Cat: Book Notes Tag: Books, Book Notes, Reading, featured-slider Featured image: Book Notes logo TAG LINE BELOW COPYRIGHT IF AMAZON AFFLINKS ARE INCLUDED -- editor will handle this but it helps if you notify editor up here if you have afflinks This article contains Amazon affiliate links; your purchases through these links benefit the author. EXCERPT: 20 words or less, include your full name -------- EDITOR WILL DELETE EVERYTHING ABOVE THIS LINE WHEN SCHEDULING -------- Book-Notes-720-x-340-dark-gold-outline-and-medium-blue-pen-_-Notes-light-blue-702x336 My son is currently in kindergarten, which means he is learning to read, write, and all other fun things you do at that age. Five can be a tough age, though. You are presented with so much new information, and even though you can and do absorb a lot of it, sometimes your body doesn't want to slow down enough to work on writing your letters or practicing phonics and sight words. This can be a struggle for not only him, but for me as well. Sometimes, I just want to sit down with him and read a book, but distractions and the wiggles can sometimes get in the way of that. I used to get frustrated at it, but I've learned that maybe I should just try a book that's more up his alley, and not necessarily mine. So today, I am going to tell you about some books for kids that both my son and I like. Sharks are pretty terrifying to most people thanks to Spielberg and the movie Jaws! However, if you have ever been to an aquarium and just sat and stared for hours at all the sea creatures, then sharks become a lot more fascinating, especially the sheer variety of types of them. Owen Davey recently gave us the book Smart About Sharks, which helps us appreciate these animals even more. The book covers what sharks are, the different types of sharks (providing scaled illustrations), shows us their terrifying teeth, explains their social patterns, what they eat (not generally people), how they move, and the importance of recycling to protect sharks and other aquatic wildlife. Reading through this helped dispel some fear (of parent and child) about sharks, but I still wouldn't want to get too close to one! Bonkers About Beetles is another book in Owen Davey's series on animals. This time he focuses on those creepy-crawly beetles. He first begins by explaining what beetles are. This leads us to a two-page spread that gives us the anatomy of beetles from their antennae on their head, to the thorax, and abdomen too! A subsequent section focuses on the different camouflaged colors of beetle species, and perhaps most terrifying are the pages that show us beetles to scale. It is here I learned what a Titan beetle was. Let me just go ahead and warn you, its jaws are powerful enough to snap a pencil in two! I'm staying away from that bug. There are also sections on lady bugs and dung beetles (a favorite of my son, because, well, you know why). The book closes talking about scarabs and their importance in mythology as well as conservation and the threat humans are to beetles. Informative book with gorgeous illustrations. If you have a bug lover in your house, get this book! Mountains of the World is a book from Dieter Braun, who gave us the gorgeous Wild Animals of the North and South. This time we are looking at majestic mountains like the Andes, Alps, and Mount Fuji. The book does talk about elevation levels, locations of these mountains, and even the sport of mountain-climbing. However, my son would argue that once again, the animals are the focus of this book. We see Andean condors, Alpine ibex, and snow monkeys ... all of which call the respective mountains listed above their home. The illustrations, as expected, are gorgeous, particularly the Northern Lights in Iceland. There is also a global map with page numbers to help your child find the mountains on both the map and in the book. Overall, I  liked the book, but I wasn't in love with the book. It was solid and accomplished what it set out to do, but it did not hold my son's interest like Braun's other two books, which are still heavy favorites in our household. Cloud of Witnesses is a sweet board book that teaches your child about important saints in Catholic history. The illustration style is simple, but soothing, focusing on key details of each saint, like boy and the seashell with St. Augustine and the wolf and stigmata of St. Francis. On each 2-page spread, in addition to a picture, we are also treated to famous words of theirs, like St. Augustine, "You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you," or St. Francis, "Lord make me an instrument of your peace ..." In addition to past saints, we are also treated to current saints, such as Saint John Paul II. This is a great book to read to your little ones as they go to bed and show them that the saints are always there watching out for us in heaven. The last books I want to talk about today are called Sisters of the Last Straw. Currently, this is a four-volume set by Karen Kelly Boyce that is targeted for children ages 6 to 12. The titles are The Case of the Haunted Chapel, The Case of the Vanishing Novice, The Case of the Stolen Rosaries, and The Case of the Flower Phantom. The protagonists in the books are dubbed as misfit nuns with bad habits (pun intended?). A few of the characters are Mother Mercy (temper problem), Sister Krumbles (forgetfulness), and Sister Shiny (OCD-level cleanliness ... it's next to godliness, you know ...). Due to all their quirks and problems, they have had to form a new order (a bit implausible, but makes for a good story). Each book is part mystery, part adventure, and part hilarity. While reading through these books, your children will be laughing at the shenanigans and capers these nuns get into, but they will also be learning about the human condition. Each of these sisters is a flawed human being (like us all), but when they band together, acknowledge their own faults, and accept that no one is perfect, they truly start living the Gospel. These are lovely stories with illustrations (by Sue Anderson Gioulis) that masterfully complement the writing. I hope to see more of these released in the future, and they are high on my recommended list!

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Copyright 2018 Stuart Dunn This article contains Amazon affiliate links; your purchases through these links benefit the author.