Quick Kids Reviews #5

Title: Little People Big Dreams, Mother Teresa
Author: Isabel Sanchez Vegara
Illustrator: Natascha Rosenberg
Source: Free ARC from Frances Lincoln Children’s Books

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Note: As stated under the Source (above), I received this book for free from Frances Lincoln Children’s Books via NetGalley. I pride myself on writing fair and honest reviews.

Little People, Big Dreams is a series of nonfiction children’s books focused on famous women, past and present. Mother Teresa is the second I’ve read in this series and it is beautiful! As was the case in Jane Austen edition, the illustrations are beyond charming and the information is pitch perfect for young children. It is essentially a quick biography, explaining how a child named Agnes, born in Macedonia, came to be Mother Teresa, a nun whose work would lead to sainthood.

Naturally, I know who Mother Teresa is and the work she is known for, but really very little beyond that. This children’s mini-biography provided a more context to her life story than I previously had and piqued my interest to learn more. A book that educates and stokes curiosity is exactly the right kind of children’s book if you ask me. And the illustrations in this addition were particularly vibrant making me love it all the more!

So far, this series of books is a big hit for me! Eagerly anticipating whatever comes next.

Title: Little People Big Dreams, Anne Frank
Author: Isabel Sanchez Vegara
Illustrator: Sveta Dorosheva
Source: Free ARC from Frances Lincoln Children’s Books

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Note: As stated under the Source (above), I received this book for free from Frances Lincoln Children’s Books via NetGalley. I pride myself on writing fair and honest reviews.

Little People, Big Dreams is a series of nonfiction children’s books focused on famous women, past and present. Anne Frank is the third I’ve read in this series and it is quite different from the earlier two (Jane Austen and Mother Teresa)! While the illustrations were wonderful, the subject matter called for a more serious tone. Most of the illustrations are in black and white, while Anne’s diary is a bright orange and yellow gingham. There is also a fair amount of symbolism in the pictures, white birds when there is happiness and hope, black birds when things take a turn for the worse.

Being a book for young children that covers very heavy subject matter, there had to be a delicate balance between communicating the tragedy of what happened while keeping it appropriate for little ones. I do think the author accomplished this, and the beautifully detailed black and white illustrations went a long way in helping to set the tone. Unlike many of the other books in this collection, Anne Frank is sad story steeped in history, a terrible, painful, shameful history. I’d certainly read it with my children who are going to be eight in a week, but I would also be prepared for a lot of questions, questions about topics many parents might not have broached with their young children. For parents who haven’t, I think this book is a wonderful gateway to meaningful and age-appropriate discussions about topics that seem particularly salient today.

Still loving this series and very much looking forward to the next one!

Title: ABC Worry Free
Author: Noel Foy
Illustrator: Olga and Aleksey Ivanov
Source: Free ARC from National Center for Youth Issues

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

Note: As stated under the Source (above), I received this book for free from National Center for Youth Issues via NetGalley. I pride myself on writing fair and honest reviews.

ABC Worry Free is a children’s book that aims to provide a simple three-step technique for coping with anxiety. As someone who struggles with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and the mother of a young child who wrestles with anxiety, this book appealed to me straight away.

The technique presented is nothing new: acknowledge the fear, take deep breaths, change your thinking. This is a method that is easy for children to learn and practice, and this book does a good job of breaking it down. As most families likely haven’t had access to behavior specialists to the degree that my family has (preemies, autism, etc.), this book would likely be very helpful.

That said, it definitely felt like a book written for children with anxiety rather than a children’s book that addresses anxiety. Or rather, it doesn’t feel like a book written by a children’s author, but a book written by an expert trying to reach children.  The tone and writing style are different than what you might expect in a children’s book, and I didn’t love the story overall. However, the issue the book is trying to address is important, and I can see this book being useful for individuals who work with children regularly.

2 Replies to “Quick Kids Reviews #5”

  1. I love the Little People Series. So glad you also find them great books. I requested the worry book. I am going to read it first, then maybe read it with my grandson who suffers from generalized anxiety. He goes to a group once a week to help him deal with it, but any help is good. Thanks for sharing this one.

  2. Very perceptive reviews. I agree that bringing Anne Frank down to a young child’s level would be difficult, but good to encourage discussion. As for the anxiety book, it does sound like the author was regrettably more of a therapist than a writer of children’s books.

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