuddly baby for attention, and Rosco is losing the fight. Rosco and the baby sparred with each other for months, with the baby always winning the fight. Until one day, when they are both very tired, they curl up together to sleep. They discover they like being together.

All is well until....the twins come along!

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