BY CHARLOTTE FARMER, ILLUSTRATED BY COURTNEY HUDDLESTON This is a cute story designed to teach children not to fear bugs. It follows a girl named Camilla who’s afraid of a bee until she discovers the bee’s afraid of her. The book shows how Camilla learns to coexist with the bee and eventually gives it a name, Bubba. What’s charming is that the book addresses our inherent fear of the unknown and how naming our fears (in this case bugs) can help us move past them. Camilla eventually names all the bugs she encounters, which helps her to become affectionate towards them. The illustrations are well done and perfect for the kind of story this is. The book also provides a letter to parents about the importance of helping kids conquer their anxiety over insects and other creepy crawlies. I recommend for parents of young children with a fear of any kind of animal.
Mary L. Schmidt, S. Jackson and A. Raymond I was gifted Shadow and Friends’ Costume Party by the author, Mary L. Schmidt in exchange for an honest review. Although I’m an adult and this is a children’s book, I ended up buying it because I loved the illustrations so much. They’re quirky and the scrapbook style reminds me of the Spot What books. The story is about a squirrel named Digger who invites everyone to a costume party. I do wonder why the title is Called Shadow and Friends’ Costume Party and not Digger and Friends’ Costume Party. However, the writing is so tight and flows effortlessly, I find the issue with the title not a deal breaker. One of the highlights is when the narrator asks the reader if they know what the word “perplexed” means, and proceeds to give the definition. Making the reader an active character is a good way to keep children’s focus. Plus it teaches the child a new and complex word that [ . . . ]